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Iraq parliament meets to discuss anti-corruption reforms BAGHDAD: Iraq's parliament met Tuesday to discuss Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's reform programme aimed at curbing corruption and reducing government waste that has sparked widespread anger and weeks of protests.The session opened with 297 of 328 MPs in attendance, according to parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi.Abadi on Sunday proposed a series of measures aimed at curbing corruption, streamlining the government and improving services after protests and a call from Iraq's top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for drastic change.Juburi has urged MPs to sign off on the reforms proposed by Abadi, which have already been approved by the cabinet, but said that more measures are needed.Amid a major heatwave that has seen temperatures top 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit), protesters have railed against the poor quality of services, especially power outages that leave just a few hours of government-supplied electricity per day.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...

Iraqi PM bids to cancel posts of deputy PM and vice president BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on Sunday for the multiple positions of vice president and deputy prime minister to be cancelled, as part of an initiative to improve state finances and reduce corruption.The measure, announced in an online statement, follows weeks of protests in Baghdad and southern cities demanding better government and a call on Friday by Iraq's leading Shi'ite cleric for Abadi to do more.Iraq's system of sharing out government posts along ...
Jordan condemns arson killing of Palestinian child AMMAN: Jordan on Friday condemned as an "ugly crime" an arson attack by suspected Jewish settlers that killed a Palestinian toddler in the occupied West Bank and wounded four family members."This ugly crime could have been avoided if the Israeli government had not ignored the rights of the Palestinian people and turned its back on peace... in the region," government spokesman Mohammed Momani said.Momani, who is also minister of state for media affairs, said Jordan ...
Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied West Bank JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday approved the "immediate" construction of 300 settler homes in the occupied West Bank as his government came under pressure from right-wing Jewish groups."After consultations in the prime minister's office, the immediate construction of 300 homes in Beit El has been authorised," a statement from Netanyahu's office said, adding that planning for another 504 homes in annexed East Jerusalem had also been approved.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Two Bahrain police killed in 'terror' blast DUBAI: An explosion has killed two policemen and wounded six others in Sitra island area of Bahrain, the interior ministry said on Tuesday, describing it as a "terror" attack.The blast in Sitra island, the scene of frequent clashes between security forces and demonstrators, comes days after announced it had foiled an attempt to smuggle weapons from rival Iran.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Iraq forces retake university on edge of Ramadi BAGHDAD: Iraqi government forces recaptured a university campus Sunday on the outskirts of Ramadi from the Islamic State group, seizing a key position for any offensive to retake the city, officials said.Iraqi forces had recaptured parts of Anbar University in May, shortly after losing the provincial capital to the jihadists, but later pulled back.The university was retaken by elite forces from Iraq's Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), known as the "Golden Brigade"."The Golden Brigade managed to ...
Syria's Assad says army consolidating in most important areas BEIRUT: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday the army had been forced to give up areas in order to hold onto more important ones in its fight with insurgents, and the scale of the war meant the military faced a man power shortage.He also said groups fighting to topple him had received increased backing from their state sponsors in a reference to countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia."Sometimes, in some circumstances, we are forced ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln