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World Bank Chief Faces Challenges as he Makes his Mark

In his first year as president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim has tried to refocus the institution on fighting poverty and climate change -- but challenges lie ahead.

The pick of the Korean-American, an academic and doctor by training, marked a radical departure from other recent heads of the Washington-based global body.

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BlackBerry Shares Plunge on Weak Results, Sales

BlackBerry on Friday posted an unexpected first quarter loss and disappointing sales figures for its new smartphones, sending its share price tumbling.

The Waterloo, Ontario firm announced an $84 million loss in the first quarter ended June 1, compared with a loss of $518 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenues topped $3.1 billion, up nine percent.

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EU Summit Greenlights Budget Despite UK Rebate Hitch

European Union leaders Thursday approved a political deal on the bloc's hotly contested 2014-2020 trillion-euro budget despite British fears of a cut in its cherished rebate.

Asked whether heads of state and government had approved a deal clinched earlier in the day, Herman Van Rompuy, who heads the EU Council, said: "It's a quite clear yes."

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Hollande: France will Stick to Spending Plans

France will stick to its current spending plans, President Francois Hollande said early Friday, despite a warning from the government's budget watchdog that the deficit might breach a revised limit recently agreed with the EU.

"What France must do in 2013 is to maintain its public spending," Hollande told reporters at the end of the first day of a two-day EU summit in Brussels.

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New Treasurer Looks to Keep Australia out of Recession

Australia's new Treasurer Chris Bowen was Friday welcomed by business figures as he hinted at policy changes amid recession fears following an unprecedented Asia-mining boom.

Bowen, who served as assistant treasurer from late 2007 to mid- 2009 and was also minister for immigration, tertiary education and small business, was installed as treasurer on Thursday.

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Pearson Denies Report Murdoch to Buy Financial Times

British publisher Pearson on Friday denied a report that media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Abu Dhabi's state media group are in talks to acquire the Financial Times Group for about $1.2 billion.

The Edge Review, a regional political and business digital magazine based in Malaysia, said the talks had been progressing for more than a month with Pearson, the London-based publishing and education giant.

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Moody's Downgrades Jordan Two Notches

Ratings agency Moody's cuts its sovereign grade for Jordan by two notches Wednesday, saying government finances had weakened sharply in the past two years.

The rating fell to B1 from Ba2, in the middle of its category for "speculative" or so-called junk debt.

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EU Agrees New Bank Rescue Rules to Spare Taxpayers

European finance ministers on Thursday agreed a deal on new rules to shift the burden for future bank rescues from taxpayers to the financial sector in a bid to quell public anger over massive bailouts in recent years.

The measures, which still have to be adopted by the European Parliament, will force bank owners and bond holders firstly and then depositors with more than 100,000 euros ($130,000) to bear the losses.

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Myanmar to Announce Telecom Licence Winners

Some of the world's biggest phone giants will find out Thursday which two have won telecoms licences in Myanmar, an official said Thursday, ahead of an expected boom for the sector as the country embarks on a reform drive.

The tender was launched in the hope of quickly increasing mobile coverage across the country where less than 10 percent of the population having access to a telephone.

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EU Ministers Hold Crunch Talks on Bank Rescues

EU finance ministers began talks in Brussels on Wednesday aimed at agreeing rules on future bank rescues -- a sensitive issue in efforts to prevent another eurozone debt crisis.

Marathon talks between the finance ministers last week ended with no deal and the latest negotiations come on the eve of a summit of EU leaders where an agreement would be formalized.

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