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Yields rise at Egyptian 182-day T-bill auction

By Mohamed Samir/Reuters CAIRO: The average yield on 182-day Egyptian treasury bills inched up at an auction on Thursday and the central bank sold less bills than it was offering, the Ministry of Finance said The average yield was 14.824 percent, up from 14.791 percent at an auction last week. The central bank sold bills …

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Egypt’s bourse suspends trading in Mobinil and OTMT

By Reuters CAIRO: Egypt’s stock exchange has suspended trading in mobile operator Mobinil and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) on the request of the country’s regulator, the exchange said on Thursday without providing further details. The regulator is weighing up whether to approve France Telecom’s plan to purchase most of OTMT’s stake in Mobinil …

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EGPC delays naphtha shipments after fire at refinery

By Reuters SINGAPORE/CAIRO: Egypt’s Nasr Petroleum Company is in the midst of restarting its 146,300 barrels-per-day refinery in Suez after a fire last Saturday, an official source from the company said on Thursday. “The refinery remains shut. We are in the process of preparing to restart it,” he said but declined to be named. “We …

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At least 36 killed in wave of Iraq blasts

By Kareem Raheem / Reuters BAGHDAD: More than 20 bombs hit cities and towns across Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 36 and wounding more than 100, police and hospital sources said, raising fears of sectarian strife in a country keen to show it can now maintain security. In Baghdad, three car bombs, two roadside …

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US corpse abuse pictures fuel anger, NATO exit

By Lawrence Bartlett / AFP KABUL: Photographs of US troops abusing corpses, coming on top of a series of outrages this year, are likely to fuel anti-US anger in Afghanistan — and a desire in NATO countries to get out of an unpopular war. Taliban insurgents, as always, seized on the latest scandal — exposed …

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Game of brinkmanship in Bahrain over hunger strike

By Andrew Hammond and Warda Al-Jawahiry / Reuters MANAMA/DUBAI: Bahrain’s government and a jailed Shia rights activist who is on hunger strike are playing a game of brinkmanship as his health deteriorates days before the Formula One Grand Prix, a showcase event for the Gulf state as its grapples with political unrest. To release Abdulhadi …

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Dealer admits smuggling Egyptian treasures to US

By AFP NEW YORK: An antiques dealer pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling ancient Egyptian treasures, including a coffin, to the United States. Mousa Khouli, also known as Morris Khouli, aged 38, faces up to 20 years of prison for “smuggling Egyptian cultural property into the United States and making a false statement to law enforcement …

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Syrian troops clash with rebels in eastern city

By Bassem Mroue / AP BEIRUT: Syrian troops clashed with army defectors in an eastern city Thursday, leaving at least one person dead, while government forces bombarded rebel-held neighborhoods of the central city of Homs, activists said. The renewed violence comes as the international community struggles to salvage a week-old cease-fire that is seen as …

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Sudan’s Bashir vows to punish South

By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali / AFP KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir voiced doubt on Thursday over UN talk of sanctions against South Sudan, but said his country will impose a punishment of its own for deadly clashes along the border. Keeping up war rhetoric which has drawn expressions of concern from the United States, …

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To normalize or not to normalize with Israelis?

By Tahseen Yaqeen RAMALLAH: Toward the end of January a group of young Palestinians held a silent demonstration in front of the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, demanding that their leadership halt the negotiations that were taking place in Amman between the Palestinian Authority’s representative Saeb Erekat and Israeli chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho. This small …

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Down with debt weight

By Robert Skidelsky LONDON: Nearly four years after the start of the global financial crisis, many are wondering why economic recovery is taking so long. Indeed, its sluggishness has confounded even the experts. According to the International Monetary Fund, the world economy should have grown by 4.4 percent in 2011, and should grow by 4.5 …

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How Brazil broke loose

By Mark J. Roe and João Paulo Vasconcellos CAMBRIDGE: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s visit last week to Washington, DC, offers an occasion to consider how some once-poor countries have broken out of poverty, as Brazil has. Development institutions like the World Bank have advocated improving business law as an important way to do so. Are they …

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Is North Korea losing China?

By Christopher R. Hill DENVER: For most countries, the spectacular failure of a rocket launch would mean a return to the drawing board, or at least some introspection aimed at figuring out what went wrong. But that does not appear to be the case in North Korea, where the flubbed launch of its long-range Unha-3 …

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Amr Moussa promises to rebuild Egypt in one presidential term

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Presidential candidate Amr Moussa promised Wednesday to rebuild the country in one presidential term, saying he won’t seek a second. The candidate presented his electoral program, which he says focuses on the poor and the marginalized, at the shantytown of Ezbet El-Hagana in east Cairo. Egypt’s former foreign minister said he …

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Abu Ismail supporters continue sit-in, await his ‘signal’

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Supporters of Hazem Salah Abu Ismail vowed Wednesday to continue their open-ended sit-in at his behest, after the Presidential Election Committee’s excluded him from the race a day earlier. Abu Ismail announced Tuesday night that he would start a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the PEC after he and …

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SCAF won’t cede power; Mubarak’s regime still in place, says Al-Shater

