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BP and oligarchs face off as $4.9 billion claim looms

BP prompted the spat with AAR, the consortium of Russian and Russia-connected oligarchs who own half of oil company TNK-BP, by agreeing a share swap and Arctic exploration deal with Russian-state-controlledRosneft <ROSN.MM>. AAR secured a court injunction that blocked the deal, which finally collapsed in May when the quartet of billionaire shareholders…

Education fever sparks divorce in S. Korea

A housewife who abused her son for his poor test scores was Wednesday ordered to pay her husband 10 million won ($8,500) in a divorce case which highlights South Korea’s obsession with education. The ruling by the Seoul Family Court, which did not name the family, was reported by Yonhap news agency. It said the couple married…

Tens of thousands at risk in Somalia

The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains “highly critical,” as the war-torn nation struggles from drought and famine, theInternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned Wednesday. “The situation in Somalia remains highly critical. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis are still displaced from their homes in search of security and food,” the ICRC said…

Ex-NOTW reporter claims unfair dismissal

The News of the World’s ex-chief reporter, who was arrested over the phone-hacking row, is taking Rupert Murdoch’s News International to a tribunal claiming unfair dismissal, officials said on Wednesday. News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch’s US-based News Corporation empire, said it would “vigorously” contest Neville Thurlbeck’s claim that he was sacked…

Toyota auto output up for first time in 12 months

Japan’s Toyota Motor on Wednesday said domestic production rose for the first time in 12 months in August as it recovers from the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster. Total domestic production of cars, trucks and buses produced byToyota and its two affiliates – Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors – rose 12.0 percent from…

French budget targets deficit but growth uncertain

The French government on Wednesday presented a 2012 austerity budget, promising to balance strained public finances but warning that eurozone debt “turbulence” could yet derail timid growth. France’s public deficit will reach 5.7 percent of gross domestic product this year, before dropping to 4.5 percent in 2012 and then to the European Union limit of 3.0…

Man Group loses $6 billion from asset base

Hedge fund manager Man Group said Wednesday it had lost $6.0 billion (4.4 billion euros) from its asset base since June due to financial markets chaos, sparking a 21-percent plunge in its shares. Man Group said in a trading update that its total funds under management currently stood at about $65 billion.…

U.S.-Taiwan arms deal to affect exchanges: China

Beijing said on Wednesday Washington’s decision to upgradeTaiwan’s F-16 fighters would damage military ties between the United States and China, impacting military exchanges and high-level visits. China has repeatedly condemned the $5.85 billion US deal to upgrade Taiwan’s fleet of F-16 fighter jets, summoning the US ambassador and warning the move would undermine warmingmilitary…

Mexican group vows to ‘eliminate’ feared Zeta drug gang

MEXICO CITY — A paramilitary group is vowing to “eliminate” the Zetas, reputedly Mexico’s most violent drug gang, in a video posted on the Internet several days after 49 bodies were found on the streets of Veracruz. The video, posted on Saturday according to its creators, shows a group of…

Canada has best reputation in the world: study

OTTAWA — Canada has the best reputation in the world, says a study measuring public perceptions of 50 countries around the world, released on Tuesday. The Reputation Institute study measures the trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards 50 countries, as well as perceptions of peoples’ quality…

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