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Uruguay Opens Bidding for Marijuana Plots

Uruguay, the first country to fully legalize the production, sale and distribution of marijuana, called for bids Friday from private growers who want to farm cannabis in a public field.

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U.S. Judge Orders New Talks on Argentina Debt Dispute

The U.S. judge presiding over Argentina's bitter dispute with two hedge funds left the country stranded in default Friday, ordering it to hold new negotiations and calling for an end to "mistrust."

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Japan's Sharp Logs $17.4 Million First-Quarter Net Loss

Sharp said Friday it logged a $17.4 million net loss for the three months to June, but added it still expected a full-year profit as the Japanese electronics giant tries to move past years of record losses.

The Osaka-based company lost 1.79 billion yen in the period, well down from a 17.98 billion yen shortfall a year ago, which it said was largely due to one-time factors.

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China Manufacturing Activity Surges in July

Chinese manufacturing activity increased sharply in July, rising at its fastest pace in more than two years, an official survey showed Friday, as the world's second-largest economy shows signs of increasing momentum.

The official purchasing managers index (PMI) hit 51.7 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

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Loom Band Craze Fetches French Couple $1 Million

For millions of school children they are the must have fashion accessory of the moment. Footballer David Beckham and Britain's Prince William have sported them. Even Pope Francis has been photographed wearing a few.

Loom bands -- colorful rubber bands woven together into bracelets and other items -- are the latest craze to sweep playgrounds everywhere from New York to Singapore.

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Analysts: Unclear Whether Sanctions Can Influence Russia

No one doubts the latest EU and US economic sanctions on Russia will inflict significant costs, but whether they can force Moscow to reverse course in Ukraine is a completely different question.

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Argentina Blames U.S. for Debt Woes, Denies Default

Argentina blamed the United States on Thursday for the legal battle that forced it to miss a debt payment and, despite ratings agencies' declarations to the contrary, denied being in default.

Ratings agency Fitch declared Argentina in "restrictive default" Thursday after 11th-hour talks failed to resolve the country's dispute with two U.S. hedge funds that refuse to accept a write-down on their Argentine bonds.

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Tesla Loss Widens as it Ramps up Expansion Plan

U.S. electric automaker Tesla Motors reported Thursday a widening loss in the past quarter amid record revenues as it ramped up plans for a giant battery plant for future vehicles.

The loss in the quarter ending June 30 was $61.9 million, compared with $30.5 million in the same period a year ago, while revenues jumped more than 90 percent to $769 million.

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Germany's Adidas Issues Profit Warning, Shares Plunge

German sportswear and equipment maker Adidas issued a profit warning for 2014 on Thursday due to geopolitical tensions and troubles in its golf division, sending its shares tumbling more than 11 percent.

The company said net profit for the year would only reach about 650 million euros ($870 million), much lower than the 830-930 million euros originally forecast.

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Toshiba Q1 Net Profit Surges 68.7 Percent

Toshiba said Thursday its first-quarter net profit climbed 68.7 percent due to brisk sales in infrastructure business and PCs in Japan.

In the three-month period to June, Toshiba posted a net profit of 8.9 billion yen ($87 million), a 68.7 percent jump from a year earlier.

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