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Hollande to step back in time at giant cave replica VALLON-PONT-D'ARC: French President Francois Hollande will step back 36,000 years in time Friday into a darkened, cool cave to admire the earliest known figurative paintings of hands, bears, rhinos and panthers.But he will actually be above ground, inaugurating a giant, millimetre-by-millimetre exact replica of the closely-guarded Grotte Chauvet in southern France, unearthed by chance in 1994 by a group of speleologists who discovered hundreds of paintings by the our prehistoric ancestors.Nestled deep in a limestone cliff that hangs over the meandering Ardeche River, the cave is closed to the public so scientists and artists toiled for years to build the 55-million-euro ($58-million) replica down to cloning even the stalactites and stalagmites that pepper the real cavern.The giant cave reproduction, which from the sky is shaped like a bear's paw, stands on a lush hill close to the small town of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, just one kilometre from the real deal, which last ...

Atheist Greek PM in tense meeting with Russian patriarch MOSCOW: Greece's avowedly atheist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held a tense meeting with the powerful head of Russia's Orthodox Church on Thursday as he wrapped up a trip aimed at closer relations with Moscow.Tsipras greeted Patriarch Kirill, who enjoys a close relationship with Russian strongman President Vladimir Putin, with a strained smile at his official monastery residence following a two-day Kremlin charm offensive.Kirill congratulated Tsipras on his January, but swiftly pressed the premier to take ...
EU says Sudan elections cannot produce 'credible' result BRUSSELS: The EU said Thursday that next week's Sudan elections, widely expected to see President Omar al-Bashir extend his 25-year rule, cannot produce a "credible" result.Bashir faces 15 little-known challengers while the main opposition parties are boycotting the vote in an impoverished country riven by deep political, religious and tribal divisions.EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said Bashir's failure to establish a genuine national dialogue, which he announced early last year, was a real setback ...
Spain judge upholds W. Sahara genocide charges against Moroccan officials MADRID: A Spanish judge Thursday upheld genocide charges against 11 Moroccan ex-officials accused of atrocities in Western Sahara, a court ruling showed -- a penultimate step towards a possible trial.Judge Pablo Ruz upheld accusations against the 11 ex-security officials and governors of ethnically motivated torture, killings and detentions in the former Spanish colony between 1975 and 1991, the ruling said. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Greek unemployment eases to 25.7pc in January ATHENS: Greece's jobless rate eased to 25.7 percent in January from a downwardly revised 25.9 percent rate in the previous month, statistics agency ELSTAT said on Thursday.January's reading, based on seasonally adjusted data, is the lowest since October 2014 when unemployment stood at 25.9 percent. The jobless rate hit a record high of 28 percent in September 2013.Unemployment has come down from record highs as the economy stabilised last year after a severe slump, but ...
$1bn disappears -- and Moldova looks for answers CHISINAU: A billion dollars is a lot for Europe's poorest state of Moldova -- particularly when it disappears.Anti-corruption prosecutors and American auditors have been searching the books for clues about the mysterious transactions, an embarrassment for the ex-Soviet state on track for EU membership.The scandal has even threatened to destabilise the banking system in the country of 3.5 million people.The case of the vanishing billion came to light when the Central Bank of Moldova discovered ...
Spain king visits Lebanon after peacekeeper's death BEIRUT: Spain's King Felipe VI called for "peace and harmony" in Lebanon Tuesday on a visit that will take him to the country's troubled border where Israeli artillery killed a Spanish peacekeeper.The king's first visit to Lebanon since he took the throne last June follows a joint Spanish-Israeli probe into the death in January of Corporal Javier Soria Toledo, 36.At the start of his two-day visit Felipe paid tribute to Soria and the 12 other ...

 



 
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ICT 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJanuary
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln