12112016Sun
Last update: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 04pm

North America

World - North America

Ex-Treasury chief Summers doubts 4 Fed rate hikes in 2016 WASHINGTON: Former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers, said Wednesday he doubted the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates four times this year as the central bank has signaled."I'd be surprised if the world economy can comfortably withstand four hikes. And I think that basically markets agree with me," Summers said in an interview with Bloomberg television.Fed officials on average expect the benchmark federal funds rate to reach 1.4 percent by the end of 2016, after the first increase in more than nine years in mid-December moved the rate from near-zero to 0.25-0.50 percent.That outlook implies four quarter-point increases this year. But bond market prices suggest investors expect only two increases, and the recent China-driven economic turmoil has pushed some investors to expect just one hike.Summers, once considered a possible successor to Fed chair Ben Bernanke, a job snared by Janet Yellen, said there was a "significant risk" that Americans are ...

World - North America

US-bound Cubans finally fly out of Costa Rica SAN LUIS TALPA: A group of 180 Cuban migrants flew out of Costa Rica on Tuesday and arrived in El Salvador in a trial plan designed to blaze a path for thousands of stranded compatriots to follow.The Cubans are ultimately bound for the United States, which has a longstanding policy of accepting them, in what they hope will be the successful conclusion to a months-long odyssey through South and Central America. If their plane-and-bus trip ...

World - North America

US spy chief's personal accounts hacked WASHINGTON: US spy chief James Clapper's personal online accounts have been hacked, his office confirmed Tuesday, a few months after CIA director John Brennan suffered a similar attack.Clapper's Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed the hack but refused to provide details."We are aware of the matter and we reported it to the appropriate authorities," spokesman Brian Hale told AFP.A teen hacker who goes by "Cracka" claimed to have hacked Clapper's home telephone and ...

World - North America

Guzman's infatuation with actress led to downfall MEXICO CITY: Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was apparently infatuated with actress Kate del Castillo and his desire to see her again contributed to his downfall, government officials said Tuesday.Del Castillo, a Mexican-American actress, brokered the notorious meeting between Guzman and US actor Sean Penn at an undisclosed jungle clearing in October, three months before the fugitive's capture.Following that meeting, which Mexican authorities had known about, troops entered Guzman's remote mountain stronghold in ...

World - North America

Obama dismisses IS group as existential threat WASHINGTON: The Islamic State group does not pose an existential threat to the United States, President Barack Obama declared Tuesday, warning that such talk only emboldens America's enemies.In his final State of the Union address, Obama attempted to reset the tone of the national security debate, which has grown more extreme and fearful as the battle to succeed him heats up.He called on Congress to help him finally close the war or terror detention center ...

World - North America

UN ill-prepared for 'worst-case scenario' in Burundi UNITED NATIONS: A confidential UN memo to the Security Council warns that a peacekeeping force that was sent to Burundi would be unable to quell large-scale violence in the conflict-wracked African country.The memo sent by UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous advised council members last week to travel to Bujumbura for urgent talks on the crisis over President Pierre Nkurunziza's election to a third term."A truly worst-case scenario will result in a scale of violence beyond ...

World - North America

US House advances tighter sanctions on North Korea WASHINGTON: US lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to impose stricter economic sanctions on North Korea, seeking to punish the rebellious Asian nation for its latest test of a nuclear bomb last week.By a nearly unanimous vote of 418 to 2, the House of Representatives passed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, which would heap additional financial pressure on the already-sanctioned hermit regime of leader Kim Jong-Un.Pyongyang shocked the world last week and earned a global rebuke ...