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  • Egypt to host major economic conference in March Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 | 4:57 AM ET

    CAIRO— Egypt's prime minister says his government will host a three-day international economic conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh starting March 13 to support the country's economy. Ibrahim Mahlab said Saturday that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are partners in organizing the gathering. The two Gulf countries are strong...

  • *China's first rate cut in 2 years helped spark rally. *Expectations grow for OPEC production cut at Nov. 27 meet. NEW YORK, Nov 21- Oil prices rose on Friday for their first weekly gain in two months with benchmark Brent crude returning to above $80 a barrel after a rally triggered by China's interest rate cut and speculation of an OPEC output cut.

  • *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose above $80 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation that OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production. The rate cut added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expected an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting...

  • *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose more than $2 to above $81 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation that OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production. The rate cut added to a positive mood among oil traders, many of whom expected an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum...

  • Pluristem posts 1Q loss Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 7:15 AM ET

    HAIFA, Israel _ Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. on Friday reported a loss of $5.9 million, or 9 cents per share, in its fiscal first quarter. The company, based in Haifa, Israel, posted revenue of $95,000 in the period. This story was generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.

  • *Libya and Ecuador also call for lower OPEC output. *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose to near $81 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation that OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production.

  • Food and face-lift scandals rock Lebanon Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 6:54 AM ET

    BEIRUT— It is often said that Lebanon has only two things going for it, food and plastic surgery. Lebanon has also become a favored cosmetic surgery destination due to the reputation of the country's surgeons. In back-to-back press conferences, Abu Faour announced the result of an investigation into the food industry, naming popular restaurants as prime...

  • *Libya and Ecuador also call for lower OPEC output. *Market beginning to expect OPEC cut, analysts say. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose above $80 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation OPEC could agree next week to reduce oil production.

  • *Libya and Ecuador also call for lower OPEC output. LONDON, Nov 21- Brent crude oil rose towards $80 a barrel on Friday on speculation OPEC could agree output cuts at a meeting next week, with strong U.S. economic data also bolstering prices. Libya and Ecuador have also called for OPEC to cut output.

  • *Washington conciliatory after secret talks angered Paris. *France risks losing out commercially if Iran deal struck. France, a U.N. Security Council veto-holder, has long held out for strict terms trading a loosening of international sanctions on Iran's oil-based economy in return for commitments by Tehran to show its nuclear work is as peaceful as it insists.

  • New Egypt comic artists push limits of expression Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 2:05 AM ET

    CAIRO— A new feminist comic book, the Jewelry Box, has emerged in Egypt, the latest addition in a blossoming scene of alternative comics, as artists seek freer outlets of expression in a country where independent voices are finding it harder to speak. Cartoons and political satire go back over a hundred years in Egypt, and are a staple in newspapers that have often...

  • SINGAPORE, Nov 21- Brent briefly rose to $80 a barrel on Friday on speculation OPEC could agree to output cuts at its meeting next week, with strong U.S. economic data also bolstering oil prices. Libya, Ecuador and Venezuela earlier called for OPEC to cut production. Iran urged fellow OPEC members to shore up oil prices while saying a reduction in output was unlikely.

  • SINGAPORE, Nov 21- Brent briefly touched $80 a barrel on Friday on speculation OPEC could agree to output cuts at its meeting next week, with strong U.S. economic data also bolstering oil prices. Libya, Ecuador and Venezuela earlier called for OPEC to cut production. Iran urged fellow OPEC members to shore up oil prices while saying a reduction in output was...

  • NYMEX-U.S. crude climbs towards $77 on strong U.S. data Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 | 8:31 PM ET

    SINGAPORE Nov 21- U.S. crude climbed towards $77 a barrel in Asian trade on Friday following strong U.S. economic data overnight and mounting speculation oil ministers could agree production cuts at next week's OPEC meeting. *Venezuela would be willing to cut oil output if OPEC agrees to production cuts at the oil cartel's meeting on Nov. 27, its Foreign Minister...

  • VIENNA, Nov 20- Tehran has yet to explain away allegations it conducted atomic bomb research, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Thursday, four days before a deadline for Iran and six world powers to reach a deal on the Iranian nuclear programme. Secretary of State John Kerry flies to Vienna for what are meant to be final talks to clinch a deal with Iran,...

  • Iran's top leader pardons controversial blogger Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 | 12:57 PM ET

    TEHRAN, Iran— Iran's top leader has pardoned a controversial Iranian-Canadian blogger more than 11 years before the end of his prison term, the semi-official ISNA news reported on Thursday. Writing from Canada, Derakhshan was initially a critic of Iran's clerical leadership. He visited Isrnkael, Iran's archenemy, in 2006 saying he wanted to act as a bridge...

  • US promotes entrepreneurship to counter extremism Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 | 12:02 PM ET

    MARRAKECH, Morocco— The U.S. is promoting entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa as a way to create jobs and counter extremism in the region, senior American officials said Thursday at a conference in Morocco. Vice President Joe Biden and other American officials attending the 5th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morocco were hopeful of...

  • Iran firm displays US-made helicopters Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 | 5:36 AM ET

    Mahmoud Azin, the head of Iran's Helicopters Company, told the Tasnim news website that the helicopters were purchased at a marked-up price through "dealers" and can be used for both training and police air patrols. Azin said the purchase showed that Iran could bypass U.S. and international sanctions. U.S. firms are largely forbidden from doing business with Iran...

  • *Says will raise matter with Saudi Arabia at OPEC. *OPEC meets Nov. 27 in Vienna. Zanganeh said he will talk with top oil exporter Saudi Arabia about market share when OPEC meets next week, IRNA said on Thursday.

  • VIENNA, Nov 20- The U.N. nuclear agency chief said on Thursday that Iran had failed to provide explanations in response to allegations of possible atomic bomb research, and he called on Tehran to step up cooperation with a long-running investigation. "I call upon Iran to increase its cooperation with the agency and to provide timely access to all relevant...