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Qatar energy minister urges Gaza ceasefire to end Red Sea insecurity

Qatar's Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi on Monday called for a ceasefire in Gaza to end insecurity in the Red Sea which has disrupted hydrocarbon deliveries in the vital shipping route.

The minister, who is also the chief executive of state-owned hydrocarbon giant QatarEnergy, said the "root of the problem" in the Red Sea, where Iran-backed Houthi rebels have targeted commercial vessels, "is the Israeli invasion of Gaza."

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Beirut judge charges Nissan employees for 'stealing' Ghosn documents

A Lebanese judge has charged four Nissan employees with the theft of documents and devices from the Beirut home and office of the company's former boss Carlos Ghosn, a judicial source said Saturday.

A lawyer for the company told AFP the legal action was "unlawful" and that the company would seek to have the charges thrown out.

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Most Americans feel they pay too much in taxes, AP-NORC poll finds

A majority of taxpayers feel they pay too much in taxes, with many saying that they receive a poor value in return, according to a new poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Two-thirds of U.S. taxpayers say they spend "too much" on federal income taxes, as tax season begins. About 7 in 10 say the same about local property taxes, while roughly 6 in 10 feel that way about state sales tax. Generally speaking, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to view taxes as unfair, to say they are paying too much in taxes, and to see taxes as a poor value.

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Indian farmers strike to demand guaranteed crop prices

Farmers blocked highways and held demonstrations in many rural areas in northern India on Friday to protest over a range of grievances that have also led tens of thousands to march toward the capital in tractors and wagons.

Farmers in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab held sit-ins near toll plazas on major highways in the strike, supported by some trade unions. Authorities advised commuters to plan routes carefully to avoid blocked roads.

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Algeria's black market for foreign currency underlines its economic woes

In a square near the center of Algiers, currency traders carry wads of euros, pounds and dollars, hoping to exchange them to those worried about the plummeting value of the Algerian dinar.

This black market for foreign currencies is among the signs of the economic woes plaguing Algeria. The state, reluctant to allow the exchange rate to adjust fully, has proven incapable of limiting demand among the population as confidence in the dinar remains low.

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US inflation slows but remains elevated as price pressures ease gradually

Annual inflation in the United States cooled last month yet remained elevated in the latest sign that the pandemic-fueled price surge is only gradually and fitfully coming under control.

Tuesday's report from the Labor Department showed that the consumer price index rose 0.3% from December to January, up from a 0.2% increase the previous month. Compared with a year ago, prices are up 3.1%.

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Bezos sells millions of Amazon shares worth at least $2 billion with more to come

Jeff Bezos filed a statement with federal regulators indicating his sale of nearly 12 million shares of Amazon stock worth more than $2 billion.

The Amazon executive chairman notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of the sale of 11,997,698 shares of common stock on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8.

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Israel's finance minister blasts Moody's downgrade of Israel's credit rating

Israel's finance minister has slammed the decision by financial ratings agency Moody's to downgrade Israel's credit rating, saying the announcement is a "political manifesto" that "did not include serious economic claims."

Moody's dropped the rating on Israel's debt on Friday, warning that the ongoing war in Gaza and a possible war in the north with Hezbollah could adversely affect Israel's economy.

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Thousands of minority Serbs protest Kosovo's decision to abolish the Serbian dinar

Thousands of minority Serbs in Kosovo on Monday protested a ban of the use of the Serbian currency in areas where they live, an issue that has been the cause of the latest crisis in relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Tensions escalated after the government of Kosovo, a former Serbian province, banned banks and other financial institutions in the Serb-populated areas from using the dinar in local transactions, starting Feb. 1, and imposed the euro.

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US recession risks fade but political tensions pose threat to economy

Just a quarter of business economists and analysts expect the United States to fall into recession this year. And any downturn would likely result from an external shock — such as a conflict involving China — rather than from domestic economic factors such as higher interest rates.

But respondents to a National Association of Business Economics survey released Monday still expect year-over-year inflation to exceed 2.5% — above the Federal Reserve's 2% target — through 2024.

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