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Europe set to make space history with comet landing PARIS: One of the biggest gambles in space history comes to a climax on Wednesday when Europe attempts to make the first-ever landing on a comet.Speeding towards the Sun at 65,000 kilometres (40,600 miles) per hour, a lab called Philae will detach from its mothership Rosetta, heading for a deep-space rendezvous laden with risk.The 100-kilogram (220-pound) probe will seek out a minuscule landing site on the treacherous surface of an object darker than coal, half a billion kilometres (300 million miles) from home."It's not going to be an easy business," was the understated prediction of Philippe Gaudon of France's National Centre for Space (CNES) as the mission prepared to enter countdown mode.The stakes facing Rosetta managers in Darmstadt, Germany are daunting as the 1.3-billion-euro ($1.61-billion) project reaches a peak.Two decades of work have been poured into what could be a crowning moment in space exploration.The goal: the first laboratory research ...

Celebrations mark 25 years since Berlin Wall's fall BERLIN: Germany has kicked off celebrations marking 25 years since the epochal fall of the Berlin Wall, set to culminate in rock stars and freedom icons joining millions at an open-air party.Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, is leading three days of commemorations for those killed trying to flee the repressive state, ahead of a giant festival Sunday marking the joyous breach of Europe's Cold War division on November 9, 1989."I ...
Albanian PM Rama in landmark visit to Serbia BELGRADE: Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama will make a landmark visit to Belgrade on Monday, the first of its kind in 68 years and seen as a step towards calming tensions in the region.Initially planned for October 22, the visit was postponed for three weeks following violence a week earlier that interrupted a football match between Serbia and Albania.That incident spiralled into a political crisis and was followed by mutual accusations between Belgrade and Tirana, ...
Latvian foreign minister comes out as gay on Twitter RIGA: Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has become the first high-ranking politician in his country and the Baltic states to come out publicly as being gay, in a series of tweets."I proudly announce I am gay... Good luck all of you," he said late Thursday in a tweet that has since gone viral."Our country must create a legal framework for all types of partnerships, I will fight for it, I know that there will immediately ...
New Bulgarian PM promises stability SOFIA: Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said Friday he hoped to restore stability to the EU's poorest country as his new centre-right minority government, the third in less than two years, won parliamentary approval.Borisov, 55, whose GERB party came first in elections last month but was left well short of a majority, said his newly formed cabinet would be "pro-European and reformist, working for a stable Bulgaria".Former bodyguard, firefighter and police chief Borisov, 55, was ...
22 wounded in Ukraine shelling: official KIEV: At least 22 civilians and soldiers have been wounded in the latest shelling between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in southeastern Ukraine, officials said Friday. The mayor's office in Donetsk, the biggest rebel-held city, said there had been shelling most of the night in two neighbourhoods facing the nearby ruins of the international airport, where government soldiers are holding out."As a result of fighting..., 15 people suffered shrapnel wounds of varying degrees of seriousness," ...
EU warns of Mideast violence without political progress JERUSALEM: The European Union's new foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini warned Friday of a new wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence if there is no progress towards peace talks."If we do not move forward on the political front, the risk is that we will go back... to violence," she told reporters in Jerusalem on her first visit to the region since taking up the EU's top diplomatic post. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln