- Liberal leader sworn in as Luxembourg PM
Liberal leader Xavier Bettel was sworn in Wednesday as Luxembourg prime minister, replacing 19-year veteran Jean-Claude Juncker to head a coalition government with the Socialists and Greens. Bettel, 40, and his coalition partners took the oath of office in the presence of Grand Duc Henri, head of the small wealthy country nestled between Belgium, Germany and France. Veteran Socialist leader Jean Asselborn keeps the foreign minister post he held under Juncker while Liberal Pierre Garmegna is the new finance minister.
- Southern Europe joins north in bike revolution
Pedals versus horsepower, two wheels against four: cycling has the upper hand in Europe with bike sales now outpedalling car sales across the Old Continent, from Rome to Copenhagen. More bicycles were sold than cars last year in 26 of the European Union's 28 members, the exceptions being Belgium and Luxembourg, according to data from the cycle industry body Coliped and the auto industry association ACEA. Car sales have been slumping since the start of Europe's economic crisis, in what the head of FIAT Sergio Marchionne has gloomily dubbed a "Carmageddon", settling at 12 million units for the EU excluding Malta last year. The phenomenon spreads well beyond the traditional "bicycle capitals" of northern Europe, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
- SpaceX plans third launch attempt on Monday
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX, plans to try again on Monday to launch its first commercial communications satellite after its Falcon 9 rocket was twice sidelined by technical issues, officials said. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and a 3.5-ton (3,175 kg) communications satellite owned by Luxembourg-based SES S.A. was targeted for 5:41 p.m. EST (2241 GMT) on Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
- Liberals to lead Luxembourg as coalition talks succeed
Luxembourg City's mayor Xavier Bettel will become the country's next prime minister, following the end of coalition talks on Friday that usher in a Liberal government for the first time in decades. The agreement between Bettel's Democratic Party, the Socialists and the Greens brings an end to the 19 years in office of Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Union's longest-serving head of government. "After 175 hours, we're done with the coalition talks," Bettel said on his Twitter account. The coalition agreement will be presented to the respective party congresses next week, after which the ministers will be announced and the new government can be sworn in.
- Mexican drug cartels now make money exporting ore
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican drug cartels looking to diversify their businesses long ago moved into oil theft, pirated goods, extortion and kidnapping, consuming an ever larger swath of the country's economy. This month, federal officials confirmed the cartels have even entered the country's lucrative mining industry, exporting iron ore to Chinese mills.
- Last-second glitch halts SpaceX rocket launch
The launch of an unmanned Space Exploration Technologies' Falon 9 rocket was aborted one minute before liftoff on Thursday due to an unexplained technical issue, company officials said. It was the second attempt this week to launch a communications satellite for SES, which operates the world's second largest fleet. An initial attempt on Monday was called off after unusual pressure readings in the rocket's liquid oxygen tank. Perched on top of the rocket was a 7,000-pound (3,175 kg) communications satellite owned by Luxembourg-based SES S.A., which operates a 54-satellite fleet, the world's second-largest.
- Obama to tout U.S. economic recovery in Ohio steel mill visit
By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is set to tout the U.S. economic recovery during a visit to an Ohio steel mill on Thursday even as he faces more questions about the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare law. Obama will talk about the recovery of the U.S. auto industry, the energy benefits of auto fuel-efficiency standards, and the attractiveness of the United States for foreign investment when he visits the ArcelorMittal Cleveland facility, the White House said. The company has brought back workers furloughed in 2008 during the U.S. recession and has added 150 new jobs, the White House said in a statement. ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, is headquartered in Luxembourg.
- EU gay asylum ruling gets divided reception
Gays can seek asylum in the European Union when threatened with jail for same-sex activity, but only when such persecution is "sufficiently serious", Europe's top court ruled on Thursday. The judgement by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice was seen as divisive, with rights groups differing widely in their reading of what this could mean in practice. The court found that jail terms for homosexual behaviour could be considered "an act of persecution" warranting asylum. But it said the threat of persecution must be enforced and "sufficiently serious" with courts in home countries regularly throwing people behind bars.
- ArcelorMittal says beyond trough after earnings boost
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, reported higher profit than expected in the third quarter, boosted by increasing iron ore shipments and cost savings, and declared it was through the bottom of the cycle. It said an improvement in underlying profitability this year was driven by a 1-2 percent increase in steel shipments, a 20 percent rise in iron ore shipments sold at market prices and gains from its variety of cost saving plans. "Although operating conditions remain challenging, as economic indicators are improving we are cautiously optimistic about prospects for 2014," Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement. ArcelorMittal did make an overall net loss, of $193 million, for a fifth consecutive quarter.
- Michael O'Neill signs new Northern Ireland deal
Belfast (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has signed a two-year extension to his contract, the Irish Football Association announced Tuesday. The new deal means O'Neill, who replaced Nigel Worthington in December 2011, is set to be in charge for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. "When I was appointed Northern Ireland manager I was honoured to have been chosen to manage my country and I am extremely happy to have agreed a new two-year deal with the Irish Football Association. Under O'Neill, Northern Ireland could only finish fifth out of six teams in their 2014 World Cup qualifying group and suffered an embarrassing loss to Luxembourg.
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