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Entries in International Monetary Fund (21)


Middle East Today: Libya --- At Least 25 Killed in Clashes Between Protesters and Government-Backed Militia

Turkey: Massive Istanbul Anti-Government Rally as PM Erdogan Addresses Supporters in Ankara

A visual story of the competing rallies for and against the Erdogan Government --- first, Sunday's large gathering in Istanbul's Taksim Square, where mass protests began nine days ago:

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told supporters in Ankara tonight, "How can you attack my police?...We are going to show patience, but patience has a limit as well":

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Middle East Today: Israel Extends Detention Orders For Security Suspects

Iraq: 26 Die in Monday Bombings

Five car bombs have exploded in public areas in central and southern Iraq, killing 26 civilians and wounding dozens.

Two parked car bombs went off simultaneously in the city of Amarah near a gathering of construction workers and a market, killing 13 civilians and wounding 42, according to police.

A parked car bomb exploded near a restaurant in the city of Diwaniyah, killing eight civilians and wounding 25 others.

Amarah and Diwaniyah are predominantly Shia areas.

Hours later, another parked car bomb went off in the Shia hold city of Karbala, killing two civilians and wounding 12 others.

A parked car bomb ripped through a Shiite neighborhood in the otherwise predominantly Sunni town of Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing three and wounding 16.

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Talks Over IMF Loan Fail to Reach Agreement

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and International Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Presidential Palace in Cairo last year

1700 GMT: Egypt

Cairo and the International Monetary Fund have failed to agree on terms for a $4.8 billion loan to ease a worsening economic crisis.

After nearly two weeks of negotiations in Cairo, IMF mission chief Andreas Bauer issued a statement today that cited progress, notably in Egypt's efforts to better target fuel subsidies and broaden its revenue base.

However, Bauer indicated that no resolution had occurred, "Discussions with the authorities will continue with the objective of reaching agreement on a possible standby arrangement in support of Egypt."

Egyptian officials played down the setback, saying talks would continue this week in Washington, and in Cairo after that.

"We are travelling to the spring meetings in the next two days and are going to be there in the coming week and will complete the negotiations there, and after we return, the mission will come again for us to complete some of the negotiations," Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi, one of the Egyptian negotiators, said.

"But the talks are difficult," he added.


Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Qatar Extends Financial Lifeline with $3 Billion Grant

Egypt's Morsi & Qatar's Al-Thani1855 GMT: Egypt. President Morsi's has said that all legal complaints lodged against Egyptian journalists will be withdrawn.

Presidential spokesman Ihab Fahmy said that the President's decision was based on his "respect for freedom of expression."

1500 GMT: Turkey and Israel. Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz has said that it is too early to talk of energy deals with Israel despite signs of reconciliation between the two countries; however, he said Turkey was open to energy cooperation in the future.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologised to Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the slaying of nine Turkish civilians aboard a Gaza-bound ship by Israeli commandoes in May 2010.

"The reason for Israel's apology was not energy projects. But the consequence could be energy projects," Yildiz told reporters at an energy conference in Ankara.

"We have said we are not closed to these in the future. But at this stage ... it is early to talk about energy projects."

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 1 Killed in Continuing Protests in Mansoura

Protests and clashes in Mansoura in Egypt, where one person was killed early this morning

See also Syria Live Coverage: The Fighting Around Aleppo
Friday's Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Activist Zainab AlKhawaja Given 3-Month Sentence

1831 GMT: Egypt. Visiting Cairo, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Egyptian Government's need to agree a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund is "paramount".

Kerry said he was certain that US cooperation with Egypt can only happen if Cairo "makes the right fundamental choices" regarding the talks with the IMF.

The Morsi Government said on Thursday that it will invite an IMF team to reopen talks.

"It is paramount, essential, urgent that the Egyptian economy get stronger, that it gets back on its feet," Kerry told Egyptian and American executives. "It's clear to us that the IMF arrangement needs to be reached, that we need to give the market that confidence."

