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Spain, Italy Borrowing Costs Fall to Record Lows

Interest on Spanish and Italian debt fell to record low on Monday while Portugal's continued to drop as investor concerns about the eurozone's former laggards eased.

Borrowing costs for southern European countries have fallen since the European Central Bank brought in unprecedented measures in June to help boost weak inflation in the bloc.

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Obama: World Needs 'Prosperous and Self-Reliant Africa'

U.S. President Barack Obama warned Monday that the future stability of the world depends on African nations achieving prosperity and self-reliance, in an address to youth leaders from the continent.

"The security and prosperity and justice that we seek in the world cannot be achieved without a strong and prosperous and self-reliant Africa," he said, kicking off a major African diplomatic push.

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Reports: Russia Could Block EU Fruit Imports, U.S. Chickens

Russia could soon block some fruit imports from the EU and chickens from the United States, reports said Monday, as Brussels considered slapping tighter sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

An adviser to the chief of Russia's food and agricultural inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor said oriental fruit moths had been detected in some European imports.

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South Africa's Metal Workers Call Off Major Strike

South African striking engineering and metals workers have accepted an improved wage offer to end the country's largest-ever labor stoppage, their union said Monday.

Representatives for the roughly 200,000 workers who downed tools on July 1 said the lowest-paid worker will get a 10 percent pay increase each year for the next three years.

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Total Sells S.African Coal Assets to Exxaro for $472mn

French oil giant Total on Monday said it had inked a deal to sell its South African coal assets to mining company Exxaro Resources for $472 million (350 million euros).

Exxaro is South Africa's second-largest coal producer, with seven coal mines that produce about 40 million tonnes annually.

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Russia Ordered to Pay Yukos Shareholders $50 Billion

The arbitration court in The Hague has ordered Russia to pay shareholders of Yukos $50 billion in compensation over its seizure of the one-time oil giant, main shareholder GML Ltd said in London on Monday.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled on July 18 that Russia pay the claimants "in excess of $50 billion" after finding it had forced Yukos into bankruptcy and sold its assets to state-owned businesses for political purposes, the claimant's lawyer Emmanuel Gaillard said.

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Nissan Recalls More than 226,000 Cars over Faulty Airbags

Japanese carmaker Nissan said Saturday it was recalling 226,326 additional vehicles in the United States due to faulty airbags.

The move brings the total number of vehicles recalled for this reason to 664,628, the company said in a statement, adding that the defective airbags were made by Japan's Takata Corp.  

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Analysts: Asset Bubbles Could Deflate Global Recovery

In a world still struggling to shake off the worst financial crisis for a generation, many economists are worrying that new asset bubbles are already threatening to derail the tepid global recovery.

Concern has been rising that investors are paying too much for securities in a search for good returns when interest rates are hovering near record lows, creating the bubble conditions for a new market crash.

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Coal Reserves Offer No Relief for India Fuel Crunch

India sits on one of the world's biggest coal reserves, yet its power stations are starved of the fuel with some idle and others running dangerously low on supplies.

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Holy Month of Ramadan is a Big Boon for Retailers

Glitzy billboards in the Middle East and postage stamps in the U.S. Advertisements for lingerie and sales on modest skirts. Lavish buffets and cellphone apps.

Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, is a boon for retailers in the Middle East, South Asia and beyond. And while some Muslims welcome it as a positive sign, others see it as commercialization of a sacred time of year.

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