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White House urges Congress to regain US UNESCO vote WASHINGTON: White House national security adviser Susan Rice on Saturday urged Congress to allow the United States to regain its vote at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, which it lost for not paying dues. "Shameful that US has lost its vote at #UNESCO," Rice wrote on Twitter. "Congress needs to fix this. Current law doesn't punish the Palestinians; it handicaps the US." UNESCO on Friday suspended the voting rights of the United States and Israel, two years after both countries stopped paying dues to the UN cultural arm to protest its granting full membership to the Palestinians. The US decision to cancel its funding in October 2011 was blamed on American laws that prohibit funding to any UN agency that implies recognition of the Palestinians' demands for their own state. The withdrawal of US funding which totaled about $240 ...

Nigerian army clashes with Boko Haram in Kano NIGERIA: Five members of the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram and two soldiers were killed in gun battles in Kano on Saturday, the army said, the first violence in months linked to insurgents in the largest northern city. A military task force stormed two buildings suspected of being Boko Haram safe houses in the Hotoro Dan Marke and Brigade areas of the city at around 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), where the battles occurred, ...

Maduro government 'occupies' Venezuela electronics chain CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the military "occupation" of a chain of electronic goods stores in a crackdown on what the socialist government views as price-gouging hobbling the country's economy. Various managers of the five-store, 500-employee Daka chain have been arrested, and the company will now be forced to sell products at "fair prices," Maduro said late on Friday. Soldiers immediately began guarding the stores. On Saturday morning, hundreds ...

China Jan-Oct property investment up 19.2pc y/y BEIJING: China's real estate investment rose 19.2 percent in the first ten months of 2013 from the same period a year earlier, while revenue from property sales rose 32.3 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday.The rise in investment compares with an increase of 19.7 percent for January to September, while the increase in revenue compares with a 33.9 percent rise in January to September.Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other ...

China inflation hits 8-month high amid tightening fear BEIJING: China's annual inflation climbed to an eight-month high of 3.2 percent in October as food costs soared, fanning market worries about policy tightening as factory output and investment data pointed to signs of stabilisation in the economy.Inflation, which quickened slightly from 3.1 percent in September, was still lower than a median forecast of 3.3 percent in a Reuters poll and was below the official target of 3.5 percent for 2013."Although the CPI inflation was ...

Russia's central bank sees weaker 2014-16 growth than government MOSCOW: Russian central bank economic growth expectations for the next three years, according to a central bank document, are lower than the government's forecasts.Gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be 2 percent next year, 2.5 percent in 2015 and 3 percent in 2016 in the bank's base scenario, used to set monetary policy for the oil-driven economy.The government's forecasts, issued in September, are for growth of 3.0 percent next year, 3.1 percent in 2015 and ...

US must update its Cuba policy, Obama says MIAMI: The United States must continue to update its policy towards communist Cuba, President Barack Obama said late Friday, speaking at the home of a prominent Cuban-American activist.Freedom in Cuba will come from the work of activists, Obama said, but the United States can help in "creative" and "thoughtful" ways."And we have to continue to update our policies," said Obama, speaking at a political fundraiser at the home of Jorge Mas Santos, head of the ...


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