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US Senate investigators split on party lines over IRS scandal WASHINGTON: Democratic Senate investigators criticized a watchdog for the US Internal Revenue Service on Friday for "inaccurately and unfairly" damaging public confidence in the tax agency's political impartiality. Republican investigators disagreed, defending the job done by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) last year in reviewing the IRS' handling of tax-exemption applications received from political groups. A starkly split 222-page report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations displayed continued partisan discord over an affair that burst into view in May 2013 and quickly enmeshed the IRS in its worst scandal in decades. Last year's controversy stemmed from allegations that IRS agents had singled out applications for tax-exempt status from the Tea Party movement and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny. When a senior IRS executive apologized over the issue, a furor ensued that led to the resignation of the chief of the IRS and multiple investigations and ...

Obama sets meeting with US Congress leaders amid concern over Iraq crisis WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama will meet with the four leaders of the US Congress on Tuesday, a senior congressional source said on Friday, amid rising concern in Washington about the advances of the Islamic State. The source told Reuters the meeting would take place at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 GMT). Lawmakers return to Washington on Monday from their five-week August recess. The meeting will include Harry Reid, the Democratic leader of the US Senate, ...
US group launches campaign against 'bad apple' gun sellers WASHINGTON: US gun control activists said Friday they are launching a national campaign against "bad apple" gun dealers who knowingly sell firearms to criminals."There is a small and dangerous group of guns dealers that we call 'bad apples,' that are responsible for a lot of the toll of gun violence that happens" on US streets, said Dan Gross, head of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence."The vast majority of gun dealers actually do their ...
US rallies Western powers to defeat IS NEWPORT: US President Barack Obama said on Friday he was confident he could gather a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, following two days of talks at the NATO summit."I leave here confident that NATO allies and partners are prepared to join in a broad, international coalition," Obama said after a meeting of the Western military alliance in Wales.Following the beheading of two US journalists by the Islamic State, ...
Russia may need to be 'coerced' to stop bullying its neighbours: Clinton MEXICO CITY: Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday criticized Russia for trying to intimidate its neighbors and said Moscow needed to be persuaded or even "coerced" into looking to the future rather than the past.Clinton, who has been critical of US President Barack Obama's foreign policy in recent weeks, said she was concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin's approach to relations with Ukraine and other nations. "I do worry about President Putin's ...
In break from NATO, Obama visits prehistoric Stonehenge STONEHENGE: After wrestling with threats ranging from Russia to Islamist insurgency in the Middle East, US President Barack Obama took a break from a NATO summit to visit Britain's prehistoric Stonehenge monument on Friday. "How cool is this?" Obama said as he wandered starry-eyed in his shirt sleeves among the towering stone megaliths. "It's spectacular," said Obama, as he gazed at the circle of towering megaliths while sheep grazed in a nearby field. "Knocked it ...
US eyes deal with South Korea on F-16 upgrades by year-end: sources WASHINGTON: The US government hopes to hammer out an agreement with South Korea by the end of the year for the US unit of Britain's BAE Systems Plc to carry out $1 billion-plus of upgrades to more than 130 F-16 fighter jets, sources familiar with the discussions said this week. The US Air Force has been leading talks with Seoul about the second phase of a contract won by BAE in 2012, when it beat ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 15, 2014
Reserves $13.414 bln