Second daring RAF rescue mission to Libya
Oil workers rescued by an audacious British military mission to the Libyan desert have been speaking about their experience. The Royal Air Force flew three Hercules transport planes from Malta to the remote eastern desert on a second rescue mission without Libyan authorisation. Read our news file Elite special forces troops were on board. The Ministry of Defence said one of the planes was hit by small arms fire. Twenty Britons were among the 150 people rescued. Australian oil worker Brian Walker said: ‘We started walking out Monday night. It hasn’t been a good week. In the back of a dump truck for a couple of days. A thousand kilometres in a bus to get back to where we started from. Then the RAF got us out. It was great.” British authorities had become concerned about the workers who said food and water were running out. Malta has set up a coordination centre at the foreign ministry in the capital Valletta. A member of staff there said: ‘We’re receiving a number of calls from people located in the desert. We keep them informed of flights that are going to pick them up from the facilities. Most of them are supervisors so until they have all their staff safe they will not move.’ More than 100,000 people have fled the unrest in Libya according to United Nations estimates. Eight thousand of them went to Malta with the majority arriving by sea. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Egyptian shares tumble as bourse reopens
Shares on Egypt’s stock exchange plunged as the market reopened on Wednesday. It had been shut for seven weeks because of the mass protests that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. After ringing the opening bell, Egypt’s finance minister Samir Radwan said the dip in share prices was normal given the circumstances but added: “What I advise is to stick to your papers [shares], don’t rush to sell, you may regret it. Go on buying, go on buying, this is the time to buy, it’s a buyers market.” The benchmark index ended the session down 8.9 percent. From the start of the political turmoil on 25 January to when the market closed two days later Egyptian shares slumped, losing the equivalent of 8.5 billion euros in value Investor uncertainty was in evidence right from the start of trading on Wednesday and the index immediately fell 10 percent, triggering market circuit breakers so that the bourse had to be closed for half an hour. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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European consular help abroad
Brussels has set out to remind Europeans in difficulty of their rights. During emergencies, such as in Japan or Libya recently, EU citizens abroad have the right to ask for help from any EU consulate or embassy where their country is not directly represented. But many Europeans do not know they have this right, so the European Commission is taking steps to boost citizens??� awareness. Europeans take more than 90 million trips outside the EU each year and around 30 million live in non-EU countries. Yet it is only in the US, China and Russia that every one of the 27 member states has a diplomatic mission. Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice and Citizenship, explained: “We have to clarify some questions: let’s take Luxembourg citizens who are lost in Kazakhstan and the British embassy is going to save them, that comes at a cost to the British tax payer, so it is normal that they are paid back by the Luxembourg authorities. How this transfer is going to take place, that has to be regulated by a European law and will be.” A website on consular protection is being launched, providing addresses of diplomatic missions in non-EU countries and access to all EU member states’ travel advisory services. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Army urges Egypt back to work
For 18 days, Tahrir Square was the focus of Egypt’s discontent. It came to embody the spirit of the revolt which led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. Now, it is once again a roundabout, albeit one surrounded by tanks. The US, UK and Saudi Arabia have been asked to boost Egypt’s economy, hard-hit by the unrest. And they are not the only ones. The Arab League’s Amr Moussa says Arab governments have also agreed to offer to help with development. After the revolution, Egypt is now trying to re-group. Facing a wave of strikes, the governing military council has urged people to get back to work and avoid more damage being done to the economy. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Death toll rises in NZ quake
The casualty figures are rising in Christchurch, New Zealand following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the city of 400,000 people?�at lunchtime. ?�It was the city’s second strong tremor in five months.?�As darkness fell?�at least 65 people?�were known to have?�died,?�with up to 200 more?�still trapped in collapsed buildings.?�“We just don’t know what the likely threat is and so we’d much rather err on the side of caution, so we’ll try and evacuate the town centre if we can, and the police will cordon it off so that people can’t go in or out, and the army will assist them in that regard,” says Civil Defence Minister John Carter.?�New Zealand’s second-biggest city is built on silt, sand and gravel above a water table, which rises when an earthquake hits.?�This shock was only 4 kilometres below the surface, amplifying its destructive power, and almost?�liquifying the solid ground above it.?�The city is being described as “like a war zone”, with the cathedral shattered and many buildings?�that survived?�last year’s quake now feared?�damaged beyond repair. It is the country’s deadliest natural disaster in 80 years. If you are in New Zealand, contact us and tell us what you see and witness. witness@euronews.net, twitter@euronews or facebook Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Kazakhstan hits UniCredit profit
Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit, has posted a much bigger-than-expected fall in net profit for last year – down 22 percent. However much of that was due to losses from its business in Kazakhstan and the underlying results were better than the profit figure implied. Costs were also lower. The bank, which is the biggest lender in central and eastern Europe, reported net profit of 1.3 billion euros down from 1.7 billion euros the year before. UniCredit’s shares rose. The result included a goodwill impairment of 362 million euros, almost entirely due to Kazakhstan, with 199 million euros in the fourth quarter alone. UniCredit bought Kazakhstan’s ATF bank in late 2007 at the height of the credit boom for $2.1 billion. It had to write off more than 500 million euros from the Kazakh bank’s value in less than a year as the credit crunch hit the central Asian country. UniCredit gave no results for individual countries but third-quarter revenues in Kazakhstan were 32.2 million euros. The bank has said it has no plans to sell its Kazakh operations. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Jordan
Protests, largely peaceful, began in January calling for political and economic reform amid high unemployment and a high cost of living. King Abdullah II, who has held power since 1999 has responded by replacing his cabinet and permitting public gatherings. He has demanded “real and fast” reforms and a clampdown on corruption in a bid to quell the protests. The new cabinet has promised to investigate clashes on Friday in Amman, in which several demonstrators were injured. Previously disparate opposition groups are beginning to unite their calls for more limits to the King’s powers and a constitutional monarchy. Population: 5.9 millionHuman Development Index1: 82ndUnemployment: 12.2% 1 HDI is calculated according to factors such as schooling, life expectancy and gross national income and is used by the UN’s Development Programme for its Human development reports. back to all countries Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Exhibition highlights dark side of Nazi Olympics
Most people know about the 1936 Summer Olympics in Munich when Hitler had to shake Jessie Owen’s hand after he beat the master race over 100 metres. How many know the Bavarian ski resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen also hosted that year’s Winter games, and was then offered the following Winter Olympics due for 1940? An exhibition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen entitled ‘The Flip Side of the Medal’ attempts to illustrate the influence Hitler’s regime exerted on the event. It also underlines how the International Olympic Committee chose to ignore the events of 1938 when the following year it awarded Garmisch-Partenkirchen its second games in a row. See the story in this edition of Le Mag. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Key allies desert beleaguered Yemeni president
Military, diplomatic and other allies of Yemen’s embattled president are deserting him in droves, as pressure mounts on the veteran leader to quit. Senior officers, ambassadors and some tribes are now backing anti-government protesters. The televised announcement of defection by powerful army general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and his unit is a huge setback to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Declaring peaceful support and solidarity with the revolution and its demands, the general said: “We will carry on with our duties in maintaining security and stability in the capital.” With tanks deployed at key points in Sanaa, Yemen’s defence minister insisted the army backed Saleh and would defend him against any coup. Snipers killed 52 anti-government protesters on Friday, prompting Saleh to sack his cabinet and declare a state of emergency. The US embassy has urged its citizens in Yemen to stay indoors and France became the first major Western country to openly say Saleh must stand down. 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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