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Three sentenced in Venezuela over ex-beauty queen killing CARACAS: Three men were sentenced to more than 20 years in prison on Tuesday in Venezuela over the killing of an ex-beauty queen and her partner.All three, aged 18, 19 and 21, pleaded guilty to the crime, the attorney general's office said.The victims in the January roadside robbery and shooting were former beauty queen Monica Spear and her partner Thomas Berry.The three sentenced were among 10 people charged with the crime. Two of them were minors. Spear was Miss Venezuela in 2004.In a robbery turned violent, she and Berry were shot to death in their car January 6 in front of their five-year-old daughter Maya on a road in the north of the violence-plagued country.The killings caused an uproar inside Venezuela and abroad. They caused President Nicolas to move up implementation of a nationwide anti-crime plan.The UN says Venezuela suffers from a homicide rate of 53 per 100,000 inhabitants, making ...

Ex-Petrobras director pocketed kickback: report BRASïLIA: A former director of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras who has accused dozens of politicians of taking kickbacks allegedly pocketed one himself for the purchase of a US refinery, local media reported.Paulo Roberto Costa, currently in custody for money laundering, told police and justice ministry officials probing his allegations that he took 1.5 million reais ($636,000) as part of a deal to buy the Texas-based refinery, Globo television reported late Thursday.Costa is at the heart ...
Rousseff gains on Silva ahead of October election-poll BRASILIA: President Dilma Rousseff has gained support among Brazilian voters and is almost even with opposition candidate Marina Silva, suggesting the runoff that should decide next month's presidential election is too close to call, according to a new poll on Friday.The Datafolha survey showed Silva with 46 percent voter support compared with 44 percent for Rousseff in a simulation of the expected second-round runoff. The gap has narrowed to two percentage points from four in ...
Mystery illness plagues girls in Colombia EL CARMEN DE BOLIVAR: First their hands and feet feel cold. Then they go pale and cannot move. Some convulse and fall to the floor.A mystery illness is plaguing girls in this town in northern Colombia, and locals say a vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV, is to blame.In El Carmen de Bolivar, near the port of Cartagena, dozens of teenagers have experienced similar symptoms. Some have even lost consciousness."They vaccinated me ...
Brazilian justice blocks Eike Batista accounts RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's judiciary on Wednesday said it was blocking the bank accounts of multimillionaire businessman Eike Batista after a judge ordered his accounts frozen amid charges of stock market manipulation.Federal prosecutors had last week filed criminal charges against Batista and embarked on moves to freeze an estimated 1.5 billion reais ($635 million) of assets, including properties.Brazil's central bank blocked 117.3 million reais ($49.7 million) in accounts belonging to Batista, once Brazil's richest and ...
Venezuelan bonds slump on ratings cut, economy concerns CARACAS: Venezuelan bonds tumbled on Wednesday following a ratings downgrade by Standard & Poor's that further fuelled worries about the country's capacity to service debt amid soaring inflation and economic contraction.Investors have become increasingly concerned about the country's economy, which is widely believed to have slipped into recession this year, and worry that President Nicolas Maduro is delaying reforms needed to shore up government finances.The country's benchmark Global 27 bond fell 3.3 percent, pushing its ...
Funding woes force UN to slash rations for Syrians: official GENEVA: The United Nations will have to slash food rations to four million Syrians by 40 percent in October due to a shortage of funds, despite better access to areas in need, a senior UN aid official said on Wednesday.John Ging, director of operations at the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in an interview that the "break in the pipeline" means greater hunger as a fourth winter of the Syrian civil war ...


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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln