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UK's Osborne to set out new spending purge, bets on voter support LONDON: British finance minister George Osborne will renew his push to fix the country's public finances on Wednesday, taking a gamble that voters will accept four more years of deep spending cuts.Osborne, a contender to be Britain's next prime minister, is expected to tell parliament that he is still aiming for a budget surplus by the end of the decade, which could allow him to deliver income tax cuts, as promised, before the next election.But the size of the projected surplus is likely to be revised down after one of his most controversial savings ideas -- big cuts to tax credits for low-earning households -- was blocked in a rare rebellion by Britain's upper house last month.Seeking to show he is sensitive to the concerns of voters, he will announce more government support for home-building on Wednesday.But Osborne has little choice but to stick with deep spending cuts in many ...

Russia to bolster Syria base, eyes economic retaliation against Turkey MOSCOW: Russia is to send an advanced air defence system to reinforce its air base in Syria and is considering cancelling a raft of joint business projects with Ankara after Turkey shot down of one of its warplanes, top government officials said.The incident, which resulted in the killing of one of the SU-24 plane's two pilots and a Russian marine, has thrown Russo-Turkish relations into crisis and cooled Kremlin hopes of rapprochement with the West.On ...

Support for lower Indian GST rate gaining traction NEW DELHI: The idea of setting a relatively low rate for a new Indian sales tax seemed to be gaining traction on Wednesday, as politicians of all stripes met to debate what would be the country's biggest tax reform since independence.The proposed goods and services tax, or GST, will top the order of business at what is expected to be a rowdy winter session of parliament starting on Thursday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the all-party ...

Rousseff waives visa requirement for Olympics despite security fears SAO PAULO: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has agreed to suspend visa requirements for foreigners during the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's official gazette reported on Wednesday, despite heightened security fears after the Paris attacks.The government hopes the move will encourage tourism and help revive Brazil's sluggish economy, which is expected to stay in recession for a second year in 2016.Foreigners who arrive between June and Sept. 18 will be able to stay ...

Russia will continue air strikes in Syria near Turkish border MOSCOW: Russia will continue air strikes against Islamic State targets located in Syria near the Turkish border, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday."We would like for the terrorists and militants to keep further away from the Turkish border, but unfortunately they tend to be situated on the Syrian territory close to the Turkish border," Peskov told journalists on a conference call."(Russia's) operations will continue without doubt."Copyright Reuters, 2015

Defiant Merkel vows to stand by refugee policy despite security fears BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Wednesday to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad which has intensified due to growing fears about a potential security risk after the Islamist attacks in Paris.Conservative Merkel faces splits in her right-left coalition and pressure from EU states, including France, over her insistence that Germany can cope with up to 1 million migrants this year and that Europe must accept quotas to take ...

Davutoglu says attacks on Turkmens cannot be justified by fight against IS ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday sent Russia a stern warning over its operations in Syria, saying attacks on Turkmens could not be carried out under the pretext of fighting Islamic State.Davutoglu, speaking at a meeting of his ruling AK Party a day after Turkey downed a Russian jet near the Syrian border, said Ankara was keeping communication channels open with Moscow.Copyright Reuters, 2015


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
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WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
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