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New BRICS-supported Bank Approves First Set of Loans

A new multilateral lender set up by the BRICS nations has approved its first set of loans valued at $811 million for renewable energy projects in four of its member countries, according to the bank.

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Iran Oil Minister Won't Attend Doha Output Freeze Talks

Iran's oil minister will not join an Iranian delegation at a meeting this weekend of major crude producers aimed at negotiating a production freeze, the oil ministry said on Friday.

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Greek PM Blames IMF for Bailout Delay

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday said the IMF should stop tinkering with the country's latest bailout with European creditors, blaming the global lender for causing a delay in talks.

The IMF has worked with the EU on two previous Greek bailouts but said it would not participate in the latest plan without credible reforms and an EU agreement to ease Greece's debt burden.

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Top EU Nations Urge Tax Crackdown as Panama Papers Claim Spanish Minister

Europe's top economies called for a crackdown on tax havens and urged G20 countries to rip away the secrecy protecting shell companies, as the Panama Papers scandal claimed Spain's industry minister as the latest political victim.

In the strongest reaction yet to the leaked Panama Papers, the finance ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain proposed a blacklist of havens like Panama if they failed to share corporate registry data.

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No Guarantee of Oil Deal at Doha Talks

Major oil producers meet this weekend to try to negotiate an output freeze to drain crude oversupply and boost prices, but doubts remain over whether Iran will join any accord.

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Qatar 'Optimistic' ahead of Crunch Doha Oil Talks

Qatar said Thursday there was an "atmosphere of optimism" that an agreement would be reached at this weekend's crunch meeting of the world's major oil producers in Doha.

In a statement released through the official Qatar News Agency, the Qatari energy ministry said it was increasingly hopeful of a deal.

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Putin Says No Agreement yet on Restoring Air Link to Egypt

President Vladimir Putin says Russian and Egyptian officials have so far failed to agree on security procedures needed to restore direct flights between the two countries.

Moscow halted the flights after the downing last October of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 people on board. Russia says the plane was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for planting it.

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McDonald's Stores Targeted by Protests for $15 an Hour

Protesters calling for pay of $15 an hour and a union will be at McDonald's stores around the U.S. Thursday as part of an ongoing push targeting the world's biggest hamburger chain.

The "Fight for $15" campaign says low-wage workers plan to turn out to show their solidarity with fast-food workers.

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Bank of England Warns again on Brexit, Holds Rates

The Bank of England warned again Thursday over the impact of Britain's possible exit from the European Union, as it voted once more to freeze interest rates.

The British central bank's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided unanimously to keep borrowing costs at a record-low 0.50 percent, it said in a statement following its April gathering.

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Rich Nations Probe Panama Papers Tax Revelations

Tax authorities from the world's richest nations on Wednesday probed a mass of murky offshore dealings revealed in the huge Panama Papers data leak, just hours after police raided the law firm at the center of the scandal.

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