The Morsi Government agreed the loan in principle last November but it was put on hold at Cairo's request amid political unrest and an inability of the President to implement tax rises necessary for the IMF assistance.

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Mali (and Beyond) Live Coverage: France to Withdraw in March After Successful Military Operations?

US Feature: Justice Department --- Yes, We Can Kill American Citizens Overseas with Drones
Syria Live Coverage: The Fight in Daraa Province
Tuesday's Israel, Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Israelis Arrest More than 20 Hamas Members in West Bank

2106 GMT: Bahrain. Opposition groups have "stressed the need to agree on the mechanism and the rules of the national dialogue" before the start of talks on Sunday.

"Agreeing on the mechanism before the dialogue starts would strengthen public trust in the dialogue," the groups, including leading society Al Wefaq, continued. This would "spare" Bahrain from the failure of the talks in the first round, a situation that would have unwanted "political and public implications."

The groups will write to the Justice Minister on Thursday to emphasise their position, renewing their request to meet him to agree over the mechanism of the dialogue.

The minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ali al-Khalifa, announced on Monday that the dialogue would resume this weekend, after an earlier round failed to the bring the opposition on board.

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests and the Opposition's Next Move

See also Syria Live Coverage: So, Are "Al Qa'eda Terrorists" Winning the Civil War?
Monday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Opposition Rejects Morsi's Referendum

2145 GMT: Turkey. Buses belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party have been attacked on their way from Sharqiya to Cairo, injuring six.

Assailants stoned the buses, which were en route to protests supporting President Morsi, forcing them to stop before attacking the passengers.

The Secretary General of the FJP in Sharqiya, Ahmed Shehata, said some passengers chased the attackers until they reached the outskirts of Salam City.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt (Arseh Sevom)

Iranian workers protest over unpaid wage in front of the Ministry of Industry, 14 August 2012

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) [fa], the Saipa car factory in Kashan has dismissed more than 10,000 employees. Saipa in Tehran has also reduced the shifts from three to just one. Asr-e Iran reports that the automobile production rate has been reduced by 66.2%.

More than 600 steel workers demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Labor, demanding five months of unpaid wages. The protest was a follow-up

to the workers' claim of eight months of unpaid salaries --- despite a settlement, only three months were paid.

About 200 members of Tehran’s Metropolitan Vahed Bus Company gathered Wednesday in front of the Tehran Municipal Building to protest discrimination in pay. They also called for the dismissal of the managing director of the company and an investigation into their unpaid salaries.

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The Latest from Iran (10 October): Economic Fantasy and Reality

Iran Special: The US Nuclear "Experts" at ISIS --- When Propaganda Replaces Analysis
The Latest from Iran (9 October): Triple-Digit Inflation?

1815 GMT: Currency Watch. It looks like the Central Bank, trying to preserve foreign reserves, is restricting trade in the Iranian Rial. Reports indicate the Bank has declared that foreign currency accounts cannot be opened with Rials, but interest on the accounts will be paid in the local currency.

Meanwhile, an indication of the "real" price of gold, amidst the blackout on information. Khabar Online claims that advance sales of gold coins are trading at 14.44 million Rials (about $1200 at official rate).

That is an increase of about 11% on the "current" price, last posted on Tuesday.

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Egypt Feature: Does the Solution Lie in the Economy? (Bohn/Lister)

"No to Poverty, No to Unemployment, No to Torture"In 18 months of upheaval, all Egypt's economic indicators have headed south.

Growth is a projected 1.5% this fiscal year, far too feeble to provide a young and rapidly growing population with jobs (80% of Egypt's population is under age 30). Unemployment, one of the engines of the revolution, is estimated to be as high as 25% among the young. Tourism revenues have fallen sharply, and foreign reserves have dwindled to $15 billion. According to the United Nations, some 40% of Egyptians live below the poverty line; 14 million people subsist on less than $1 a day. Institutions are chronically weak and corruption is endemic.

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