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Venezuela closes Colombia border indefinitely CARACAS: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro indefinitely closed his country's border with Colombia and declared a state of emergency in part of the frontier region Friday, following an earlier attack that wounded four people.Tensions run high along the 2,200-kilometer (1,400-mile) porous border, rife with guerrilla and smuggling activity, and the two countries almost went to war in 2008.Two men on motorcycles attacked soldiers involved in anti-smuggling operations along the northwestern border with Colombia on Wednesday, according to Maduro.Regional officials said three soldiers and a civilian were wounded in the attack that took place in Tachira state. One soldier was seriously hurt."As part of measures to restore order, peace, tranquility and justice ... I have decided to declare a state of emergency" in several municipalities of eastern Tachira state, Maduro said in a broadcast address.He did not explain the scope of the action, saying only that it "broadly empowers civil, military and ...

Brazil speaker, former president charged in Petrobras corruption BRASÍLIA: Brazilian prosecutors lodged corruption charges Thursday against the speaker of the lower house -- a key figure in the country's current political crisis -- and also against a former president.Eduardo Cunha, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, was alleged to have taken at least $5 million in bribes as part of a sprawling kickbacks scheme centered on state oil company Petrobras.Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot alleged that Cunha received payoffs relating to contracts to build ...
Brazil's embattled left strikes back RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's embattled left staged a string of protests Thursday in a show of support for President Dilma Rousseff, although turnout was markedly lower than at massive anti-government rallies over the weekend.The protests hit back at the right's push to impeach Rousseff, who less than a year into her second term is struggling for political survival."We want to continue with democracy. No to the coup, no to fascism!" said poet Jorge Salomao, 68, ...
Brazil Senate passes austerity bill in win for Rousseff BRASILIA: Brazil's Senate approved a bill to roll back payroll tax breaks on Wednesday that is a key measure in President Dilma Rousseff's efforts to reduce a gaping fiscal deficit and restore confidence in her government's accounts.The Senate voted 45-27 to pass the bill. It was received from the lower house with no changes, so it will go to Rousseff to be signed into law without delay.The vote puts an end to months of heated ...
El Salvador murder rate surges with 125 dead in three days SAN SALVADOR: Long plagued by gang violence, El Salvador's murder rate has taken a turn for the even worse, with at least 125 murders in just three days, police said Wednesday.National Police chief Mauricio Ramirez said 40 people were killed Sunday; then 42 Monday and 43 on Tuesday, most in gang-related bloodletting."These are worrisome numbers. These are Salvadorans who are dying. Regardless of who is a gang member or not," he told reporters.Authorities in this ...
Venezuela gets new oil minister CARACAS: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday announced the current head of state oil giant PDVSA will take over as minister of oil and mining as well."I have decided to name comrade Eulogio del Pino as the People's Minister for Oil and Mining," Maduro said in an address on state television.Del Pino, who has led PDVSA since September 2014, is not the first to take on the dual ministerial role in the oil-dependent OPEC member ...
Eight Venezuelan police prosecuted in videotaped killing CARACAS: Eight Venezuelan police officers have been detained and face prosecution after videotape emerged of them apparently executing a suspected criminal as the bodies of three others lay on the ground, officials said Friday.The officers will be charged in a court in northern Aragua state for their alleged roles in the death of the four men, aged between 21 and 35. The officers were arrested Friday afternoon at the request of prosecutors. The dead men ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.988 bln
Exports $1.835 bln
Imports $3.823 bln
WeeklyOctober 08, 2015
Reserves $20.05 bln