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WTO: Aid for Trade Funding Holds Steady in 2010

Donor aid to fund trade appeared to hold up in 2010 despite weak global economic growth and increasing concerns over state debt, the World Trade Organization said on Monday.

But with pressure expected to grow in coming months over the high debt of major donor countries such as the United States, emerging economies may have to take a bigger role in financing aid for trade, the WTO said.

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Iran and China Ink Agreements Totalling $4 Billion

Iran and China on Saturday signed a series of agreements worth $4 billion (2.8 billion euros) for infrastructure projects as part of a broader bid to boost trade volume between the two nations, Iranian state media reported.

As part of a $500 million (354 million euros) deal, China agreed to provide Iran with 60 energy recovery incinerators, which are to be installed within a year in major cities and in Iran's northern tourism hub along the Caspian sea.

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Greece in The Spotlight After Evoking Selective Default

Greece heads to another EU summit next week on fresh aid for its debt-wracked economy after evoking -- before pulling back -- the thorny notion of a selective default that could unleash a Eurozone storm.

The term is understood to mean a pick-and-choose approach to a country's maturing debt, with a government arranging to delay repayment on certain obligations while continuing to fully honor others.

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Iraq Key Oil Player in Next 20 Years

Iraq will be the key player in international oil politics over the next two decades, the country's top government official for the energy sector said on Saturday.

"If we continue along the path we are on, Iraq will over the next two decades be the country that sets oil policy in the world in terms of price, supply and demand," Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said at a conference of Iraqi diplomats in Baghdad.

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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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China Retail Giant Delays Hong Kong Trading Debut

China's top hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group has delayed its Hong Kong trading debut scheduled for Friday over an error in its prospectus, after raising $1.06 billion from the share sale.

The retail giant, backed by France's Groupe Auchan SA, has sold 1.14 billion shares at HK$7.20 (93 US cents) each, at the top end of its price range, bucking a recent downturn in the Hong Kong IPO market, the world's biggest.

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China, Wall Street Pile Pressure on U.S. Debt Talks

Largest U.S. creditor China and Wall Street piled on pressure Thursday for President Barack Obama and his Republican foes to reach an elusive budget compromise and avert a ruinous early August default.

Cries of alarm over the stalemate's potential impact on the world economy grew louder as Obama and congressional leaders opened their fifth straight day of talks at the White House with long odds of a breakthrough.

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Master-Planned Community ‘Waterfront City’ Unveiled in Lebanon

Waterfront City, the flagship project to line the Joseph Khoury Marina stretch in Dbayeh , was launched Wednesday, in a breathtaking ceremony on-site in Lebanon. Hundreds of guests, partners and members of the press gathered on the vast project site, where the much-anticipated grand-scale master planned development will rise from, to witness its unveil. The project, as was confirmed, will include residential, commercial and leisure facilities, to unfold in multiple phases over the next few years.

On July 13, 2011, Phase One of Waterfront City was launched, which will include 7 unique buildings, an uplifted promenade with cafes, restaurants and a retail zone. The project, located on the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 15km north of Beirut, is a product of a strong joint collaboration between Ste Joseph G. Khoury et Fils Holding and regional developer Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

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U.S. Companies Propose Curbing Junk Food Ads for Kids

The nation's largest food companies say they will cut back on marketing unhealthier foods to children, proposing their own set of advertising standards after rejecting similar guidelines proposed by the federal government.

A coalition of food companies — including General Mills, ConAgra and Kellogg — plan to announce the guidelines Thursday. The companies said the effort will vastly change what is advertised, forcing them to curb advertising on one out of three products currently marketed to children.

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China Worried About U.S. Economy

China is watching whether the Federal Reserve launches a new stimulus that might hurt China by pushing up commodity prices, a Cabinet researcher said Thursday.

The U.S. economy "has been doing worse than expected" and Beijing needs to "seriously assess" possible risks to its vast holdings of American debt, said Yu Bin, an economist in the Cabinet's Development Research Center.

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