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US sees 'slight improvement' in Ukraine WASHINGTON: The United States noted Thursday that there had been a "slight improvement" in the fighting in Ukraine, but insisted the ceasefire was still being violated."There is a reduction we've seen over the past two days," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said when asked if the truce was still being broken.She said that was "a good thing.""But there are still violations... I wouldn't go so far as to call it a positive step," Psaki told reporters."It's just a slight improvement but obviously there are still violations across eastern Ukraine."And she warned that none of the actions seen so far would be enough to ward off new sanctions against Russia and the pro-Moscow rebels which the US has threatened to impose.US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Monday, on the sidelines of a major conference of the UN Human Rights ...

Merkel hopes Moldova isn't in Russia's sights after Ukraine BERLIN: Germany's Angela Merkel said on Thursday she hoped Russia's Vladimir Putin would not try the same strategy in Moldova as he had in Ukraine, and expressed support for the country's efforts to forge stronger ties with Europe, to Moscow's chagrin.The chancellor, asked at a news conference with visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis whether she thought there was a risk that Romania's eastern neighbour could be in Moscow's sights, replied: "Well, we hope not."Germany and ...
French, Philippine leaders appeal for climate action MANILA: French President Francois Hollande and Philippine leader Benigno Aquino appealed Thursday for urgent global action on climate change, seeking to build momentum for a planned historic accord at a UN summit in Paris. On the first day of Hollande's visit to the Philippines, the leaders offered a show of unity they said could serve as a model for rich and poor nations who have long been divided over how to tackle climate change."We have ...
EU asks WTO to help settle trade dispute with Russia GENEVA: The European Union said Thursday it had asked the World Trade Organization to help settle a dispute with Russia over "excessive import duties" on refrigerators and other products.The wrangling is the latest of a long line of politically-charged trade disputes between the EU and its third largest trading partner Russia amid the Ukraine crisis."The EU requested today the establishment of a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization in Geneva concerning Russia's excessive ...
German unemployment rate stays at record low in February BERLIN: Germany's jobless rate remained at a record low of 6.5 percent for a third straight month in February, data showed on Thursday, boosting expectations that private consumption will help drive growth in Europe's largest economy this year.That was in line with the consensus forecast in a Reuter’s poll and remains the lowest since German reunification in 1990. The reading for December was revised down to 6.5 percent from 6.6 percent.Data from the Labour Office ...
France's Sapin sees "optimal" EU-Paris deficit talks VIENNA: The euro zone must follow less restrictive economic policies if it wants desired levels of growth and inflation, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told an Austrian paper, adding talks with the EU on cutting France's budget deficit were "optimal".Asked about the EU giving France more time to meet its deficit target, he said: "I for my part had proposed that France reduce its budget deficit to 3 percent (of gross domestic product) by 2017. ...
French govt spokesman says there will be no tax rises PARIS: France's Socialist government reaffirmed on Thursday it would not resort to tax rises to bring its public deficit within EU limits, a day after Brussels gave it three months to do more to consolidate its finances.Asked on France 2 television whether there would be tax rises, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said: "No, that is very clear - there will be no tax rises."Le Foll said France would achieve the budget consolidation through savings ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
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WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
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