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Economy to grow by an estimated 0.9% this year

FIONA REDDAN and ARTHUR BEESLEY in Brussels The economy will grow by a modest 0.9 per cent this year, according to the latest forecast from the State think tank the Economic and Social Research Institute. However, if the outcome this year is weaker than this, it may affect the Government’s budgetary targets, one of the authors of the institute’s latest ...

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Kevin Rudd says ‘things have to change’ as he mounts leadership challenge

Australia’s former foreign minister, Kevin Rudd announces he will contest a leadership vote against Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, bringing to a head the bitter rivalry engulfing the minority government. 560 315 TelegraphPlayer_9102769 8:20AM GMT 24 Feb 2012 Mr Rudd, who was ousted by Gillard in June 2010, said he was the best person to lead the governing Labor Party ...

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EU expects eurozone to suffer mild recession

* Signs point to a 0.3% slowdown, largely because of debt-related austerity measures. ASSOCIATED PRESS Olli Rehn, a top European Commission economic official, is predicting that the 17-nation eurozone will have a modest recession this year, despite recent signs of stabilization. While the contraction is expected to be relatively severe in Greece, the overall slowdown should be tempered by growth ...

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Higher gas prices cloud Obama’s re-election hopes

WASHINGTON – Soaring gasoline prices are threatening to undercut President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects and offering Republicans an easy target. With prices pushing $4 a gallon and threatening to go even higher, Obama sought Thursday to confront rising public anxiety and strike back at his GOP critics. “Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad ...

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Poll predicts Putin’s first-round election victory

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s leading independent polling company says Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected take victory in the presidential election in the first round. Levada Center’s chief Lev Gudkov said Friday that the latest poll data show that Putin may win up to 66 percent of ballots in the March 4 election. The data indicated that Putin has managed ...

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Pakistan: Militants attack police station, kill 4

RIAZ KHAN Associated Press= PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Suicide bombers armed with assault rifles and grenades attacked a large police station in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar early Friday, killing four officers in an assault authorities said was likely in revenge for offensives against nearby strongholds. The attack was the latest in a spasm of violence in or close to ...

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Iraq attacks kill 60, raise sectarian fears

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Simultaneous early morning attacks on mostly Shi’ite targets across Iraq killed at least 60 people and wounded dozens Thursday in the one of the bloodiest days of violence since U.S. troops pulled out in mid-December. Members of security forces stand guard at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad ...

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Obama apologizes for Quran burning in Afghanistan

PATRICK QUINN Associated Press= KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — President Barack Obama apologized Thursday for the burning of copies of the Muslim holy book at a U.S. military base this week, as violent protests raging nationwide led a man dressed in an Afghan army uniform to kill two U.S. troops. The Afghans’ furious response to the Quran burning — three days ...

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Greece bailout: MPs approve debt swap deal

The Greek parliament has passed a law that allows a debt write-down with private creditors, which is a key plank of its EU/IMF bailout agreement. Banks and other private creditors will be asked to take a 53.5% loss on their bonds, wiping out 107bn euros (£90bn;$142bn) of Greek debt. Now that the debt swap has been approved, MPs will also ...

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