Egypt delays target for repaying firms $3.1 bln until mid-2016

Commentary, Economy, Stocks, U.S. Infrastructure

(Reuters) – Egypt aims to fully repay its $3.1 billion debt to foreign oil and gas companies by mid-2016, around a year later than previously indicated, according to the oil ministry. After making payments of nearly $5 billion in November and December, arrears stand at $3.1 billion, it said. In November, Egypt said it would repay all its debts within six months. Egypt has delayed payments to oil and gas firms as its economy has been hammered by almost three years of instability since a popular uprising ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.

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Final stage of jury selection set for Boston bombing trial

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Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is shown in a courtroom sketch next to Judge George O'Toole on the first day of jury selection at the federal courthouse in BostonBy Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) – The long-running process of choosing a jury to hear the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is due to wrap up on Tuesday with the judge and lawyers for both sides selecting the panel of 12 jurors and six alternates. Tsarnaev could be sentenced to death if he is convicted, a fact that made jury selection in the federal trial challenging in Massachusetts, where state laws do not allow for capital punishment and the practice is unpopular.


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Dozens of Democrats skipping Netanyahu’s speech

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday has further strained an already tense relationship with President Barack Obama. And a number of top Democrats — including Vice President Joe Biden, whose job description includes the title President of the Senate — won’t be attending.

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Buffett says US economy continues growing at moderate rate

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett says the U.S. economy continues to improve steadily, and he doesn’t think investors should be disappointed with 2 percent growth each year.

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Right-to-work legislation advances in Wisconsin statehouse

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Workers gather outside the State Capitol building in MadisonBy Brendan O'Brien MADISON, Wis. (Reuters) – A Wisconsin legislative panel was due on Monday to review a state Senate-passed bill that would allow private-sector employees to avoid joining a union or paying union dues even when working under union-negotiated contracts. The measure, which would make Wisconsin the 25th state to enact such a "right-to-work" law, has been cast by supporters as an incentive for keeping and attracting businesses and jobs, while unions brand it as a thinly disguised assault on organized labor. The legislation was narrowly approved on Wednesday by the Wisconsin Senate, which like the state Assembly is led by a Republican majority. Governor Scott Walker, a potential Republican presidential candidate, also supports the legislation.


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Scott Walker reverses immigration stance

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday that his “view has changed” on immigration and he no longer supports reforms that would allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States. The Republican, who surged to the front of 2016 presidential primary polls in recent weeks, admitted the flip-flop from a stance he’d taken in 2013 during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”

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Italy minister rules out talks with Mediaset over Rai Way bid

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Mediaset tower is seen in neighbourhood MilanItaly's Economy Minister ruled out talking to Mediaset about any renewed bid for Rai Way, the transmission towers unit of state broadcaster Rai [RAI.UL], reiterating that the government intended to keep its majority stake. Mediaset, Italy's biggest private broadcaster, said last week it would seek to acquire control of Rai Way, which was listed last year as part of a privatization drive aimed at cutting the country's 2 trillion-euro public debt. "A stake has been put on the market and that's where the choice will be made: there are various operators who could be interested in the stakes available." The issue has been politically sensitive because Mediaset is controlled by former premier Silvio Berlusconi, who has had an informal political cooperation pact with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi since last year.


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Investigators search for what triggered Missouri rampage

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Police tape surrounds one of the crime scenes where Joseph Aldridge killed seven people in Tyrone, MissouriBy Kevin Murphy and Carey Gillam KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) – What led Joseph Aldridge to gun down seven people in a southern Missouri hamlet remained uncertain on Saturday, though authorities speculated that the death of the gunman's mother from cancer could have triggered the rampage. Aldridge, 36, embarked on a shooting spree late on Thursday in the rural community of Tyrone, going door-to-door in the wintry night, killing four relatives and three neighbors, and wounding another, before fatally shooting himself, police said. The massacre unfolded shortly after Aldridge's mother, 74-year-old Alice Aldridge, died from complications of metastatic lung cancer. Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker said an autopsy revealed the fatal condition.


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