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Egypt Begins First Trial Run of 'New Suez Canal'

Egypt began Saturday the first trial run of its "new Suez canal," officials and state media said, ahead of the formal inauguration of the new shipping route next month.

Dubbed the Suez Canal Axis, the new 72-kilometer (45 mile) project is aimed at speeding up traffic along the existing waterway by reducing the waiting period of vessels, as well as boosting revenues for Egypt.

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AT&T Buys DirecTV, now Biggest Traditional TV Provider in U.S.

Even as TV watchers increasingly go online, AT&T has become the country's biggest traditional TV provider with its $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV.

It got its regulatory approval Friday from the Federal Communications Commission after more than a year. The Justice Department had already cleared the deal on Tuesday.

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Uganda's Farmers Battle Palm Oil Goliaths for Land

Even before the bulldozers arrived life was tough for John Muyiisa, scratching a living from a rented farm on Lake Victoria's Kalangala island.

Now he has almost nothing and is seeking compensation in Ugandan courts from the palm oil plantations he blames for seizing the land and destroying his livelihood.

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Reports: Square Exploring Stock Market Debut

Payments company Square has informed U.S. regulators privately that it is exploring going public with a stock market debut, according to reports Friday.

The mobile payments and financial services startup launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is stealthily looking into an initial public offering of stock.

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Poor Week on Wall St: Earnings Misses, China Worries

After a strong opening for the second-quarter reporting season, U.S. stocks reversed course on a raft of earnings disappointments as Wall Street succumbed to lack of confidence this week.

Traders also bared their doubts about the U.S. economy's breakaway from the rest of the globe on Friday, when shares sank more than one percent after poor data on China drove down especially oil and other commodity-tied companies.

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Greece Asks for Fresh IMF Aid in Step Closer to Bailout

Debt-crippled Greece on Friday took a step closer to a huge third international bailout by formally requesting IMF help, but sources said "logistical problems" were delaying the start of talks in Athens.

The Greek government, which is seeking a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) to avert financial meltdown and a chaotic exit from the eurozone, had initially planned to go without fresh help from the IMF as it considers the agency too wedded to draconian austerity measures.

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Air France-KLM Announces First Half Losses, Additional Cost-Cutting

Air France-KLM said Friday it would add a further 300 million euros ($328.4 million) to a previously announced 1.5-billion-euro cost-cutting program as it revealed first-half losses of 619 million euros.

Despite a five-percent increase in passenger revenue for the first half of 2015, income from cargo plummeted 81 percent, the company said.

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Ukraine Makes Crunch Bond Payment, Staving off Default

Ukraine on Friday made a crucial Eurobond interest payment that kept the war-torn country from slipping into technical default and potential isolation from global credit markets.

Two sources close to the situation told Agence France Presse that money to cover the $120 million (110 million euro) payment was transferred as soon as business hours opened in Kiev. The $2.6 billion note matures in July 2017.

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth Gets 18% Boost in Income

Queen Elizabeth II is due to get an 18 percent increase in income from her vast Duchy of Lancaster estate this year, accounts released on Thursday showed.

The private empire of property, land and investments began as an inheritance in 1265, and is one of several sources of funding for the monarchy.

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Oil Prices Rebound in Asia but Crude Oversupply Weighs

Oil prices rose in Asia on Friday following recent losses but analysts said the rebound is unlikely to be sustained because of a global crude glut.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery edged up 26 cents to $48.71 a barrel in afternoon Asian trade. The contract finished below $49 on Thursday for the first time since March 31.

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