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  • DUBAI, Oct 1- The International Cotton Association said it is introducing mediation services to help resolve disputes over reneged contracts that have blocked hundreds of blacklisted firms from doing business.

  • JERUSALEM, Oct 1- Erel Margalit has packed a lot in, from frontline combat in Lebanon to a PhD in philosophy at Columbia University, advising Jerusalem's former mayor and launching a billion dollar venture capital firm.

  • JERUSALEM, Oct 1- Within sight of Jerusalem's Old City stands a modernist building housing one of Israel's most successful venture capital firms, the backer of scores of start-ups over the past 20 years that have generated nearly $18 billion for investors.

  • *China's PMI steadies at 51.1, just above forecast. *Ample supply, higher OPEC output weighs on prices. Concern over growing oil supply despite conflict in the Middle East and a stronger dollar pushed global benchmark Brent to its lowest since June 2012 on Tuesday, and the same factors are likely to keep a lid on any price recovery.

  • Saudi overhaul reshapes Islam's holiest city Mecca Wednesday, 1 Oct 2014 | 3:11 AM ET

    At that time, Mecca was so small, pilgrims could sit at the cube-shaped Kaaba and look out at the serene desert mountains where the Prophet Muhammad once walked. "My father and all the people who lived in Mecca wouldn't recognize it," said al-Bar, who is now Mecca's mayor.

  • NYMEX-Oil pares steep declines, stays above $91 Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 8:35 PM ET

    *NYMEX crude for November delivery was up 19 cents at $91.35 a barrel by 0014 GMT, after settling down $3.41 at $91.16 on Tuesday, hurt by falling gasoline prices and the dollar's surge to a four-year peak against a basket of currencies.

  • "All across the world we have seen, from Asia to Europe to Africa to North America, more and more people are consciously thinking about healthy food, exercising, looking to nature, getting massages and doing yoga," said Ophelia Yeung, a senior consultant for SRI International who led the study.

  • Business Highlights Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 6:02 PM ET

    School spending by affluent is widening wealth gap. WASHINGTON— Education is supposed to help bridge the gap between the wealthiest people and everyone else. Ask the experts, and they'll count the ways:.

  • NEW YORK, Sept 30- World oil prices tumbled to their lowest in more than two years on Tuesday, with U.S. crude posting its biggest daily decline since 2012, as a drop in gasoline prices and end-of-quarter selling capped three months of steep losses.

  • *Gold notches 6 pct drop in Sept, biggest in 15 months. *Unrest in Hong Kong could hit physical demand from China. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Sept 30- Gold fell to a nine-month low on Tuesday as the dollar surged and commodities led by crude oil tumbled on expectations of further gains in the U.S. currency.

  • Strike-scarred Air France-KLM may need strategy rethink Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 11:59 AM ET

    PARIS, Sept 30- With no deal in sight over pilot pay and up to 300 million euros of strike costs to absorb, Air France-KLM may need to rethink its route to viability.

  • US consumer confidence slides in September Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 10:17 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— U.S. consumer confidence deteriorated in September after hitting the highest level in nearly seven years in August. Some suggested that the result may have been influenced by heightened global tensions as the conflict against Middle East militants widens.

  • *OPEC output highest since November 2012- Reuters. LONDON, Sept 30- OPEC's oil supply jumped to its highest in almost two years in September, a Reuters survey found, due to further recovery in Libya and higher output from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers in the face of sub- $100 per barrel oil prices.

  • *Sisi hails Suez Canal expansion as flagship project. CAIRO, Sept 30- In his first 100 days in office, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has made a fast start on economic reform: slashing costly fuel subsidies, raising taxes and devising infrastructure projects to secure long-term revenues and ease unemployment.

  • LONDON, Sept 30- U.S. oil refiners have been among the biggest beneficiaries of free trade in the last decade, so it is ironic some continue to lobby hard to maintain the protectionist ban on crude exports. Production, profits and jobs at U.S. refineries are increasingly underpinned by exports to Europe, Latin America and Asia.

  • LONDON, Sept 30- Global investor sentiment is diverging, with Europeans, including the UK, remaining bullish on stocks and keeping allocations in place while the United States and Japan fret over rising risks, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

  • *1st export of Alaskan crude to South Korea in more than a decade. NEW YORK/ SEOUL, Sept 30- The first U.S. export of Alaskan crude to South Korea in more than a decade set sail at the weekend, according to a company source and shipping data, marking another milestone as booming shale oil output forces domestic drillers to seek new customers.

  • DUBAI, Sept 30- Gulf banks are feeling the pinch of rapidly shrinking corporate loan margins, with some predicting a bounce in lending rates as soon as the first half of 2015 as the escalating price war bites into profitability.

  • DUBAI/ RIYADH, Sept 30- The decision by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join air strikes in Syria reflects an increasingly muscular foreign policy by the Gulf Arab heavyweights that has already started to reshape the balance of power in the Middle East.

  • SHEKHAN, Iraq, Sept 30- For Salah Paulis, it came down to a choice between his faith and his crop. A wheat farmer from outside Mosul, Paulis and his family fled the militant group Islamic State early last month. The group overran the family farm as part of its offensive that captured vast swathes of territory in northern Iraq.