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Fireworks as Obama, Romney clash on jobs, energy  HEMPSTEAD: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney clashed fiercely Tuesday in their second election debate, interrupting each other half-a-dozen times and accusing each other of dishonesty.   Both White House hopefuls were on their game, as they fought over job creation and energy policy, 11 days after their first debate, which was generally regarded as a lackluster affair.   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...

Rare quake rattles northeastern US  NEW YORK: A 4.0-magnitude earthquake struck the northeastern US state of Maine on Tuesday and was felt as far south of Boston and throughout New England, shocking residents unaccustomed to such tremors.   There were no reports of damage or casualties following the quake, which struck shortly after 7:00 pm local time (2300 GMT), with its epicenter recorded at a relatively shallow 3.1 miles (five kilometers).   Twitter users in Montpelier, the capital of the state of Vermont, reported ...
Hurricane Paul weakens to tropical storm off Mexico  LA PAZ: Hurricane Paul weakened to tropical storm status off Mexico's Pacific coast on Tuesday but remained dangerous as it crept over the ocean, forecasters said.   Schools and government offices were closed in the Baja California peninsula as the storm crawled north off the coast while the navy deployed around 100 servicemen in six vehicles in case anybody needed help.   After swelling into a category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale on Monday, Paul lost steam ...
Cuba eases despised foreign travel restrictions HAVANA: Cubans will no longer need an exit permit to travel abroad from January, the communist regime said on Tuesday, in a major overhaul of a half-century-old policy despised by the island's citizens.   The changes are the latest in a series of gradual reforms implemented in recent years by President Raul Castro, who took the helm from his ailing brother Fidel Castro in 2006.   The bureaucratic headache and costs behind the exit visa, known as the "white ...
US welcomes Cuba travel change, citing human rights WASHINGTON: United States on Tuesday welcomed Cuba's plan to scrap tight restrictions on citizens leaving the communist country, a move that could potentially send a surge of Cubans toward US shores.   "This is consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that everybody ought to have the right to leave any country, including their own, and or to return to their own country, to come in and out," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said ...
Obama boosted by court victory on Ohio early voting WASHINGTON: The Supreme Court handed an advantage to President Barack Obama on Tuesday in ruling that the key battleground state of Ohio cannot limit early voting in the final days before the election.   Ohio implemented early-voting after the 2004 election fiasco where huge lines formed at polling stations and countless voters gave up and went home.   But the Republican-led Ohio legislature changed the rules last year so that only members of the military could cast in-person ballots ...
US moves to help Libya create commando force WASHINGTON: The US administration has won congressional approval to devote $8 million to helping Libya develop a commando force to fight extremist groups, the New York Times reported Tuesday.   The funds would be shifted from Pentagon operations to help Libya develop a force to counter increasingly powerful militants, like those who attacked the US consulate last month killing four Americans.   The Times said plans for the elite Libyan force, expected to number some 500 troops, were in ...


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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln