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Russia supplies Syria with military equipment and humanitarian aid: Lavrov MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday denied it was ramping up its military presence in Syria, saying it was supplying its Middle Eastern ally with humanitarian aid and military equipment in accordance with existing contracts."Russian planes are sending to Syria both military equipment in accordance with current contracts and humanitarian aid," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters."We have never made our military presence (in Syria) a secret," he said, denying claims that Russia was beefing up its presence in the war-torn country. "Russia is not taking any additional steps," Lavrov said.US officials said this week that Russia was solidifying its foothold in Syria, sending ships, armoured personnel carriers and naval infantry to the country in an apparent effort to prop up the besieged regime of President Bashar al-Assad.Lavrov rubbished suggestions that Russia's greater involvement in Syria would throw a wrench in the plans of a Western coalition to fight the Islamic ...

450,000 refugees arrived in Germany since January: vice chancellor BERLIN: Around 450,000 refugees have arrived in Germany so far this year, including 37,000 in the first eight days of September, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel told parliament on Thursday."Up to the day before yesterday, Germany registered 450,000 refugees, including 105,000 in August, and 37,000 in the first eight days of September. There may be more than 100,000 in September," he said. "Honestly speaking, this shows that the distribution of 160,000 refugees across Europe is a ...
EU must agree 'compulsory' relocation of 160,000 refugees next week: Juncker STRASBOURG: European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday urged EU ministers to back plans to relocate 160,000 refugees from swamped border states at a crisis meeting next week."It is 160,000 that Europe has to take into their arms, this has to be done in a compulsory way. I call on the (European) Council to agree to take 160,000 at the interior ministers' meeting on September 14," Juncker said in a speech to the European Parliament.Juncker ...
Merkel wants 'binding' EU quotas for refugees BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the EU to agree to binding quotas on the sharing of refugees, effectively taking a step further than plans unveiled by the European Commission on Wednesday."We need a binding agreement on the binding distribution of refugees according to fair criteria between member states," she told parliament, adding that "we cannot say we will share out a fixed number of refugees" but should instead agree on a proportional division of ...
British Airways plane catches fire in Las Vegas, several injured LAS VEGAS: A London-bound British Airways jet caught fire on Tuesday as it was preparing to take off from Las Vegas, prompting the crew to abort takeoff and evacuate terrified passengers."There were 159 passengers and 13 crew on the flight," McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas said.It added that seven people on board were treated for minor injuries.The Federal Aviation Administration said the fire broke out in the left engine of the 257-seat Boeing 777 ...
Germany calls for flexibility as EU prepares migrant quota plan BERLIN: Germany has called for a flexible system to allocate migrants as the EU prepared to announce a quota plan on Wednesday, while Greek islands grapple with a huge backlog of people desperate to reach Western Europe.European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is preparing to unveil proposals for mandatory quotas that would relocate some 120,000 refugees across the bloc from border states that are swamped by the crisis.German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- whose country expects 800,000 ...
Elizabeth II: Britain's constant in an ever-changing world LONDON: After reigning through the decline of the British empire and some of the worst scandals in royal history, Queen Elizabeth II is set to become Britain's longest-serving monarch Wednesday.With over 63 years on the throne, the queen is one of the most famous and respected women in the world and "embodies the history of the 20th Century", according to historian Kate Williams.The 89-year-old, rarely seen without her signature hat and handbag, has met most ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.998 bln
Exports $1.835 bln
Imports $3.823 bln
WeeklySeptember 21, 2015
Reserves $18.726 bln