Stories for December 2008
Cuba says it has suffered one of the most difficult financial years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Economy minister Jose Luis Rodriguez said the Cuban economy had grown by 4.3% in the past year, falling short of the 8% forecast by the government.
President Raul Castro called for austerity measures including cutbacks in official travel and bonuses.
Several cases of people listed as missing victims of Chile's dictatorship which have either been located or died under unrelated circumstances has shocked the country's public opinion and caused political turmoil.
Mercosur expressed concern and repudiation towards the spiral of violence in the Gaza Strip, and also regrets the tragic results of the Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian territory.
The Inter-American Development Bank Group increased loan, credit guarantee and grant approvals by about a quarter to a record 12.2 billion US dollars in 2008, in an effort to help Latin America and the Caribbean weather the global financial crisis.
The British pound's relentless slide towards parity with the Euro picked up pace after it plunged to another record low against the single European currency. The latest slide saw sterling worth just 1.022 Euros amid expectations for European interest rates to remain higher than in the UK for some time yet.
Works of art worth hundreds of thousands of pounds are missing from British embassies and other official buildings around the world, according to a report published in The Times. At least 50 paintings from the Government Art Collection are unaccounted for, according to the latest audit. None was insured and some are known to have been stolen but more than half the total simply disappeared.
One of Buenos Aires city most exclusive apartments, a lavish flat with five dormitories and three terraces with a 360 degrees view on the fourteenth story is on sale for the modest sum of 6 million US dollars.
Spanish bank La Caixa is no longer in talks with Russia's LUKOIL to sell all or part of its 12.7% stake in oil firm Repsol, it announced on Monday in a one paragraph stock exchange announcement.
Queen Elizabeth II has endorsed a crackdown on honors for bankers and leading City figures because of their role in causing the economic crisis, according to the Sunday edition of the Daily Mail.
The United Nations Security Council on Sunday called on Israel and the Palestinians to immediately end all violence as Israeli air-strikes in response to rocket attacks by militants in Gaza reportedly killed 270 people and wounded more than 600 in the Strip.