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Russia Offers Cyprus Better Bailout Conditions

Russia is offering Cyprus more favorable conditions than the EU and IMF as the Mediterranean island seeks aid to shore up its banks, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said Wednesday.

"The conditions offered by Russia are more favorable" because it does not "impose any conditions" and offers "a lower interest rate," Christofias, a communist, told the European Parliament.

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New Greek Government Pins Hopes on Privatizations

Greece's new government formally takes office this week and looks set to push privatization so as to win favor and funds from EU-IMF creditors who are inspecting the country's strained finances.

The solvency of Greece ultimately depends on the team of European Union and International Monetary Fund auditors whose findings will help determine if the second 130-billion-euro rescue of Greece will continue.

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Spain to Probe Former IMF Boss Over Alleged Fraud

A Spanish judge subpoenaed former IMF managing director Rodrigo Rato on Wednesday over his stewardship of a big Spanish bank that has been nationalized and is due to take a multibillion euro (dollar) bailout.

Rato is one of 33 former members of the board of Bankia SA named in a criminal probe that will be undertaken by Judge Fernando Andreu of the National Court. Anti-corruption prosecutors filed a complaint against Rato accusing him and others of falsifying the bank's accounts when it went public a year ago, among other alleged offenses.

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Japan Eyes Clean Energy Revolution after Fukushima

Even as Japan begins cranking up its nuclear reactors again, Tokyo has launched a scheme it hopes will spark a green-energy revolution and put the country at the leading edge of renewables.

New rules oblige utilities to buy all electricity produced from renewable sources, including solar, wind and geothermal power, at above-market rates for the next two decades, in a bid to stoke "green" power investment.

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Italy's Monti Says Eurobonds Must Come with Increased Controls

A pooling of Eurozone countries' debt, in the form of Eurobonds, must be accompanied by increased budget control at a European level, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said in an interview Wednesday.

"We need a partial mutualisation of debt, but also more central control of national budgets," Monti told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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Qatar Plans Harrods Hotels In Malaysia, Paris, London

Gas-rich Qatar's sovereign wealth fund plans to build luxury hotels in Malaysia, Paris, London and China named after Harrods, the world's famous department store, a report said Wednesday.

Under a $636 million plan Qatar Holding will partner a local Malaysian firm Jerantas to construct a hotel in Kuala Lumpur's golden triangle's shopping district of Bukit Bintang.

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Iran Gas Shipments to Turkey Resume after Blast

Iranian shipments of natural gas to Turkey have been resumed after being cut by an explosion targeting a pipeline in eastern Turkey, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Tuesday.

Natural gas flow to Turkey resumed after maintenance on the damaged pipeline, Yildiz told Anatolia news agency.

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UAE Pipeline Bypassing Hormuz to Fully Operate in August

A pipeline the UAE is building to pump oil from east coast terminals and bypass the Iran-threatened Strait of Hormuz will be fully operational in August, an Abu Dhabi oil official said Tuesday.

The Habshan-Fujairah pipeline, which will carry oil from fields in Abu Dhabi on the Gulf to Fujairah on the Gulf of Oman, is "approaching the phase of continuous operation," said Ali Jarwan, CEO of oil and gas producer, Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co ADMA-OPCO.

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Former Malaysian PM Wins Hariri U.N.-Habitat Memorial Award

“Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has been named the recipient of 2012 Rafik Hariri U.N.-Habitat Memorial award, recognizing leadership, statesmanship and good governance, a press release said Tuesday.

The Award’s steering committee announced the winner on Monday in Paris after an international jury selected Mohamad over 13 other nominations from Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, United States, Canada, El Salvador, Nicaragua, India, Bangladesh, UK, Japan and the Philippines.

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Barclays Bank Chief Executive Diamond Resigns

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has resigned with immediate effect over a rate rigging scandal at the British banking giant, the company said in a shock announcement on Tuesday.

Although Diamond had faced growing calls to step down, it was thought that he would ride out the storm due to the resignation of Barclays' chairman Marcus Agius on Monday.

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