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By Jeremy Laurence and Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) - A $375 million hole in the Afghan budget is threatening public projects and civil servants' salaries, officials say, putting the aid-dependent economy under stress just as Afghanistan awaits a new leader and foreign troops prepare to go home. U.S., U.N. and Afghan finance ministry officials have discussed ways to resolve what they say has become a critical situation for the budget, with civil projects most at risk as international assistance starts to taper off. "If the political situation of the country does not become normal and businesses do not start again soon this problem will become even more worrying," Alhaj Muhammad Aqa, director general of the treasury at the finance ministry, told Reuters on Wednesday. "We will not only face problems in paying salaries of employees but we will have difficulties in other issues too." Funding for security will not be affected, as costs are met by foreign governments which recognize that any chance of stability in Afghanistan rests on quelling the Taliban insurgency.
(Reuters) - Rising jet production helped Boeing Co post a 14 percent rise in adjusted net profit in the first quarter, beating estimates, and the company notched up its full-year forecast. On a non-adjusted basis, however, Boeing's profit slid 13 percent to $965 million, or $1.28 per share, down from $1.11 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year earlier, the company reported on Wednesday. Core earnings, which exclude some pension and other costs, rose to $1.76 per share from $1.73 a year ago. The increase reflects a tax settlement gain to be taken in the second quarter, and Boeing left 2014 forecasts for revenue, operating cash flow and deliveries unchanged.