World Bulletin / News Desk
Jordan's King Abdullah has ordered the government to freeze a hike in the price of the low-grade fuel used by the poor in the aid-dependent kingdom, which is struggling to absorb refugees from neighbouring Syria.
The price hike, which sparked several scattered street protests by the government's tribal and Islamist opponents, was the second this year under IMF-guided measures to cut subsidies and ease budget strains.
Palace officials said on Monday the king had asked Prime Minister Fayez al-Tarawneh's government to freeze the planned 10 percent rise in the price of lower-grade gasoline.
On Sunday, 89 of the 120 deputies in the country's lower house of parliament signed a petition urging the king to dismiss Tarawneh over the move, which took effect on Saturday.
The government, mindful of public fury that exploded into street clashes in the depressed south of the country after two price hikes in 1989 and 1996, has long been reluctant to raise fuel prices.
Street protests early last year, inspired by the wave of Arab unrest, pushed the authorities to expand social spending and freeze fuel price hikes, including gasoline.
But the government raised the price of premium petrol by 20 percent last May and a month later raised the price of lower grade gasoline used by lower-income Jordanians - the majority of the country's seven million population - by 12.9 percent.
Jordanian officials say such measures show the commitment to fiscal consolidation needed to keep International Monetary Fund (IMF) support and win further aid.
Economists have it is becoming increasingly untenable for Jordan to maintain subsidies, plus a bureaucracy whose salaries consume most of the $9.6 billion annual budget, in the absence of large inflows of foreign capital or aid.
Officials say the rise in gasoline prices will help Jordan meet an IMF-backed budget deficit target of around 5 percent of gross domestic product after grants that traditionally cover budget shortfalls.
($1=.7109 Jordanian Dinar)
Smuggling is denying Tanzania some 80 percent of receipts accrued from the precious gemstone
The Africa initiative will create "one huge free-trade union" allowing foreign investors in Egypt to more easily reach 260 million consumers from South Africa to Ethiopia.
Budapest says the collapse of the rival Western-backed Nabucco project to bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, and stalled plans to build inter-connector pipelines within eastern Europe, have left it with no alternative.
In Russia, the idea of a Saudi-U.S. plot against Moscow has become common currency as the economy struggles under the effects of low oil prices and Western sanctions imposed
Lithuania's new LNG terminal represents an end to Russia's gas monopoly in Lithuania, says Lithuania's president
The minister said the militants considered the eastern Syrian cities "safe for them" and thus transferred wheat and barley in Nineveh "to preserve it".
Decreasing oil prices are intended to pressurize and punish Iran and Russia: Int. Financial Markets expert says
Prices rise 30 percent as new president's deeply unpopular subsidy cut takes effect.
Japan's prime minister is to turn to the polls to see if his decision not to hike taxes can gain electoral support.
The agreement between the two countries, which trade around $3.2 billion in goods each year, will enable New Zealand to better compete with other countries in its sixth-largest export market.
G20 summit in Brisbane produced 800 commitments after two days of talks
The agreement gives Australian dairy farmers tariff-free access within four years to China's lucrative infant formula market, minus any of the "safeguard" caps that currently restrict competitors from New Zealand.
The shockingly downbeat report reinforced expectations Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will delay a sales tax hike, set for October next year, after a hike in the tax in April took a heavy toll on consumption.
More than 120 foreign and domestic companies are currently engaged in horticulture development efforts in Ethiopia.
Security and climate change overshadowed G20 talks on boosting global economic growth at the summit
Supporting small and medium-sized industry is also be a focus for the Turkish G20 presidency, Deputy PM said.