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China's U.S. Trade Surplus Hit Record in 2018 but Tariffs Bite

China's trade surplus with the United States hit a record high last year but the country's imports and exports fell in December as the long-running trade war begins to bite in the world's number two economy, data showed Monday.

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China-N. Korea Trade Battered by UN Sanctions

China's trade with North Korea plummeted last year, data showed Monday, as harsh UN sanctions batter the nuclear-armed country's economy.

Beijing is a key ally of the isolated state and its main source of trade and aid -- but in 2017 it backed United Nations measures to punish Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile activities.

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Debt Restructuring 'Totally Out of the Question', Says Khalil after Baabda Financial Talks

The issue of restructuring Lebanon’s public debt is not on the table and is “totally out of the question,” caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil reiterated on Sunday after senior-level talks at the Baabda Palace.

He was speaking after a financial meeting presided over by President Michel Aoun and attended by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, caretaker Economy Minister Raed Khoury, the head of the parliamentary finance committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and the head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Joseph Torbey.

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Catalan Separatists Threaten to Nix Spanish Govt. Budget

The Spanish government's bid to pass a national budget is doomed unless it bends to the demands of Catalonia's separatists for a referendum on secession, the leader of the wealthy northeastern region says.

Catalan regional president Quim Torra told The Associated Press in a recent interview that the representatives of Catalonia's separatist parties in Madrid's national parliament "have made it very clear that they will vote against the budget because there has been no movement by the Spanish national government toward what we are demanding."

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Asia Markets End Strong Week on Positive Note

The upbeat tone that characterised this week helped Asian markets to fresh gains on Friday, with Hong Kong chalking up a sixth straight day of rises.

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Ghosn Hit with More Charges, Release Unlikely

Tokyo prosecutors on Friday filed two new charges of financial misconduct against former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, meaning the auto tycoon is unlikely to be leaving his jail cell soon. 

Lawyers for the former jet-setting executive filed a bail application hours later, but have acknowledged that he will probably be detained until a trial.

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EU Opens In-Depth Probe of Nike's Tax Deals in the Netherlands

The EU on Thursday launched an in-depth probe into Nike's tax affairs in the Netherlands, following revelations in the "Paradise Papers" scandal that exposed low tax deals for multinationals.

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Sri Lanka Struggles to Repay Record Foreign Debt, Says PM

Sri Lanka's prime minister said Thursday the country was struggling to pay back its ballooning foreign debt, blaming a recent political crisis for dealing a "death blow" to the economy.

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German Airports Strike Slashes 600 Flights

Almost 640 flights were cancelled in Germany Thursday as security staff went on strike at three airports, meaning disruption for around 100,000 passengers.

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Ghosn Suffers Fever in Japan Jail, Skips Questioning

Ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has been suffering from a high fever and was unable to meet investigators for questioning on Thursday, local media said, citing his lawyers.

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