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EU: No New Funds for Ukraine to Cover its Gas Debt to Russia

The EU won’t provide any new funds for Ukraine to pay off its gas debt to Russia, and Moscow has no guarantees should Kiev use agreed funding elsewhere, said the EU Energy Commissioner’s spokeswoman Marlene Holzner. The European Commission is allocating €760 million ($954 million) of financial aid to Ukraine …

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Richard Branson’s ego, PR spin and a disaster waiting to happen

Richard Branson has not yet publicly announced whether he will attend the funeral of Michael Alsbury, the 39-year-old test pilot killed when the spacecraft Virgin Galactic exploded over the Mojave Desert last Friday. Since the question now being asked is whether Branson’s determination to send tourists into space may have …

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Russia’s Central Bank Boosts Ruble Liquidity

Starting October 27th Russia’s key financial regulator Central Bank introduced a new financial tool known as foreign currency repo, or repurchase agreement.   “These operations are aimed at further empowering credit institutions to manage their own short-term currency liquidity,” according to Central Bank of Russia’s press center.   The credit organizations …

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British Bank Lloyds Closes 150 Branches Over Mobile Banking

  The Lloyds Banking Group confirmed a cut of 9,000 jobs and a closure of 150 branches, according to a BBC report. The bank says the cuts and branch closures are due to customers switching towards mobile banking.   Three years ago, Lloyds had no customers using mobile technology, yet …

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Wall Street Will Not Be Kind To Brazil

Dilma Rousseff has won another term as Brazil’s president. President Rousseff garnered 51.45% of votes cast. Despite allegations of corruption at the highest levels of her administration — especially regarding the massive state oil firm Petrobras — the incumbent will have another four years to right Brazil’s ship after a close …

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Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie dies in Moscow plane crash

Christophe de Margerie’s plane was trying to take off at Vnukovo airport, as Dmitry Medvedenko, from the Voice of Russia radio station, reports Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of French oil company Total, has died in an air crash in Moscow. His corporate jet collided with a snow plough …

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GEORGE SOROS: ‘Wake Up, Europe!’

Multibillionaire investor George Soros has issued a warning to Europe’s democracies over the threat that a resurgent Russia poses to the continent. In an essay published Thursday in the New York Review of Books, Soros calls for more economic and military support for Ukraine, as well as the abandonment of …

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Hungary to impose world’s first internet tax

Hungary is preparing to impose the world’s first tax on internet usage in the latest example of the unorthodox economic policies being pursued by prime minister Viktor Orbán and his increasingly dominant Fidesz party. Mihály Varga, economy minister, on Wednesday unveiled the plans, which include a charge of Ft150 (62 US …

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Richest 1% own 50% of world wealth- Credit Suisse report

World wealth has reached a record $263 trillion but is concentrated in fewer hands. The richest 1 percent have accumulated more wealth, and own almost 50 percent of it, which could trigger recession, according to a new report by Credit Suisse. The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, released Tuesday warns …

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