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Merkel Seeks to Calm Market Fears Over Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday sought to ease fears over a possible Greek bankruptcy, saying the 17-country eurozone had to stick together and that an "uncontrolled insolvency" must be avoided.

"The top priority is to avoid an uncontrolled insolvency, because that would not just affect Greece, and the danger that it hits everyone -- or at least several countries -- is very big," Merkel told German radio station RBB.

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Inter-Korean Gas Link May Be Pipe Dream

A multi-billion dollar plan to funnel Russian natural gas to South Korea via its North Korean neighbor may be just a pipe dream despite major potential economic and political benefits, experts say.

The long-discussed project would reduce Seoul's huge gas import bill, bring a transit fee windfall to cash-strapped Pyongyang and rake in tens of billions of dollars for Moscow's state-controlled gas company.

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Bionic Ear Maker Cochlear Recalls Hearing Implants

Bionic ear maker Cochlear has been forced to begin a global recall of the world's thinnest hearing implants after some stopped working.

The Sydney-based company, which dominates the world's bionic ear market, said Monday it was mystified as to why some of its award-winning Nucleus CI500 devices were suddenly shutting down.

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World Stocks, Euro Plunge on Greek Default, Recession Fears

Global stocks plunged and the euro slumped to a 10-year low against the yen on Monday as talk of a possible Greek default compounded worries that the world is set for another recession, analysts said.

European shares tumbled after Tokyo struck its lowest close in 29 months, as the G7 group of rich nations admitted that current economic problems were so complex that a unified response was impossible.

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Swatch Ends Partnership with Tiffany, to Seek Damages

The world's biggest watchmaker Swatch said Monday that it has ended its partnership with Tiffany & Co as it accused the U.S. luxury jeweler of blocking the development of the business.

The group added that it would file for damages against the U.S. firm, "in compensation for the loss of planned long-term future business."

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Suzuki Cuts Ties with Volkswagen

Suzuki Motor Corp. said Monday it will abort its alliance with Volkswagen AG, ending a nearly two-year marriage that never worked and eventually escalated into a public feud.

Suzuki's board of directors decided to dissolve its partnership and cross-shareholding relationship with the German automaker because of concerns that it would lose autonomy, it said in a statement. Volkswagen owns a nearly 20 percent stake in Suzuki, while Suzuki holds about 1.5 percent of Volkswagen.

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Compact Cars in Focus at Frankfurt Auto Show

Germany's highly profitable auto makers are rolling out important new vehicles in the ferociously competitive small car market at this year's Frankfurt auto show.

The Volkswagen Up subcompact, Mercedes-Benz's streamlined B-Class hatchback and BMW's electric-powered i3, aimed at crowded cities with its zero-emission motor and lightweight, carbon-fiber reinforced body, are all major bets on what will appeal to buyers — and help earnings through an uncertain year ahead in which global demand may slow.

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Iran Hit by Massive $2.6 Billion Banking Scam

Several Iranian banks have been targeted in one of the biggest frauds in the Islamic republic's history, losing nearly $2.6 billion in more than two years, media reports said Sunday.

The fraud was reportedly orchestrated by a single man, referred to as "Mr X" in Iranian media, who developed a network and used forged letters of credit to purchase assets, including one of Iran's largest steel production companies, Khuzestan Steel Company.

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G8 Pledges Billions for Arab Spring as IMF Recognizes Libya

Arab states that ousted their dictators got a financial shot in the arm Saturday with promises of tens of billions of dollars to help their rocky transformation into modern democracies.

G8 rich nations and institutions including the World Bank, the IMF, regional banks and the Arab Monetary Fund pledged nearly $80 billion in aid and loans over the next two years, doubling the amount promised earlier this year.

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Iraq Minister Says Kurdistan Region Halts Oil Exports

Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region halted crude exports on Sunday, nearly a week after it rejected a new oil and gas law approved by the central government, Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi said.

"The government of the Kurdistan region today halted oil exports without giving reasons," Luaybi told Agence France Presse on the sidelines of an oil conference in the Jordanian capital.

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