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Analysts Say KSA Unlikely to Lift Oil Output Quickly

Saudi Arabia is unlikely to boost oil production quickly to ease the rise of crude prices, because it needs high prices for its own increased spending, analysts at an international banking think tank said Tuesday.

After producing 8.6 million barrels a day in 2010, the world's leading oil supplier will only kick up production to about 8.9 million barrels this year, said analysts at the Washington-based Institute of International Finance.

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Puig Takes Over Jean Paul Gaultier Fashion House

Spanish firm Puig, owner of couture labels Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne, said Tuesday it had taken a majority stake in French fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier, whose namesake creator retains artistic control.

Puig paid 16 million euros ($24 million) for Hermes' 45 percent stake while the flamboyant 59-year-old couturier, who owned 55 percent stake in his own brand, also sold an unspecified stake.

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Bing to Be Default Search Engine on BlackBerry

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer announced Tuesday that the U.S. software giant's Bing search engine and maps would be the default service on BlackBerry devices.

Ballmer made the announcement during a surprise appearance at the three-day BlackBerry World developers conference being held by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) in Orlando, Florida.

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Apple Adds Latest Intel Chips to iMac Computers

Apple on Tuesday announced that it beefed up its iMac all-in-one desktop computers with powerful new-generation Intel chips and high definition cameras.

The latest iMac computers were touted as 70 percent faster than their predecessors with a threefold improvement in graphics.

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France Fears Reprisals for bin Laden Killing

France fears it will be the target of reprisals for the killing by U.S. forces of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said on Wednesday.

"Threats are everywhere and we can indeed fear that France will, like the United States and other friendly countries, be the target of reprisals and desire for vengeance," Gueant said on RTL radio.

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Hamas Executes 'Israel Collaborator' in Gaza

A Palestinian man convicted of collaboration with Israel was executed in Gaza on Wednesday on the orders of the interior ministry, the Hamas-affiliated Shahab news agency said.

The name of the Palestinian and the specific accusations against him were not detailed.

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White House: Bin Laden Unarmed when Killed

Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead by U.S. special forces, but he tried to resist and there was a "volatile firefight," the White House said Tuesday.

The revelation, likely to stoke anger in parts of the Muslim world, came from President Barack Obama's spokesman Jay Carney as he provided the most detailed account yet of the Sunday night raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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CIA: U.S. Feared Pakistan Might Alert Bin Laden about Raid

CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview Tuesday that officials ruled out informing Islamabad about a planned raid against Osama bin Laden's compound as they feared their Pakistani counterparts might alert the al-Qaida chief.

Panetta told Time magazine that "it was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission: They might alert the targets."

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Yemeni Tribesmen Free Abducted Saudi Diplomat

Yemeni tribesmen released Tuesday a Saudi diplomat kidnapped last month in the capital Sanaa over a trade dispute involving a Saudi businessman, one of the mediators for his release told Agence France Presse.

"Saeed al-Maliki was released by his abductor," Abd Rabbuh Naser Ahmed al-Salimi, a member of Beni Dhabian tribe, said Mohammed Naser al-Melqati.

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Barak Says Assad 'Brutality' Will Lead to His Downfall

The "brutality" of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's response to anti-government protesters will lead to the downfall of his regime, according to Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

"I think that Assad is approaching the point where he will lose his internal legitimacy," Barak told Israel's Channel 10 television on Monday night.

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