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Western powers to release Syria resolution at UN  UNITED NATIONS: Western powers on the UN Security Council are poised to present a draft resolution on Syria seeking to increase pressure on President Bashar al-Assad, envoys said Wednesday. The United States, Britain and France were waiting to hear a briefing from UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan later in the day before putting their proposals to the 15-nation council. The mandate of the UN mission in Syria, UNSMIS, ends on July 20 and Russia, Assad's main international ally, has already circulated a draft resolution which simply rolls over the mission. Annan spoke to council envoys by videoconference from Geneva on Wednesday about his latest efforts to secure a halt to the violence in Syria which activists say has left more than 17,000 dead. Annan was to give the council details of his latest encounter in Damascus with Assad on Monday. A meeting of international foreign ministers in Geneva last week agreed there must be a ...

Suicide attack on Yemen police academy kills six: security  SANAA: A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of a police academy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, killing at least six cadets and wounding dozens more, a senior official said, revising an earlier toll. "After the victims were transferred, it became clear that the attack killed six people, and wounded dozens of others," the official in charge of the investigation told AFP on condition of anonymity. He said the toll "could rise as ...
Clashes in Damascus, 2 soldiers killed in Aleppo: NGO  BEIRUT: Rebels and regime troops clashed in the Damascus district of Qadam on Wednesday, while two soldiers were killed in the northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based watchdog said hundreds of youths gathered late into the night on Tuesday in the upmarket district of Mazzeh, also in the capital, and chanted anti-regime slogans. In Syria's commercial hub of Aleppo, at least two soldiers were killed when rebels attacked a checkpoint ...
Palestinians call local elections for October 20  RAMALLAH: The Palestinian government in the West Bank on Tuesday said it would hold local elections in October across the Palestinian territories, sparking anger from Gaza's Hamas rulers. "The Palestinian cabinet approved during its meeting today, chaired by prime minister Salam Fayyad, conducting local elections on October 20, 2012 in all local councils in the homeland," a statement said after the meeting. "The cabinet requested from the Central Elections Commission to begin preparations for the elections on ...
Russia offers to host new talks on Syria: Interfax MOSCOW: Russia would welcome the chance to host a mew meeting of world powers on Syria, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying on Tuesday. He made his comments as Syrian opposition groups visited Moscow for talks on the conflict in their country. "From our side, I can only confirm that we would welcome the organisation of a regular session of an 'action group' in Moscow In any case we see the relevance in carrying ...
Verdict due in graft trial of Ehud Olmert JERUSALEM: An Israeli court will deliver a verdict on Tuesday in a corruption trial of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, accused of three counts of fraud and bribery, a judicial official said. Olmert, the first former premier to face a possible criminal conviction in Israel, could face a jail term if found guilty of the charges, which date back to when he was Jerusalem mayor and a government minister. He has maintained his innocence throughout the trial, ...
Talks with Assad DAMASCUS: UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan said he had a "constructive" meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Monday. "I had constructive and candid talks with President Assad," he told reporters at a Damascus hotel, echoing Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi who described the meeting as "constructive and good". Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...


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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln