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US health secretary resigns after Obamacare woes WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, paying the price for the chaotic initial rollout of his signature health care law, officials said Thursday.Obama will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, his current budget director, who has a reputation as an accomplished manager, to replace Sebelius on Friday, the officials said.The administration hopes that the departure of Sebelius will draw a symbolic line under the early implementation period of the law, which had a botched debut due to a malfunctioning sign-up website and other teething problems.The administration was forced into an emergency effort to fix the site and succeeded to such an extent that 7.5 million people have now signed up for health insurance under the new law -- a figure that defied expectations.Obama and top aides spent last week declaring victory over skeptics who argued that the law -- the most sweeping US social reform ...

Putin wants chaos, not invasion, in eastern Ukraine MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin is seeking to maintain influence in Ukraine by fomenting instability in its Russian-speaking eastern regions but will stop short of sending troops there in a Crimea-style swoop, analysts said.Ever since the Kremlin took control of Ukraine's Russian-speaking peninsula of Crimea last month and has massed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine's border, Europe has been on tenterhooks expecting Putin to occupy eastern Ukraine.But the intractable Russian strongman has been playing ...

China inflation jumps to 2.4pc year-on-year in March BEIJING: Chinese inflation accelerated to 2.4 percent year-on-year in March driven by higher food prices, official data showed Friday, though economists warned there was still a risk of deflation.The rise in the consumer price index (CPI) was up from the 2.0 percent seen in February but well below the 3.5 percent annual target set by Beijing and adds to unease about the economy after Thursday's disappointing trade data.It was also marginally below the median forecast ...

South Korea says drones were from North Korea SEOUL: South Korea's defence ministry said on Friday it was convinced that three crashed drones recovered in recent weeks were of North Korean origin.Wreckage of the rudimentary drones was found in three different places, including Baengnyeong island near the rivals' disputed sea border."By inspecting the three aircraft and their loaded devices, we've secured various pieces of circumstantial evidence that all certainly point to North Korea", the defence ministry said in a press statement.All three unmanned ...

Africa's growth spurt challenged by twin deficits NEW YORK: Twin deficits threaten to end Africa's growth spurt. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are basking in the continent's recent successes - devoting much of their meeting in Washington this week to discussing the region. Sub-Saharan Africa is enjoying the fastest growth since independence in the 1960s. But profligate spending and current account deficits can still spoil the party.Economic success stories are in short supply around the globe, given sluggish growth in ...

Bond sale shows Greece headed in 'right direction': IMF WASHINGTON: Greece's successful bond issue on Thursday shows that the long-troubled economy is approaching the end of its crisis, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said."I see the issuance that took place today, which was massively oversubscribed, as an indication that Greece is heading in the right direction and that the water-testing that the authorities wanted to do is really successful," Lagarde told reporters at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund annual spring meetings."There is still a lot ...

US jobless claims tumble to 7-year low WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits tumbled last week to the lowest level in seven years, government data released Thursday showed.Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, totaled a seasonally adjusted 300,000 in the week ending April 5, a decrease of 32,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 332,000, the Labor Department said.The prior week's number was previously estimated at 326,000.The last time claims were so low was ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
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WeeklyApril 14, 2014
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