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France Withdraws Shale Gas Permits

The French government withdrew three permits Monday for shale gas exploration, dampening industry hopes that the controversial method for extracting natural gas would be approved in France.

"We have decided to abrogate the three research permits," Ecology Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told Agence France Presse.

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Pressure Mounts on Eurozone to Decide Greek Fate

An under-pressure Eurozone got back to work on Greece on Monday, trying to unblock hold-ups to promised bailout funds after international markets tumbled on the latest doubts.

Despite an announcement from Athens it would fail to meet this year's deficit targets, Greece's finance minister Evengelos Venizelos said his country would not be made a "scapegoat" for wider debt troubles as he went into talks with his 16 euro-area counterparts.

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Wall Street Posts Worst Close in Over a Year

Wall Street suffered another slump Monday as concerns about the economy, contagion from the European debt crisis and rumors of an American Airlines bankruptcy dragged down markets.

Despite a brief rally on news that a key indicator of the health of the U.S. manufacturing sector was better than expected, the main indexes ended the day firmly in the red.

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Iraq Oil Output at 2.9 Million BPD: Ministry

Iraq's crude output is now 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) and the country is on track to increase production to three million bpd by the end of the year, the oil ministry said on Monday.

Oil exports, which account for the lion's share of the country's government revenues, will also rise by about 300,000 bpd by early next year, ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said.

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Thousands Rally Against Portugal's Austerity Plans

Thousands demonstrated in Portugal Saturday against the government's austerity measures amid projections that the economic situation is far worse than expected.

Government and private sector workers rallied in Lisbon and Porto, following a call by the country's largest trade union federation to speak out against policies it says have devastated "jobs, workers, pensions and social rights."

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Greece and Qatar Discuss Future Investments

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met on Saturday Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and the country's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim al-Thani to plan new investments in Greece.

"We have built a very strong bond of mutual respect, and we Greeks are especially pleased that this bond leads to investments in our country," Papandreou said following the meeting with the Emir of Qatar.

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Turkey Breaks Russian Gas Contract

Turkey has revoked a contract to purchase six billion cubic meters a year of natural gas from Russia, its main supplier, after failing to win a discount, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Saturday.

"The contract on the western routing has been wound up because the request for a lower price has been refused," Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.

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U.S. Stocks Open Lower after Poor EU, U.S. Data

U.S. stocks dropped on opening Friday after new data releases showed rising inflation and slower growth in Europe and falling incomes for Americans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 146.52 points (1.31 percent) to 11,007.46 in the first minutes of trade.

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Americans See Income Fall as Prices Rise

Americans earned less and goods cost more in August, figures from the Commerce Department showed Friday, as incomes dropped for the first time in close to two years.

In another sign of the storm that continues to buffet the U.S. consumer -- long the keystone of the world's largest economy -- personal income decreased by $7.3 billion, around 0.1 percent, for the first drop since October 2009.

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Spain Seals 7.55 bln Euro Bank Overhaul

Spain sealed a 7.55-billion-euro ($10.2 billion) overhaul of its banking sector Friday, securing savings banks that nearly bankrupted the country in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Bank of Spain governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said 568 million euros went to Unnim, 2.47 billion euros to NovaCaixaGalicia and 1.72 billion euros to CatalunyaCaixa from a state restructuring fund.

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