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Swaziland says loan from S.Africa "not working out"

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A 2.4 billion rand ($280 million) loan that South Africa agreed to extend to Swaziland has hit a snag but the landlocked kingdom, Africa's last absolute monarchy, can survive without it, its finance minister said on Tuesday. The loan was agreed in 2011 as Swaziland grappled with an acute funding crisis. South Africa was due to release the first tranche of the bailout last year but the money never materialised.

Golf-Rose, Dufner, Olazabal add more stardust to Qatar Masters

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Twice U.S. Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, Briton Justin Rose and American Jason Dufner will join several other big names at this month's Qatar Masters, organisers said on Tuesday. World number four Rose and ninth-ranked Dufner join former world number one Martin Kaymer and Ryder Cup teammates Sergio Garcia and Paul Lawrie, who announced on Monday they would play in the $2.5 million event.

US STOCKS-Wall St set to dip as earnings season begins

* Yum shares fall on shrinkage of sales in China * Monsanto stock jumps after strong earnings, raised outlook * Sears says CEO to step down, shares rise * Futures off: Dow 20 pts, S&P 2.5 pts, Nasdaq 1 pt By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to tick lower at the open on Tuesday as an earnings season expected to show sluggish corporate growth gets under way.

Soccer-Struggling Brondby to cut wages by 25 percent

COPENHAGEN, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Brondby have announced that wages at the Copenhagen club are to be cut by 25 percent across the board. "We hope and believe that all employees will agree to this as it is the key to securing the short and long-term capital and liquidity and the continuation of the club," chief executive Tommy Hakansson said in a statement. An initial 10 percent wage cut is to be implemented immediately with a further 15 percent coming in three months.

Olympics-Cash-strapped Madrid ready to host Games, bid team say

By Iain Rogers MADRID, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Madrid will be capable of staging a successful 2020 Olympics despite the parlous state of Spain's finances, officials behind the city's bid said on Tuesday. "Today the biggest weakness we have is the economy but we can overcome it," Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) president Alejandro Blanco told a news conference, a day after Madrid's bid dossier was handed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne.

Former US lawmaker Giffords launches gun control initiative

* Wounded Arizona ex-lawmaker says "enough" * Group seeks "common-sense" solutions to curb violence * Giffords initiative aims to raise funds, challenge NRA By Susan Heavey WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely wounded two years ago in an Arizona shooting, is launching a group aimed at curbing gun violence and raising enough money to challenge the well-funded gun lobby.

UPDATE 2-Italy jobless records put heat on Monti in poll race

* Jobless rate stable at October record of 11.1 pct * Youth unemployment hits 37.1 pct, highest on record * Rising unemployment is key issue ahead of February election (Recasts lead, adds political comment, graphics) By Gavin Jones ROME, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Youth unemployment in Italy rose to an all time high above 37 percent in November, data showed on Tuesday, piling pressure on outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti who is seeking a second term at national elections in February.

Indian soldier "mutilated" after gunfight with Pakistan troops-Indian general

NEW DELHI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The body of an Indian soldier was found mutilated on Tuesday after a gunfight with Pakistani troops on the Indian side of the Line of Control that divides Kashmir, a senior Indian army spokesman told local television. "What we have come to know is one body has been mutilated. That is what we are aware of," General S.L. Narasimhan told Times Now.

INTERVIEW-World ignoring Syria's systematic ruin -Jumblatt

* Lebanese Druze leader blames "indifference or conspiracy" * Jumblatt, former ally of Assad, has turned against him * Urges fellow-Druze in Syria to join revolt By Dominic Evans and Mariam Karouny MUKHTARA, Lebanon, Jan 8 (Reuters) - World powers are abandoning Syria to be "systematically destroyed" by a civil war which has already wrecked whole cities in a once-great Arab nation, Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said.

UPDATE 1-Greek PM tells Germany making big efforts to reform

* Greek people making big sacrifices to overcome crisis, says PM * Germany's Merkel backs Samaras reforms * Merkel says EU must agree more reforms by June summit BERLIN, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Greece is making enormous efforts to get its economy back on track despite the pain this involves for its citizens, its prime minister Antonis Samaras said on Tuesday on a visit to Germany, chief champion of austerity in Europe.
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