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US jobless claims up ahead of August employment report WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment benefits rose last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, a day ahead of the release of the national employment report for August.In the week to August 29, initial jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, rose by 12,000 to 282,000.The weekly claims level remained generally in the same low range of the past half-year. The four-week moving average was 275,500, compared to 303,250 a year ago.On Friday the Labor Department will publish broader labor market data for August as economists and the Federal Reserve wait for signs of tightening -- especially wage rises -- that have not surfaced despite the steady fall in the overall unemployment rate.Analysts on average expect job creation to run at about 217,000 positions, around the same as July, and the unemployment rate to fall a tick to 5.2 percent.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...

Colombia issues arrest warrants for 22 army officers BOGOTA: Colombia has issued arrest warrants for 22 active and retired army officers and two civilians for their alleged involvement in an extrajudicial execution of 18 people, prosecutors said.Sixteen of the killings occurred in 2007 during a military campaign in the Cesar department, with the victims initially recorded as combatants, they said late on Wednesday.The other two killings took place in 2004, when the military reported that two guerillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of ...
Obama expected to press Saudi King on conflicts in Syria WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama will host Saudi Arabia's King Salman in their first and long-delayed White House summit on Friday, with clashing views on Middle Eastern crises coming to the fore.Salman's inaugural visit as king -- originally scheduled for May and cancelled by Riyadh -- has been billed as a way of reinforcing US-Saudi relations.In Syria, the White House wants to make sure both countries "have a common view" on which Syrian opposition groups ...
US calls for release of Chinese rights activists WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday urged China to release a dozen human rights activists and religious figures who it said were detained before a planned meeting with a visiting US diplomat.International religious freedom envoy David Saperstein said the activists -- including respected human rights lawyer Zhang Kai, pastors and other Christian figures -- were held during his August 20-28 trip to China."These detentions fit into the disturbing pattern of state intimidation of public interest ...
Mexico president reshuffles cabinet MEXICO CITY: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto appointed seven new ministers Thursday in a cabinet reshuffle, including naming a new foreign minister, in a mid-term shakeup of his administration."I have decided to make changes to meet new circumstances and challenges we have as a country," said Pena Nieto, whose terms runs until 2018.It was the first significant cabinet reshuffle since much-maligned attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam quit in February, after the presumed slaughter of 43 ...
Colombia, Venezuela recall ambassadors amid border tension BOGOTA: Colombia and Venezuela recalled their ambassadors on Thursday for consultations, amid mounting tensions that began nearly a week ago when Caracas closed off their shared border.Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro made the move to indefinitely close the frontier last Friday, declaring a state of emergency in part of the border region over an attack that wounded four people.Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday that his nation "wanted to tell the world... what had happened, ...
US to welcome 5,000 to 8,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 WASHINGTON: The United States expects to accept between 5,000 and 8,000 Syrian refugees in 2016, officials said on Monday.State Department spokesman John Kirby also said 15,000 Syrian refugees have been referred to the US for resettlement by the UN refugee agency.In December, Washington had said it had received 9,000 referrals from the UN.It had also previously said it would admit between 1,000 to 2,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2015, and increase that number by ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.988 bln
Exports $1.835 bln
Imports $3.823 bln
WeeklyOctober 08, 2015
Reserves $20.05 bln