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Couples kiss during a mass wedding ceremony to mark Valentine’s Day in Taiwan
Around 25 couples tied the knot together on Monday with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin as the witness for the ceremony. REUTERS/Nicky Loh Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Seeing is believing: DIY glasses bring sight to thousands
These people in Malawi are queuing up to try on glasses that they can adjust themselves to suit their own eyesight. This means there is no need to see an optician. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Safer Internet Day 2011
On 8 February, Safer Internet Day took place in almost 70 countries across Europe and world-wide. How can the Internet be made safer for children? Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Under-pressure Yemeni president offers 2011 poll
Yemen’s increasingly embattled leader Ali Abdullah Saleh has offered to step down by the end of the year, proposing constitutional change and elections. But opposition groups show no signs of easing up their efforts to secure his departure now. A pro-democracy movement is escalating. Thousands of protesters have been camped in the streets near the university in the capital, Sanaa, since early February. One of the latest members of Saleh’s regime to switch sides, dissident security forces officer Ahmed Mohamad Hussein Ahmed urged the president to “see sense and leave this country” and let Yemen’s people choose their leader. Defections have multiplied since Friday when anti-government protests ended in bloodshed and dozens of deaths. A state of emergency has been rubber-stamped by parliament. Former Yemeni state TV employee Samir Abdelwali said one tent in the protest camp represents the “free” journalists who have left the channel, which he accused of telling lies and misleading the public. The opposition is said to be studying President Saleh’s proposals. It had earlier called for massive rallies in Sanaa on Friday to force him from power. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Children receiving a lamp at an evacuation centre
In a evacuation centre, located in Minamisanriku City in Iwate Prefecture. The area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11. REUTERS/Kyodo Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Foreign nationals relieved to escape Libyan chaos
EU nationals fleeing the chaos in Libya are beginning to arrive home as the situation in the North African country continues to deteriorate. Two European oil companies BP and Statoil have begun pulling out their people as the international community calls on Libya to protect all foreign nationals. Yet, diplomats say authorities are complicating matters by imposing extra exit visa conditions on foreigners, in Paris one man said: “Tunisia was a more peaceful revolution. There was no real danger for expats. In Libya it is not against us but everyone is armed so you can get quickly caught up in it.” “In Benghazi its really tough but in Tripoli if you stay in its OK, there is no hunt for foreigners.” said another. Italy has around 1,500 nationals living and working in its former colony. Italian’s arriving back in Rome spoke of a night of gunfire and plain-clothed security personnel on the streets. “We heard shootings and lots of confusion in town. Also, we heard that 5,000 people were on their way to march on Tripoli from Benghazi. But there were no official news. So, who knows. Anyway, the little that is known doesn’t look good at all.” Copyright © 2011 euronews

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NATO tankers torched in Pakistan attack
At least four people have been killed in Pakistan after suspected Islamic militants attacked a convoy carrying fuel destined for NATO troops in Afghanistan. A group of around 20 or so unidentified gunmen opened fire on the fuel tankers, which were parked at a terminal. The strike took place in the troubled north-western city of Peshawar, close to the main border crossings and supply routes for NATO forces. This is the latest in a series of attacks. In September, scores of NATO supply vehicles were destroyed in gun and arson attacks by Taliban militants determined to disrupt relief routes and avenge US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Blocking fake medicines
Viagra, anti-malarial tablets, painkillers are all increasingly being purchased via the Internet. However there is a risk that what you buy may not be what it appears. So what is being done to stop the sale of fake medicines? Copyright © 2011 euronews

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GM back in annual profit
General Motors has reported its first full-year profit since 2004 of 4.7 billion dollars (3.4 billion euros). The top US carmaker’s fourth-quarter earnings were slightly above expectations at the equivalent of 370 million euros. GM said fourth-quarter net income was fuelled by strong sales in China and the US as the global car market started to recover. GM’s European operations posted a loss of $568 million (412 million euros) for the fourth quarter and a loss of $1.7 billion (1.23 billion euros) for the year. The automaker has said it hopes the European division – Opel and Vauxhall – will break even this year. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Still a long way from business as usual in Japan
With more than one week having passed since Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami the country’s carmakers and technology firms have been struggling to resume production. In addition, a lack of parts from their factories is causing concerns about the supply chain to plants worldwide. Renault, General Motors and Samsung have already had to reduce production due to potential parts shortages. Even those companies not been directly effected by the disaster are having trouble with logistics and shipping. Apple’s iPad tablet computer is assembled in China, but uses memory chips, batteries and screens that are made in Japan by hard-hit firms like Toshiba. Meanwhile there was a much-needed boost to Japan’s battered businesses from billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Speaking during a visit to a South Korean factory run by a company that is owned by one of his funds, Buffet said he would not be selling Japanese shares right now. He told reporters: “Frequently something out of the blue like this, an extraordinary event, really creates a buying opportunity. I’ve seen that happen in the United States, I’ve seen that happen around the world, and I don’t think Japan will be an exception.” He added: “It will take some time to rebuild. But it will not change the economic future of Japan.” Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Refugees welcomed at Tunisian frontier.
