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Scandal-Hit Petrobras First Quarter Results Dip 1.1%

Brazil's state-owned Petrobras oil, mired in a graft scandal, on Friday posted Q1 revenue down 1.1 percent on the same period last year, indicating it may turn a corner after a year of woe.

The company reported net income of 5.330 billion reais ($1.778 billion) on sales of 74.4 billion reais.

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British Government Announces 'Unusual' Extra Budget

Britain's finance minister announced plans for a second 2015 government budget on Saturday to quickly implement his Conservative Party's campaign promises of spending cuts and savings following a surprise election win.

"On the eighth of July I am going to take the unusual step of having a second budget of the year," Chancellor George Osborne wrote in The Sun newspaper.

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Etihad Says Top U.S. Airlines Get $71.5 bn in Subsidies

Etihad Airways said on Friday that the U.S. government has provided America's three biggest airlines with more than $70 billion in benefits and concessions, citing a report it commissioned.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline has itself come under attack from U.S. rivals over subsidies.

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Bundesbank Critical of ECB Aid to Greek Banks

The head of the German central bank or Bundesbank hit out in a newspaper interview Friday at the ongoing provision of emergency liquidity to Greek banks by the European Central Bank.

Given the fact that the ECB is banned under its statutes from financing states' debts, "I don't feel it's correct that banks with no access to the markets are awarded loans used to finance the government debt of a country which also has no access to the markets," Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann told the business daily Handelsblatt.

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U.S. Oil Production 'Important' amid Clean Energy Transition

President Barack Obama Thursday called U.S. oil production an "important" source of energy as America transitions towards cleaner resources, defending his move to allow petroleum giant Shell to drill in the Alaskan Arctic.

Obama's administration gave the petroleum giant a green light three days ago to explore the Chukchi Sea near Alaska -- as long as the Anglo-Dutch firm has the correct permits from the agencies that regulate the environment and marine mammal health.

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China to Invest $50 Billion in Brazilian Infrastructure

China will invest $50 billion to help overhaul Brazil's aging infrastructure, Brasilia said Thursday, ahead of an official visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

"There are $50 billion in new projects," said Jose Graca Lima, Brazil's undersecretary of state, who oversees Asia and Oceania.

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Finance Minister: Greece Wants ECB Bond Pushback

Greece wants the European Central Bank to agree for Athens to delay payment on some 27 billion euros ($30 billion) in Greek bonds that it will otherwise be unable to repay, the finance minister said Thursday.

"It's quite simple, these bonds must be pushed into the future, this is clear also to the ECB," Yanis Varoufakis told a conference.

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Honda Adds 4.89 mn Vehicles to Recall over Exploding Airbag Fears

Honda on Thursday said it is recalling 4.89 million vehicles over fears about airbag inflators that could explode, widening a global auto parts crisis linked to several deaths. 

Japan's number three automaker announced the recall just a day after Toyota and Nissan said they were calling back a combined 6.5 million vehicles over fears about airbags made by embattled supplier Takata.

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Euro Strengthens as Eurozone Growth Picks up

The euro ticked up Thursday on the back of an improving eurozone economy, while a disappointing U.S. retail sales report put pressure on the dollar. 

Despite upbeat European growth, however, debt-saddled Greece confirmed that its economy had slipped back into recession, with no end in sight to tense bailout reform talks with its international creditors.

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Frequent Lockdowns around Lebanon Parliament Hurt Businesses

On days like Wednesday, when the Lebanese parliament convenes for yet another attempt at electing the country's president, shopkeeper Jamal Baghdadi cannot get a single client through the doors of his souvenir shop in Beirut's historic city center, a stone's throw from the landmark limestone building.

Every road around the Lebanese capital's Place de l'Etoile is closed off — both to cars and pedestrians, as well as anyone without a valid employee badge for the upscale offices that surround the four-faced Rolex clock tower at the center of the square.

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