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Europe Digs Ever Deeper Debt Hole

Europe is digging an ever-deeper hole as it vows to resolve the Eurozone crisis, experts said Sunday as Greece prepares for a pivotal week of international debt diplomacy.

Plagued by "parochialism, pettiness and procrastination," according to Sony Kapoor, head of the Re-define think tank, "kill the messenger seems to be the new strategy," he told Agence France Presse en route to New York and a frantic week at International Monetary Fund, World Bank and G20 gatherings.

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Japan's Honda to Build Factory in Russia

Honda Motor has decided to build its first factory in Russia, becoming the last of the five major Japanese automakers to do so, a report said Sunday.

Russia has an expanding car market and the Nikkei newspaper said Honda, the third largest Japanese vehicle manufacturer, has submitted the plant plan to the Russian government.

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Pressure Mounts on UBS Bosses Over $2 Billion Fraud

Pressure mounted on top managers of Swiss banking giant UBS on Saturday, after it lost $2 billion due to rogue trading.

The bank's honorary chairman Nikolaus Senn told Swiss German television late Friday that he doubted that chief executive Oswald Gruebel could stay after the debacle.

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EU Countries Divided on Possible New Finance Tax

European Union finance ministers are debating a tax on financial transactions that could raise money for the EU as well as make banks share bailout burdens with taxpayers.

But European internal markets Commissioner Michel Barnier said after a meeting Saturday "there's no consensus" on the tax, which would take a tiny fraction from a wide range of financial dealings.

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Obama Signs 1st Major Patent Law Change Since 1952

President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a major overhaul of the U.S. patent system, a measure designed to ease the way for inventors to bring their products to market. "We can't afford to drag our feet any longer," the president said.

Passed in a rare display of congressional bipartisanship, the America Invents Act is the first significant change in patent law since 1952. It has been hailed as a milestone that would spur innovation and create jobs.

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VW Steps Up Investment in New Models, Factories

German auto giant Volkswagen said Friday it would boost investment sharply over the next five years as part of its ambitions to become the world's biggest car maker by 2018.

VW said in a statement it had earmarked 62.4 billion euros ($86.1 billion) for investment between 2012 and 2016, representing an increase of almost 21 percent over the preceding five-year investment plan for the period from 2011 until 2015.

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Analysts Say Italy Needs Growth Plan as Well as Budget Cuts

Deep austerity measures adopted by Italy this week are not enough to win market confidence according to economic experts who are calling for urgent action to boost growth.

The government hopes that its budget cuts and reforms will reassure markets about its public finances, and will also win approval from Moody's credit rating agency.

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Gazprom, ENI Reaffirm Libya Oil Alliance

ENI and Gazprom have signed an agreement confirming the handover to the Russian giant of a Libyan oil field the Italian firm held before Moammar Gadhafi's fall, an ENI spokesman said on Friday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi oversaw the signing of the framework Elephant deal in February just weeks before the NATO-led offensive began against Gadhafi's forces.

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WTO Says World Trade Slowing in 2011

World trade is slowing more sharply than expected this year because of the sovereign debt crisis and an economic slowdown, World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy said on Friday.

The head of the international trade body said that forecasts for world trade for 2011 would be revised downward although he did not say by how much.

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USAID to Renovate 38 Schools, Helps Establish Local Factory

The U.S. Embassy hosted on Thursday a round table meeting with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Hady Amr.

Of Lebanese origin, Amr briefly explained about the projects which the U.S. is currently funding to further promote agricultural and educational growth.

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