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Johnson & Johnson Fined for Bribing Doctors

U.S. authorities fined cosmetics and drugs giant Johnson & Johnson $70 million on Friday for bribing doctors in Europe and paying kickbacks for contracts under a U.N. relief program in Iraq.

The Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission said since 1998 the firm had paid doctors and hospital administrators in Greece, Poland and Romania for contracts and to promote its drugs and medical devices.

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Hong Kong Eyes Tourist Windfall Amid Japan Crisis

Hong Kong's travel sector and shopping malls said Friday they were expecting a windfall this Easter with tourists avoiding quake-hit Japan as it battles a nuclear crisis.

Businesses in the glitzy financial hub were upbeat on higher sales, as Japan struggles to recover from the March 11 quake and tsunami which devastated the northeast and crippled a nuclear power plant which has been leaking radiation.

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German Luxury Car Makers Report Strong Sales

German luxury car makers have had a strong first quarter for sales, setting new records on the back of soaring demand in emerging markets, with China in the lead.

BMW, the world's leading premium auto manufacturer, said Friday that first quarter group sales rose an annualized 21.3 percent to 382,758 BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles, its best result ever for the three-month period.

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Oil Down in Asia on Profit-Taking

World oil prices fell in Asian trade Thursday as investors continued to lock in profits from recent gains and Libyan rebels exported the country's first crude shipment from a region that they control, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for May, pulled back 39 cents to $108.44 per barrel after crossing $109 for the first time in two-and-a-half years in U.S. trade Wednesday.

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Oil Hovers Above $108 Amid Mixed US Supply Report

Oil prices hovered above $108 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a U.S. crude supply report showed mixed signals about demand.

Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 20 cents at $108.54 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 13 cents to settle at $108.34 on Tuesday.

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EU Says Libyan Oil Fair Game as Long as Gadhafi Doesn't Profit

The European Union said Tuesday that the sale of Libyan oil is fair game as long as Western pariah leader Moammer Gadhafi does not profit from exports.

"If revenues don't reach the Gadhafi regime, then we have no issue with commercial dealings in Libyan oil and gas and they should be regulated by normal trade practices," said Michael Mann, spokesman for the European Union's chief diplomat, English baroness Catherine Ashton.

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Kuwait Hopes Oil Prices Will Fall

OPEC member Kuwait said on Monday that oil prices are too high because of unrest in the Middle East and Japan's earthquake.

"Although we are enjoying high prices, we would like to see lower prices ... We would like to see a normal oil price," the CEO of national conglomerate Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC), Faruq al-Zanki, told reporters.

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General Motors' China Sales Growth Slows Sharply

General Motors, the biggest overseas automaker in China, said Saturday its sales growth in the world's largest car market had slowed sharply year-on-year in the first quarter.

The U.S. auto giant said it sold 685,583 vehicles over the first three months of 2011, exactly 10 percent more than during the first three months of 2010.

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Bali Profits From Business of Soul-Searching

Being a Hindu yogi once meant renouncing worldly pleasures for a life of solitary meditation, wandering the jungle in search of union with god.

Today, new-age yogis wander the globe from one retreat to another, stay in luxury hotels and preach to the converted masses through a headset microphone.

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Shell sells off Chile refining iNterests

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell announced Friday the sale of its refining and distribution activities in Chile to local oil company Quinenco for $614 million (433 million Euros).

"Shell today announced it has agreed to sell most of its downstream business in Chile to Quinenco for a total consideration of some U.S.$614 million," the group said in a statement.

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