It is estimated that some 30 000 foreigners have left Libya since the uprising started. Many of them have crossed over the frontier into Tunisia carrying what few belongings they could manage. Residents from the town of Ben Gerdan have been organising food and shelter for the new arrivals. The towns committee estimates that it has fed over 12000 people in the past two days. “All the residents of Ben Gerdan without exception have become active in bringing water, food and medicine to the storage facility”, said Omar Abdelkabeer. “They are also storing things in their houses and using all means available to them. We call on the United Nations and UNICEF and all the big organisations to help because this is a humanitarian crisis”. Some families waved a Tunisian flag when they arrived and had nothing but praise for the welcome and assistance they received. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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European markets at close: 28.02.11
A roundup of the days markets data from euronews.net, brought to you as video on demand. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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HSBC profit disappoints
HSBC is the latest UK based bank to disappoint investors with lower than expected earning for last year, even though pretax profit more than doubled from 2009 to the equivalent of 13.7 billion euros. HSBC, which is Europe’s biggest bank in terms of market value, also cut its profitability targets due to the cost of tougher banking regulations. Its share price fell to their lowest level in nearly a month. HSBC’s decision to cut back its profitability expectations followed a similar move by rivals Barclays and Credit Suisse as regulatory requirements require banks to hold more money in reserves. New chief executive Stuart Gulliver said he did not think that HSBC would need a rights issue to raise new capital. However, its finance director Iain Mackay said the bank’s new, scaled back return on equity target reflected the tougher capital requirements for banks, as well as global economic uncertainty, as highlighted by recent political tensions in the Middle East and north Africa. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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New Zealand police: ‘it remains a rescue operation’
The official death toll from the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand has risen to 98. There are fears in New Zealand that many more bodies will be dragged lifeless from the rubble in the coming days. Yesterday there had been applause as a survivor was brought out. But hopes are beginning to fade of finding others alive, more than two days after the 6.3 magnitude quake. Japanese specialists have joined other foreign teams and plenty of volunteers on the ground, to search for about 200 people still missing. Meanwhile, across the city the race is on to restore water and power supplies. “Yesterday we had about 65 percent of the customers back on. Tonight, we’re aiming to have 75 percent of the customers back on,” said local power executive Roger Sutton. “Compared to the September 4th event (last year’s earthquake), it’s a much, much larger event for us. We’ve a lot more damage.” The army’s presence – to keep order and keep people away from unstable areas – may be reassuring. It is also a reminder of the gravity of the situation. The authorities say they are still involved in a rescue operation, but a fire chief said they had no signs of life. For others, life is anything but normal as they struggle to cope with collapsed and unsafe buildings, broken roads and flooded sewers. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Portuguese beats get youths on the streets
In Portugal, music is once again inspiring the country’s youth to take to the streets. A satirical group called The Fighting Man has won the Portuguese vote for the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song Fighting Is A Joy. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Angry protester in front of Libyan consulate in Paris
A man protests at the Libyan consulate in Paris after ripping the Libyan flag from the front wall of the building. By Rapha?�l Beaugrand Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Portugal’s government on the verge of collapse
Today could be Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates’s last day in power as his minority government faces a crucial parliamentary vote. The main conservative opposition, the Social Democrats have refused to back him and his latest round of austerity measures. They are needed to halve the public deficit in order to avoid a European Union bail-out. But failure to get the bill passed would mean the collapse of the government and trigger snap elections. Public opposition to a long round of cuts has grown in the country; last Saturday thousands marched through the capital complaining of record high unemployment among the young and the impoverishment of Portugal’s pensioners. But failure to agree a new budget plan could mean the country follows Greece and Ireland in going cap-in-hand to Brussels for a financial rescue. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Confusion over Renault spy case
