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CIA chief says criticism of Iran deal 'disingenuous' WASHINGTON: CIA director John Brennan gave a staunch defence of the framework nuclear deal with Iran on Tuesday, calling some criticism of the accord "disingenuous" while expressing surprise at Tehran's concessions.In his first public remarks since the outline agreement was announced last week, the spy agency chief said the deal would impose a litany of restrictions on Iran's nuclear work that had once seemed impossible to secure."I must tell you the individuals who say this deal provides a pathway for Iran to a bomb are being wholly disingenuous, in my view, if they know the facts, understand what's required for a (nuclear) program," Brennan told an audience at Harvard University.The outline deal announced last week would see the United States and the European Union lift all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in exchange for a 98-percent cut in Iran's stocks of highly enriched uranium for 15 years.The accord would mean "cutting ...

White House plays down summit spat with Venezuela WASHINGTON: The White House said Tuesday Venezuela is not a security threat, in a disavowal aimed at defusing a controversy just days before Presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Maduro come face-to-face at a regional summit.Senior US officials said recent sanctions on seven people linked to the Venezuelan government were not designed to inflame tensions, but to address human rights abuses.Maduro and his supporters attacked US legal wording that declared Venezuela a threat to national security, ...
Canadian senator pleads not guilty to fraud, bribery OTTAWA: A Canadian senator at the center of an expenses scandal and alleged political coverup pleaded not guilty Tuesday at the start of his trial for fraud and bribery.Senator Mike Duffy faces 31 charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust related to his government expense claims, and for the Can$90,172.24 ($72,155) he received from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's then chief-of-staff, Nigel Wright."I am not guilty your honor," Duffy replied in an Ottawa court after ...
Obama says would move fast to take Cuba off terrorism sponsor list WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to act quickly once he receives a State Department recommendation on whether to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring countries, a remaining obstacle to the restoration of relations between Washington and Havana.With just days to go before a hemispheric summit in Panama where Obama will come face-to-face with Cuban President Raul Castro, he offered no clear sign of how he was leaning or the timeframe for ...
Obama says confident Iran sanctions could be reimposed if deal broken WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said in an interview released on Tuesday he is confident sanctions against Iran could be reimposed if Tehran violates an agreement to restrict its nuclear program.Obama told National Public Radio (NPR) that U.S. and European negotiators are trying to reach a deal with Iran in which sanctions could be reimposed without a U.N. Security Council vote, where Tehran-ally Russia would have a veto."We are absolutely convinced we can do it ...
Rand Paul to become second Republican to enter US presidential race LOUISVILLE: Rand Paul, a conservative libertarian and precursor of the Tea Party branch of his party, will become the second major Republican to join the 2016 presidential race when he announces his candidacy on Tuesday.Rand has summoned supporters and reporters to a speech at 1600 GMT in Louisville, Kentucky, where he has served as senator since January 2011. Paul will follow Texan Ted Cruz, who launched his candidacy two weeks ago with an appeal to ...
US regulator says 2016 payments for Medicare Advantage to rise NEW YORK: The US government on Monday said that payments to health insurers for 2016 Medicare Advantage health plans for the elderly and disabled will increase by 1.25 percent, a reflection of an expected growth in health spending. The announcement, by a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, comes after the US government proposed a 0.95 percent cut in payments to insurers in February. More than 16 million people are enrolled ...


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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