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Chateau Lafite Grabs Record Price at Hong Kong Sale

A 300-bottle collection of Chateau Lafite Rothschild has sold for almost $540,000 in Hong Kong, setting a world record price for a single wine lot auctioned this year, organizers said.

The collection spanning 1981 to 2005 was knocked down for HK$4.2 million ($539,250) at Christie's two-day Autumn wine sale, which is expected to rake in over $5 million in sales, the auction giant said late Saturday.

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Trichet Says Italy's Deficit Cuts 'Absolutely Decisive'

European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet told Italy Saturday that meeting its deficit reduction targets was absolutely decisive for the country's credibility.

"It is essential that the target which was announced to diminish the deficit will be fully confirmed and implemented," Trichet said at an economic forum in northern Italy.

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China Seeks Libyan Guarantees on Business Interests

Beijing has asked Libya's new rulers to guarantee Chinese business interests in the north African country, despite not supporting the military action that helped bring them to power.

China is the only permanent member of the U.N. Security Council yet to formally recognize the Transitional National Council and repeatedly opposed NATO's use of force in support of the rebels during recent fighting.

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World Bank Chief Warns of Economic 'Danger Zone'

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick warned Saturday that the global economy was heading into a new "danger zone", as he urged China to speed up structural reforms to help its development.

"The financial crisis in Europe has become a sovereign debt crisis, with serious implications for the monetary union, banks, and competitiveness of some countries," he said at a conference in Beijing on the future of China.

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Ukraine Vows to Break up Russia's Gas Trade Partner

Ukraine said on Friday it will have to negotiate a new gas deal with Russia because of previously-undisclosed plans to break up the republic's existing energy company.

The unexpected announcement came in the heat of the two neighbors' second spat over gas prices in three years and appeared part of a Ukrainian effort to force Russia to ease its negotiating stance over prices.

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Halliburton Hits BP with New Oil-Spill Lawsuit

U.S. oil-services giant Halliburton said Friday that it was filing a defamation lawsuit against BP over the devastating 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Halliburton... filed claims against BP in Texas state court for negligent misrepresentation, business disparagement and defamation related to the April 20, 2010, Macondo incident," the Houston-based company said.

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European Stocks Close Sharply Lower

European stock markets closed sharply lower on Friday, hit by fresh worries over the Eurozone debt crisis and a much weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies lost 2.34 percent to 5,292.03 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 shed 3.59 percent to 3,148.53 points and in Frankfurt the DAX dropped 3.36 percent to 5,538.33 points.

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U.S. Adds Zero Jobs in Rough August

The stuttering U.S. economy added no jobs in August amid recession fears and political turmoil over the government's finances, bleak official data showed Friday.

Employment in the private sector, previously the main engine for job growth as revenue-strapped governments shed workers, "changed little" in most major industries, the Labor Department said.

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British Ambassador Visits Beirut Port

In his first official activity following the presentation of his credentials to President Michel Suleiman, British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher visited Beirut Container Terminal Consortium (BCTC) at Beirut port, accompanied by Head of Trade and Investment Paul Khawaja. Ziad Kanaan, board member and Karen Bellamy, General Manager of BCTC presented an overview of the work that the company has been doing over the past seven years.

Bellamy explained the role of the British company and its administration of the port of Beirut over the past years in which it became one of the top most important 100 ports in the world.

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U.S. Investigating Oracle Over Possible Bribery

U.S. authorities have been investigating Oracle for at least a year to see if the business software titan violated anti-bribery laws in its overseas business, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Citing unnamed sources, the Journal said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Justice Department have been pressing a criminal investigation, as the Securities and Exchange Commission looks into possible civil violations.

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