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U.S. boosts Syria anti-IS forces, urges Gulf military self-reliance

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MANAMA The United States will send 200 additional military personnel including special forces to the campaign against Islamic State in Syria to create a "tornado" of pressure against the group's Raqqa hub, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday,

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UK retail sales in November show strongest growth in 14 months - BDO 8:21am GMT

LONDON Britain's retailers enjoyed their strongest monthly sales growth for 14 months in November, helped by a return to growth in the fashion sector for the first time since January, industry data showed on Saturday.

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Johnson courts Gulf after Saudi comments draw putdown 09 Dec 2016

MANAMA Britain's exit from the European Union will mean it can forge free trade deals with Gulf Arab allies, foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday in a speech also heralding closer defence ties to the conservative monarchies.

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Exclusive - ECB rejects Monte Paschi's request for more time to raise cash: source 09 Dec 2016

MILAN The European Central Bank has rejected a request by Italy's Monte dei Paschi di Siena for more time to raise capital, a source said on Friday, a decision that piles pressure on the Rome government to bail out the lender.

Italy bank Monte Paschi says pressing on with capital plan 09 Dec 2016

MILAN Ailing Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena said on Friday it had not yet received a response from the European Central Bank to its request for more time to execute a plan to raise 5 billion euros (£4.2 billion) in private capital.

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EU lawmaker to push for Britons to keep EU 'citizenship' 09 Dec 2016

BRUSSELS The European Parliament's Brexit negotiator will propose that Britons can have "associate citizenship" of the EU once their country leaves, but senior officials have dismissed the idea as an unworkable gimmick.

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Italy, Greece face off against easterners in EU migration feud 09 Dec 2016

BRUSSELS Eastern European Union states remain at loggerheads with "frontline" countries such as Greece and Italy over sharing the burden of caring for asylum-seekers reaching EU frontiers, officials said on Friday.

Italian decree to support banking system is ready - government sources 09 Dec 2016

ROME An emergency decree to support Italian banks, including the troubled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena , is "essentially" ready to go and can be passed at any time if it is needed, government sources said on Friday.

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Ireland says GDP surge shows initial Brexit hit limited 09 Dec 2016

DUBLIN A third quarter acceleration showed the immediate impact on Ireland's economy of Britain's vote to leave the EU was milder than expected, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Friday.

5-Star says Italy should use state money to save Monte Paschi 09 Dec 2016

ROME Italy's anti-system 5-Star Movement (M5S) said on Friday the government should intervene to save the country's third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and protect small savers from losses.

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Germans see refugees as biggest problem despite falling numbers

BERLIN More than half of Germans see refugees and integration as Germany's biggest problem, a survey showed on Friday, despite the number of newcomers falling significantly on the year.

French election's "third man" kicks off campaign for presidency

PARIS France's popular former economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, gets his campaign for the French presidency into gear with a rally in Paris on Saturday which should mark him out as a dark horse in the race for the Elysee.

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Tiny parties throng to have their say on Italy's new leader

ROME President Sergio Mattarella is consulting a total of 23 parties to help him find a successor to outgoing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, showing how little progress Italy has made in reducing political fragmentation.

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