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Fireworks at World's Tallest Tower as Dubai Wins Expo 2020

Dubai beat off opposition from Brazil, Russia and Turkey on Wednesday to win the right to host the 2020 World Expo, sparking celebrations in the Gulf city and a stunning fireworks display at the world's tallest building.

City authorities declared Thursday a school holiday to celebrate the victory.

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Iran, U.S. to Open Joint Chamber of Commerce

Iran and the United States are to establish a joint chamber of commerce within a month, with direct flights also planned, an Iranian official said Wednesday in a newspaper report.

"Iran-U.S. chamber of commerce will be launched in less than one month," Abolfazl Hejazi, a member of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, told the English-language Iran Daily.

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Dubai to Host World Expo 2020

Dubai on Wednesday beat off opposition from Brazil, Russia and Turkey to win the right to host the 2020 World Expo.

The Gulf city beat Russia's Ekaterinberg in the final round of voting to clinch a prestigious event that is credited with delivering a huge boost to tourism and business in the host city.

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Thailand Cuts Interest Rate Amid Political Strife

Thailand's central bank unexpectedly lowered the cost of credit Wednesday as escalating protests to topple the government add to pressure on the economy.

The Bank of Thailand said it lowered its policy interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 2.25 percent, hoping to stimulate lending and investment.

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Iraqi Kurdish Oil Exports to Turkey May Start by Christmas

Oil exports from Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan to Turkey could start next month, the region's prime minister said, despite a dispute with Baghdad over how to divide the spoils from its energy resources.

Necirvan Barzani told reporters in Ankara late Tuesday that a pipeline from the Kurdish region could start carrying oil "before Christmas", without elaborating.

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France, Spain to Discuss Euro Bank Rules at Summit

French President Francois Hollande visits Spain on Wednesday for a bilateral summit seeking a common stance on banking supervision to avoid a repeat of the eurozone debt crisis.

Hollande is pushing for European authorities to adopt common measures to prevent costly bank failures and to directly recapitalize lenders in difficulty.

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Pakistan Launches Largest Nuclear Power Project

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday launched the construction of the country's biggest atomic power plant and vowed to pursue further projects to make nuclear the largest energy source.

The 2,200-megawatt plant is to be built with Chinese technical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Karachi.

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Iran President Bemoans 'Indefensible' Interregional Trade

Iran's president opened a two-day meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Tehran Tuesday with a call for reforms to the regional body that would boost its "indefensible" trade volumes.

"With the beginning of the third decade of cooperation, ECO needs to undertake some reforms," President Hassan Rouhani said in his opening speech, as cited by local media.

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UAE Firms, Guinea Sign $5 bn Bauxite Deal

Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala and Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) have signed a five-billion-dollar deal with Guinea that should secure resources for UAE aluminium makers, a statement said.

The accord will see Guinea Alumina Corp, a joint venture owned by Mubadala and DUBAL, investing in the construction of a bauxite export mine in Sangaredi, in western Guinea, the government of Guinea said in a statement late Monday.

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China, Europe Pledge to Boost Ties, Heed EU Rules

China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries pledged Tuesday to boost two-way investment and trade, insisting that EU regulations will be met.

"China eyes cooperation in infrastructure, communications, high-speed railway projects, which will lead to massive investment and a rise in commercial exchanges," with countries in the region, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang told 16 CEE counterparts and hundreds of businessmen attending a meeting in Bucharest.

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