Crisis-hit Greece has taken steps to fight corruption while Spain is dragging its feet on tackling bribery, graft watchdog Transparency International said as it released its annual report Tuesday.
"That's one of the most interesting issues for us, the difference between Spain and Greece," Finn Heinrich, lead researcher of the group's 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, told Agence France Presse.Full Story
The WTO launches a frantic drive on Tuesday to salvage its floundering efforts to liberalize global trade at a summit laced with potential make-or-break implications for the body's global influence.
WTO chief Roberto Azevedo implored trade ministers to reach a modest agreement on key trade issues on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, in hopes it will keep alive a stumbling 12-year-old effort to slash international trade barriers.Full Story
Australia's central bank held interest rates at their record 2.50 percent low Tuesday, saying the effects of earlier cuts had still to be fully felt.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept rates on pause for a fourth consecutive month, as widely expected, after a series of cuts designed to stimulate the economy as its decade-long Asia mining boom cools.Full Story
France's Socialist government is to maintain most of the existing restrictions on Sunday shopping, despite criticism that they are ill-suited to a country battling record unemployment.
Speaking after the publication of a government-sponsored report which called for a partial easing of the curbs, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would legislate to clear up anomalies in the patchwork of local and national rules governing Sunday trading.Full Story
Australia's largest ever consumer class action in which bank customers are fighting for the return of more than Aus$240 million (U.S.$220 million) in fees began in Melbourne on Monday.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn is representing some 43,500 ANZ Bank customers who believe a wide range of charges they paid were excessive, in the first of several trials planned as part of the case.Full Story
The second daughter of Samsung chairman Lee Kun-Hee has been made a president at the firm's de-facto holding company, it said Monday, cement his family's hold on the South Korean giant.
Lee Seo-Hyun will lead management planning at the Everland's fashion business, Samsung said in a statement.Full Story
The late President Hugo Chavez's dream of leveraging Venezuela's oil wealth to spread revolution across Latin America is crumbling under the weight of an economic crisis that is forcing his hand-picked successor to cut back on generous foreign aid.
Signs of the country's waning influence are becoming more apparent. In early November, Guatemala withdrew from the Petrocaribe oil alliance launched by Chavez, saying it didn't receive the ultra-low financing rates it had been promised by Venezuela when it first sought to join the 18-nation pact in 2008. Also in recent weeks, representatives of Brazil and Colombia have held meetings with their Venezuelan counterparts to collect overdue payment for food, manufactured goods and other imports.Full Story
British Prime Minister David Cameron stressed his country is open to Chinese investment Monday on his first visit to China since meeting the Dalai Lama, keeping human rights to the sidelines.
Cameron, whose meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in 2012 was condemned by Beijing and led to a diplomatic deep-freeze between the two nations, emphasized business ties as he began what embassy officials called the "the largest British trade mission ever to go to China".Full Story
Rebuilding areas devastated by a super typhoon that killed thousands in the Philippines will take up to five years and cost more than two billion dollars, officials said Saturday.
The comments came as the death toll from Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit the country, continued to rise.Full Story
U.S. shoppers officially kicked off the critical holiday shopping season with annual "Black Friday" promotions as a pressured retail sector competes over precious consumer dollars in the low-growth economy.
The shopping frenzy also triggered some violence. There was a shooting, a stabbing and a number of other disruptions, though no deaths reported as in prior years.Full Story