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood leading figure Khairat Al-Shater slammed Wednesday the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), saying it won’t cede power and that Mubarak’s regime is still in place. Al-Shater, the MB’s primary presidential candidate, was disqualified from the race because of a past criminal conviction. Like many other Brotherhood leaders, …

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Amazon, Apple, Twitter score low on clean energy: study

By Glenn Chapman / AFP SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon, Apple and Twitter were graded poorly Tuesday in a Greenpeace study of technology titans’ use of clean energy to power the mushrooming Internet cloud, but Facebook, Google and Yahoo! won praise. The environmental charity’s “How Clean is your Cloud?” report, billed as a rallying cry instead of …

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AFP, Huffington Post, Politico win Pulitzers

By Brigitte Dusseau / AFP NEW YORK: Agence France-Presse and the news websites Huffington Post and Politico each won their first Pulitzer Prizes Monday as the prestigious journalism awards highlighted global issues and online reporting. The New York Times won two Pulitzers, and the committee notably did not make awards for editorial writing or fiction …

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Egypt vote chaos boosts Moussa, Abol Fotoh

By Tom Perry / Reuters CAIRO: The race for the Egyptian presidency has been redefined by the disqualification of Hosni Mubarak’s spy chief and prominent Islamists, including a Muslim Brotherhood candidate and a popular Salafi cleric. The developments add to the turbulence of a transition to democracy that has been punctuated by spasms of violence …

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Iran slams Gulf Arab ‘interference’ over disputed islands

By Marcus George / Reuters DUBAI: Iran accused its Gulf Arab neighbors on Wednesday of interfering in its internal affairs after they described a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a tiny island — claimed by Iran and the United Arab Emirates — as a “provocative act.” After holding an extraordinary meeting to discuss the …

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South Sudan joins IMF, World Bank

By AFP WASHINGTON: South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, joined the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, becoming the sister institutions 188th member. IMF chief Christine Lagarde welcomed South Sudan to the fund, saying “the IMF will do its best to assist the country in setting up the foundations for economic stability …

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Egypt grand mufti visits Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

By Agencies JERUSALEM: Egypt’s grand mufti, Ali Gomaa, visited Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday along with Jordanian Prince Ghazi, a senior Muslim official in the Holy City said. Azzam Al-Khatib said “Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed, the personal representative of His Highness King Abdullah (II of Jordan) on religious matters, and the mufti of Egypt, …

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Syria bids to reassure UN over shaky truce

By AFP DAMASCUS: Syria sought on Wednesday to reassure the United Nations over its willingness to implement a ceasefire despite violence and casualties still reported in various parts of the country. Foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi told AFP a protocol outlining a UN mission to oversee the fragile six-day ceasefire was nearly completed and that …

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ICC envoy visits Libya amid Qaddafi son trial debate

By AFP TRIPOLI: International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday in a surprise visit, an AFP photographer said. The fate of slain dictator Moammer Qaddafi’s son Seif Al-Islam, who is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity, is expected to top the agenda after Libyan officials repeatedly expressed their desire …

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Egypt stock market likely to drift; Saudi to resume gains

By Nadia Saleem and by Tom Pfeiffer / Reuters DUBAI: Egypt’s stock market is likely to drift in coming days while investors await the outcome of protests planned for Friday against the disqualification of three leading candidates for the presidency. If the protests turn violent that could trigger a sharp drop in the stock market. …

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Futures slip after strong gains, earns eyed

By Chuck Mikolajczak / Reuters NEW YORK: US stock index futures dipped on Wednesday after the S&P 500 tallied its biggest gain in a month and ahead of another round of corporate earnings. The benchmark S&P on Tuesday climbed 1.55 percent, its biggest percentage gain since March 13, after Coca-Cola Co led a round of …

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Analysis: Slower takaful growth prompts strategy rethink

By Bernardo Vizcaino / Reuters DUBAI: Growth of the takaful or Islamic insurance business is slowing, industry statistics show, increasing pressure on the sector to boost efficiency, roll out new products and explore new markets. Takaful, which has its core markets in the Gulf and southeast Asia, is one bellwether of consumer appetite for Islamic …

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IMF inches toward deal on boosting bailout funds

By Lesley Wroughton and Glenn Somerville / Reuters WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund appeared to be inching toward a deal on increasing its financial firepower on Tuesday, with Japan, Sweden and Denmark committing a total of $77 billion to help contain the euro zone’s debt crisis. The pledges were made ahead of meetings of global …

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PE firm Amwal Alkhaleej eyes Saudi exit, targets Egypt

By Dinesh Nair / Reuters DUBAI: Saudi private equity firm Amwal Alkhaleej will exit at least one investment in the kingdom this year through an initial public offering, and is in advanced talks for a minority stake in an Egyptian firm, the firm’s chief executive said on Wednesday. The Riyadh-based firm will offload a portion …

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UK minister sued for sending Libyan back to torture

By Avril Ormsby, Guy Faulconbridge, Limei Hoang and Matt Falloon / Reuters LONDON: A Libyan military commander is suing former British foreign minister Jack Straw for allegedly authorizing his illegal transfer to Libya where he faced years of torture in Muammar Gaddafi’s prisons, a lawyer for the commander said on Wednesday. The action against an …

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