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US officials in Cuba on telecoms follow-up HAVANA: A US delegation was in Cuba, following up on the reestablishment of normal telecommunications links as part of their bid to normalize relations, authorities said on Wednesday.The team was being led by Daniel Sepulveda, deputy assistant secretary of state and coordinator for international communications and information policy, the communications ministry said.Deputy Communications Minister Jose Luis Perdomo briefed Sepulveda and his colleagues on Cuba's computer systems and cybersecurity, a ministry statement added.Earlier this month, Cuba's state phone company Etecsa said a direct interconnection had been established with the United States, initially for international voice calls, for the first time since 1999.The connection was set up through a February deal signed with New Jersey-based firm IDT Domestic Telecom.It was the first agreement signed between Cuban and American companies since the announcement on December 17 that the two countries would renew diplomatic ties after more than 50 years of hostility.The telephone link ...

Canada says won't tell railways where to ship grain for now OTTAWA: The Canadian government will not, for now, start telling railways where to ship farmers' grain but it will decide within days whether to extend its requirements on how much grain they must haul, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said on Wednesday. In an interview in her parliamentary office, Raitt said farmers and shippers have questioned whether the government's grain-shipment minimums are still required and whether Ottawa should tell the country's two dominant railways, Canadian National ...
US confirms two Americans killed in Germanwings crash WASHINGTON: The US State Department confirmed on Wednesday that two Americans died in the Germanwings plane disaster in the French Alps."At this time, we can confirm the deaths of two US citizens. We are in contact with family members and we extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the 150 people on board," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki in a statement.She added that US officials were "deeply saddened" by the ...
US Senate leader says fast-track trade bill still top priority WASHINGTON: US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday legislation to streamline the passage of trade deals through Congress remains a top priority and he hopes for progress in April. Senate Committee on Finance chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican, said on Monday an agreement with the panel's top Democrat, Ron Wyden, on the bill was unlikely until after Congress returns from a two-week break, in mid-April. "I'm hoping the Finance Committee will be able ...
Attacks on Mexico journalists surge: rights group MEXICO CITY: Attacks on journalists in Mexico have surged during President Enrique Pena Nieto's first two years in power, with assaults reported every 26.7 hours, a press freedom group said Tuesday.Media workers endured an act of violence every 48.1 hours during the 2006-2012 presidency of Felipe Calderon, according to a report by Article 19.Since Pena Nieto took office in December 2012, 10 journalists have been murdered, possibly due to their work, while four others have ...
Big drug busts off Panama, Miami: US MIAMI: US customs authorities Tuesday announced the seizure of a ton of cocaine in a fast boat off the coast of Panama and another 800 pounds (360 kilos) of the drug on a cargo ship in Miami, Florida.They said the fast boat was spotted March 19 by a US Customs and Border Patrol aircraft which alerted Panamanian authorities that intercepted the craft.The cocaine recovered in the action was valued at $164 million.The other big drug ...
US new-home sales surge in February WASHINGTON: Sales of new single-family homes in the United States surged in February to a seven-year high, accelerating for the third consecutive month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.New-home sales advanced 7.8 percent in February from January to an annual rate of 539,000 units.Most analysts had forecast a decline of 3.3 percent for the month, which was marked by unusually bad winter weather in large areas of the country.Compared with a year ago, new-home sales in ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln