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Gaza faces Sisyphean task of reconstruction GAZA CITY: With thousands of homes reduced to rubble and its infrastructure in ruins, Gaza's reconstruction will cost billions and require at least an easing of Israel's blockade to allow in building materials.Cement will be key among these materials, but its import will be controversial since it has been at the heart of an underground war between Israel and Hamas.From Beit Lahiya in the north, to Rafah in the south, Israel's latest offensive has left swathes of the Gaza Strip in ruins. Families come during brief lulls in the fighting to sift through the debris of their homes for possessions, waiting to start rebuilding their lives.In front of his apartment -- reduced to a grey mass of dust, rubble and twisted iron -- Jamal Abed drags on a cigarette as he thumbs his prayer beads."They destroyed everything here, there's nothing we can do," he says.He knows he could spend months, ...

Maliki spurned as Iraq president nominates new PM BAGHDAD: Iraq moved closer to turning the page on Nuri al-Maliki's controversial reign on Monday when his own clan spurned him for another prime minister to save the country from breakup.The much-awaited political breakthrough in Baghdad came as Kurdish troops backed by US warplanes battled to turn the tide on two months of jihadist expansion in the north."The country is in your hands," President Fuad Masum told Haidar al-Abadi after accepting his nomination by parliament's ...
Fatah militant killed in West Bank shootout: witnesses NABLUS: A Palestinian militant was shot dead early on Monday in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in the northern West Bank, witnesses and a Palestinian security source said. Zacharia Akra, a 24-year-old militant allied to the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, was killed in a shoot out in Qabalan village some 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Nablus, they said. In the early hours of Monday morning, soldiers had surrounded the house ...
Iraq PM to sue president, security forces deploy across Baghdad BAGHDAD: Iraq's prime minister said he would sue the president Monday in a desperate bid to cling to his job, deploying security forces across Baghdad even as violence raged in the north.A defiant Nuri al-Maliki made his shock announcement after three days of US strikes against militants in the north of Iraq and in spite of mounting calls for him to step aside."Today I will file a formal complaint to the federal court against the ...
New conflict likely unless Israel ends Gaza blockade: UN official GAZA CITY: A senior UN aid official warned Israel that a new conflict in Gaza is likely unless the Jewish state lifts a crippling blockade on the tiny Palestinian enclave.James Rawley, the top UN humanitarian official for the Palestinian territories, told AFP in an interview that the international community had failed during more than a month of fighting between Israel and Hamas, which has killed more than 1,930 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli ...
Maliki says filing complaint against president BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced on Monday on state television he intended to file a complaint against President Fuad Masum for violating the constitution."Today I will file a formal complaint to the federal court against the president," he said, in a surprise address at midnight (2100 GMT on Sunday).Maliki, who has been under huge pressure to give up his bid for a third term, alleged that newly-elected Masum had violated the constitution twice, ...
Israel, Palestinians accept midnight truce in Gaza GAZA CITY: Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a fresh 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza on Sunday, accepting an Egyptian invitation to resume talks to end fighting that has killed more than 2,000 people.The ceasefire deal, which was to come into effect at one minute past midnight (2101 GMT on Sunday), clinched days of frantic mediation to stem a firestorm of violence that resumed after an earlier truce collapsed on Friday. "Israel has accepted the Egyptian ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 28, 2014
Reserves $13.582 bln