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‘White Knight’ China for Crisis-Hit Europe

China, already the banker to the United States and a major investor in emerging markets, is now positioning itself as the potential "white knight" savior to debt-laden Europe, analysts say.

Beijing has vowed to support European countries struggling under mountains of debt by buying their government bonds, which experts say could help ease tensions over a range of trade issues as well as boost China's global standing.

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Zain Can Open Books to Etisalat

A Kuwaiti court ruled on Wednesday that Kuwait-based Zain telecom can open its books for due diligence to the Emirati firm Etisalat which has offered to buy a majority stake in Zain.

Al-Fawares Holding, a leading private investor in Zain, had filed a lawsuit against opening the books, on the grounds that it had not seen an official purchase offer from Etisalat.

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Qatar, Shell Mull Six Billion Dollar Chemical Project

Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell agreed on Tuesday to study building a petrochemical project worth six billion dollars in Ras Laffan by 2016.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in the Qatari capital Doha under which they will jointly study development of the project, a statement said.

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Greece Paralyzed by New Anti-Austerity Strike

Clouds of tear gas mingled with smoke in Athens and a former minister was reportedly hurt as police and stone-throwing protesters clashed Wednesday during a demonstration against new austerity measures.

Protesters set garbage bins and cars on fire outside a trio of luxury hotels on central Syntagma Square and threw projectiles at riot police during the union-backed demonstration that attracted some 20,000 participants, according to police.

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Nissan, Mitsubishi Boost Ties, Target Middle East Market

Japan's Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors said Tuesday they would deepen cooperation in making cars as the firms seek out new markets and try to counter the effects of a strong yen.

The firms also said they were looking at a possible tie-up that will pool resources to deal with ever-tougher domestic and overseas markets.

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Asia Retail Sales Tipped to be Double U.S. by 2014

Incentives to kickstart spending by Asian governments after the global downturn will help the region post retail sales almost double those of North America within four years, a report said on Monday.

The region will also post sales three times more than Western Europe, said the study by account PricewaterhouseCoopers, as it bounces back from the global downturn, which hammered demand for exports, a key economic growth driver.

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Germany, France Vow to Defend Euro

The German and French leaders vowed Friday to do whatever is needed to defend the euro, but stood by their rejection of the idea of pan-European bonds or an extension of the euro750 billion ($1 trillion) rescue fund.

The two countries, the eurozone's largest economies and its bankrollers, are at odds with many other nations on how best to fight the debt crisis from spreading and forcing more expensive bailouts.

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WikiLeaks' Site Back with Swiss Address after 6 Hours

The whistleblower website WikiLeaks was back on line Friday with a new Swiss address -- -- six hours after its previous domain name -- -- was shut down.

"WikiLeaks moves to Switzerland," the group declared on Twitter, although an Internet trace of the new domain name suggested that the site itself is still hosted in Sweden and in France.

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Donors Pledge 3.55 Billion Dollars for East Sudan

Donors and investors have pledged 3.55 billion dollars for the development of resource-rich but neglected east Sudan, officials said on Thursday at the end of a two-day conference in Kuwait City.

"Total pledges made by participants in the east Sudan donors and investors forum came at 3.55 billion dollars," said Mustafa Osman Ismail, an advisor to the Sudanese president and head of the organizing committee.

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Kuwait Donates $500 Million for East Sudan Development

Kuwait has donated 500 million dollars for the development of east Sudan, the Gulf state's foreign minister said Wednesday at the start of an international conference for donors and investors.

"I am pleased to announce the donation by the state of Kuwait of 500 million dollars for east Sudan development," Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed al-Sabah announced at the opening ceremony.

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