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French study urges €30 billion cut in labor costs

The French government received Monday a 22-point report on why the economy was unable to compete globally with a key recommendation for a 30-billion-euro ($38 billion) “shock” reduction in labour costs. The document, which highlights an urgent dilemma over how to boost competitiveness, was presented by its author Louis Gallois,…

Report: British family courts put domestic violence victims at risk

Report finds women are frequently put in unsafe positions during proceedings, and government plans could make matters worse Government plans to enshrine the right of both divorced fathers and mothers to see their children risk putting victims of domestic violence and their children in danger, according to a new report.…

Queen Elizabeth’s wardrobe secrets revealed in new book

A gust of wind in her skirts worked for Marilyn Monroe, but aides to Queen Elizabeth II take care to avoid any such incident for the monarch by sewing weights into her dresses, one of her aides revealed Monday. “The queen undertakes a wide range of engagements, many of which…

China’s former party boss Bo Xilai expelled from Communist Party

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been formally expelled from the ruling Communist Party, state media said Sunday, in a decision made at a meeting of top party officials that ended just days ahead of a broader once-a-decade power handover. The ouster, which clears the way for Bo to face…

French await ‘hard words’ report on how they must compete in world economy

France is in a state of alarm about its slumping ability to pay its way in the world, and a report on industrial competitiveness due on Monday is expected to add fuel to a hot debate about the causes, solutions and effects. The so-called Gallois report, named after its author…

Foreign investors dip toes back into eurozone

Reassured by ECB anti-crisis moves, major international investors have begun dipping their toes back into the eurozone, even though they don’t believe the crisis is over. “The worst-case scenarios of those who had feared the eurozone would disappear has receded a bit,” said Jean-Louis Mourier, an economist at Aurel BGC…

Pope butler’s ‘accomplice’ goes on trial

A Vatican computer technician will go on trial Monday on charges of helping the pope’s former butler steal papers, in a case that could expose other whistle-blowers within the secretive Holy See. Claudio Sciarpelletti’s trial follows the conviction of ex-butler Paolo Gabriele, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail…

‘Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing’ author dies

Renowned Chinese-born writer Han Suyin, whose autobiographical novel was turned into the popular American film “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing”, has died in Lausanne, Switzerland, Chinese and Swiss media said Sunday. She was 95. Han, the author of about 40 books on modern China, died Friday, the Chinese state news…

European leaders seek Asian support on debt crisis

Dozens of European and Asian leaders will gather in impoverished Laos on Monday for a major summit set to be dominated by the eurozone debt crisis and growing territorial tensions in the region. Top European officials including French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti are due to…

Kuwait police use stun grenades against protest

Kuwaiti riot police used stun grenades and smoke bombs against thousands of demonstrators who blocked a major road south of the capital on Sunday as the emir met four leading opposition figures. After elite special forces and police completely sealed off the original protest site in Kuwait City, organisers told…

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