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Markets Hungry for News on More ECB Stimulus

Financial markets are eagerly awaiting more word Thursday from the European Central Bank about possible stimulus measures to save the economic recovery.

Expectations for action have grown since ECB President Mario Draghi warned last month that the economy was at risk and said the bank was open to new, extraordinary measures such as large-scale bond purchases.

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Massive Blackout Hits Cairo Rush Hour

A huge power outage blacked out most of Cairo on Thursday causing major disruption across the city of some 20 million people at the height of the morning rush hour.

Services were completely suspended on one of the city's three metro lines and heavily disrupted on a second, the state MENA news agency reported.

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Argentine Lawmakers OK Debt Payment Alternatives

Argentina's lawmakers approved a measure early Thursday that would transfer the payment site for the country's restructured debt obligations from New York to Buenos Aires, as the country grapples with fallout from its 2001 default.

France was also added as an alternative payment source in the vote after a marathon session that began Wednesday. The measure was passed by the Senate passed by a vote of 39 to 27 with two abstentions, and now goes to the Chamber of Deputies.

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Paris Suspends Delivery of Warship to Russia over Ukraine

France said Wednesday "conditions" were not in place to deliver the first of two Mistral-class warships to Russia, a move planned later this year that has sparked controversy given the crisis in Ukraine.

"The President of the Republic declared that, despite the prospect of a ceasefire which still remains to be confirmed and implemented, the conditions for France to deliver the first warship are not to date in place," Francois Hollande's office said in a statement, on the eve of a major NATO summit.

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Israel to Supply Offshore Gas to Jordan in New Deal

Israel is to supply Jordan with natural gas from its vast Leviathan offshore gas field over a period of 15 years, U.S. giant Noble Energy announced Wednesday.

A source close to the deal said it was worth $15 billion (11.4 billion euros) -- a significant chunk of some $60 billion which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said will come from Israel's offshore gas exports.

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Ukraine Crisis Dents European Business Activity

On the day that the outlook for the European economy may have just become a little bit brighter following a cease-fire agreement in eastern Ukraine, a closely watched survey shows the extent to which the crisis in the country has weighed on business confidence across the continent.

Financial information company Markit highlighted tensions in Ukraine for a sharp fall in its monthly gauge of business activity for the 18-country eurozone.

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Long-Term Jobless Risks Becoming Entrenched, Warns OECD

Long-term unemployment is becoming entrenched in many countries hit hard by the economic crisis and it will be harder to get these people back to work when recovery takes hold, the OECD warned Wednesday.

"Long-term unemployment has probably peaked in most countries, but it remains a major source of concern," the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its annual report on employment trends.

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Fall in Exports Slows Australian Growth

Australia's economy lost pace in the second quarter of 2014 after a sharp fall in exports saw growth expand by just 0.5 percent following a strong start to the year, data showed Wednesday.

Annual growth was 3.1 percent, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics said, compared with a year-on-year expansion of 3.5 percent in the first-quarter. Growth came in at to 1.1 percent in the three months to March.

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ANA, Lufthansa Announce Cargo Business Tie-Up

Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Lufthansa of Germany on Wednesday announced an air cargo tie up as they look to fight off intense competition from budget airlines on passenger routes.

The airlines said they had won regulatory approval for the agreement, which will see them integrate network planning, pricing, sales and handling on all routes between Japan and Europe.

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Spain Jobless Rate Creeps Back after Summer Boost

Spain's jobless queue lengthened slightly in August as the summer hiring boom tailed off but the indicator was stronger than a year ago, government figures showed Tuesday.

The number of people in Spain registered as unemployed crept up by some 8,000 to 4.43 million in August compared to 4.42 in July, the figures from the employment ministry showed.

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