Renault is still not admitting that it might have been tricked into firing three senior managers over alleged industrial espionage. The company’s lawyers said they are still looking into the existence of foreign bank accounts said to have been held by the three even though the police in Switzerland and Liechtenstein reportedly have said no such accounts exist. The managers denied any wrongdoing and are suing Renault. Renault sacked the three men and lodged a legal complaint in January over suspicions of industrial espionage targeting its high-profile electric vehicle programme, amid fears that information had been passed to a foreign power. The possible existence of foreign bank accounts was a key part of the case against the three. Jean Reinhart, the French carmaker’s lawyer, said in a radio interview that French intelligence services were still investigating in Switzerland and Liechtenstein to find out whether the accounts existed or not. “Nothing has come back to us for the moment, which means that this morning we are unable to say whether we have been manipulated or not,” he said. Renault’s Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata met with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon this week to discuss the case. There were diplomatic repercussions after a government source said investigators initially looked at a possible link with China. Renault and the government then both quickly played down the China talk. The scandal also strained relations between the carmaker and the government as Renault is 15 percent state-owned. It was criticised for not informing authorities of its suspicions in a timely manner and for carrying out its own investigation before telling them. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Euro zone growth pick-up fails to materialise
The euro zone economy ended last year with just stable growth. Gross domestic product in the 16 countries using the euro at the time grew0.3 percent from October to December, the same as in the third quarter, and GDP increased two percent year-on-year. Growth did not accelerate – as had been expected – because expansion in the three largest nations fell short of forecasts and Greece and Portugal’s economies contracted. The expected pick-up in growth did not occur as businesses ran down stocks in France, snow and cold hit construction in Germany and the Greek economy shrank sharply. However German data and a small rise in February’s ZEW sentiment indicator suggested the country’s economic recovery remained on track and was likely to broaden out, though a government economic advisor said this year’s growth rate might well be lower than expected. In France, the economy grew just 0.3 percent, half the forecast increase and the same level as in July-September, despite a rush to buy cars before a French scrappage subsidy scheme ended last year. Italian growth was also lower than expected, at just 0.1 percent. Data on Monday showed Portugal’s economy shrank 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2010, reversing a third-quarter expansion. Greece’s recession deepened, with contraction of 1.4 percent from the third quarter against expectations of a 1.2 percent decline. The country’s central bank said the economy would shrink for a third straight year in 2011 with gross domestic product dropping at least three percent. Spain grew by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter after stagnating in the previous three months. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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Ireland awaits result of historic poll
Ireland is bracing itself for one of its biggest political shake-ups since independence after polls in the country’s general election closed. Ruling Fianna Fail looks almost certain to be reduced to a rump amid voter anger over the economy. The centre-right opposition Fine Gael, led by Enda Kenny, appears set to be the big winners, although whether the party can achieve an outright majority still remains too close to call. Kenny has promised to renegotiate the terms of a massive multi-billion euro bailout from the EU and IMF. But, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, who is contesting in the Irish Republic for the first time, has called for a referendum on the rescue deal. Voter turnout yesterday was estimated at around 70 percent and the first results are expected to filter through later today. Reckless property lending by Irish banks and the subsequent crisis following the global credit crunch has seen Ireland go from economic pin-up to eurozone struggler. So much so, many people are returning to farming. While most other sectors of Ireland’s economy are seeing job cuts, agriculture is reported to be booming. Copyright © 2011 euronews

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