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Dozen arrests, tear gas at Salvador Cup demo SAO PAULO: Brazilian police made 11 arrests and used tear gas to disperse anti-World Cup demonstrators Friday in the northeastern city of Salvador.Military police told AFP the arrests had been for "vandalism" in the city located just five kilometers (three miles) from the Fonte Nova stadium where the Netherlands beat reigning champions Spain in their opening group match.Some protesters threw stones at vehicles on display at automobile dealers and also cars parked in the streets, according to police.Online news portal G1 indicated some 100 protesters angry at the $11 billion cost of the World Cup attended the demonstration. Police declined to give a figure.Thursday saw smaller anti-World Cup demonstrations of a few hundred people each in six of the 12 host cities before Brazil scored a 3-1 victory in the tournament's opening game in Sao Paulo.Preparations for the event were marred by the late delivery of several stadiums and facilities ...

China invests in development to enhance LatAm presence SANTA CRUZ DE LA SIERRA: China, whose presence in Latin America until now was largely based on an appetite for raw materials, is diversifying investments by financing much needed development projects, analysts say.At a summit, opening Saturday in Santa Cruz, the G77 + China group of developing nations meets on its 50th anniversary to promote economic development.Delegations from 133 countries and some three dozen heads of state will be in attendance."China now acts in a ...

Afghan front-runner on brink of power, again KABUL: Former ophthalmologist and resistance fighter Abdullah Abdullah stands one step away from becoming the president of Afghanistan -- the final part of a plan hatched five years ago, when he believes the job was stolen from him.Abdullah, 53, has plotted to avenge defeat since the 2009 election when he came second to Hamid Karzai in the first-round vote and then dramatically pulled out of the run-off, alleging that fraud would again be used to ...

Fiery Afghan academic looks to seize presidency KABUL: Ashraf Ghani is an intense, intellectual high-achiever with a famous temper -- his rule would seldom be dull if he wins Saturday's run-off election and becomes the new president of Afghanistan.Ghani, now 65, was a career academic and economist who left Afghanistan in 1977 and only returned 24 years later to pursue his dream of rebuilding the country.He studied at New York's Columbia University, before teaching at several US universities during the Soviet occupation ...

Greek navy to fast-track long-delayed submarine order ATHENS: Greece's navy on Friday said it would complete a long-delayed submarine order that has sparked multi-billion-euro litigation between Athens and leading German and Arab shipyards in the next two years.The dispute, spanning over a decade, concerns the building of three 214-class submarines at Hellenic Shipyards, Greece's main shipbuilding facility where hundreds of jobs are at stake.A navy source said the three submarines named Pipinos, Matrozos and Katsonis are "absolutely vital to the navy and ...

'Industrial scale poaching' threatens African elephants: CITES GENEVA: Entire elephant populations are dying out in many African countries due to poaching on a massive scale, wildlife regulator CITES warned Friday, while also hailing the continent for clamping down on ivory smuggling. More than 20,000 African elephants were poached last year alone for their tusks, which rake in thousands of dollars a kilo in Asia, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).Organised crime syndicates ...

US kicks off evaluation of offshore oil, gas leases WASHINGTON: The US Department of the Interior took its first steps on Friday to develop the next five-year schedule of offshore oil and gas lease sales.Interior issued a request for information and comments on the oil and gas leasing program for US coastal waters to run from 2017 to 2022, kicking off a 45-day comment period.The planning process for federal waters surrounding the United States known as the outer continental shelf will take up to ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyMay 21, 2015
Reserves $17.75 bln