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Michelle Obama: still popular and driving Democratic votes WASHINGTON: Dispensing from her fund of valuable political capital, Michelle Obama is criss-crossing the United States with a single objective -- slaying the familiar foe haunting Democrats in mid-term elections: low turnout.The still popular first lady can reach parts of the electoral battleground that her husband cannot, because his tattered approval ratings after nearly six years in office make vulnerable Democrats loath to be seen with him.But Obama is tireless in her defense of her husband's political record ahead of the November 4 vote -- in which his Democrats are in grave peril of losing the Senate.- 'That's my man' -Traveling below the national media radar, Michelle Obama has spent days on the road, campaigning for candidates in recent weeks in Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan and Wisconsin."That's my man, yes indeed," Obama said Friday, firing up a crowd in Boston, reminding voters that when her husband took office in ...

Ex-Haiti dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier dead at 63 PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who ruled the impoverished Caribbean nation with an iron fist from 1971 until his ouster in 1986, died on Saturday of a heart attack. He was 63.The death of Baby Doc, as he was commonly known, marks the end of a dark chapter for a desperate country plundered first by his ruthless father -- Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, a physician-turned-populist politician -- before being further ravaged by ...
US faces limits of air power in battle over Syria town WASHINGTON: The United States is facing the limits of air power in the Syria border town of Kobane, where Islamic State (IS) militants are steadily closing in on Kurdish fighters despite a series of US bombing raids.Fighter jets and drones from the world's most powerful air force have carried out at least eight attacks over the past week against the IS group near Kobane, but the air raids have failed so far to turn the ...
Ebola strikes fourth American in Liberia MONROVIA: A US television network prepared Friday to evacuate a cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia, as the UN's pointman flew to Sierra Leone, calling the epidemic the world's "highest priority".Ashoka Mukpo, 33, who was working as a freelancer for NBC news, discovered he was running a fever on Wednesday, his network said, and is in quarantine in a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) treatment centre.Hired by NBC only three days ago, he is the fourth ...
US, France discuss potential French role in Syria: Hagel WASHINGTON: US and French defence chiefs on Thursday discussed the possibility of France taking part in the American-led air war against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said.But his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, would not confirm or deny that the subject came up during his talks at the Pentagon."Yes, we did discuss possibilities of France's involvement in Syria," Hagel said at a joint news conference.The talks in Washington came as ...
Colombia victims ask for protection following threats HAVANA: Victims of the 50-year-old armed conflict in Colombia called on President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday to protect witnesses testifying in peace talks and investigate death threats against them.According to the United Nations office in Bogota, several of the victims who had recently traveled to Havana to tell their story at negotiations between the government and FARC rebels received letters with death threats, while others have been the target of verbal attacks on Facebook.As part ...
US general says Syria rebel training could 'take years' WASHINGTON: Retired US general John Allen, who is leading the international effort against Islamic State (IS) extremists, said Wednesday that the training of Syrian rebels would be a slow process. "It is going to take a while, it could take years, actually," Allen said in an interview with CNN. "We have to manage our expectations."The US Congress has approved the training and equipping of moderate Syrian rebel units as part of an international plan to ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-19.98 bln
Exports $25.13 bln
Imports $45.11 bln
WeeklyOctober 27, 2014
Reserves $13.464 bln