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Qatar mulls penalising firms over delayed migrant wages DOHA: Qatar is considering imposing penalties against firms that fail to pay migrant workers on time, one of the biggest complaints voiced by rights groups against companies in the Gulf state.The host of the 2022 football World Cup has come under mounting international pressure to improve conditions for migrant labourers working on projects that are to stage the event.Under draft legislation now being considered by the Qatari government, bosses who do not pay their workers on time could lose the ability to hire new staff.The proposal would also allow the country's labour ministry to halt "all dealings" with businesses until they pay up.The issue was discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday, said the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA).Under the new system, known as the Wage Protection System, workers hired on an annual or monthly contract must be paid their wages by direct deposit every month. Other staff, including those being ...

Hezbollah chief threatens Israel over Syria strikes BEIRUT: Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to retaliate against Israel for repeated strikes on Syria, in an television interview to be broadcast Thursday night.Nasrallah told Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen that his Iran-backed Shiite movement was well armed and always ready to fight Israel, according to excerpts of the interview issued ahead of its broadcast.A key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Nasrallah said that Israeli strikes on Syria "target the whole of the resistance axis", which ...
Saudi Arabia condemns deadly attack on Paris satirical magazine DUBAI: Saudi Arabia condemned Wednesday's shooting attack on a French satirical magazine."...The kingdom therefore strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs," the Saudi state news agency SPA said, citing an official source.Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...
Arab League and top Muslim body condemn Paris attack CAIRO: The Arab League and Al-Azhar both condemned a deadly attack Wednesday on a Paris satirical newspaper."Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris," the League said after gunmen stormed the weekly's offices killing at least 12 people.Al-Azhar condemned the "criminal attack," saying that "Islam denounces any violence", in remarks carried by Egypt's state news agency MENA.In a separate statement to AFP, Al-Azhar senior official Abbas Shoman ...
US concerned over detention of Bahraini opposition leader ABU DHABI: The US State Department has expressed deep concern over the detention of Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, warning that the arrest could lead to more tensions in the island kingdom. Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the al-Wefaq Islamic Society, was arrested on Sunday after leading a protest rally against last month's elections which his party boycotted. He was remanded in custody for a further week on Tuesday. "Opposition parties that peacefully voice ...
Syrians on Haj, Umrah visas can stay on ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Arabia has decided to allow Syrians to stay in the country without Iqamas as long as their visit, Haj, or Umrah visas are valid, but they would have to correct their status later.According to the Saudi Minister of Justice Mohammed Al-Issa, the ministry would allow Syrians holding these visas to live here legally.Sources indicate the ministry asked the General Directorate of Passports to inquire into the possibility of granting Syrians this concession, ...
Israel PM Netanyahu easily wins party vote JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu easily won a primary vote to remain leader of the ruling rightwing Likud party ahead of a snap election on March 17, the group's spokeswoman said on Thursday."With nearly 60 percent of the ballots counted, Benjamin Netanyahu took 80 percent of the vote and Danny Danon (his only rival) 20 percent," Noga Katz told AFP, adding that the final results will be known later Thursday.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...


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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 $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln