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EU welcomes US-Cuba accord as 'historical turning point' BRUSSELS: The EU, seeking to normalise its own ties with Havana, on Wednesday welcomed a breakthrough US-Cuba accord to re-establish diplomatic relations after more than 50 years as a "historical turning point."The agreement represents "a victory of dialogue over confrontation," EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said, adding that the EU also hoped ultimately to be able to "expand relations with all parts of Cuban society.""Today another Wall has started to fall," Mogherini said, with the Cuban stance encouraging optimism "about a real change."The European Union and Cuba began normalisation talks this year after ties were suspended in 2003 when Havana launched a crackdown and jailed 75 dissidents in a direct response to calls for liberalisation and greater respect for human rights.Two rounds of talks were held but earlier this month Cuba suspended a planned third round which would have tackled the sensitive rights dossier.Cuba is the Americas' only one-party, ...

German cabinet approves training mission to Iraq BERLIN: The German cabinet on Wednesday agreed to send around 100 German troops to northern Iraq to train Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting Islamic State (IS) militants.Islamic State has caused international alarm by capturing large expanses of Iraq and Syria and declaring an Islamic "caliphate". Western powers see the Kurds as a vital bulwark against further IS advances.In the last few months France, Britain, Germany and others have begun arming the Kurds, whose Soviet-era weaponry has ...
Iran nuclear talks resume in Geneva GENEVA: World powers resumed negotiations with Iran on Wednesday over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, more than three weeks after they last met and gave themselves another seven months to strike a deal.Political directors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany -- the so-called P5+1 -- are holding a one-day meeting in Geneva with the Iranians, mediated by the European Union.An EU spokeswoman in the Swiss city told AFP the talks ...
Britain pledges more support for children affected by Ebola ISLAMABAD: Britain has pledged a 2.5 million pounds (3.93 million US dollars) fund to help children affected by Ebola.The Department for International Development of the United Kingdom said the fund will go to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.The announcement followed a trip by department secretary Justine Greening to Sierra Leone, Xinhua reported."Ebola not only takes people's lives, it leaves children without families and survivors facing rejection from their communities. Our work will ensure ...
Putin holds late-night talks on Ukraine with European leaders MOSCOW: Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his French, German and Ukrainian counterparts agreed in a phone call early Wednesday that they wanted talks between Kiev, Moscow and rebels controlling parts of eastern Ukraine to resume as soon as possible.The telephone conversation came after the White House confirmed that US President Barack Obama will sign into law fresh sanctions against Russia.The Kremlin said in a statement that the leaders "continued discussion of the crisis situation in ...
Failure for presidential vote in Greece could lead to snap polls ATHENS: Lawmakers from Wednesday will vote for a new Greek president in a ballot that will lead to snap general elections if they fail -- putting on the line years of efforts to turn around an economy in crisis.The government brought forward the indirect election from February, when it will be locked in delicate negotiations with the cash-starved country's creditors, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.But the gamble to stave off uncertainty during ...
British supermarket price wars rage before Christmas LONDON: British supermarkets are slashing prices ahead of Christmas, spurred by competition from German-owned discounters, benefitting customers of all tastes.Sales events dubbed "Black Friday", "Cyber Monday" and "Manic Monday" -- imported from the United States -- surged in popularity across Britain this year as retailers fight for market share both online and in stores.These provided fresh price battles between British supermarkets as they seek to halt the advance of German discounters Lidl and Aldi and ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
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WeeklyDecember 15, 2014
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