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US Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years WASHINGTON: The US Senate on Saturday narrowly passed its first federal budget in four years, a move that will usher in a relative lull in Washington's fiscal wars until an anticipated summer showdown over raising the debt ceiling.The budget plan was passed by a 50-49 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Four Democratic senators facing tough re-election campaigns in 2014 joined all the Senate Republicans in opposing the measure, which seeks to raise nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenues by closing some tax breaks for the wealthy.The Senate budget, which reflects Democratic priorities of boosting near-term job growth and preserving social safety net programs, will square off in coming months against a Republican-focused budget passed by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.Neither of the non-binding blueprints has a chance of passage in the opposing chamber, leaving Congress no closer to resolving deep differences over how to shrink US deficits and grow ...

Obama plays tourist in Petra as he winds up Middle East trip JORDAN: US President Barack Obama marvelled at the sights of Jordan's ancient city of Petra on Saturday as he wrapped up a four-day Middle East tour by setting aside weighty diplomatic matters and playing tourist for a day. The visit followed a trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories that was capped by Obama's brokering of a rapprochement between Israel and Turkey but which offered little more than symbolic gestures toward Middle East peacemaking. Before ...
Obama urges vote in Congress on gun control measures WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to give each of his administration's gun control proposals a fair vote after a key element of his program suffered a setback in the Senate."These ideas shouldn't be controversial -- they're common sense," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "They're supported by a majority of the American people. And I urge the Senate and the House to give each of them a ...
Lower house approves telecoms bill: Mexico MEXICO CITY: Mexico's lower house of Congress gave final approval to a major telecommunications bill early Friday morning, a reform that threatens to loosen tycoon Carlos Slim's grip on the phone market and broadcaster Televisa's dominance of the airwaves. Following more than 14 hours of at times heated debate, lawmakers sent the amended bill to the Mexican Senate for its consideration. While the proposal has dampened confidence in Slim's business prospects, investors are hopeful the ...
One person reported dead at US Marine base shooting WASHINGTON: A US Marine shot and killed at least one person at a military base in Virginia and has barricaded himself inside a building, US media reported early on Friday.Media reports said the shooting happened Thursday night at Marine Base Quantico in the state bordering Washington, DC. The base went into lockdown immediately after the shooting, but this has since been lifted. Police are in a standoff with the shooter.The suspect is a Marine who ...
UN council condemns Central African rebels for attacks UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned Central African Republic rebels who have staged attacks and threatened new hostilities against the government.The 15-member council expressed "strong concern" over mounting new tensions in the giant African nation as President Francois Bozize ordered the release of political prisoners in a bid to head off a showdown with the rebels.Council members also "condemned the attacks conducted recently by rebels from the Seleka coalition, in particular in ...
Canada, US aboriginals unite in opposition to pipelines OTTAWA: Canadian and US indigenous leaders gathered in Ottawa on Wednesday in opposition to building pipelines to move Canadian tar sands oil across their traditional lands, citing environmental concerns. Chiefs from nine tribes delivered a message at a press conference: "Tar sands pipelines will not pass through (our) collective territories under any conditions or circumstances." They also pledged mutual support for one another in their respective court battles and "a long, hot summer" of protests ...


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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
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln