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Saudi, S. Korea Ink Nuclear Cooperation Deal

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement with South Korea on developing nuclear power generation to help meet the kingdom's rising demand, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The announcement came amid mounting concern in the Sunni-ruled kingdom about the nuclear program of its Shiite rival across the Gulf, Iran, which Riyadh, in common with Western governments, fears may conceal a drive for a nuclear weapons capability.

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Euro Health-Check Rings 'Alarm Bells' for AAA France

The authors of a new Eurozone health-check warned Tuesday that France needs wholesale reform even before next year's presidential vote if it is to keep its prized Triple-A credit rating.

"Alarm bells should be ringing for France," says Holger Schmieding, chief economist of Berenberg Bank, Germany's oldest private lender and the principal author of the annual study in partnership with liberal Brussels think tank the Lisbon Council.

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World Stocks Up as Europe Stabilizes, Japan Grows

World stocks rose Monday after Japan's economy grew for the first time in four quarters and Europe moved closer to resolving a debt crisis that threatens to hurl the region into recession.

Benchmark oil hovered near $99 per barrel while the dollar gained against the euro but fell against the yen.

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Libyan Oil Output Rises to 600,000 BPD

Libya has boosted its oil crude production to 600,000 barrels per day and is expected to add another 200,000 bpd before the end of the year, National Oil Corporation Chief Nuri Berouin said on Sunday.

"Our production has reached 600,000 bpd of which 140,000 bpd go to (local) refineries," said Berouin, adding that the remaining 460,000 bpd are exported.

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Cash-Strapped French Wine Town Forced to Sell off Monuments

Residents of Saint Emilion, a hugely popular UNESCO World Heritage site in southwest France, were shocked when their mayor sold a medieval monument to pay off debts.

And while the council has defended the controversial sale as a means of raising much-needed cash for the upkeep of historic sites, it has undertaken to rethink the strategy and find alternative means of funding in future.

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Stalled Spanish Economy Veers Towards Recession

Record unemployment, stalled growth and debt-struck households and businesses: Spain has a long road to travel before it can put the 2008 property bubble collapse behind it.

For years, that bubble drove Spain's rapid economic growth: 3.3 percent in 2004, the year that Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came to power.

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Emirates Airline Plans to Add 50 Boeing 777s

Dubai's fast-growing airline Emirates is kicking off the Mideast city's airshow with an order for 50 Boeing 777s.

The list price for the deal is $18 billion, but airlines typically negotiate discounts for large orders.

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Boeing Sees Growth Potential in Mideast

Boeing's top Middle East executives said Saturday their latest 787 Dreamliner and increased demand for defense capabilities would help the aerospace company's increase its market share in the region.

"From a global perspective our products and services are performing very well," Boeing's Middle East president Jeffrey Johnson told reporters ahead of the 12th Dubai Airshow which opens Sunday.

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Belgium's Cigarette Sales Soar as Cheap Fags Lure Foreigners

Belgium tobacco sales have soared to record heights this year as cheap cigarettes and tobacco lure discount-seeking smokers from Britain and France, the daily Le Soir said Saturday.

As health experts complained that Belgium's cheap tobacco goods fanned cancer, Le Soir, citing exclusive data from the country's finance ministry, said cigarette sales leapt 19 percent in the first nine months of the year though the national tobacco federation said domestic sales were sliding.

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IMF Chief: Japan Not Immune to Eurozone Crisis

The chief of the International Monetary Fund said Saturday that Italy's financial reform is key to reducing the impact of the eurozone crisis, and that no country is immune to the consequences if the efforts fall short.

After meeting in Tokyo with top Japanese financial officials, including Finance Minister Jun Azumi, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Italy must restore political stability and implement financial reforms to provide "clarity and credibility" and restore confidence.

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