Deadly street clashes break out in Iraqi city
At least three people are reported to have been killed and dozens wounded in clashes between police and demonstrators in southern Iraq. The violence in the city of Kut comes after protesters took to the streets demanding better public services and living conditions. Echoing the unrest in other parts of the Arab world, demonstrators were heard shouting “down, down with Maliki’s government”. Government buildings, including the residence of the regional governor, were reportedly set on fire. News agencies report that police managed to disperse protesters by firing shots into the air. A curfew was also declared, with roadblocks set up around the city. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Students take to the streets in Yemen
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets across Yemen, part of an ongoing show of anger against the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A crowd of several hundreds mostly students defied the police to march through the streets of the capital, Sanaa. Hundreds also gathered in the cities of Taiz and Aden. For some, these gatherings pose a real threat, as by nature they are spontaneous and youth-led. Youth unemployment in Yemen is at least 35 percent. These are people frustrated with the opposition, which has called for reform but not for the President’s resignation. Earlier, the police stepped in to block hundreds of armed pro-government supporters from chasing the protesters away from Sanaa’s university. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Libyan rebels celebrate victory in Brega
Libyan rebels claim to have repulsed Gaddafi forces and won the battle for Brega. The eastern oil port was the first counter offensive by the Libyan leader, but it did not go all the rebels way. Government troops briefly captured the oil terminal but despite their greater fire power they were apparently forced to retreat. Read our news file The assault on the town, which is a gateway to the east for Gaddafi, has been the most significant military operation by him since the uprising erupted in mid-February. The US has warned it could set off a confrontation which has a chance of descending into a long civil war. As night fell Brega was full of jubilant people. There is a belief that Gaddafi’s men do not have the stomach for the job. But despite the relief there is concern the attack was backed by air strikes and Gaddafi has vowed to fight until the last man and woman. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Germany’s Schaeuble optimistic on trade imbalance plans
Germany’s finance minister says he remains confident the G20 can reach a deal to reduce global trade imbalances. Wolfgang Schaeuble’s optimistic assessment came on the second and final day of a summit in Paris between the world’s top economic powers. Yesterday, China rejected plans on how to measure exchange rates and currency reserves. “I spoke to my Chinese colleagues for a long time last night, and I am under the impression that China is aware of its responsibility as one of the big players in the world, and knows that it is in its interests that this cooperation goes forward. China is also strongly affected by the development of the global markets and the global economy,” the German finance minister said. Beijing has been accused, especially by the US, of keeping its currency artificially cheap to give it an unfair trade advantage. The summit in the French capital aims to agree a range of economic guidelines designed to avoid a repeat of the 2008 global financial crisis. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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William and Kate go back to where they met
With just under two months to go until the big day, Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton have made a sentimental journey back to where they first met. The couple travelled to St Andrews in Scotland to mark the University’s 600th anniversary. They met there in 2001 as undergraduates studying art history. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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European Citizens’ Initiative
The functioning of the European Citizens’ Initiative, introduced in the Lisbon Treaty, has now been defined. How will it work? Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Indian hikes interest rates again
Indian shares fell after the central bank raised interest rates again to battle the country’s stubborn inflation. The Reserve Bank of India put up the cost of borrowing for the eighth time in a year. It also warned both of inflationary pressures and emerging risks to growth, leading to fears of further rate hikes. The Bank’s main lending rate was increased by 0.25 percent to 6.75 percent Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Geneva Motor Show opens amid oil spike
The Geneva Motor Show is traditionally slanted towards higher-end models and as it opened this week there were certainly plenty of supercars for the super rich on show, but manufacturers warned that spiking oil prices threaten the industry’s recovery. However they could give a boost to demand for low-emission electric and hybrid vehicles. European carmakers plan to make up for stagnant sales at home by accelerating into those markets that are growing – like Asia, Latin America and Russia. Worldwide there could be sales from the retro cuteness factor like Volkwagen’s electric powered Bulli, a scaled-down and updated version of the VW Microbus so beloved by hippies. Jacques Rivoal, who heads Volkswagen France, said: “With this kind of vehicle, we actually created the mini-van segment back in 1947. And now we would like to revive that spirit of freedom and style.” For the moment the Bulli is a concept car, but VW said it could go into production depending on public reaction. As for the luxury market, analysts said it is recovering but the growth in demand for those kinds of vehicles is not coming from places like the US, where ironically Fiat is about to start selling its rival to the Mini, the 500. Instead sales of high-end models are set to rise in Brazil, Russia, India and China – now the world’s largest car market. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Nasdaq considers NYSE bid
The Nasdaq exchange is reportedly looking at launching a rival bid for NYSE Euronext rather than see it merge with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse. Sources have told the Wall Street Journal and Reuters that Nasdaq is exploring options that include teaming up with a partner perhaps the Chicago Mercantile Exchange or commodities trader IntercontinentalExchange (ICE). Nasdaq may also consider putting itself up for sale or buying another competitor. Nasdaq has found itself to be the odd-man out in a series of exchange-operator deals in recent months. Pressure is mounting on global bourses to seek partnerships to counter the threat from bigger rivals and alternative trading platforms as well as to cut costs. In recent weeks, Deutsche Boerse agreed to buy NYSE, the London Stock Exchange Group announced a deal to take over Canadian stock market operator TMX Group, and BATS Global Markets said it will buy peer Chi-X Europe. Last October, Singapore Exchange agreed to buy Australia’s ASX. It is not clear where Nasdaq’s efforts will lead, one source told Reuters. Indeed, officials at both ICE and CME have been cautious about potential deals. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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China inflation likely means more tightening
Chinese inflation hit 4.9 percent in January, up from 4.6 percent in December, though economists had expected it to be higher. Even so price pressures – excluding the cost of food which is more volatile – were at their strongest in at least a decade. That will force the China’s central bank to keep tightening monetary policy by raising interest rates again and restricting lending further. Core inflation, not including food prices, jumped to 2.6 percent year-on-year, the highest in at least a decade, from 2.1 percent a month earlier. There was some indication that previous tightening has started to have an effect. Money growth eased to its slowest pace in six months in January at 17.2 percent year on year. The Chinese central bank raised interest rates last week for the second time in just over six weeks. It has also raised the amount of money banks have to hold in reserve seven times since the start of last year to try to mop up the excess cash in the economy that has fuelled inflation. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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