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Air France to Axe Long-Haul Flights Amid Strike

French flag-carrier Air France warned it would cancel up to half of its long-haul flights Tuesday as employees pursued a strike against plans to require them to give 48 hours’ notice of a walk-out.

After causing limited disruption on Monday, the four-day strike by pilots, flight attendants and airport staff picked up steam.

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BP Bounces Back with Annual Net Profit of $23.9 Billion

BP said that net profits hit $23.9 billion in 2011 after a loss the previous year when the British energy giant was ravaged by U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

BP bounced back with adjusted profit after tax equivalent to 18.2 billion euros last year, helped by higher oil prices and divestments.

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Iraq-Turkey Oil Exports Resume after Blast

Iraq has resumed oil exports via an undamaged pipeline to Turkey after they were cut by an explosion in the country's northern neighbor, officials said on Monday.

About a quarter of Iraqi oil exports are routed by pipeline to Turkey.

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Saudi Snow: New Mall Plans Indoor Winter 'Village'

Dubai's famed indoor ski slope is about to get some Gulf competition. Saudi developers say they plan a "snow village" inside a new mall in Riyadh.

A statement on company websites Monday says the latest snow-in-the-desert attraction will be part of an entertainment area in the mall, which is scheduled to be opened later this year in the Saudi capital.

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Kuwait Official Says Oil May Hit $160 Amid Tension

Oil prices could soar to as high as $160 a barrel if tension over an Iranian oil embargo persists or in the event of conflict, a top Kuwaiti oil executive said in remarks published on Monday.

"If the embargo on Iranian oil persists, or in case of a military move over the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, oil prices are expected to soar to around $150 to $160," Kuwait Petroleum Corporation board member Ali al-Hajeri told Al-Seyassah daily.

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World Stocks Mixed Amid Greek Debt Fears

World stock markets were mixed Monday as fears of a Greek debt default dampened the euphoria from a stronger-than-expected increase in U.S. jobs.

Benchmark oil fell to near $97 per barrel while the dollar rose against the euro and the yen.

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Egypt's EFG Says Chairman Banned from Travel

Egypt-based investment bank EFG Hermes says that the prosecutor general has banned its chairman from travel.

EFG, the Arab world's largest publicly traded investment bank, said Monday in a statement on the Egyptian Exchange's website that it learned of the decision affecting Yasser el-Mallawany on Sunday evening. The step often accompanies a possible criminal investigation.

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EU Debt Crisis at Center of Saudi-IMF Talks

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde met Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf on Saturday to discuss efforts to resolve Europe's debt crisis, the state news agency SPA reported.

The talks in Riyadh also covered regional and global economic conditions, it said on its website.

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Report: Monti Says Italy a "Safe Place"

Italy is now a "safe place" amid market turbulence; Premier Mario Monti said in an interview published Saturday, pressing for Europe to turn its political energy to generating growth rather than further plans to strengthen budget discipline.

Monti's comments in an interview with the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung came ahead of a planned appearance at the Munich Security Conference.

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Russia Admits Brief Cut of Gas Supplies to Europe

Russia's state-controlled Gazprom natural gas giant acknowledged for the first time Saturday that it had briefly reduced gas supplies to Europe amid a spell of extreme cold.

Gazprom deputy chief Andrey Kruglov reported to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that the cuts lasted for several days and reached up to 10 percent, but supplies are currently back to normal. Officials in Austria and France, however, have reported cuts of as much as 30 percent, and Italy said supplies were down by 24 percent Thursday.

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