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Australia hopeful of revised Antarctic sanctuary success SYDNEY: Australia said Monday it was hopeful of winning support for its plan for a vast marine sanctuary off east Antarctica, after revising its proposal to make it smaller.Australia, France and the European Union first put forward a bid for a 1.9 million square kilometre (760,000 square mile) Marine Protected Area encompassing seven stretches of the pristine wilderness in 2011, but it was knocked back last year.Its latest proposal is for a 1.0 million square kilometre zone over four areas, a plan which will be considered at the annual Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) talks in Hobart beginning Monday. "The reduction in the scale of the East Antarctic proposal reflects concerns from some nations that the area included was too large," said the head of Australia's delegation Tony Fleming. "However we are confident the new proposal will adequately protect representative areas of biodiversity in the ...


Pilots extend Lufthansa strikes to long-haul flights FRANKFURT: German pilots union VC called a strike at Lufthansa on Oct. 21 targeting the airline's long-haul flights, in addition to strikes for the carrier's short and mid-length routes announced for Monday and Tuesday. The walkout for the long-haul flights will be from 0400-2159 GMT, the union said in a statement on Monday. The pilots are in dispute with Lufthansa's management over retirement benefits.Copyright Reuters, 2014

In rouble crisis, Putin gets a helping hand from state TV MOSCOW: As the head of Russia's biggest state bank and a favourite of President Vladimir Putin, German Gref has long been a loyal supporter of state economic policy.But with the rouble sliding and the economy stagnating, he delivered a diatribe this month against government inefficiencies, which he compared to the Soviet era, and warned that "we can't motivate people by using the Gulag".The outburst brought a stinging rebuke from a state television presenter, who portrayed ...

Euro zone not heading for recession, says EU's Barroso LONDON: The euro zone is not heading for another recession, the outgoing president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said on Sunday.Growth in the euro zone economy ground to a halt in the second quarter and weaker-than-expected economic data for the bloc's largest economy, Germany, have raised concerns about the prospects for a recovery."I don't think we are going to come back to recession," he told Britain's BBC television, citing forecasts from the International ...

Blast kills six security forces in Egypt's Sinai CAIRO: At least six Egyptian security force personnel were killed by a remotely detonated roadside bomb in the Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, medical and security sources said.The bomb exploded as a patrol responsible for protecting a natural gas pipeline passed by, the sources said.Copyright Reuters, 2014

Bolivia's Morales wins reelection with 61 percent: official LA PAZ: President Evo Morales swept to a third term with 61 percent of the vote, electoral officials said Saturday in confirming the result.The October 12 balloting was a massive vote of support and a strong mandate to expand his leftist reforms.In power since 2006 and Bolivia's first indigenous president, Morales earned 37 points more than his closest rival, wealthy cement magnate Samuel Doria Medina.Morales will extend his time in office to 14 years, until ...

Hungary's Orban gets free rein for 'illiberal democracy' BUDAPEST: Fresh from a third electoral win this year, Hungary's controversial Premier Viktor Orban will have a free rein in his second term to build what he terms an "illiberal democracy," analysts say. After four years in office, Orban's right-wing Fidesz party continues to ride a wave of support, winning general elections in April, European elections in May and local elections last weekend.The prime minister has made no qualms about his agenda and has cited ...


 



 
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln