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Tunisia assembly begins to wade through electoral law TUNIS: Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly or parliament on Friday began voting article by article on a new electoral law to govern legislative and presidential elections due before the end of 2014.Just 139 of a total of 217 deputies were on hand to examine the articles before the assembly's vice president, Meherzia Laabidi, adjourned to try to reach an agreement how to proceed.By 1500 GMT, just two items had been adopted and 168 others remain to be voted on by April 27, the date set by the assembly to conclude its consideration of the law.The clause-by-clause process had already been delayed pending the adoption of another law allowing the creation of a body responsible for reviewing its constitutionality, which finally happened this week.The planned elections aim to create permanent institutions in the country that spawned the Arab Spring but remains plagued by prolonged political crises, social conflict and the rise of ...


Obama-Abe summit seen giving impetus to trade but no deal: official WASHINGTON: Next week's meeting between US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a good opportunity to give impetus to trade negotiations but will not seal a deal, a senior US administration official said on Friday.Japanese and US trade officials will meet again on Monday in the lead-up to the leaders' talks to discuss sticking points in bilateral trade which are holding up agreement on the wider Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative.The senior official ...

Obama disgusted by anti-Jewish leaflets in Ukraine WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama made clear his "disgust" at anti-Jewish leaflets handed out in east Ukraine's main city, his top national security aide said on Friday.The pamphlets telling Jews to register or be expelled were distributed in the city of Donetsk and sparked global outrage and fears of a Nazi-style pogrom."The president expressed his disgust quite bluntly," said Obama's national security advisor Susan Rice."I think we all found word of those pamphlets to be ...

Strike-hit South Africa platinum miners unveil new pay offer JOHANNESBURG: The world's three biggest platinum producers have made a new pay offer to end a strike which has crippled their South African operations for 12 weeks, a spokeswoman said on Friday.The new terms would raise the total pay and benefits for an underground miner at the Implats, Amplats and Lonmin companies by 7.5-10.0 percent a year on average.The total remuneration package would rise to 12,500 rand ($1,188, 860 euros) a month by July 2017, ...

Erdogan challenges social media in court: media ANKARA: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan applied to Turkey's constitutional court on Friday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family's rights by social media, broadcaster CNN Turk and other media said.His government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains blocked.Friday's media reports could not immediately be confirmed.Copyright Reuters, 2014

Italy govt cuts income taxes for 10mn low earners: Renzi ROME: Italy's government on Friday passed a decree cutting income tax for 10 million Italians earning between 8,000 and 26,000 euros a year and will be funded mainly by permanent spending cuts, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said. He told reporters after a cabinet meeting that tax cuts for very low earners who already do not make enough to pay taxes and for the self-employed will be made in "coming weeks and months". He said that ...

S&P lifts Haniel ratings outlook to ‘positive’ FRANKFURT: Standard & Poor's has revised its ratings outlook for German investment group Haniel to "positive" from "stable", after the group bolstered its finances. Haniel has been shedding assets to offset a massive 2012 writedown on its holding in German retailer Metro and reduce debt, which stood at 1.6 billion euros ($2.2 billion) at the end of 2013. Family-owned Haniel also received about 2 billion euros following the sale of its stake in German drugs ...


 



 
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Annual2012/13
Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
MonthlyFebruary
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln