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Colombian beauty queen nixes invite from FARC rebels BOGOTA: The reigning Miss Universe, a Colombian, has declined an invitation to meet with Colombia's FARC leftist rebels who are waging Latin America's oldest insurgency.Paulina Vega, crowned Miss Universe in January, said she did not think such a meeting would do anything to help peace talks the guerrillas are holding with the government.Vega is only the second Colombian to clinch the title in the pageant's 63-year history.The leftist rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, have been holding peace talks with the Bogota government in Havana since 2012.The conflict has been underway for half a century. In February, the FARC asked Vega to come to Havana to talk about the peace process.But at a press conference Monday in Bogota, Vega said she had declined the invitation, saying she did not think such a meeting would have helped anything."Simply talking to them and having them tell me how things are going, ...

Clinton called to testify to US Congress in May WASHINGTON: The congressional panel investigating the 2012 attacks on a US mission in Benghazi called on former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Thursday to testify at two public hearings, the first next month.Benghazi Commission chairman Trey Gowdy wrote to an attorney for Clinton requesting her participation in a hearing during the week of May 18, with the precise day to be determined later.Clinton has declared her candidacy for president in 2016, and she would ...
Obama defends Pacific trade deal WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Thursday faced down criticism from his own supporters over a looming Pacific trade deal, saying he had no intention of selling American workers out.Addressing a community volunteer group, Obama poured scorn on critics who have accused him of pursuing a trade deal with 11 other Pacific nations that would hurt middle class Americans."If there were a trade agreement that undercut working families, I wouldn't sign it," he said.Supporters insist ...
US says Russia air defence systems inside Ukraine WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday accused Russia of building up air defence systems inside eastern Ukraine and of involvement in training exercises of pro-Russian rebels in breach of a European-brokered truce."This is the highest amount of Russian air defence equipment in eastern Ukraine since August," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.She said the increasingly complex nature of the training exercises "leaves no doubt that Russia is involved."Fighting has picked up in ...
Obama in fresh push on climate change WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama will travel to Florida's Everglades on Wednesday hoping to reframe the debate on climate change ahead of a vital few months that will shape his environmental legacy.On "Earth Day" Obama will swap Washington's turbid political waters for gator-infested wetlands, in the hope of putting America's cherished national parks -- and their economic impact -- front-and-center of a bitter partisan debate.Early in Obama's administration, environmental groups were dismayed that a candidate ...
Obama signs bill fixing Medicare doctors' pay WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama signed a bill into law on Thursday that repairs the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians after Congress, in rare bipartisan fashion, passed a fix earlier this week to prevent a 21 percent cut in doctors' pay.Sitting outside in the White House Rose Garden in his shirt sleeves, Obama said he was signing the bill now rather than waiting for a formal ceremony so it could go into force right away."This ...
Russia arms sale to Iran shows economic weakness: US WASHINGTON: The White House suggested Thursday that Moscow's move to lift its ban on supplying anti-aircraft systems to Iran shows the weakness of Russia's sanctions-hit economy. This month, Russia lifted a ban on selling Iran its advanced S-300 missile system, triggering concern that this could embolden Tehran in its nuclear stand-off with the West. White House spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated US concerns Thursday, and said the administration had spoken to senior government officials in Russia ...

 



 
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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyMarch
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln