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Iraq Begins Pumping Through Al-Ahdab Oil Pipeline

Iraq began pumping crude Saturday through a pipeline connecting the central Al-Ahdab oil field to export terminals in the south, Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said, adding that exports would begin August 1.

"The actual pumping into the pipeline began today with 40,000 barrels per day from the Al-Ahdab oil field," Shahristani told Agence France Presse, adding that within days the volume would increase to 60,000 bpd.

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Suzuki Frustrated with VW, Mulls Turning to Fiat

Japanese automaker Suzuki is getting increasingly frustrated with its larger partner Volkswagen and is eying deeper ties with Italian giant Fiat, German media said Saturday.

"The cooperation with Fiat has been going well in a climate of mutual trust for years," a senior Suzuki executive told the Automobilwoche weekly.

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'Very Real' Risk of U.S. Rating Drop

The United States runs a "very real" risk of losing its top triple-A rating if nothing is done to reduce the ballooning deficit, an official said Friday after debt talks collapsed.

Republicans in the House of Representatives abruptly closed the door on acrimonious negotiations with President Barack Obama on raising the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling.

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More IMF Aid for Greece... or Not?

Europeans are convinced that the International Monetary Fund is going to lend more money to Greece. The banks that hold Greek debt say it must.

But the global crisis lender, already heavily committed to Athens, is biding its time.

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Oracle to Question Larry Page in Google Patent Lawsuit

Oracle will get to question Google co-founder Larry Page under terms set by a U.S. judge presiding over a patent suit pitting the business software titan against the Internet giant.

Oracle can depose Page "for a maximum of two hours, excluding breaks" regarding the value of Android and whether Google intentionally infringed on patents at issue, Judge Donna Ryu said in a written decision on Thursday.

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South Sudan Rebel Leader Gatluak Gai Shot Dead

South Sudan rebel leader Gatluak Gai was shot dead in Unity state on Saturday, the army and a rebel source said, just a week after agreeing to a ceasefire and as the newly independent country renewed its amnesty offer.

It was unclear how Gai was killed, with the SPLA, the army of the south, insisting he was shot by his own men after reneging on the agreement, and a rebel source saying he was "murdered" by the SPLA.

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Schwarzenegger's Son Injured in Surfing Accident

Arnold Schwarzenegger's 13-year-old son with estranged wife Maria Shriver is recovering after being seriously injured in a surfing accident, the couple said Friday, describing it as "scary."

Christopher Schwarzenegger has been in intensive care since suffering broken bones and a collapsed lung in the boogie-boarding accident in Malibu last weekend, according to People magazine and the TMZ celebrity news website.

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Egypt Army Accuses Activists of Sowing Strife After Friday March

Egypt's military rulers on Saturday accused the April 6 pro-democracy group, which helped launch the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, of sowing strife after hundreds tried to march to the defense ministry.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces -- which took power when former president Mubarak was toppled in February -- accused April 6 of "driving a wedge between the people and the army."

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On First Day of NY Gay Marriage, Record Number Set to Marry

Hundreds of couples who registered for the New York City marriage lottery will be able to tie the knot Sunday, the first day the state will allow gay marriage, the city announced.

Overwhelmed by marriage requests since July 5 -- 1,728 of the 2,661 couples who registered are gay -- the city had originally decided to randomly award 764 couples marriage spots and hold a lottery to fill them.

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NASA Says Mars Mountain Will Read Like 'a Great Novel'

The U.S. space agency's unmanned Curiosity rover will explore a mountain on Mars that should read like "a great novel," revealing if signs of life ever existed on the red planet, NASA said Friday.

The landing site for the 2.5 billion dollar Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) was unveiled the day after the 30-year shuttle era ended with the return to Earth of Atlantis after its final mission to the International Space Station.

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