AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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China-backed bank approves 13 new members BEIJING: The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said Thursday it has approved 13 new prospective members including Canada, in a coup for Beijing after Washington failed to dissuade US allies from signing up. The Beijing-headquartered multilateral lender, which began operations earlier last year,…

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OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government put the brakes on its spending spree in the latest budget released Wednesday, as US policies and EU elections cast a haze over the global economic outlook. The proposed budget limits new spending to Can$5.7 billion ($4.3 billion) over six years—about 10…

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BRASÍLIA: Brazil halved its 2017 economic growth forecast Wednesday, to 0.5 percent from 1.0 percent, indicating weaker confidence in a quick exit from the country’s worst recession in history. The government had already scaled back its 2017 forecast last November from 1.6 percent. However, the finance ministry still remains bullish…

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WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s central bank left its base rate at a record low of 1.75 percent Thursday and said it was set to remain there long term if inflation remains on target. The decision was widely anticipated by the markets, which do not expect the official cash rate (OCR) to…

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SANTIAGO: A lengthy strike at the world’s largest copper mine, BHP Billiton’s Escondida in Chile, forced the Anglo-Australian mining giant to suspend plans Wednesday for two major investments there. BHP Billiton, which owns a 57.5 percent stake in the mine, said its plans to build new desalination and concentration plants…

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PARIS: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday lost its high-quality credit rating from the Fitch agency, which lowered the kingdom a notch because of worsening public finances as the oil price wobbles. Dropping its notation from AA- to A+, Fitch said it was doubtful whether Saudi Arabia could implement its reform programme…

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: US federal prosecutors suspect the North Korean government directed last year’s theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, according to a media report Wednesday. Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal said prosecutors were developing cases showing Chinese middlemen helped the…

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WASHINGTON: NBA scoring leader Russell Westbrook un-leashed his 35th triple double of the season Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), making NBA history and powering the Oklahoma City Thunder over visiting Philadelphia 122-97. Westbrook went a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor and free throw line to score 18 points, also grabbing a…

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MIAMI: Australian star Jason Day made a tearful withdrawal Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) from the World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play to be with his cancer-stricken mother while Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth lost their openers. Day, the defending champion, broke down in tears in Austin, Texas, after withdrawing from his…

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KUALA LUMPUR: East Timor has revoked the passports of nine Brazil-born players on its national team following revelations they had submitted falsified documents, Asia’s football governing body said Wednesday. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said it received information from East Timor’s justice ministry through Dili’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur that…

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