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Saudi Arabia illegal worker crackdown leaves ‘shops closed, streets empty’

Source : Saudi Gazette | 06 Nov 2013

Residents and citizens woke up in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to a day crippled by a lack of necessary services as illegal expat workers, who failed to rectify their status, stayed indoors for fear of being arrested.

Streets were less crowded and taxi drivers charged exorbitant fares, markets were near-deserted, many commercial establishments and hospitals reported no-shows, shutters were down on many grocery stores and eateries, street vendors largely absent.

Bottom-Up: Explaining the Success Story of Turkey in the 2000s

By Prof Dr Mustafa Acar | 30 May 2013

A lot of people around the world are wondering these days how Turkey was able to jump from bottom to the top within a decade and became a shining star of the region. It seems a miracle: starting from a terrible situation it faced with the eruption of 2001 crisis, but ending with a brighter than ever outlook. When the country cleared its external debts to the IMF last week, this outlook became even brighter, urging credit rating institutions to upgrade Turkey’s rating.

Change looms for Ethiopia’s ancient salt trade

Source : Reuters | 18 May 2013

Afghan scrap yards eye unwanted U.S. gear worth millions

Source : Reuters | 15 May 2013

U.S. forces in Afghanistan are hoping that a small steel industry can be born from the mammoth task of withdrawing equipment by the end of next year, jump-starting a scrap trade and injecting cash into local businesses.

It will cost the United States almost $6 billion to remove the enormous amount of materiel scattered in hundreds of bases across Afghanistan from the longest war in U.S. history.

Palestinian Authority Calls on Int'l Community to Pressure Israel Over Financial Stranglehood

By Jacob Chamberlain | Agencies | 20 Mar 2013

Warning of possible "political collapse," the Palestinian Authority has issued a report calling on the international community for help to ease its financial crisis, to pressure Israel to release Palestinian-owned revenues held hostage since its bid for UN status, and for a life without checkpoints in the occupied West Bank.

Israel harms Palestinian economy: report

Source : Al Jazeera | 13 Mar 2013

Israeli restrictions and closures coupled with the worsening fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority is causing "lasting damage" to the competitiveness of the Palestinian economy, the World Bank warns.

In a report issued on Tuesday ahead of a meeting of global donors in Brussels on March 19, the World Bank explored the long-term damage to the economy as a result of the worsening financial crisis facing the Ramallah-based government and the absence of peace talks, which have been stalled since late September 2010.

West’s sweet tooth gives Sudan Gum Arabic export success

By Reuters | 09 Jan 2013

On a plantation outside En Nahud in western Sudan, Mohammed Adam harvests Gum Arabic from his acacia trees.

Gum Arabic is a natural and edible gum taken from these trees. It takes four years for each tree to fully grow; a small cut is then made on the bark, which causes a glue-like resin to seep out. This resin, or Gum Arabic, is collected once a year.

Adam belongs to one of 3,000 Gum Arabic associations in Sudan. He makes about 6,500 US dollars a year from his crop, but said he wishes he could benefit as much as the exporters.

Israel to withhold Palestinian funds until March, at least

By Reuters | 12 Dec 2012

Israel will withhold tax revenues from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s administration until March at least in response to his statehood campaign at the United Nations, Israel’s foreign minister said.

Under interim peace deals, Israel collects some $100 million a month in duties on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied West Bank -- money that is badly needed to pay public sector salaries.

Egypt reaches preliminary deal for $4.8 bln IMF loan

By Reuters | 21 Nov 2012

Egypt has reached a preliminary agreement with a team from the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan, a minister said on Tuesday.

The deal is seen as a vital step for shoring up Egypt’s battered finances and rebuilding the confidence of investors, who have been looking to the IMF to give its seal of approval to the government’s economic program.

Turkmenistan promises new era of prosperity

Source : Reuters | 24 Oct 2012

The president of gas-rich Turkmenistan on Tuesday promised to raise salaries and pensions and to transform the former Soviet republic from an agrarian nation into an industrial one, heralding what he called "The Happiness and Might Epoch".

President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov also said he planned to extend the time that pupils spent at secondary school from ten years to 12 years, promising he would use the Central Asian country's gas wealth to push up living standards.

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