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  • But a nation not invited— neighboring power China— will be the proverbial elephant in the room as the leaders grapple with sensitive territorial disputes. U.S. officials say the two-day summit at the Sunnylands estate is not directed against China, a strategic rival of the U.S. China says it has a historical right to virtually all of the South China Sea and has...

  • MANILA, Philippines— A summit next week between Southeast Asian leaders and President Barack Obama is unlikely to deliver any big economic prizes, but will allow the American side to press the advantages of joining a Pacific trade pact that doesn't include China. "We are going to be engaged in Southeast Asia, we're going to be engaged in working with the nations of...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 12- The U.S. government said on Friday it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million. The agency said the F-16s would allow Pakistan's Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defense...

  • *Could reach $1,300 if stocks don't stop falling, analysts. Spot gold was down 1 percent at $1,234.30 an ounce by 1423 GMT, but has still risen more than 5 percent this week, the biggest weekly gain since October 2011. "Gold could test $1,260 or even $1,300 in the next few weeks, but I wouldn't be surprised if we also see some profit-taking," said Commerzbank analyst...

  • *New app collects data on morality police checkpoints. DUBAI, Feb 12- A new smartphone application that helps Iranians dodge the Islamic Republic's "morality police" is proving popular with the young, tech-savvy population but has quickly fallen foul of the authorities. Gershad is seen by some as setting a precedent for "digital protest" in Iran as elections loom...

  • *India spends more than $4 bln on annual coking coal imports. NEW DELHI, Feb 12- India is asking the country's big steelmakers to consider converting local medium-quality coal into premium coking coal to slash an annual import bill of more than $4 billion for buying that grade from countries such as Australia and South Africa. Resurgent local output of...

  • MUNICH— Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Friday defended his country's foreign policy and its stance in Yemen and Syria, insisting that the kingdom has no ambitions beyond its borders. Riyadh is also one of the main opponents of President Bashar Assad's government in Syria. He spoke after joining foreign ministers from global and regional powers— including...

  • Consumers in China and India tend to typically buy gold in jewellery form, swooping in to hunt bargains or if they are confident of a sustained rally. A lack of interest from China and India- which together account for about 45 percent of world gold demand- could put a dent on the metal's biggest rally in years, though panic buying of gold coins and bars led by Western...

  • NEW DELHI— Coca-Cola suspended bottling at three plants in India, including one in the parched northwest where farmers have been protesting the company's use of dwindling groundwater reserves. Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, which is a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Co. based in Atlanta, said it was reorganizing operations across its 24 franchise bottling...

  • *Could go to $1,300 if stocks don't stop falling- Standard Bank. SINGAPORE, Feb 12- Gold on Friday clung to sharp overnight gains that pushed the metal to a one-year high, and looked set to post its best week in over four years as stock market turmoil stoked safe-haven demand. Spot gold rose to as high as $1,260.60 an ounce on Thursday, its highest since February last...

  • JAKARTA, Indonesia— Human Rights Watch on Friday urged Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to protect gay and lesbian rights, a day after his government told instant messaging apps to remove stickers featuring same-sex couples in the latest high-profile attempt to discourage visible homosexuality in the socially conservative country.

  • *Rajan wants to integrate India into global economy, debate. MUMBAI, Feb 12- In a video conference in mid-2014, Indian central bank governor Raghuram Rajan told employees that he wanted to hire talented external candidates and improve the quality of research at the 81- year-old central bank. But in the storied halls of the Reserve Bank of India, where staff have to...

  • *Indonesia has Twitter's top Internet user penetration rate. *Twitter says Indonesia has great potential, still a top mkt. While Twitter doesn't break down country figures, Global Web Index data shows Indonesia remains joint first with Mexico in active users among the 34 countries the UK- based metrics company monitors- and significantly ahead in terms of...

  • *Earlier Felda plan to buy $680 mln stake was heavily criticised. JAKARTA/ KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12- Malaysian state-owned conglomerate Felda will use an unlisted unit to buy into Indonesian tycoon Peter Sondakh's debt-burdened Rajawali Group, sources familiar with the matter said, seeking to avoid heavy investor criticism that scuttled an attempted deal last...

  • ANKARA/ DUBAI, Feb 11- Iran's cancellation of a conference when it had been due to unveil investment contracts to international oil firms signals that political feuding is disrupting plans to revive its energy sector. Tehran blamed snags in obtaining British visas for Iranian delegates to the long-delayed conference, which had been scheduled to be held in...

  • JAKARTA, Indonesia— Human Rights Watch on Friday urged Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo to protect gay and lesbian rights, a day after his government told instant messaging apps to remove stickers featuring same-sex couples in the latest high-profile attempt to discourage visible homosexuality in the socially conservative country.

  • *Iran seen as stumbling block, unlikely to agree-sources. Top exporter Saudi Arabia might be warming to the idea, though it was too early to say whether the kingdom would give its blessing because any deal depends mainly on a commitment by Iran to restrict its plan to boost exports, the sources said. The proposal of a production "freeze" at current levels was floated...

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 11- Tata Motors reported on Thursday strong sales by its British Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary in Europe and North America in the last three months of last year, offsetting a drop in China, once its fastest-growing market. Retail sales by JLR, which has been rapidly expanding its model line-up and volumes with new production planned in Europe and...

  • JAKARTA, Feb 11- Indonesia on Thursday opened dozens of sectors to foreign investors in what President Joko Widodo has described as a "Big Bang" liberalisation of its economy, Southeast Asia's largest. "More international investment will bring more capital, more world-class expertise, more technologies to Indonesia. The negative investment list sets out which...

  • NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, Feb 11- India's turbocharged growth figures have been criticized by many analysts for giving too flattering a view of Asia's third-largest economy. Consumer spending was the main driver behind India's 7.3 percent growth in the October-December quarter, as a pick up in urban spending more than compensated for subdued spending in rual areas...