NEWS FEATURE: G20 takes "bold action" to help poorest nations

US President Barack ObamaLondon  - Efforts to throw the world's poorest nations a li

Argentine president celebrates Latin American wins at G20

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de KirchnerLondon  - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner praised Thursday what she perceived as Latin American successes in the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London.

She highlighted the elimination of a graph from the summit's final document that had favoured the flexibility of labour laws.

In comments to reporters at the end of the summit, Fernandez de Kirchner said she asked that the paragraph be scrapped based on Argentina's "disastrous" experience with such practices.

US Congress takes up 2010 budget, Republicans unveil rival version

US Congress takes up 2010 budgetWashington  - With the House of Representatives preparing to vote Thursday on President Barack Obama's 2010 budget proposal, Republican lawmakers have presented an alternative spending plan that they argued cuts the deficit while still reviving the economy.

The Republican alternative, put forward in the House of Representatives, has little chance of becoming law as Democrats hold a sizeable majority in both chambers of Congress. But the versions offer insights into the parties' sharply differing ideologies and answers to the economic crisis.

Mexico gets IMF nod for 47-billion-dollar credit

Mexico gets IMF nod for 47-billion-dollar credit Washington - Mexico got encouragement Wednesday from the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its application for a 47-billion-dollar credit line to get through the world economic crisis.

In a statement from London, where he is attending the G20 world finance summit in London, IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he would back the application for approval from the IMF board.

ROUNDUP: US consumer confidence up slightly; home prices decline

US consumer confidence up slightly; home prices declineWashington  - US consumer confidence edged up marginally in March after reaching an all-time low the month before, but housing prices continued to plummet, according to two private surveys released Tuesday.

The New York-based Conference Board said its gauge of consumer confidence rose 0.7 points to 26, pulling back from February's level, which was the lowest since records began, amid a deep recession in the United States.

Last month's level was the lowest since the index was created in 1967 and this month's slight increase marked the first rise since November.

Development bank projects lowest growth in Bangladesh in five years

Development bank projects lowest growth in Bangladesh in five yearsDhaka  - Bangladesh's economy is expected to grow at its lowest rate in five years during the current fiscal year, mainly due to the impact of global recession, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) projected Tuesday.

The ADB Outlook 2009, the annual publication of the lending agency, said that the country's GDP growth would fall to 5.6 percent from 6.2 percent in the 2008-09 fiscal year.

It also projects a further decline in growth to 5.2 percent in the 2009-10 fiscal year.