China, Australia and possibly Thailand are planning to increase, replace or incorporate modern submarines to their fleets according to reports from Asia-Pacific countries. In the case of China they are expected to be nuclear-powered attack subs armed with ballistic missiles and should be operational by 2020.
Spain tried to persuade US politicians to drop an initiative calling for the House of Representatives in Washington to formally recognize Gibraltar’s right to self-determination. The plea was contained in a letter from Spain’s ambassador to Washington, Ramon Gil-Casares, to Republican Congressman George Holding, who sponsored the bi-partisan resolution.
Cuba has freed some of 53 people the United States regards as political prisoners as agreed under last month's US-Cuban rapprochement and Washington wants to see the rest released soon, the US State Department said on Tuesday.
Brazil registered its first annual trade deficit since 2000, according to official data released on Monday. Latin America's largest economy slowed down in 2014 and prices fell for iron ore, soybeans and other key commodities exports.
The US oil price fell below the symbolic threshold of $50 a barrel for the first time since April 2009, before finishing the day at $50.05. The price of Brent crude also fell on Monday, dipping 6% to $53 a barrel.
Brazil must focus on making difficult fiscal adjustments in order to get economic growth and investment back in gear, the country's new Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said on Monday. At his swearing-in ceremony in Brasilia, Levy said the process will require the participation of society as a whole and will involve changes to taxes and spending, without resorting to accounting shortcuts.
Germany has said it will not be “blackmailed” into renegotiating Greece’s rescue program should a new hard left government take office after elections later this month. The Euro dropped to a nine-year low after a report in Der Spiegel magazine on Monday that Berlin was no longer opposed to Athens leaving the currency bloc.
The British company Rockhopper Exploration, with interests in the Falkland Islands, has been awarded a licence to explore, together with Italy's Eni, a field for possible oil and gas exploitation in the central part of the Croatian Adriatic.
Argentine farmers exported more than 300 million dollars worth of grains and oilseeds in the last two days of 2014 to help bring in much needed cash for the nation’s central bank. The situation was boosted by an agreement reached between farmers and the Argentine government regarding foreign currency payment for the grains and oilseed.
Latin America and the Caribbean's economic growth might recover modestly to 2.2% in 2015, up from 1.3% in 2014, its lowest rate since last decade's global financial crisis. Despite the slowdown, the region has managed to maintain its gains against poverty, said Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno.