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Japan to Unveil Yen-Mitigation Package

The Japanese government is to unveil a series of measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the persistently high yen on the domestic economy, according to a report.

The package is likely to include subsidies for companies to establish facilities in Japan and help for Japanese corporations wishing to take stakes in foreign energy projects, Kyodo news said, citing unnamed officials.

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Gadhafi in New Message Says Events in Libya a 'Charade'

Fugitive strongman Moammar Gadhafi denounced Libya's new leadership as a "charade" backed by NATO air strikes which will not last forever, in an audio message aired on television Tuesday.

The remarks came ahead of the first talks between US President Barack Obama and Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the National Transitional Council (NTC) -- now recognized as Libya's legitimate leaders.

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Australian Mega-Brothel Scotched

Sydney's city council has voted down plans for a mega-brothel featuring rooms with multiple beds and pool tables, likening the development to a super-sized shopping mall that would threaten competition.

The proposed Aus$12 million (US$12.2 million) extension to the "Stiletto" premises in Sydney's Camperdown, doubling its working rooms to 40 and creating a wing for group bookings, would have made it Australia's biggest brothel.

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Study Shows Whooping Cough Vaccine Fades After 3 Years

The vaccine for whooping cough commonly administered to young children loses its effectiveness after three years, according to the preliminary results of a new U.S. study.

The results released on Monday come from a survey of 15,000 children in Marin County, California, where an outbreak of the bacterial disease killed 11 infants and infected more than 8,000 people in 2010.

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Absent Judge Keeps U.S. Hikers in Iran Jail

Two U.S. hikers convicted of spying in Iran are still in a prison in Tehran as a judge who is to authorize their release has yet to return from leave, their lawyer said on Tuesday.

"I went to the court today and they told me that the... judge is not here. I waited a while and after some time I left. They told me that they will call me" when the judge returns, the lawyer, Masoud Shafii, told Agence France Presse.

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Eurozone Hit by Stalled Greece Rescue and Italy Downgrade

Greece was locked down in tough EU-IMF talks on rescue funds, and Italy was hit by a credit downgrade, dragging the eurozone ever closer towards danger on Tuesday.

The talks on rescue funds needed to avert bankruptcy for Greece and chaos in the eurozone next month dragged unexpectedly into a second day, just as Greek authorities prepared to auction more debt.

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Syrian Forces Kill Two in Raid on Homs

Two civilians were killed on Tuesday when Syrian security forces opened fire during a raid targeting anti-regime protesters in the central flashpoint city of Homs, rights activists said.

"Two civilians were killed in the Baba Amr neighborhood. Other residents were seriously hurt in Homs, where gunfire was heard from Monday night in many neighborhoods," the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving further details.

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China to Launch Space Station's First Module

China said Tuesday it will launch its Tiangong-1 space module later this month, marking its first step towards building a Chinese space station.

The Asian giant sees its space program as a symbol of its global stature, growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the formerly poverty-stricken nation.

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Media Says Djokovic Could Miss China Tournaments

Serbia's Novak Djokovic, the world tennis number one seed, has a back injury and hinted to a Serbian paper Tuesday that he might miss the China Open and the Shanghai ATP masters 1000 in October.

"I have a partial tear of a (back) muscle which needs rest (...) it is hard to say how much time off I need after only one exam, we will determine that in the days to come," Djokovic told the sports daily Sportske Novosti.

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Google Under Scrutiny Over Search Dominance

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt will take center stage at a Senate hearing Wednesday into whether the Internet giant is abusing its dominant position in online search.

The Mountain View, California-based Google has drawn increasing scrutiny from U.S. and European regulators as it has grown over the years from a scrappy Silicon Valley startup into an Internet powerhouse.

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