02072016Sun
Last update: Sun, 07 Feb 2016 10pm

World - Europe

Stick to path of reforms: Merkel to Portugal BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday urged Portugal to stick to its commitments on economic reforms, as concerns grow that the new Socialist-led government was easing off on budget discipline."The predecessor of Prime Minister Antonio Costa led Portugal through difficult times," she noted, urging Lisbon to "do everything to stay on this path" of reforms."Together with solid public finances, it would lead to jobs," she told journalists after hosting Costa for talks."It is important to keep to this framework," she said, adding that a European Union pact governing countries' budgets was "accepted by all of us and carries certain criteria and clear rules". Merkel's call came a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged Portugal to do more to spur economic recovery, and warned the government against loosening its budget discipline. "Portugal needs to build on the progress made in recent years in stabilising the level of public ...


World - North America

Canada unemployment rate edges up to 7.2pc OTTAWA: Overall Canadian employment was virtually unchanged in January, despite more cuts in the Alberta oil sands, while the unemployment rate edged up to 7.2 percent, the government statistical agency said Friday.A total 5,700 jobs were shed nationwide, according to Statistics Canada. In Alberta, 10,000 jobs were lost, pushing the province's unemployment rate higher than the national average for the first time since December 1988, the agency said.Ontario, the nation's manufacturing hub, meanwhile, was the ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US trade deficit grows in 2015 as exports weaken WASHINGTON: The US trade deficit grew modestly in 2015 as exports declined amid a slowing global economy, government data showed Friday.For all of 2015, the trade gap in goods and services widened 4.6 percent from a year ago to $531.5 billion as the fall in exports outpaced the decline in imports, the Commerce Department said.The politically sensitive goods trade gap with China swelled to a new record last year at $365.7 billion as a strong ...

World - Europe

Assange says Britain, Sweden should 'implement' UN panel ruling LONDON: Julian Assange on Friday called for Britain and Sweden to "implement" a UN panel finding saying that he should be able to walk free from Ecuador's embassy, where he has lived in self-imposed confinement since 2012."It is now the task of the states of Sweden and the United Kingdom as a whole to implement the verdict," Assange said via video link from the embassy building.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

World - Europe

UNHCR sounds alarm for child migrants in Calais GENEVA: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday lashed out at the "appalling" conditions for children in two migrant camps that have sprung up around the northern French port of Calais.UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said the agency was deeply worried, especially for children who were living there alone or had become separated from their families.Conditions in the camps are "appalling" and "very unsanitary," Spindler said."Children are very vulnerable to any exploitation. We know ...

World - South East Asia

North Korea begins fuelling rocket: report TOKYO: US satellite data indicates that North Korea appears to have begun fuelling a rocket it plans to launch this month in defiance of international opposition, a Japanese newspaper reported Friday, citing a US defence official.Pyongyang has announced it will launch a satellite-bearing rocket sometime between February 8-25, which is around the time of the birthday on February 16 of late leader Kim Jong-Il, father of current supremo Kim Jong-Un.The North insists its space programme ...

World - Africa

Three killed in Somalia car bomb targeting airport official: police MOGADISHU: Three people were killed Friday in a car bomb targeting an airport official in Somalia's capital, police said, as investigators probe an airplane blast experts fear was also a bomb."An airport security official was targeted but he survived the attack, three other people including a woman were killed in the blast," police official Ali Dahir told AFP.Witnesses described an enormous explosion with the car bursting into flames. The man believed to have been targeted ...