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U.N. Hails 'Important' Step in Baghdad-Kurd Row

An initial deal between Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region and Baghdad aimed at resolving long-standing budget and oil disputes is "a very important first step," the United Nations said on Friday.

Baghdad has long opposed the three-province region's independent export of oil, while Kurdish leaders have criticized Baghdad for withholding budget payments to the region.

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OECD Sees Competition Heating Up Once Tax Havens Shut Down

The OECD Friday forecast competition heating up among countries wanting to attract revenue from big digital companies like Apple and Google, even as a row rages over Luxembourg's arrangements with multinationals.

Closing corporate tax loopholes and endorsing a common reporting standard to increase transparency are set to be a primary focus of the G20 summit in Brisbane this weekend.

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Good News for Eurozone as Germany, France Skirt Recession

The clouds over Europe appeared to lift slightly in the third quarter as its two biggest economies both narrowly escaped a new recession, official data showed on Friday.

In Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.1 percent in the period from July to September, after shrinking by 0.1 percent in the preceding three months, the federal statistics office said.

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Oil Prices Rebound in Asia

Oil prices bounced back in Asia Friday after diving to fresh lows in the previous session on expectations that OPEC is unlikely to cut production levels to counter a global supply glut.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery rose seven cents to $74.28 while Brent crude for January gained 38 cents to $77.87 in afternoon trade.

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Brent Crude Hits New Four-Year Low

Brent oil slumped Thursday to a new four-year low on expectations that OPEC will unlikely to cut production levels to counter the global supply glut, traders said.

At about 0820 GMT, London's Brent crude for delivery in December dived to $79.55 per barrel, hitting a low point last witnessed in late September 2010.

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Industry Body: Global Gold Demand Eases

Gold consumption fell slightly in the third quarter as sliding jewelry demand in China offset strong growth in India, sector data showed on Thursday.

Overall demand dropped by 2.0 percent in the three months ending September 30 to 929.3 tonnes compared with the third quarter in 2013, the World Gold Council said.

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G20 Host Australia Slams Corporate Tax 'Theft'

Australia said corporate tax breaks amounted to theft on Thursday, throwing a spotlight on the issue ahead of European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker's arrival in the country for the G20 summit.

Juncker, who took office on November 1, is under intense pressure over generous tax concessions offered to top global companies when he was prime minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013.

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Dow Chemical to Reduce Stake in Kuwait Joint Ventures

Dow Chemical has decided to reduce its stake in two multi-billion dollar petrochemicals joint ventures with Kuwait, the U.S. firm and its Kuwaiti partner said on Thursday.

"Dow will reconfigure and reduce its equity base in the MEGlobal and Greater Equate joint ventures," with Kuwait's state-owned Petrochemicals Industries Co. (PIC), the U.S. firm said in a statement on its website.

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German Inflation Stuck at 0.8% for Fourth Month in a Row

Inflation in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, remained at the low level of 0.8 percent for the fourth month in a row in October, final data showed on Thursday.

Confirming an earlier flash estimate, the federal statistics office Destatis calculated that German inflation stood at just 0.8 percent year-on-year last month, unchanged since July.

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Chocol’art and Lebanese Autism Society collaborate in a sweet event

Beirut, November 12, 2014 - Chocol’art, a creative children’s charity initiative, has teamed up with the Lebanese Autism Society, in a grand-scale event in Beirut, themed ‘80’s Revival’. Hundreds of exhibitors came together in BIEL, to raise awareness on the topic of autism amongst children, and showcase their creativity to a celebrated crowd.

For the last 5 years, Chocol’art has aimed to create a platform for emerging creative talent to showcase their work, and in return support a good cause. One of the charity initiative’s main goals is to challenge the creative minds of all those that participate with the yearly themed events.Since its founding, Chocol’art, has positioned itself as a broad platform for the creation of visual, edible, and experiential art, all within the theme and context of chocolate, charity, creativity and children.

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