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Special Reports

Switzerland seeks to regain cryptocurrency crown

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NEW YORK/ZURICH Swiss regulators are stepping up efforts to halt an exodus of cryptocurrency projects from the country, after two of only a handful of banks active in the nascent sector shut their doors on it in the last year.

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Going, going gone for Australia's house price boom. And some investors smell trouble 18 Jul 2018

SYDNEY It's a winter weekend in Sydney's bustling northern suburb of Chatswood and a three-bedroom family house sporting an endless garden is up for auction. It's priced to sell at A$1.88 million (1.06 million pounds)but no buyers bite and the sale is abandoned. On the same day, in the heart of the harbour-hugging city a two-bedroom apartment with panoramic views fails to sell as no bidders turn up. Auctions are a bellwether of demand in property-obsessed Australia, where att

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Moonwalking - South Korea's wage, hours policies backfire for jobless, low income workers 17 Jul 2018

SEOUL President Moon Jae-in wants South Koreans to work less and earn more – and to achieve that his government has hiked the minimum wage and slashed the maximum length of the working week. But Heo Jeong, who serves barley tea samples at a Lotte Mart store in Seoul, says she lost a third of her income as a result.

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Chinese 'highway to nowhere' haunts Montenegro 16 Jul 2018

PODGORICA Perched atop massive cement pillars that tower above Montenegro's picturesque Moraca river canyon, scores of Chinese workers are building a state-of-the-art highway through some of the roughest terrain in southern Europe. | Video

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In Japan's flood-ravaged Mabi, delays and lack of awareness magnified death toll 16 Jul 2018

MABI, Japan - When Isao Akutagawa moved to the sleepy riverside town of Mabi in western Japan 45 years ago, it seemed like the perfect suburb to raise his children. | Video

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Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe set to frustrate eager investors 13 Jul 2018

HARARE A European investor's phone rings in a Harare restaurant and it's good news: an $80 million (61 million pounds) construction deal has been agreed with the Zimbabwean government. All that's needed now is a central bank guarantee letter. It never arrives.

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What's in a name? In Uzbekistan, it signals a reform drive 13 Jul 2018

ALMATY One evening last December, a crane lifted construction workers to the top of the ornate arched entrance to Uzbekistan's biggest commercial market. Overnight, they replaced the huge letters spelling out its title.

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As 'foreign' economic advisers leave, a protectionist India returns 12 Jul 2018

NEW DELHI When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014, he leaned on three Indian academics who had predominantly worked in the United States to drive a liberal, globalised economic policy.

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South Africa's Ramaphosa embarks on Eskom overhaul 12 Jul 2018

JOHANNESBURG A month after Cyril Ramaphosa took the helm of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) in December, he called an urgent meeting with then-President Jacob Zuma and senior ministers to save state power firm Eskom.

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Tech issues plague U.S. web portal tracking separated children 11 Jul 2018

In late June, attorney Sebastian Harley tried to log into a U.S. government web portal to check on a Guatemalan child who had been separated from his parent at the border. He got an error message saying there were too many users. | Video

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Brits reject May's Brexit plan, some turn to Boris and far right - poll

LONDON Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to leave the European Union are overwhelmingly opposed by the British public and more than a third of voters would support a new right-wing political party committed to quitting the bloc, according to a new poll.