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'Peace between us,' Raul Castro says of US ties BELEN: Cuban President Raul Castro gave an endorsement to peace between the United States and his communist country Thursday, with the two nations in talks to restore ties after decades of animosity.Asked by a journalist at a summit of Latin American and Caribbean states what he would most like to see after the US economic embargo of Cuba is lifted, Castro barked: "Peace, peace between us, peace between the United States and us."Living peacefully, as it should be on the continent."Castro first said he would have to consider the question because the end of the economic embargo may be a long way away. But he changed his mind as he was about to exit the summit in Costa Rica.US and Cuban diplomats met last week in Havana in landmark talks aimed at renewing ties that broke off in 1961.Speaking earlier at the meeting of the Community of Latin American and ...

Cuba and the IMF: towards a new chapter? WASHINGTON: How far could Cuba's opening go? After its rapprochement with the United States, the steadfastly communist country could further dismantle nearly six decades of isolation by shaking hands with another old enemy, the International Monetary Fund.The IMF, the world's crisis lender but also an economic policy disciplinarian, does not have an especially good reputation in Havana. Cuba, like a number of its allies -- Venezuela and Bolivia, for instance -- regards the Fund as ...
Obama backs spending increase, hits Republicans WASHINGTON: A combative US President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled plans to increase government spending, in defiance of his Republican opponents controlling Congress.Rolling out budget proposals for the coming year that would increase spending by $74 billion above an agreed cap, Obama challenged newly empowered Republicans to back measures designed to help the middle class.Visiting Philadelphia to address Democratic lawmakers, Obama made a plea to end what the White House has dubbed "manufactured crises and ...
US Democrats set high bar for supporting Obama on trade PHILADELPHIA: Senior Democrats in the House of Representatives said on Thursday they would insist President Barack Obama provide hard evidence that proposed free trade deals will boost median US incomes, laying out tough terms to support his trade agenda. The demands, made just hours before Obama arrives here to address a House Democratic retreat, are part of a renewed focus by the party on middle-class economic issues.Republicans have made free trade a top priority and ...
US prosecutor to drop insider trading charges over IBM deal NEW YORK: US prosecutors said on Thursday they will drop charges against five men accused of insider trading ahead of an IBM Corp acquisition after an appellate court ruling limited the ability of authorities to pursue such cases. At a court hearing, prosecutors in the office of US Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said they would submit paperwork by Feb. 4 to drop the charges after US District Judge Andrew Carter rejected their unusual request ...
Mexico mayor cuts maternity hospital death toll to two MEXICO CITY: Mexico City's mayor lowered the official death toll from a maternity hospital gas explosion to two people on Thursday after officials had earlier reported seven dead."At the moment we have confirmed that we only have two deaths. One is a minor and the other a woman," Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera told a news conference, adding that 66 people were injured. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Three US contractors killed in 'insider attack' in Kabul WASHINGTON: Three American contractors were killed in an "insider attack" at Kabul airport on Thursday, a US defence official told AFP.The victims were employed under a US Defence Department contract but other details of the shooting incident remained unclear, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...


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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