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Saudi, Egypt Agree to Build Bridge over Red Sea

Saudi King Salman on Friday announced plans to build a bridge over the Red Sea to Egypt, in a lavish show of support for the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The 80-year-old monarch is on a rare five-day trip to Egypt, a country that Riyadh views as a cornerstone to its ambitions in the changing region.

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France Visitor Numbers up in 2015 despite Attacks

The number of foreign visitors to France grew in 2015 despite jihadist attacks in Paris thanks to a sharp rise in tourists from Asia, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Friday.

France retained its crown as the world's top tourist destination with a total of 84.5 million visitors last year, an increase of 0.9 percent on 2014.

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World Stocks Rise amid Stimulus Speculation

World stock markets mostly rose Friday as oil prices advanced and investors hoped for more financial support for the global economy.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, with Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.8 percent to 6,185.54 and France's CAC 40 rose 1.1 percent to 4,291.27. Germany's DAX added 1.2 percent to 9,641.62. U.S. stocks were poised to open higher, with Dow and S&P 500 futures both up 0.5 percent.

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Telefonica's Board Taps Alvarez-Pallete as Chief Executive

Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica says its board has unanimously voted in Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete as chief executive and chairman of the board.

Telefonica SA said in a statement Friday that Alvarez-Pallete replaces Cesar Alierta, who is stepping down after 16 years but will retain a seat on the company's board.

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Twitter Names PepsiCo CFO to its Board of Directors

Twitter is appointing PepsiCo's chief financial officer to its board.

Hugh Johnston has served as PepsiCo Inc.'s CFO since 2010. The 54-year-old executive also serves as vice chairman of the food and beverage company.

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Panama Papers: UK Banks Told to Report Links by April 15

Britain's finance watchdog said Thursday that it has given banks and financial firms until next week to reveal whether they have any links to the law firm at the center of the Panama Papers leak.

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Kuwait Inks Contracts to Import 2.5 mn Tons of Gas a Year

Kuwait's state-run oil firm has signed contracts to import 2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas a year through 2020 to meet the emirate's needs, a company official said on Thursday.

OPEC member Kuwait is rich in crude oil but its natural gas production is too small to meet its needs, which surge during the heat of the summer when power consumption soars.

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Greece Flights Hit by Air Traffic Controllers' Strike

Flights in Greece were at a standstill on Thursday after air traffic controllers called a 24-hour strike over pension reforms sought by the country's creditors.

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Panama Scandal Claims Scalp of Austrian Bank Chief

The head of a Austrian regional bank became on Thursday the latest casualty of the Panama Papers scandal, announcing his resignation but denying any wrongdoing.

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French Trade Deficit Widens to 20-Month High

France's trade deficit widened in February to a 20-month high of 5.2 billion euros ($5.6 bn), up 1.3 billion on the previous month, driven by higher auto and aerospace imports, the customs office said Thursday.

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