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U.S. Helps Lebanese Food Industries Enter International Markets

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday held a workshop under the Lebanon Business Linkages Initiative (LBLI) with the Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industries (SLFI) to increase knowledge about accessing international food markets.

Farmers, food industrialists, governmental officials, and academics attended this workshop. The project supports SLFI in developing a strategy to access the U.S. specialty food market.

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Greek Central Bank Says Eurozone Deal 'Probably Last Chance' for Greece

A Eurozone bailout deal set up last month to slash Greece's huge debt by nearly a third is probably the last chance to reconstruct the country's economy, the Greek central bank warned on Wednesday.

"The new opportunity provided to Greece under the agreement of 26 October may well be the last such opportunity," the Bank of Greece said according to an official translation of a Greek statement released first.

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Syria Eyes Iraq, Lebanon Economic Lifelines

Syria, isolated over its deadly protest crackdown, hopes to cash in on support from neighbors Iraq and Lebanon to counter Arab sanctions that threaten to choke its economy.

"We know how to manage when the going gets rough, because we have been facing sanctions for years," a Syrian official told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

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Oil Prices Rise as Iran Hit by Sanctions

Oil prices rose on Tuesday after the West slapped economic sanctions on major crude exporter Iran, helping to offset weak demand worries caused by the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, climbed $1.43 to $98.35 a barrel.

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Greece's Largest Labor Union Plans Strike

Greece's largest trade union called Tuesday for a 24-hour strike next week to protest austerity measures, which would be the first major walkout since the appointment of an interim coalition government earlier this month.

The GSEE union, which represents mainly private sector workers, said it was aiming for a general strike on Dec. 1, but was waiting for a decision later Tuesday by the country's civil servants' union as to whether they would join. Greece's last general strike, held in October, saw services across the country shut down for two days.

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Indian Rupee Hits all Time Low Against Dollar

The Indian rupee plunged to an all time low against the dollar Tuesday as global demand for the U.S. currency and India's darkening economic picture swamped out central bank efforts to staunch the decline.

The rupee hit 52.73 to the dollar, breaching its March 3, 2009 low, analysts said.

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Markets Cautious After US Debt Talks Collapse

The collapse of talks aimed at reducing the staggering U.S. budget deficit weighed on world markets Tuesday but failed to stifle a rebound in Europe.

Stocks took a pummeling on Monday after a so-called supercommittee in Congress failed to reach a deal to cut the U.S. federal budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. While not entirely unexpected, the failure heightened worries that political bickering — in the U.S. and Europe — will hurt efforts to cut debt during a period of declining economic growth.

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Pipeline Sabotage Halts Yemen Refinery Operations

Operations at Aden's refinery came to a complete halt as crude oil supplies dried off after a pipeline was attacked in the latest act of sabotage on oil and gas installations in Yemen, a company official said Monday.

"The company's operations have stopped due to the lack of crude oil," said an official from the government-owned Aden Refinery Company.

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France's Top Credit Rating at Risk, Moody's Warns

An increase in French government borrowing costs, slowing growth and the Eurozone debt crisis threatens the country's top credit rating, Moody's ratings agency warned on Monday, adding to market jitters.

France is fighting desperately to retain its 'triple 'A credit status and has slashed spending and tightened up on tax revenues in an effort to stabilize its strained public finances but the markets are not convinced.

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Egypt Bourse Down 4% after Deadly Clashes

Egypt's stock exchange tumbled 4.04 percent on closing on Monday, as deadly clashes between police and protesters threatened to overshadow the first parliamentary polls since Hosni Mubarak was toppled.

The main EGX-30 index dipped to 3,860.99 points -- a drop of 4.04 percent -- as clashes raged into a third day in Cairo's Tahrir Square between security forces and protesters demanding the end of military rule.

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