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World Shares Down as Japan Crisis Defies Control

World markets were lower Tuesday, following a late-day slide on Wall Street and more bad news from Japan as it raced to stop a radiation leak from a nuclear power plant damaged in an earthquake nearly three weeks ago.

Oil prices extended losses below $104 a barrel amid territorial gains by Libyan rebels seeking to topple Moammar Gadhafi and restart crude exports from the OPEC nation. The dollar was lower against the euro and little changed versus the yen.

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World's Highest Hotel Opens in Hong Kong

The world's highest hotel opened its doors in Hong Kong on Tuesday, housed in the city's tallest skyscraper and offering unrivaled panoramic views of the world famous Victoria Harbor.

Towering some 490 meters (1,600 feet) above the bustling, chaotic streets of the Southern Chinese city, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel is making a grand comeback after temporarily closing in 2008.

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India to Pay Iran for Oil Using Germany

India is set to pay Iran for billions of dollars worth of oil imports by channeling funds to Tehran via the German central bank, a German newspaper report said Monday.

Under pressure from the United States to break direct commercial links with the Islamic republic, India intends to place money for its Iranian oil imports in an account with the Bundesbank, the Handelsblatt business daily reported.

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Oil Below $106 Amid Unrest, Strong Demand

Oil prices hovered below $106 a barrel Friday in Asia as political upheaval in the Middle East and signs of strong global demand keep crude near two-year highs.

Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 10 cents to $105.70 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 15 cents to settle at $105.60 on Thursday.

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Connelly Meets Lebanon Bankers, Says LCB Action Not Targeted Against Lebanese Banking Sector

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly on Wednesday held talks with the board of directors of the Association of Bankers in Lebanon (ABL).

Connelly reiterated to the ABL members that “the recent action taken by the U.S. Treasury to designate the Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the Patriot Act came as a result of a long-term criminal investigation,” the U.S. Embassy said.

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Zara Owner Eyes Asia Expansion After Profit Jump

Spain's Inditex, the world's largest fashion retailer and owner of the Zara brand, announced Wednesday bumper 2010 profits and revealed plans to broaden its rapid Asian expansion across China and India.

Asia was the fastest growing revenue source in the year ending January 31, 2011, a period in which overall net profit leapt 33 percent to 1.73 billion euros ($2.46 billion), Inditex said in a statement.

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Oil Hovers Above $102 as Traders Eye Libya Strife

Oil prices hovered above $102 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as traders mulled how long Libyan oil exports will remain shut down amid a third night of allied attacks on forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was down 14 cents to $102.19 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract, which expires Tuesday, rose $1.26 to settle at $102.33 on Monday.

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AT&T to Buy T-Mobile USA for $39 Billion

AT&T Inc. said Sunday it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion that would make it the largest cellphone company in the U.S.

The deal would reduce the number of wireless carriers with national coverage from four to three, and is sure to face close regulatory scrutiny. It also removes a potential partner for Sprint Nextel Corp., the struggling No. 3 carrier, which had been in talks to combine with T-Mobile USA, according to Wall Street Journal reports.

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Hyundai Recalls 190,000 Cars in US

South Korea's largest automaker, Hyundai Motor Co., has recalled 190,000 cars with faulty airbags in the United States, a news agency report said Saturday.

Hyundai recalled 190,000 Elantra passenger cars sold between 2006 and 2008 in the U.S. as they have defective airbag sensors, Yonhap news agency said.

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Nissan to Monitor Vehicles for Radioactivity

Nissan Motor said Friday it would monitor all its vehicles made in Japan for radioactivity, amid international concern over efforts to avert a nuclear catastrophe at a stricken atomic plant.

"We will continue to implement all appropriate measures to reassure the public that all products from our company remain within globally accepted safety standards," the company said in a statement.

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