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U.N. Ends Sanctions on Libya Central Bank

The U.N. Security Council on Friday lifted sanctions on Libya's central bank and a key investment bank freeing tens of billions of dollars to ease a post-Gadhafi cash crunch.

The United States immediately announced it would unblock more than $30 billion dollars of assets of the Central Bank of Libya and its subsidiary, the Libyan Foreign Bank (LFB). Britain said it would release more than $10 billion.

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France Giving Britain a 'Good Kicking'

France is giving Britain a "good kicking", deputy premier Nick Clegg said in an interview out Saturday, as the spat over each other's economies rumbled on.

Clegg warned against lurches into xenophobia and chauvinism, the day after telling French Prime Minister Francois Fillon to "calm the rhetoric" as Britain hit back at French criticism of its finances.

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DSK to Speak at Economic Forum in Beijing

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will speak at an economic forum in Beijing Monday, organizers said Saturday, in his first public professional speech since the New York scandal in May.

Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign as IMF chief after he was arrested over accusations of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, but all charges were later dropped.

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Merkel: Respect New Euro Rules, Tend Growth

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe must abide by the new rules it has agreed on to stabilize the euro, and also turn its attention to generating economic growth.

Most European Union leaders agreed a week ago to participate in a new budget-stability treaty — designed to deter runaway deficits and supposed to become law by March.

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WTO Admits Russia as Member after 18 Years of Talks

Russia secured the final approval Friday to join the World Trade Organization after a record 18 years of trying.

The WTO's 153-members gave their second and final approval for Russia's membership bid, ushering in the last major economy outside the trade club.

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Greeks Fear Bankruptcy as Government Support Slips

An overwhelming majority of Greeks say their country is likely to go bankrupt, a poll found Friday, as support for a new coalition government eroded just over a month after it took office.

Over 65 percent of 2,000 people polled nationwide said Greece would ultimately be unable to break free of a national debt crisis despite a tough recovery plan followed under the supervision of the EU and the IMF for nearly two years.

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Fitch Downgrades Six Global Banks

Ratings firm Fitch downgraded six major global banks Thursday, citing increased challenges in their business and the prospect of financial turmoil ahead.

Fitch lowered the long-term ratings on Bank of America and Goldman Sachs in the United States, British bank Barclays, French bank BNP Paribas, German bank Deutsche Bank and Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

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Syria Air to Resume Beirut-Aleppo Flights after a 9-Year Suspension

Syria Air will resume flights between Beirut and Aleppo twice a week starting Dec. 23, nine years after it suspended its operations between the two cities, the company’s representative in Beirut, Rashed al-Attar, said on Friday.

The National News Agency quoted al-Attar as saying that the Beirut-Aleppo line will consolidate economic, trade, tourism and investment ties between Syria and Lebanon.

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European Stocks Open Higher Despite French Recession

Leading European stock markets opened on a firm note on Friday, despite the announcement of a mild recession in France and a warning about banks by ratings agency Fitch.

In London, the FTSE 100 index showed an opening gain of 29.04 points or 0.54 percent to 5,429.89 points, in Frankfurt the DAX index firmed 33.83 points or 0.59 percent to 5,764.45 points, and in Paris the CAC 40 index advanced 11.68 points or 0.39 percent to 3,010.41 points.

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Spain Demands Compensation from EU in Fishing Row

Spain said Thursday it will ask for compensation from the EU after the European Parliament cancelled a deal allowing EU trawlers, mainly from Spain, to fish in Moroccan waters.

"I am going to ask for compensation for the damage to Spain's fishing fleet," said Spain's Farm, Environment and Fisheries Minister Rosa Aguilar, who was in Brussels for talks on fishing.

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