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Hitachi CEO: Still in talks on Lithuania nuclear project

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Hitachi Ltd remains in talks with Lithuania over its plans to build a nuclear plant after the European country's new centre-left government said it could shelve nuclear projects, the company's top executive said on Tuesday. Hitachi, a century-old conglomerate that designs and builds nuclear power plants with General Electric Co in two joint ventures, has shifted its focus overseas as Japan shuns nuclear energy in the wake of the worst radiation crisis in 25 years at the......

Iraq's northern Kurdish region stops oil exports

BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi Kurdish official said on Tuesday that the country's self-ruled northern Kurdish region has suspended oil exports over a payment row with Baghdad, a development that could add to already souring relations between the Kurds and the Arab-led central government.......

Japan stocks rally as yen continues to weaken

BANGKOK (AP) — Japan's benchmark stock index jumped Tuesday as a softening yen helped boost the country's powerhouse export sector. The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo rallied 1.4 percent to close at 10,080.12, with export shares leading the way.......

Sony says China business has recovered, foresees growth

BEIJING (Reuters) - Sony Corp's business in China has "more or less" returned to levels seen before recent protests against Japan's actions over a group of disputed islands, the Japanese company's China chief, Nobuki Kurita, told reporters on Tuesday. Calls for boycotts of Japanese products broke out across China in September after Japan nationalized two of a group of disputed East China Sea islands, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku in Japanese, by purchasing them from their privat......

Japan's incoming PM keeps up pressure on BOJ to attack deflation

TOKYO (Reuters) - Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe kept up his calls on Tuesday for the Bank of Japan to drastically ease monetary policy by setting an inflation target of 2 percent, and repeated that he wants to tame the strong yen to help revive the economy. Abe, a security hardliner who will be sworn in as premier on Wednesday, when he is also expected to appoint his cabinet, is prescribing a mix of aggressive monetary policy easing and big fiscal spending to beat deflation and rei......

'Hobbit' holds on at $36.9M, 'Reacher' does $15.6M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" easily defended its box-office title, remaining the No. 1 film for a second weekend with $36.9 million.......

Japan's incoming PM keeps up pressure on BOJ to attack deflation

TOKYO (Reuters) - Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated calls for the Bank of Japan to conduct bold monetary easing to beat deflation by setting an inflation target of 2 percent. Abe, to be sworn in as Japan's next premier on Wednesday when he is also expected to name his cabinet, said his new government hopes to sign an agreement with the BOJ to aim for 2 percent inflation, double the central bank's current target. .........

Lawmakers play waiting game with 'fiscal cliff' deadline in sight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With only a week left before a deadline for the United States to go over a "fiscal cliff," lawmakers played a waiting game on Monday in the hope that someone will produce a plan to avoid harsh budget cuts and higher taxes for most Americans from New Year's Day. Though Republicans and Democrats have spent the better part of a year describing a plunge off the cliff as a looming catastrophe, the nation's capital showed no outward signs of worry, let alone impending calamity. ......

Yen on defensive on U.S. fiscal worry, helps Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) - Uncertainty over whether U.S. lawmakers will strike a deal by an end-of-year deadline to avert a severe fiscal retrenchment undermined the yen and bolstered Japanese shares, but trading volume was low with many participants on Christmas holiday. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner failed to gain support for a tax plan at the end of last week, raising fears that the United States may face the "fiscal cliff" of some $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increa......

Lawmakers see 'fiscal cliff' deal as elusive

WASHINGTON (AP) — With anxiety rising as the country lurches towards a "fiscal cliff," lawmakers are increasingly skeptical about a possible deal and some predict the best possibility would be a small-scale patch because time is running out before the yearend deadline.Sen. Joe Lieberman predicted Sunday: "We're going to spend New Year's Eve here, I believe."Even those who see the possibility of a deal don't expect a lot.Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said she expects "it is going to be a p......
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