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Senate passes insurance extension for longterm jobless WASHINGTON: The US Senate voted Monday to restore unemployment benefits for nearly three million Americans, sending the legislation to the House of Representatives, where the emergency aid is opposed by many Republicans.The legislation retroactively restores payments, averaging about $300 per week, for some 2.8 million people from the end of last year, when the benefits to the longterm unemployed were cut off, and extends them five months, until June 1.Six Republicans joined the Democratic majority in voting for the benefits, which lawmakers have jousted over for four months.Democrats and Republicans have debated repeatedly how the nearly $10 billion cost of the program would be covered.The compromise deal, which makes offsetting spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget, passed by a vote of 59 to 38.President Barack Obama has long called for restoration of the benefits he called a "vital economic lifeline," and while he praised Monday's bipartisan vote he pressed ...

UN chief decries death of Dutch priest in Syria UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the shooting death Monday of a well-known Dutch priest in Syria as an "inhumane act of violence."Frans van der Lugt, 75, who gained renown for his insistence on staying in Syria's besieged city of Homs, was shot dead there by a masked gunman.Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN chief "demands that warring parties and their supporters ensure that civilians are protected, regardless of their religion, community or ...
Radioactivity risk at N.Korea nuke site: US think tank WASHINGTON: North Korea's main nuclear site appears to have suffered water supply problems that could lead to an escape of radioactivity in an accident, a US think tank said Monday.Citing recent satellite images, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said the Yongbyon complex seems to be struggling to ensure a stable water supply following heavy rain and floods last summer.The problems pose particular risks for North Korea's first light water reactor which is near ...
18 dead in weekend violence in northern Mexico MEXICO CITY: A series of gunfights left 18 people dead over the weekend in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which borders the United States and has endured years of drug violence.Twelve men and two women were killed Sunday in shootings between criminal groups in the towns of Tampico and Madero, on the Gulf of Mexico coast, according to the Tamaulipas Coordination Group, which includes federal and state security forces.The first shootout took place at ...
Separatist party faces uphill battle in Quebec vote MONTREAL: Quebec voters head to the polls Monday to pick a new government to lead Canada's French-speaking province, after a campaign that saw the separatist ruling party renew calls for independence.But the Parti Quebecois's renewed talk of having the province break away from Canada could prove costly, with Premier Pauline Marois's party trailing in the polls behind the pro-unity Quebec Liberals.Marois, whose government is in the minority, had called the midterm elections 18 months into ...
Samsung 'selfie' flap now in hands of lawyers: White House WASHINGTON: The controversy over a "selfie" photo of President Barack Obama and baseball star David Ortiz now is in the hands of attorneys, a White House official said on Sunday.The White House last week warned Samsung against using the president's likeness for commercial gain, after Ortiz used one of its cell phones to snap a picture of himself and the US president.The picture showed a beaming Obama alongside Ortiz, holding a Red Sox jersey presented ...
Rwanda genocide 'neither accident nor unavoidable': Obama WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama paid tribute to victims of Rwanda's genocide, urging the international community to choose compassion over hatred Sunday, on the eve of commemorations marking the 20th anniversary of the killings.Speaking of the incredibly bloody violence that "shook the conscience of the world," Obama stressed that the genocide was "neither an accident nor unavoidable."Government soldiers and Hutu militia killed 800,000 ethnic Tutsis during a three-month period in 1994."It was a deliberate and ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
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WeeklyApril 14, 2014
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