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Colombia to free 30 jailed FARC rebels as peace talk gesture BOGOTA: Colombia's government said on Sunday it will free 30 jailed members of the Marxist FARC rebel group as a gesture of goodwill as the two sides negotiate an end to more than five decades of war. None of the inmates have been convicted of violent crimes while fighting for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), according to a statement from President Juan Manuel Santos's office. Once released, the group will receive psychological help, education, job training and support for their families as they are reintegrated into society, it said. Peace talks between the government and FARC leadership have entered their fourth year in Havana, Cuba, as the two sides work through a complicated five-point agenda. Santos has said he wants a peace accord signed by March 23 to end the conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions. Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...

Argentina's opposition takes on mighty Peronists in run-off vote BUENOS AIRES: Argentines voted in a run-off election on Sunday that hands the centre-right opposition, led by Mauricio Macri, its best chance in more than a decade to wrest the presidency from the populist Peronists and set the economy on a more free-market course. In a sign of Argentines' weariness with a spluttering economy, rising crime and corruption, Macri went into the country's first ever second-round ballot with a comfortable lead in opinion polls over ...
Voting starts in key Argentina runoff election BUENOS AIRES: Argentines started voting Sunday in a runoff election in which pro-business right-winger Mauricio Macri will try to end 12 years of left-wing government by beating center-leftist Daniel Scioli.Queues formed at polling stations which opened at 8:00 am (1100 GMT) under sunny blue skies in the capital Buenos Aires, a key electoral territory. Voting was due to close at 2100 GMT with first results expected in the following hours.Polls showed the mayor of Buenos ...
Furious Venezuela demands US name 'spies' CARACAS: Venezuela on Thursday demanded that Washington identify the agents involved in an alleged case of "outrageous" US spying against the state-run oil giant PDVSA.The request and a formal diplomatic protest note came a day after the Telesur TV network published documents leaked by former US analyst Edward Snowden stating that the National Security Agency spied on the electronic data at Petroleos de Venezuela, including personnel files and the email of Rafael Ramirez, who headed ...
Paraguay local elections test president's pull ASUNCION: Paraguay held local elections Sunday, a midterm test for conservative President Horacio Cartes two years after he took office.The key race is for mayor of the capital Asuncion, where the candidate for Cartes's Colorado party, incumbent Arnaldo Samaniego, is fending off a strong challenge from TV presenter Mario Ferreiro, who is running for a center-left coalition.The Colorados have controlled Asuncion for 15 years.Cartes, whose term ends in 2018, called the elections a "grand referendum" ...
Brazil's Rousseff agrees to replace FinMin Levy, Valor reports SAO PAULO: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has agreed to replace Finance Minister Joaquim Levy but a date for that change has not been set yet, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Friday, citing sources who participated in the discussions. Levy's most likely replacement would be former central bank chief Henrique Meirelles, Valor added. The paper said Rousseff is still reluctant to give the future finance minister a bigger autonomy to determine policy. Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...
Brazil cut limits on BNDES development bank lending program SAO PAULO: Brazil's national monetary council cut the limits to a subsidized lending program administered by state-run development bank BNDES, according to a statement released on Friday. The country's main economic policymaking body said it set the limit to a program known as Inova??o-Grandes Empresas to 445 million reais ($118 million), down from 452 million reais. It slightly raised the limit to a capital goods purchase program for small companies. The council in October more ...


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 30, 2015
Reserves $19.828 bln