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Russia Discussing Giving Loan to Damascus

Russia and Syria are discussing the possibility of Moscow extending a loan to Damascus to help Syria's civil war battered economy, a top Syrian official said Monday.

Visiting Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said that the issue was discussed at talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Damascus hoped for an agreement by the end of the year.

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U.S. Praises Greece over Economic Reforms

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew praised the "hard work" of Greece's prime minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday and urged his government to continue with economic reform.

Lew publicly declared his confidence in the conservative administration of Samaras following a meeting in Athens.

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G20 Sets Growth Priority to Boost Fragile Recovery

The G20 on Saturday agreed to make boosting growth and jobs, rather than deficit reduction, the short-term priority for the global economy as it battles to consolidate a "fragile and uneven" recovery.

Finance chiefs from the G20 group of advanced and emerging nations, after meeting in Moscow, also backed an action plan drawn up by the OECD to crack down on tax avoidance by multinationals to help replenish budgets diminished by the slowdown.

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Embattled Brazil Magnate Vows to Honor Debt

Embattled Brazilian energy magnate Eike Batista said Friday he is deeply disappointed by the virtual collapse of his business empire and vowed to pay off all of his EBX group's debts.

In an open letter carried by the daily O Globo, the man who was once the country's richest lamented his failure to deliver on the promises of his OGX flagship oil company.

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Tourists Flock to Pakistan Kashmir Valley in Rare Boom

Success stories can be rare in Pakistan, but business is booming in one Kashmir tourist spot as the region rebuilds after a devastating earthquake and shrugs off associations with violence.

Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani tourists drawn to the lakes and glaciers of the Neelum valley are injecting desperately needed money into one of the poorest parts of the country.

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Government: Olympics Gave Britain a $15 bn Boost

The Olympic Games in London last year gave the British economy a boost worth $15 billion, the government said on Friday, a figure far higher than the cost of staging the event.

Business Secretary Vince Cable, putting the benefits at £9.9 billion (11.5 billion euros), conceded that some of the investment might have happened anyway, but insisted the Games had acted as a "key catalyst" for deals to be agreed.

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Moody's Lifts U.S. Outlook to 'Stable' from 'Negative'

Ratings firm Moody's raised its outlook on the United States on Thursday to "stable" from "negative," citing the federal government's progress in putting debt on a more sustainable path.

Moody's "today moved the outlook on the Aaa government bond rating of the United States back to stable, replacing the negative outlook that has been in place since August 2011," the company said in a statement.

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Detroit Becomes Largest U.S. City to File for Bankruptcy

Detroit on Thursday became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy protection after decades of decline and mismanagement rendered the home of the nation's auto industry insolvent.

Once a bustling beacon of industrial might, the city is now a poster child for urban decay, its landscape littered with abandoned skyscrapers, factories and homes.

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G20 Looks to Step up Fight on Tax Evasion

Finance ministers and central bankers from G20 countries meet in Moscow for a two-day meeting on Friday seeking to intensify the battle against tax evasion and prevent a new global slowdown.

The meeting, preparing for a G20 summit in September that will be the culmination of the Russian presidency of the Group of 20 top advanced and emerging nations, will focus on increasing cooperation in the fight against tax evasion and on regulating finance.

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Carrefour Sees Slight Drop in Sales

Global retailer Carrefour SA says rising sales in Latin America and Asia helped offset shrinking revenue in Europe in the second quarter.

The French-based company reported quarterly sales of 20.46 billion euros, down 0.6 percent at current exchange rates from 21.7 billion euros in the same period a year ago.

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