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Germany gaining in Michelin-ranked restaurants

Germany has increased its tally of top-ranked restaurants in next year’s prestigious Michelin guide, unveiled here on Wednesday, and has a record number of eateries with star status. In bestowing three stars on La Belle Epoque restaurant in the northern town of Luebeck-Travemuende for 2013, Germany now has 10 restaurants…

German economy beginning to feel pinch of Europe’s debt crisis

The German economy, which long seemed immune to Europe’s debilitating debt crisis, is now feeling the pinch and growth will be hit in the fourth quarter, a panel of top economic experts said Wednesday. This assessment was backed up by new data showing that industrial output slumped in September, as…

France adopts marriage equality plan despite opposition

France’s Socialist government Wednesday adopted a draft bill to authorise gay marriage and adoption despite opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and others. “This is an important step towards the equality of rights,” said Minister of Family Affairs Dominique Bertinnoti. President Francois Hollande, who had made the issue a key…

Work resumes at key Libyan oil refinery

A Libyan oil executive said on Wednesday work is gradually resuming at a strategic refinery in the western town of Zawiyah, following a disruptive protest by former rebels seeking medical treatment. “All refinery workers have returned to their posts today,” said Imed bin Kura, acting director of the Zawiyah Oil…

European stocks climb after Obama win

European stock markets and the euro climbed on Wednesday as traders reacted to US President Barack Obama’s convincing re-election and looked ahead to a key Greek vote on austerity. In early deals, London’s FTSE 100 index of top companies edged up 0.10 percent to 5,889.98 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 added…

The Philippines’ mortician to the stars

Before dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a host of other famous Philippine figures met their Maker, they met Frank Malabed. An assassinated democracy hero, a soft-porn star, high-profile socialites and political statesmen are others to have been sent to the afterlife by the country’s most prominent — and arguably passionate —…

Egypt’s Morsi hopes Obama win boosts ‘friendship’

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday hailed his US counterpart Barack Obama re-election and said he hoped it would strengthen the “friendship” between their two countries. Morsi hoped for a “strengthening of the friendship between the two countries to serve their common interests, namely justice, freedom and peace,” in…

Palestinian president welcomes Obama win

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday congratulated US President Barack Obama on his re-election and called on him to pursue Middle East peace efforts. Abbas “congratulated US President Barak Obama on his re-election as US president for a second term,” said a statement carried by official news agency WAFA. “The…

Fiji leader says constitution boss wants to hijack reforms

Fiji’s military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama has accused the academic charged with drafting the Pacific nation’s new constitution of “hijacking” the reform process and overstepping his role. But Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup, denied harassing Constitutional Commission chairman Yash Ghai and called on the Kenyan scholar to consider…

Europe and Asia leaders praise Australia PM for sexism speech

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Wednesday that world leaders congratulated her at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Laos on her now famous misogyny speech, which went viral on the Internet. Gillard, the nation’s first woman leader, made an aggressive speech in parliament last month accusing opposition leader Tony Abbott of…

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