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Spain prosecutors seek 42-year jail term for ruling party ex-treasurer MADRID: Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors called Friday for a former treasurer of the ruling Popular Party to be jailed for 42 years for his role in an alleged kickback scheme at the heart of the party.High Court judge Pablo Ruz said in November he has concluded the "backbone" of his probe into the so-called "Gurtel" case and had enough evidence to try 43 people, including the former treasurer, Luis Barcenas, for crimes allegedly carried out between 1999 and 2005.In a 507-page document submitted to the court, prosecutors recommended that Barcenas be charged with six crimes including tax fraud, money laundering and embezzelment. The document was made public Friday.If found guilty, they said, Barcenas should be given a jail sentence of 42-and-a-half years.The massive bribes-for-contracts scheme allegedly extended to six regional Popular Party governments and operated from 1999 to 2009, when investigations into the case began.Investigators are still looking into other crimes ...

Russia's Khodorkovsky says Putin's rule will end within a decade VILNIUS: Former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, freed last year from a Siberian prison, said on Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule was likely to "cease to exist" within a decade. Khodorkovsky, whose oil empire once produced more crude than Qatar before he ran afoul of Putin, said the Kremlin's tightly controlled political system had lost the ability to transform itself and would be likely changed from the outside."Back when I was in jail, I was writing ...
Turkey says no-fly zone needed to protect Aleppo from Assad's forces ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday the Syrian city of Aleppo must be protected from bombardment by President Bashar al-Assad's forces before Turkey would consider stepping up its role in the US-led coalition against Islamic State. "The source of the problem is the Assad regime's brutality (We want a) no-fly zone so that Aleppo will be protected at least against the air bombardment and there will be no new refugees coming to ...
Greek leftist Syriza party widens lead over conservatives ATHENS: Greece's anti-bailout Syriza party has widened its lead over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' co-ruling conservatives ahead of a Jan. 25 snap election, two polls showed on Friday.The election in Greece is being closely watched by financial markets, nervous that a Syriza victory might trigger a standoff with the country's European Union and IMF lenders and spark a new financial crisis that could push it out of the euro zone.A Rass survey conducted between Jan. ...
Kerry, Iran's Zarif meet again in Paris to narrow nuclear gaps PARIS: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Jawad Zarif met in Paris on Friday to try to narrow gaps over Iran's nuclear programme, their second session in three days with broader negotiations due to resume soon.Iran and six world powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - have renewed their quest for an elusive nuclear deal after negotiators failed for the second time in November to meet ...
Kerry 'apologised' for missing Paris anti-terrorism rally: Fabius PARIS: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday that top US diplomat John Kerry had "apologised" for not attending a massive rally in Paris after a spate of militant attacks, alongside other world leaders.Fabius and Kerry laid wreaths outside the Jewish supermarket and Charlie Hebdo offices targeted last week in deadly extremist attacks.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Kerry says couldn't attend Paris march because was travelling PARIS: US Secretary of State John Kerry told his French counterpart Laurent Fabius that he had been unable to attend Sunday's massive march in Paris because he was on the road.Kerry said he was in Bulgaria and India. "That's why I couldn't come," he told Fabius after the US sparked criticism for sending a relatively low-level representative to the march that drew 1.5 million people and dozens of world leaders.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln