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Visiting US senators see new era in historic Cuba talks HAVANA: US lawmakers visiting Havana voiced hope Monday that historic talks between US and Cuban officials this week will mark a "new era" of relations, ending decades of Cold War-era hostility.The six-member delegation of congressional Democrats, led by Senator Patrick Leahy, met Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez as well as dissidents and Cardinal Jaime Ortega during their two-day visit.Their trip preceded talks on Wednesday and Thursday between Cuban officials and the highest-ranking US delegation to visit Havana since the 1980s.The meeting will be the first since the historic announcements in December by US President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro that their countries will normalize ties that broke off in 1961.As the two nations get closer, one person has been noticeably quiet: the 88-year-old retired leader Fidel Castro has not reacted publicly to the rapprochement, sparking speculation about his health."This is historic. We were frozen in the same foreign policy ...

Bolstered by economy, Obama faces hostile Congress WASHINGTON: Barack Obama faces the massed ranks of Congress on Tuesday for the first time since his party lost control there, but don't expect him to cut a humbler figure.Borne on a tide of optimistic economic data, Obama will use the State of the Union address to taunt his Republican rivals with an ambitious tax plan that they will never agree to pass.In doing so, Obama will set the tone for the battles to come ...
US penetrated North Korea computer systems in 2010: report WASHINGTON: The United States secretly penetrated North Korea's computer systems four years ago -- a breach that allowed Washington to insist Pyongyang was to blame for the recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures, the New York Times reported Monday.Citing former US officials and a newly released National Security Agency (NSA) document, the Times detailed how the US spy agency in 2010 "penetrated directly" into the North's systems via Chinese networks and connections in Malaysia favored by ...
US lawmakers, dissidents meet in Havana HAVANA: A delegation of US lawmakers headed by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy met Sunday with dissidents for the first time since the countries announced plans to normalize ties, an activist said.The US lawmakers "wanted to hear our opinions, and they also gave their own opinions," Elizardo Sanchez of the Cuban National Reconciliation and Human Rights Committee said.About 15 opponents of the Americas' only communist government met for more than two hours with the American visitors, ...
US condemns ICC war crimes probe of Israel as 'tragic irony' WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday condemned as a "tragic irony" the International Criminal Court's decision to open a preliminary probe into possible war crimes committed by Israeli forces against Palestinians."We strongly disagree with the ICC prosecutor's action today," State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement. "It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ...
Romney says he's not running - for US Senate WASHINGTON: Mitt Romney kept them guessing.In his first prominent speech since telling donors last week he was still interested in the White House, the 2012 Republican nominee hinted and quipped about a possible presidential run next year but stopped well short of any announcement.With the 2016 election cycle clearly underway and Jeb Bush announcing last month that he is actively exploring a presidential bid, Romney suddenly finds himself under political pressure to signal whether he ...
Mexico arrests gang suspect in missing students case CUERNAVACA: A suspected member of a Mexican gang was arrested as part of an investigation into the disappearance of 43 students, authorities said Friday. Felipe Rodriguez, known as "El Cepillo," was arrested Thursday night in the city of Jiutepec, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Mexico City.He is an alleged associate of one of the leaders of the Guerreros Unidos cartel, a prosecution source told AFP. Guerreros Unidos members told investigators they had a ...


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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 $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln