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Toyota Utilizing Hybrids to Help with Power Crunch

Toyota's electric-gasoline hybrid car technology will be utilized to help ease power shortages in Japan's disaster-struck northeast, part of a set of measures the automaker hopes will underline its commitment to the region.

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will donate emergency power supply systems linked to its Prius hybrid cars to prefectures (states) in the Tohoku region ravaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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Cisco to Lay Off Thousands of Employees

Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of computer-networking gear, is reducing its work force by about 9 percent to reduce costs and raise profits as the company tries to become more competitive.

Monday's announcement to cut 6,500 of its roughly 73,000 worldwide employees follows up on a plan disclosed in May to eliminate thousands of jobs. Two-thirds will come through layoffs, and the rest through an early-retirement plan. The company said 15 percent of employees at or above the level of vice president are being eliminated.

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Spain's Richest Man Runs World's Biggest Fashion Retailer

From his workship in the rugged northwestern region of Galicia, Amancio Ortega has conquered the world.

But he is something of an enigma.

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World Bank Chief Slams U.S. Leadership on Doha Round

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has criticized the United States for its lack of leadership in pushing for a new global trade agreement.

Zoellick says U.S. administration complaints that the so-called Doha round of trade talks are structurally flawed are an excuse for failed leadership.

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Gold Soars Above $1,600 Per Ounce for First Time in History

The price of gold surged on Monday above $1,600 per ounce for the first time in history, as investors bought the safe-haven metal amid deepening debt worries in the eurozone and the United States.

Gold jumped as high as $1,600.10 an ounce in early morning trading on the London Bullion Market, as the precious metal extended its recent record-breaking surge which began on Friday.

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WTO: Aid for Trade Funding Holds Steady in 2010

Donor aid to fund trade appeared to hold up in 2010 despite weak global economic growth and increasing concerns over state debt, the World Trade Organization said on Monday.

But with pressure expected to grow in coming months over the high debt of major donor countries such as the United States, emerging economies may have to take a bigger role in financing aid for trade, the WTO said.

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Iran and China Ink Agreements Totalling $4 Billion

Iran and China on Saturday signed a series of agreements worth $4 billion (2.8 billion euros) for infrastructure projects as part of a broader bid to boost trade volume between the two nations, Iranian state media reported.

As part of a $500 million (354 million euros) deal, China agreed to provide Iran with 60 energy recovery incinerators, which are to be installed within a year in major cities and in Iran's northern tourism hub along the Caspian sea.

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Greece in The Spotlight After Evoking Selective Default

Greece heads to another EU summit next week on fresh aid for its debt-wracked economy after evoking -- before pulling back -- the thorny notion of a selective default that could unleash a Eurozone storm.

The term is understood to mean a pick-and-choose approach to a country's maturing debt, with a government arranging to delay repayment on certain obligations while continuing to fully honor others.

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Iraq Key Oil Player in Next 20 Years

Iraq will be the key player in international oil politics over the next two decades, the country's top government official for the energy sector said on Saturday.

"If we continue along the path we are on, Iraq will over the next two decades be the country that sets oil policy in the world in terms of price, supply and demand," Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said at a conference of Iraqi diplomats in Baghdad.

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EU Bank Stress Tests Spotlight Eurozone Debt Crisis

The European Union publishes on Friday the results of major stress tests on Europe's troubled banking sector, facing pressures from the Eurozone debt crisis now affecting Italy and Spain.

The European Banking Authority, the EU's London-based regulator for the financial sector, has carried out assessments on 91 banks representing 65 percent of the sector and will publish its findings at 1600 GMT.

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