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Tunisia president Marzouki declares re-election bid TUNIS: Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki announced on Saturday he will stand for re-election in November, in a key vote almost four years after a revolt that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.Marzouki, a fierce opponent of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, formally presented his candidacy at the offices of the electoral authority, watched on by journalists.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Philippines picks up pieces after storm leaves five dead MANILA: Thousands of people displaced by floods triggered by tropical storm Fung-Wong returned to their mud-caked homes in the Philippine capital Saturday, as the death toll from the disaster rose to five, officials said.Heavy rains paralysed the sprawling metropolis of more than 12 million people and nearby regions on Friday, with roof-high floods chasing 83,000 people from their homes, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council."We have no choice but to come ...

G20 nations want Putin at leaders' summit CAIRNS: Vladimir Putin is set to attend the G20 leaders' summit in November despite alarm over Russia's actions in Ukraine with host Australia Saturday saying it was the "emphatic" wish of member nations.There had been question marks over whether Moscow should be invited to the high-powered forum in Brisbane with the brutal five-month conflict that has killed around 3,000 people still unresolved.Opposition to Putin's attendance intensified after a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over ...

White House briefly evacuated Friday WASHINGTON: Journalists and officials at the White House were briefly evacuated from the building late Friday, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.President Barack Obama had departed earlier in the evening for Camp David, the presidential weekend retreat, and was not at the White House at the time.US media reported that the evacuation was triggered by a security breach when a man succeeded in scaling the White House fence.According to reports, security agents apprehended the ...

Kiev, rebels ink deal creating buffer zone MINSK: Kiev and pro-Russian separatists on Saturday signed a deal creating a demilitarised zone in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine after fresh talks aimed at ending a brutal five-month war.Face-to-face talks began on Friday evening in the Belarussian capital of Minsk and ended seven hours later with an agreement to create the buffer zone and withdraw all foreign fighters and weapons from the area."We have signed a memorandum," said Ukraine's former president Leonid Kuchma, who was Kiev's ...

New Zealanders go to polls in 'dirty tricks' election WELLINGTON: New Zealanders voted Saturday in a general election with conservative Prime Minister John Key tipped for a narrow victory despite a roller-coaster campaign dominated by allegations of dirty tricks and mass surveillance.Polling booths opened at 9:00 am and will close at 7:00 pm (0700 GMT) as 3.06 million registered voters cast their ballots for the South Pacific nation's 51st parliament.First indications of the election outcome -- which is notoriously difficult to predict under New ...

American sought to expose North Korea prison life SEOUL: A US citizen jailed this month in North Korea wanted to be imprisoned so he could reveal the human rights situation inside, the North's state media said Saturday.Matthew Miller allegedly ripped up his tourist visa and demanded asylum at Pyongyang's airport in April, and was sentenced to six years' hard labour by the country's Supreme Court last Sunday.The 24-year-old nurtured "a foolish idea of spying on the prison and human rights situation while experiencing ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln