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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 to get trade promotion authority out of the committee very quickly after we come back and it's a top priority for me," McConnell told reporters. The legislation, which would allow lawmakers to set objectives for trade deals in exchange for a yes-or-no vote, is seen as key to finalizing a Pacific trade pact.Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...

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 ...
Obama to host Iraq PM on April 14: White House WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama will host Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi next month, the White House announced on Monday. Officials said the meeting would take place on April 14."The prime minister's visit underscores the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq and the strong US commitment to political and military cooperation with Iraq in the joint fight against ISIL," a White House statement said."The president and prime minister will discuss a range of issues, ...
Republican Ted Cruz launches 2016 race with White House bid WASHINGTON: US Senator Ted Cruz from the hardline Republican right confirmed on Monday he will run for president in 2016, the first major candidate to officially declare a bid in the next race for the White House.The announcement fires the starting gun on the Republican race, already expected to be a crowded contest. "I'm running for president and I hope to earn your support!" he posted on Twitter early Monday.The 44-year-old Tea Party favorite has ...
Obama presses Republicans on attorney general pick WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama urged his Republican foes in Congress to confirm his choice for the country's next top law enforcement officer, accusing them of holding her "hostage" in their efforts to push other legislation.In February, the US Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Loretta Lynch's attorney general nomination, inching her closer to becoming the first African-American woman ever to hold the post.Her nomination, currently pending before the full Senate, comes at a time of ...


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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 $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln