EBRD mulls taking part in Azeri IBA sale, eyes 2 percent GDP growth

EBRD mulls taking part in Azeri IBA sale, eyes 2 percent GDP growth

The headquarter of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is seen in London, Britain, November 22, Britain 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth February 20, 2018 By Margarita Antidze BAKU (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering participation in the planned privatization of International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the EBRD’s manager in the South Caucasus country said. The EBRD sees Azerbaijan returning to economic growth, with GDP up 2 percent, and single-digit…

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Japan’s Sony to form alliance to build taxi-hailing system

Japan’s Sony to form alliance to build taxi-hailing system

FILE PHOTO: Sony Corp’s logo is seen at its news conference in Tokyo, Japan November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon February 20, 2018 By Minami Funakoshi and Sam Nussey TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp said on Tuesday it would become the latest blue-chip firm to jockey for position in Japan’s taxi and ride-hailing market, with plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence-based hailing system. The partnership is the latest in a growing array…

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What’s it like to pick up plushies? Flower kids tell all

What’s it like to pick up plushies? Flower kids tell all

Ice girls, Kang Hae-bin (L-R), Youn Seo-jin and Oh Yu-jin are pictured at Gangneung Ice Arena during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson February 20, 2018 By Elaine Lies and Soyoung Kim GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) – They have to skate fast in front of hundreds of people, pick up flowers as quickly as possible and stay unflustered when dozens of stuffed animals rain down on the…

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Bombs still fall on Syria’s Ghouta after heaviest toll in years

Bombs still fall on Syria’s Ghouta after heaviest toll in years

FILE PHOTO: Civil defence members and civilians are seen running after an air raid in the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/ Bassam Khabieh February 20, 2018 BEIRUT (Reuters) – Pro-government forces carried air raids in Syria’s eastern Ghouta rebel-held enclave overnight on Monday and early on Tuesday after the heaviest one-day death toll from bombardment there in three years, a war monitor said. More than 100…

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Kazakhstan’s frozen billions sound alarm for sovereign funds

Kazakhstan’s frozen billions sound alarm for sovereign funds

New 500 tenge banknotes are displayed in this picture illustration in Almaty, Kazakhstan November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Illustration February 20, 2018 By Claire Milhench LONDON (Reuters) – When a Belgian court ordered a bank to freeze $22.6 billion of assets held in trust for a Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund (SWF), it set a worrying precedent for other SWFs. The case is one of several brought to courts in Europe by Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati who…

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Rising poverty gnaws at Italian social fabric as election nears

Rising poverty gnaws at Italian social fabric as election nears

Angela Grossi sits next to a banner reading “Poor first”, hanging in a gate of the portico of the Basilica of the Santi Apostoli, where she lives after being evicted from an unused building along with other families in August 2017, in Rome, Italy January 29, 2018. Picture taken January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile February 20, 2018 By Crispian Balmer HERCULANEUM, Italy (Reuters) – Roberto Biondi’s 89-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s, is housebound and no longer…

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Figure skating: Virtue, Moir win second ice dance gold with world record

Figure skating: Virtue, Moir win second ice dance gold with world record

Figure Skating – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Ice Dance free dance competition final – Gangneung, South Korea – February 20, 2018 – Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada perform. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson February 20, 2018 By Elaine Lies and Rory Carroll GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) – Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir claimed their second Olympic gold medal with a brilliant free dance on Tuesday, edging to the top of the podium…

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Alpine skiing: Siebenhofer fastest but Vonn on pace in downhill training

Alpine skiing: Siebenhofer fastest but Vonn on pace in downhill training

Feb 19, 2018; Pyeongchang, South Korea; Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) during training for the ladies’ downhill alpine skiing race during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Jeongseon Alpine Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports February 20, 2018 By Nick Mulvenney PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) – Austrian Ramona Siebenhofer set the pace in the final training run for the women’s downhill on Tuesday but Lindsey Vonn’s bid to reclaim the Olympic gold remained on course…

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South Korea says talks to hold postponed military drill with U.S. moving forward

South Korea says talks to hold postponed military drill with U.S. moving forward

South Korean Army K1A1 and U.S. Army M1A2 tanks fire live rounds during a U.S.-South Korea joint live-fire military exercise, at a training field, near the demilitarized zone, separating the two Koreas in Pocheon, South Korea April 21, 2017. Picture taken on April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji February 20, 2018 By Christine Kim SEOUL (Reuters) – Talks to stage a postponed military drill between South Korea and the United States are moving forward, South Korea’s…

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Japan’s steel industry urges Trump to make careful trade decision

Japan’s steel industry urges Trump to make careful trade decision

Chimneys of a steel factory are pictured at an industrial area in Kawasaki, Japan, January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon February 20, 2018 TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s steel industry said on Monday the U.S. Commerce Department proposal to President Donald Trump to impose curbs on steel imports violate the principles of free trade, calling for Washington to make a careful and appropriate decision. The U.S. Commerce Department recommended on Friday that Trump impose steep curbs on…

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