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Romney takes slim lead as election nears  WASHINGTON: US Republican candidate Mitt Romney was 1 percentage point ahead of President Barack Obama in Wednesday's Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll in a presidential race that is effectively a dead heat less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election.   In a reversal of Tuesday's results, Romney led Obama among likely voters by 47 percent to 46 percent, a statistically insignificant margin, in the four-day online tracking poll.   Romney held a wider lead among i ndependent voter s, who will be c rucial to winning on Election Day. Thirty-seven percent of them s aid they would pick the Republican if elections were held today and 31 percent chose Obama.   Obama , however, had a lead of 53 percent to 42 percent among the 17 percent of the surveyed registered voters who said they had already cast their vote.   Like many other polls, the rolling Reuters/Ipsos poll has shown a tight race since shortly after ...

Tennessee doctor credited with cracking meningitis outbreak mystery  NASHVILLE: A Tennessee doctor who ordered "extra tests" on the spinal fluid of a patient is credited by colleagues with unlocking the mystery of a devastating fungal meningitis outbreak and prompting a national alert that may have saved lives.   Dr. April Pettit, an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University, could not figure out last month why a patient in his 50s was not responding to standard antibiotic treatments for meningitis, her colleagues at the school told ...
US elderly, middle-aged see higher obesity rates: poll WASHINGTON: Here's one more reason to dread aging: older Americans are seeing a greater increase in obesity rates, according to a survey released on Wednesday.   Data from nearly 600,000 US adults show ed that people aged 18 and older wer e more likely t o be obese than they were in 2008, a ccording to the Gallup survey. Researchers noted a significant jump among adults in their 40s, 7 0s and 80s.   "Middle-aged adults and advanced seniors ...
Obama holds narrow edge two weeks ahead of election WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama pulled slightly ahead of Republican Mitt Romney in a Reuters-Ipsos daily tracking poll on Tuesday, but the race remained essentially tied with two weeks to go until the Nov. 6 election.   Obama led Romney among likely voters by a statistically insignificant margin of 1 percentage point, 47 percent to 46 percent.   The four-day online tracking poll includes some responses taken after the two candidates' final televised debate, but the full impact will not ...
US Army vehicle contracts may escape automatic budget cut axe WASHINGTON: US Army on Tuesday said its ground vehicle procurement programs may escape significant impact from mandatory additional budget cuts due to start taking effect in January, since most of the programs are only in the developmental phase at the moment.   Scott Davis, program executive officer for the Army's ground combat systems, said most of the Army's ground vehicle programs were not multi-year agreements or large-scale production contracts, which limited the impact of across-the-board cuts.   "We're sort ...
Judges to weigh Rajaratnam appeal of insider case NEW YORK: A panel of judges on Thursday will hear arguments that US prosecutors should not have been able to play dozens of FBI wiretaps at the criminal trial of hedge fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam, a closely watched appeal in one of the biggest insider-trading cases in a generation.   The Galleon Group founder is serving an 11-year prison term, one of the longest ever for insider trading. If he wins a reversal of his conviction, it ...
Obama wins by a landslide in US kid WASHINGTON: The youngsters of the United States have voted, the results are in -- and it's a landslide victory for Barack Obama.   Sixty-five percent picked the incumbent president, and 35 percent his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, in a bellwether online poll conducted by children's current affairs show "Nick News with Linda Ellerbee."   The outcome, released Monday, will raise eyebrows because, for five out of the six previous US presidential elections, the viewers of "Nick News" have correctly ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln