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Philippines posts $1.4bn budget deficit in June MANILA: The Philippines had a budget deficit of 62.5 billion pesos ($1.4 billion) in June, wider by more than 600 percent against the year-ago deficit of 8.5 billion pesos, the Department of Finance said on Monday.It posted a first-half budget deficit of 54 billion pesos, just a fifth of the full-year deficit target of 266 billion pesos, equivalent to 2 percent of GDP. Last year's shortfall was 164.1 billion pesos, or 1.4 percent of GDP. Copyright Reuters, 2014

Mexico arrests 32 cops for alleged organized crime ties MORELIA: More than 30 police officers have been arrested in Mexico for alleged organized crime ties and possible involvement in the killing of fellow cops, authorities said Sunday.Those detained include a former top public safety chief from the town of Tarimbaro, an ex-commander of the same unit and 18 more active duty agents, a public safety source in the troubled state of Michoacan told AFP.Authorities are investigating whether those taken into custody were involved in ...

Venezuelan ex-intel chief sought by US freed in Aruba, now home CARACAS: A Venezuelan ex-military intelligence chief arrested by Aruba at the United States' request on drug trafficking charges was freed Sunday and returned home to Caracas, authorities said.Retired major general Hugo Carvajal was detained late Wednesday on the southern Caribbean island, where he had been designated but not confirmed as Venezuela's consul. "It is a very brave decision by Holland to acknowledge diplomatic immunity was violated, and for international law to be restored. It takes ...

Jobless families occupy homes in Spanish tourist town SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA: Unable to pay her mortgage, Manoli Herrera turned over her flat to the bank and moved into one of six abandoned buildings occupied by other jobless families in Sanlucar de Barrameda, a seaside town on Spain´s southern coast."I did not want my two children to experience the violence of an eviction. They have already gone through so much," she said as her children played in the courtyard of the occupied building.Twenty struggling ...

Student survivors testify in Korea ferry trial ANSAN: Teenaged student survivors of South Korea's ferry disaster began giving video testimony under tight security Monday in the murder trial of the vessel's captain and crew.It was the first time the survivors -- all from Dawon High School in Ansan city south of Seoul -- have given evidence in the trial which began more than a month ago.Police cordons blocked public access to the district court in Ansan City, outside Seoul, as the students ...

Americans infected with Ebola in Liberia outbreak WASHINGTON: Two Americans involved in the treatment of Ebola victims in Liberia have become infected with the West African epidemic, an aid agency said on Sunday.Samaritan's Purse, a Christian charity, said that its physician Kent Brantly was in stable condition and had been isolated at the group's Ebola treatment center at the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia.His symptoms included intermittent fever and body aches. Nancy Writebol, a missionary with the SIM Christian charity ...

Venezuela says ex-general sought by US to be freed in Aruba CARACAS: Venezuela said on Sunday that retired military General Hugo Carvajal, wanted by the United States over drug accusations and arrested four days ago on the Caribbean island of Aruba, would be released and return home shortly."A plane is taking off at this moment to go and pick up our comrade Hugo Carvajal," Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said on state TV, hailing "a new victory" for Venezuela.Carvajal's lawyer, Chris Lejuez, speaking to Reuters by telephone ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
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