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  • Germany's SPD won't back down in U.S. trade talks Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 | 6:46 AM ET

    BERLIN, March 21- Germany's economy minister has promised to block any clauses in a trade deal between the European Union and the United States that go against the ideals of his centre-left Social Democrats, including investor protection clauses wanted by the Americans. "What the SPD doesn't want won't happen," Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's deputy...

  • The WHO's cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto Co herbicide Roundup, was "classified as probably carcinogenic to humans." Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, said scientific data do not support the conclusions and called on the WHO to hold an urgent meeting to explain the...

  • ATHENS, March 21- Greece's parliament on Saturday approved a bill that offers hefty cuts in fines and long repayment plans to citizens owing billions of euros in overdue taxes in a bid to boost depleted state coffers. Greece is due to receive 7.2 billion euros in remaining European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout funds if it delivers on its reforms.

  • Popular weed killer deemed probable carcinogen by UN Friday, 20 Mar 2015 | 2:25 PM ET

    LONDON— One of the world's most popular weed-killers— and the most widely used kind in the U.S.— has been labeled a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The decision was made by IARC, the France- based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, which considered the status of five insect and weed killers including...

  • March 20- The number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States continued to decline this week, falling 41 to 825, the lowest rig count in four years, oil services firm Baker Hughes said in its closely-watched survey on Friday. U.S. crude futures have dropped by about 60 percent since June due to concerns OPEC and the United States are producing too much oil while...

  • WARSAW, March 20- European Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday it was increasingly difficult to maintain a united European Union position on sanctions imposed on Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis. European Union leaders agreed on Thursday that economic sanctions imposed on Russia will stay in place until a Ukraine peace deal is...

  • *Greece running out cash and creditors frustrated by delays. However, she signalled some flexibility on what reforms Athens would have to make, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker offered leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a sweetener by saying 2 billion euros from the European Union budget were available to ease the...

  • EU summit wraps up with talks on Libya, economy Friday, 20 Mar 2015 | 10:21 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— European Union heads of state and government spent the final day of their spring summit focused on the situation in Libya and on ways to boost the bloc's economy:. —LIBYA: The leaders, fearful the unrest in Libya could splash over into Europe, tasked the EU's top diplomat with helping mediate talks between Libya's warring factions. —UKRAINE: Leaders agreed...

  • DUBAI/ KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, March 20- As the global energy industry stares transfixed at a spectacular drop in U.S. rigs, Saudi Arabia is ramping up the number of machines drilling for oil and gas despite a sharp fall in the price of crude. Industry sources and analysts say the OPEC kingpin is looking beyond the halving of global oil prices since June 2014 to a time...

  • ACCRA, March 20- Moody's Investors Service downgraded Ghana's sovereign rating and put the country on a negative outlook to reflect an increasing debt burden, large fiscal imbalances and a sharp weakening of the cedi currency. The downgrade from by one notch to B3 from B2 comes despite an agreement with the International Monetary Fund in February for a...

  • *Kuwait says OPEC must keep output steady. LONDON, March 20- Brent crude oil fell towards $54 a barrel on Friday and was on track for its third straight weekly loss, hurt by oversupply worries after Kuwait said OPEC had no choice but to maintain output levels. "Oil has been under pressure following remarks by Kuwait's oil minister and the very slim chance of an...

  • MOSCOW, March 20- Russia described "sanctions rhetoric" as destructive on Friday and said it would do what is in its national interests after European Union leaders kept economic sanctions in place over the Ukraine crisis. In comments to reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also accused Kiev of violating the terms of a peace deal for eastern Ukraine that...

  • BRUSSELS— Top leaders of the European Union emerged from a meeting with the Greek prime minister early Friday telling him much what they have for weeks: Come up with a reform plan if you want more money to stay solvent. The EU leaders said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras committed to providing a list of specific reforms in the coming days that would improve his...

  • BEIJING, March 20- China's economy is likely to grow around 7 percent this year and 6.9 percent in 2016 as the government pushes reforms on interest rates and the currency and pursues slower but higher-quality growth, the OECD said on Friday. China can avoid an abrupt slowdown as long as the government ensures an orderly unwinding of economic imbalances, the...

  • *Kuwait says OPEC must keep output steady. SINGAPORE, March 20- Brent crude fell towards $54 a barrel on Friday and was on track for its third weekly loss, hurt by oversupply worries after Kuwait said OPEC had no choice but to maintain output levels. High inventory in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, also weighed on prices.

  • OECD head: Europe heading for faster recovery Friday, 20 Mar 2015 | 2:05 AM ET

    BEIJING, March 20- Europe is heading towards a faster economic recovery due to low oil prices, low interest rates and a "more competitive" euro currency, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in Beijing on Friday.

  • BEIJING, March 20- China's economy is likely to grow around 7 percent this year and 6.9 percent in 2016 as the government pushes forward reforms on interest rates and the currency and pursues slower but higher-quality growth, the OECD said on Friday. China can avoid an abrupt growth slowdown as long as the government ensures an orderly unwinding of economic...

  • *Kuwait says OPEC must keep output steady. *Iraq's southern crude oil export rate up in March. SINGAPORE, March 20- Brent prices rebounded towards $55 a barrel on Friday as the dollar weakened slightly, but gains were limited by supply concerns after Kuwait said OPEC had no choice but to maintain output levels.

  • *Kuwait says OPEC must keep output steady. *Iraq's southern crude oil export rate up in March. SINGAPORE, March 20- Brent prices rebounded towards $55 a barrel on Friday as the dollar weakened, but gains were limited by supply concerns after Kuwait said OPEC had no choice but to maintain output levels.

  • BRUSSELS, March 19- European Union leaders agreed on Thursday that economic sanctions imposed on Russia will stay in place until a Ukraine peace deal is fully implemented, effectively extending them to the end of the year if need be. EU governments were divided on whether to act now to renew economic sanctions on Russia which expire in July or to wait several...