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Argentina faces vulture funds in countdown to default BUENOS AIRES: Argentina risks technical default by the end of on Monday in its combat with so-called vulture funds over a US court ruling that it must settle unpaid debts to bondholders.The country must reach an agreement to pay $1.3 billion to these "vulture" hedge funds by the end of July to avoid default but a decision by a judge on Friday has brought that danger even closer.Wheeling overhead are speculative funds that bought Argentinian bonds at the bottom of the market on the chance that they could extract full repayment later on. If they do, Buenos Aires could face a bill of up to $15 billion, which it says would bring it to its knees. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has condemned what she terms "extortion" by the vulture funds.Argentina has made a first payment of $225 million (165 million euros) to bondholders who in 2005 and 2010 accepted that ...

List of impossible-to-find goods grows in Venezuela CARACAS: Shopping has become a feat of endurance in Venezuela, where mass shortages have extended beyond basic goods to everything else, from hair dye to sandpaper and even to caskets.As inflation has soared above 60 percent and airlines have canceled service to Venezuela over billions of dollars owed by the Caracas government, the list of impossible-to-find-items has grown considerably."Now, there aren't even enough coffins!" lamented Roberto Leon, president of Venezuela's main consumers association (Anauco).His group ...
Venezuela cities including capital hit by blackout witnesses CARACAS: Venezuelan cities including the capital Caracas were hit by a blackout on Friday afternoon, Reuters witnesses said.National power company Corpoelec did not respond to phone calls seeking details about the extent of the power outage.Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...
US judge warns Argentina over 'illegal' payments NEW YORK: A US judge said on Friday a deposit from Argentina towards paying off restructured debt was illegal unless hedge funds holding $1.3 billion in bonds were also paid.Judge Thomas Griesa warned Buenos Aires that any further such payment attempts would put it in contempt, and said the $539 million sitting in an account of Bank of New York Mellon should be returned.He told the Republic to expedite negotiations to settle with the hedge ...
US lab 'sold indigenous blood': Ecuador QUITO: A US laboratory sold across at least eight countries blood samples taken without consent from an indigenous group, Ecuador alleged on Friday after a months-long investigation.The samples were taken from the Huaorani ethnic group of about 3,000 people who live in a corner of Ecuador's isolated Amazon basin region, it is alleged.The group is known for its unique genetic profile and immunity to disease, making it attractive to researchers.The New Jersey-based Coriell Institute for ...
Brazilian President Rousseff commends success of World Cup ISLAMABAD: Brazil's President Rousseff celebrated the success of the FIFA World Cup, which is taking place in 12 Brazilian cities and has so far not featured any major incidents.In an analogy to last year's protests, in which protesters called for 'FIFA-standard' public services as a way to say that education and healthcare needed a quality boost, President Rousseff said that the World Cup now needs to have a 'Brazil- standard'."The Cup is being a source ...
Costa Rica leader wants name off bridges, buildings SAN JOSE: Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis doesn't want his name on plaques at public works or his portrait hung in public offices.In a decree signed Wednesday, Solis prohibited his name from being used on plaques inaugurating bridges, roads and buildings, as had been the custom in previous administrations."The works are from the country and not from a government or a particular official," Solis told reporters after the decree was signed during a meeting ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln