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ANALYSIS-Doom scenario far-fetched but euro gloom to deepen

* Social cohesion to be tested as debt strains take toll * Greece under microscope; some worry over Spain * Welfare state cushions pain but long-term cost is high By Alan Wheatley LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - It would be fair to say that U.S. hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass does not expect the explosion in global debt in recent years to turn out well.

China holds man in secret under new law despite reform talk

By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A Chinese man who agitated for an investigation into the suspicious death of an activist has been detained at an unknown location, his lawyer said on Monday, describing him as possibly the first to be held under a controversial new law that allows secret detention.


Following are some of the main world news events expected in the next week (all times GMT). Asterisks denote new listings. - - - - TUESDAY, JANUARY 8 ** BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (1030). DAVOS - Launch of World Economic Forum's Global Risks 2013. BRUSSELS - EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy meets with Slovenia's President Borut Pahor (0800).

Tennis-Subdued Serena set for sixth title at Melbourne Park

By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A belated discovery that tranquility makes a useful ally in the pursuit of glory has Serena Williams in the box seat to win a third consecutive grand slam title at the Australian Open next week. The Williams of explosive on-court tantrums and off-court drama has largely been banished, and a calmer, more mature prototype arrives at Melbourne Park with her game rivalling the peak of her brilliant career.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares capped ahead of earnings reports

* MSCI Asia ex-Japan steadies, Nikkei opens down 0.5 pct * Dollar falls vs yen after sharp and rapid rise * Alcoa kicks off U.S. earnings later on Tuesday By Chikako Mogi TOKYO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Asian shares steadied on Tuesday but prices were capped by investor caution ahead of corporate earnings season for the last quarter of 2012 and the European Central Bank's policy meeting later in the week.

UPDATE 2-Samsung sees Q4 profit at $8.3 bln on Note sales, components

* Q4 operating profit estimated at record 8.8 trln won * Q4 sales estimated at 56 trln won * Analysts predict handset division profit at 5.8 trln won * Strong handset pipeline, chip recovery to lift 2013 profit - analysts * Shares open 1 pct lower

British firms' confidence increased in fourth quarter - survey

By Dasha Afanasieva LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - British firms grew more confident in the last three months of 2012, suggesting the economy avoided contraction and is set for modest growth in the early part of this year, Britain's largest business survey showed on Tuesday. The survey of more than 7,000 firms by the British Chambers of Commerce contrasts sharply with the downbeat message last week from a set of closely watched polls of purchasing managers. They suggested Britain is slipping back into recession.

UPDATE 1-US high court won't review federal embryonic stem cell funds

By Terry Baynes Jan 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a challenge to federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research brought by two researchers who said the U.S. National Institutes of Health rules on such studies violate federal law.

GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks fall from 5-year high; euro rises

* Wall Street shares dial back from 5-year high * Euro rises on bets ECB might leave rates alone * Oil prices slip with stocks, growth view caps losses * Dollar pulls back from 2-1/2-year high versus yen By Richard Leong NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Wall Street stock prices retreated from five-year highs on Monday, while the euro rose against the dollar on bets the European Central Bank might refrain from signaling more interest rate cuts on Thursday.

ANALYSIS-'Fiscal cliff' deal sours U.S. tax reform outlook

* Hopes dim for 'grand bargain' on taxes, spending * Democrats want more revenue from tax code revamp * Republicans say "cliff" deal means tax debate over * Gridlock may mean corporate tax reform hopes dashed By Kim Dixon and Kevin Drawbaugh
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