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EU Bank Stress Tests Spotlight Eurozone Debt Crisis

The European Union publishes on Friday the results of major stress tests on Europe's troubled banking sector, facing pressures from the Eurozone debt crisis now affecting Italy and Spain.

The European Banking Authority, the EU's London-based regulator for the financial sector, has carried out assessments on 91 banks representing 65 percent of the sector and will publish its findings at 1600 GMT.

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German Grannies Take up New Calling as 'Mary Poppins'

In Germany the idea of a teenager spending a few months abroad looking after someone else's children while she studies or travels has given rise to a new concept -- the granny "au pair".

Newspapers now explicitly solicit applications from older women rather than students with ads such as: "Family living in Australia with two children aged 4 and 2 seeks German replacement granny for three to six months".

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Back to Square One on Eurozone Debt Crisis

After a glimmer of hope in the Greek debt crisis, is it back to the drawing board for Eurozone leaders as they struggle to protect the single currency and its 17-nation economy?

"That's for sure ... that's why the ECB has probably always had the position that having talks about private sector involvement was not a particularly brilliant idea," UniCredit chief Eurozone economist Maro Valli told Agence France Presse.

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Merkel Up for Third Mandate in 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel intends to run for a third mandate in the 2013 elections, she said on television on Saturday.

"I have high hopes that the Social Democrats will find me an adversary before the next election," the 56-year-old Christian Democrat leader, who has been in her job since 2005 and was re-elected in October 2009, told the SAT1 television channel.

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German Exports Resume Growth

Exports from Germany, Europe's biggest economy, bounced back in May, helping the country's trade surplus to widen, official figures showed Friday.

Germany exported goods and services worth €92.1 billion ($132 billion) in May, the Federal Statistical Office said. That was up 4.3 percent from the previous month and 19.9 percent in year-on-year terms.

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Merkel Defends Reported Multi-billion-euro Saudi Tank Deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday defended her government's silence on a reported secret deal to sell hundreds of tanks to Saudi Arabia, and said she was committed to democracy in the region.

"Deliberation and decisions by the federal security council are secret for good reason," she told the daily Mittelbayerische Zeitung, referring to the panel including the chancellor and top ministers that rules on arms exports.

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Egyptian Fenugreek Seed Suspected in France, Germany E. coli

The European Food Safety Agency on Tuesday identified a batch of fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt as the likely suspect in the outbreaks of E. coli disease in both Germany and France.

An EFSA task force set up to track the possible source of the disease said it recommended in consequence that "all efforts be made to prevent any consumer exposure to the suspect seeds".

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Ballack Broods Over Germany Dismissal

Michael Ballack, Germany's long-serving captain who was unceremoniously dumped last week by national trainer Joachim Loew, is angrily refusing to go away quietly.

"It was clearly and unambiguously agreed by both sides that I would be able to announce calmly my decision to retire (from international football) during the summer break," the 34-year-old midfielder said in a statement issued on Sunday.

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Mulberry Bags Surging Profits, Eyes International Expansion

British luxury handbag maker Mulberry said Thursday that annual profits more than quadrupled, as the group celebrated its 40th anniversary with stunning sales growth and eyed more global expansion.

Pre-tax earnings rocketed by a staggering 358 percent to £23.3 million ($37.6 million, 26.6 million Euros) in the 12 months to the end of March, Mulberry said in a results statement.

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Ballack's Germany Career Over, Loew Says

Former Germany captain Michael Ballack's international career is over, the national football federation said Thursday after talks between coach Joachim Loew with the ex-Chelsea midfielder.

"Michael Ballack will no longer be a part of the German national squad," the DfB said in a statement.

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