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Spending cuts won WASHINGTON: Budget cuts that force the Pentagon to slash $46 billion in spending this year would do little to relieve long-term financial pressures facing the military, but it could lead the services to begin addressing the issue, analysts said on Friday.Once the Pentagon puts civilian employees on unpaid leave, shortens flying hours, delays ship maintenance and takes other steps to address the cuts known as sequestration that go into effect late on Friday, it will still face rising costs in healthcare, pay and benefits, and weapons development, they said.Spending on military pay and benefits has increased by nearly 50 percent over the past decade, and weapons development is still beset by unexpected cost jumps despite procurement reforms - factors that won't be altered by the new round of spending cuts."I think it actually makes the prospects of reform more difficult," said Todd Harrison, a defense analyst at the Center for ...

US says stands with Kenya, urges calm elections WASHINGTON: The United States said Friday that Kenya was facing a "historic opportunity" in next week's elections as it urged all Kenyans to vote peacefully for a new president.Leading candidates have pledged there will be no repeat of the bloodshed that followed the disputed 2007 polls in Kenya in which more than 1,100 people were killed and around 600,000 fled their homes.But tensions are running high, and the United States is watching events closely, saying ...
SpaceX capsule encounters problems in orbit   WASHINGTON: The unmanned Dragon capsule launched on Friday by US firm SpaceX encountered problems en route to the space station when three of its four thrusters failed to fire up, the company said.   "Issue with Dragon thruster pods. System inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit override," the company's billionaire founder Elon Musk wrote on the micro-blogging website Twitter.   SpaceX spokeswoman Christina Ra said the spacecraft "experienced an issue with a propellant valve" after ...
Air China to buy 31 Boeing planes   WASHINGTON: Air China signed an agreement Friday to buy 31 Boeing passenger and cargo planes from Boeing, subject to government approval, the Chinese flag carrier said.   Air China will purchase 20 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, two Boeing 747-8 aircraft, one Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and its unit Air China Cargo would buy eight Boeing 777 cargo planes, the airline said in a statement.   The total value of the deal is $5.2 billion at current Boeing list prices.   "The Boeing Company ...
Romney slams Obama over huge budget cuts WASHINGTON: Mitt Romney, the Republican who lost last year's White House race to President Barack Obama, has accused him of a failed strategy to avert the massive spending cuts set to hit on Friday.In his first post-election interview since his November defeat, Romney also said it was normal for Republicans to "fight back" against Obama's repeated blame of conservatives for refusing to accept his push for new tax revenue as part of any deal to ...
Pentagon says to resume F-35 flights WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said on Thursday it would resume flights of its F-35 fighter jets following a week-long precautionary grounding imposed after a crack was found on an engine blade on a test plane in California."F-35 flight operations have been cleared to resume," Pentagon spokeswoman Kyra Hawn said in a statement. She said flights could begin as early as Friday, depending on weather conditions.No additional cracks were found during inspections of engines on the remaining ...
First Lady launches US schools push on obesity   WASHINGTON: First Lady Michelle Obama took her campaign against childhood obesity to a new level Thursday with a $150 million program to encourage more physical activity in American schools.   Let's Move! Active Schools builds upon the Let's Move! initiative that the mother-of-two and wife of Barack Obama unveiled three years ago during the president's first term in the White House.   "Only one in three of our kids is active every day," said the first lady in Chicago, ...


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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
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln