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EU Says Eurozone Outlook 'Deteriorates' as Growth Slows

Europe's economic outlook has "deteriorated" with the Eurozone debt crisis contributing to slowing growth in the second half of the year, the European Commission said on Thursday.

The economy in the single currency area is still expected to expand by 1.6 percent in 2011 despite the slowdown, thanks to stronger-than-expected growth in the first half of the year, the EU's executive arm said.

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Ahmadinejad Urges 'Honest' Probe into Massive Scam

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday asked the judiciary to launch an "honest" probe into a massive $2.6 billion scam, while brushing aside claims that members of his inner circle are involved.

Enemies of the government "launch accusations against us through a massive amount of propaganda, so the real thieves can get away," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northwestern city of Ardabil, broadcast on the presidency website.

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Asian Markets Fall Amid European Debt Fears

Asian stock markets fell Wednesday despite gains on Wall Street and in Europe the day before as simmering worries over Europe's debt crisis cast a pall over trading.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index, Asia's largest stock market, extended earlier losses to fall 1.1 percent to 8,524.12, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.3 percent to 18,775.39.

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Oil Prices Drop Before U.S. Energy Data

Oil prices fell on Wednesday before the release of government data expected to reveal falling crude supplies in the United States, and as markets awaited steps to avert a Greek debt default.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, shed $1.04 to $89.17 a barrel.

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German Coalition Government Squabbles Over Euro Crisis

Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition is squabbling so much over the eurozone debt crisis that even the opposition is urging her to quash the infighting — raising new questions about whether the government might collapse before its term ends.

A new poll underlined the government's woes, showing support for the main opposition party at its highest in 3 1/2 years and dismal ratings for Merkel's junior coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party.

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Europe's Biggest Shopping Mall Opens in London

Europe's biggest urban shopping centre opened on Tuesday in a deprived area of east London where it will act as the gateway to the 2012 Olympics.

Westfield Stratford City, which has risen from derelict wasteland in one of the poorest areas in Britain, houses more than 300 shops, 70 restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, three hotels and Britain's largest casino.

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Merkel Seeks to Calm Market Fears Over Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday sought to ease fears over a possible Greek bankruptcy, saying the 17-country eurozone had to stick together and that an "uncontrolled insolvency" must be avoided.

"The top priority is to avoid an uncontrolled insolvency, because that would not just affect Greece, and the danger that it hits everyone -- or at least several countries -- is very big," Merkel told German radio station RBB.

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Inter-Korean Gas Link May Be Pipe Dream

A multi-billion dollar plan to funnel Russian natural gas to South Korea via its North Korean neighbor may be just a pipe dream despite major potential economic and political benefits, experts say.

The long-discussed project would reduce Seoul's huge gas import bill, bring a transit fee windfall to cash-strapped Pyongyang and rake in tens of billions of dollars for Moscow's state-controlled gas company.

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Bionic Ear Maker Cochlear Recalls Hearing Implants

Bionic ear maker Cochlear has been forced to begin a global recall of the world's thinnest hearing implants after some stopped working.

The Sydney-based company, which dominates the world's bionic ear market, said Monday it was mystified as to why some of its award-winning Nucleus CI500 devices were suddenly shutting down.

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World Stocks, Euro Plunge on Greek Default, Recession Fears

Global stocks plunged and the euro slumped to a 10-year low against the yen on Monday as talk of a possible Greek default compounded worries that the world is set for another recession, analysts said.

European shares tumbled after Tokyo struck its lowest close in 29 months, as the G7 group of rich nations admitted that current economic problems were so complex that a unified response was impossible.

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