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Hague hints at vote on Britain LONDON: British voters should be given a say on any "fresh settlement" between Britain and the European Union, Foreign Secretary William Hague said in an interview out Saturday.   Hague told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that Britons could be given the opportunity to express their views in either a general election or a referendum.   He indicated that the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government would likely reject the notion of a straight in-or-out referendum, the broadsheet said.   Instead, the Conservative Party -- which Hague used to lead -- would likely present a plan on renegotiating the return of powers from Brussels which would form the basis of the centre-right party's next election manifesto.   "There's likely to come the time that a fresh settlement will require fresh consent either in a general election or a referendum," he said.   Hague stressed he supported Britain's EU membership, but added: "There are major problems in the extent of the bureaucracy, the regulations ...

Liffe commodity markets hit by near four-hour outage  LONDON/PARIS: Trading in agricultural commodity futures in Paris and London briefly resumed on Friday after a near four-hour stoppage that was the third technical outage to affect the NYSE Liffe exchange this week.   NYSE Liffe's commodity futures - which include wheat, maize (corn), rapeseed, white sugar, robusta coffee and cocoa - stopped trading at about 1235 GMT and did not reopen until 1620 GMT, shortly before the regular closing time of 1630 GMT.   "It was a case ...
EADS-BAE must take govt views into account: Hollande  VALLETTA: French President Francois Hollande said on Friday the companies involved in a proposed deal to merge EADS with British defence group BAE should take into account governments' views about the deal.   "We have said what we consider as the conditions," Hollande told reporters at a summit of North African and European countries in Malta. "After that it's up to the companies to continue their talks or negotiations knowing France's position." Copyright Reuters, 2012 ...
Portugal in debt strategy road-shows LISBON: Portugal is holding roadshows to explain its financing strategy to international investors as it works on an Irish-style gradual return to bond markets, but there is no specific longer-term debt issues planned for now, a senior official said on Friday.   "The strategy consists in attracting more investors and volumes back into our secondary market and optimising our bond curve, following a strategy similar to Ireland's," Joao Moreira Rato, head of the government's IGCP debt agency, ...
Money linked to family slain in Alps seized in Geneva: media GENEVA: Swiss authorities have seized money in a Geneva bank account linked to a British couple of Iraqi origin killed last month in the French Alps, a Swiss daily reported Friday.   Saad al-Hilli, who was shot dead in his car last month along with his wife, her mother, and a passing French cyclist, is believed to have gone to Geneva shortly before the massacre, the Tribune de Geneve daily reported in its online edition.   The paper said ...
Abu Hamza loses appeal against US extradition LONDON: Abu Hamza and four other men on Friday failed in bids to block their extradition from Britain to the United States to face terrorism charges, as the High Court rejected their requests.   Judge John Thomas said: "The applications by all five claimants must be dismissed. It follows that their extradition to the United States of America may proceed immediately."   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...
Russian suspects deny US charge in smuggling scandal   MOSCOW: Russian suspects in a US probe into alleged smuggling of high-tech military technology to Russia denied wrongdoing as a senior official accused Washington of reluctance to share expertise.   While Russia's authorities denied any links to an alleged military exports ring, some saw the case as a political time bomb similar in scope to the 2010 spy-swap which involved ten agents including the sultry redhead Anna Chapman.   "All of the charges against me are unlawful, I didn't ...


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