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The eight-day California port strikes that ended last week led to a sharp decline in trade activity and cost the U.S. billions of dollars, and now the attention is shifting back to the Gulf of Mexico. Imports to the Los Angeles Port fell 18% last month to 142,543 from 173,423 in the prior-year period and were down 22% from January, according to data from global trade intelligence company Zepol. Shipments to Long Beach fell 15% to 109,484 from 129,128 in 2011 and were down 19% from the sequential month. Both ports saw the weakest activity of all but one month [...]

PARIS/LILLE Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen were both hit by strikes on Thursday as both French car makers eye moves to cut costs and boost productivity amid slumping sales. A single production line at Peugeot’s Aulnay plant on the outskirts of Paris, slated to be closed in 2014 at the cost of 3,000 jobs, ground to a halt after five workers were summoned for lack of productivity, a representative of the CGT union said in a phone interview. “The strike was extended to the evening team and a third negotiating meeting has been planned, but production has been halted,” CGT [...]

Workers angry over spending cuts and tax rises protest in a coordinated day of action.General strikes in Spain and Portugal, significant walkouts in Greece and ItalyTransport disrupted: hundreds of flights grounded; severe reductions in rail servicesProtesters say the cuts will compromise livelihoods and increase unemploymentEditor’s note: What’s your view of the eurozone financial crisis? Share your thoughts A wave of anger over austerity is sweeping across Europe as workers fed up with government spending cuts and tax rises take to the streets in a coordinated day of action.General strikes are under way in Spain and Portugal, and there are significant [...]

JOHANNESBURG Anglo Gold Ashanti , the world’s third-largest bullion producer, cut its dividend and warned of restructuring at its South African operations after weeks of wildcat strikes wiped out $ 400 million in output. “We are in the middle of a review of our South African operations and there is no doubt that we are going to have to do some restructuring work,” chief executive Mark Cutifani told journalists on a conference call on Thursday after the group reported third quarter results. Restructuring could mean marginal shafts are closed, leading to job losses at a time when social tensions are [...]

The Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras pictured on October 19, 2012.NEW: The Democratic Left and Syriza voice opposition to the austerity packageSamaras calls on lawmakers to approve the deal agreed to with international creditors”As long as this agreement is approved … Greece will remain in the euro,” says Samaras2 parliamentary votes will be held, one on budget and the other on austerity and reforms Debt-stricken Greece has agreed on final details with its international creditors on the terms for the next installment of a bailout deal, the prime minister said Tuesday.However, the agreement on new austerity measures and the country’s [...]

When a disaster strikes your city, you will at first be overwhelmed with concern about the welfare of your family, the future of your business and the seemingly mounting debt. Inevitably, however, the devastation caused by a disaster will raise a number of insurance coverage issues that you will need to address. Consider the following when it comes time to file and resolve your claim: After the storm passes, call your insurance company. At a minimum, you’ll want to ask: What types of damage are covered? How long will it take to process my claim? Will I need to obtain [...]

JOHANNESBURG Workers have reached a deal with Anglo American Platinum to reinstate 12,000 miners sacked for an illegal strike, which could end the last big industrial action rocking South Africa’s mining sector. Months of often violent wildcat strikes have cut production in the platinum and gold sectors, raising concerns about slowing economic growth as well as awkward questions about President Jacob Zuma’s management of the most damaging labor strife since the end of apartheid in 1994. “They agreed to reinstate all the dismissed workers on the provision that they return to work by Tuesday,” Lesiba Seshoka, spokesman for the powerful [...]

TOKYO Asian shares eased on Friday as markets consolidated gains from a three-day rally, while the euro remained underpinned after European Union leaders took a big step towards deeper integration with a deal to set up a single banking supervisor. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> dropped 0.5 percent, having risen 1 percent to reach a seven-month high on Thursday, its biggest daily gain in three weeks. The index looked set for a weekly gain of 1.4 percent, the most since mid-September. South Korean shares <.KS11> led the decline with a 0.9 percent fall as worries about [...]

TOKYO Asian shares eased on Friday as markets consolidated gains from a three-day rally, while the euro remained underpinned after European Union leaders took a big step towards deeper integration with a deal to set up a single banking supervisor. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> dropped 0.5 percent, having risen 1 percent to reach a seven-month high on Thursday, its biggest daily gain in three weeks. The index looked set for a weekly gain of 1.4 percent, the most since mid-September. South Korean shares <.KS11> led the decline with a 0.9 percent fall as worries about [...]

STORY HIGHLIGHTS NEW: Violence flares in Athens as protesters rally against a new round of cuts NEW: A 65-year-old man dies after fainting during the protest, a union official says Union leaders have called the country’s second general strike in a month European leaders will discuss the continent’s economic situation at a summit Are you in Greece? Share your stories, videos and photos with the world on CNN iReport. Athens — Tens of thousands of people rallied across Greece Thursday to protest further tough austerity measures, as a general strike essentially shut down much of the country’s transportation network. Clashes [...]

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