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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.

UPDATE 2-Tanker hits San Francisco Bay Bridge, Coast Guard says

(Adds details throughout) SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - An oil tanker struck a tower of the San Francisco Bay Bridge on Monday but did not appear to spill any oil into the bay, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The 750-foot-long "Overseas Reymar", sailing under a Marshall Islands flag, was empty except for water that was used as ballast, U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Heather Lampert said. The tanker was about five miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, where the San Francisco Bay opens into the Pacific Ocean.

UPDATE 1-Australia battles hundreds of wildfires, fanned by outback winds

* Thousands of firefighters battle hundreds of blazes * Residents evacuate homes in face of out-of-control fires * Record temperatures bake Sydney * Cooler change hoped to end incendiary conditions (Updates with latest on fires, fresh quotes) By Rob Taylor

UPDATE 1-'Davos man' fears more storms, both real and economic

* World Economic Forum risk report sets scene for Davos * Income disparity and government debts top risk list * Climate ranks third, extreme weather a growing concern By Ben Hirschler LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Fragile economies and extreme weather have combined to crank up the global risk dial in the past year, creating an increasingly dangerous mix, according to the World Economic Forum.

American chef's independent spirit fires Southern cuisine

By Dorene Internicola NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - "Fire in my Belly" is an apt title for the debut cookbook of U.S. chef and restaurateur Kevin Gillespie, who turned down a scholarship to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology because a career in science just didn't feel right.

'Davos man' fears more storms, both real and economic

* World Economic Forum risk report sets scene for Davos * Income disparity and government debts top risk list * Climate ranks third, extreme weather a growing concern By Ben Hirschler LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Fragile economies and extreme weather have combined to crank up the global risk dial in the past year, creating an increasingly dangerous mix, according to the World Economic Forum.

South African farm workers to revive wine region strikes

* Seeking minimum daily wage of $17.50 from $8 * Last action left two dead after wave of mine strikes * Farm owners say power costs mean cannot afford higher wages By Wendell Roelf CAPE TOWN, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Thousands of South African farm workers will go on strike in the Western Cape wine region from Wednesday, reviving labour action for higher wages in which two workers were killed in clashes with police and vineyards were damaged.

U.S. data lifts European shares to 22-month highs

* FTSEurofirst 300 index ends 0.4 pct higher * Euro STOXX 50 up 0.3 pct, may rise 7 pct in H1 * Transocean leads market as settles oil spill charges By Atul Prakash LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - European shares set a 22-month high on Friday, buoyed by supportive data and led by rig contractor Transocean, which agreed to settle U.S. government charges over BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Britain's FTSE sets highest closing level in nearly 2 years

* FTSE 100 adds 0.7 percent * Index rallies on U.S. jobs report after slow start * Concerns of early end to Fed monetary easing subside * BP leads gainers after Transocean settlement By Alistair Smout LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Britain's top shares registered their highest closing level for nearly two years on Friday, taking a cue from U.S. jobs data which suggested a broad-based labour market recovery.

UPDATE 5-Transocean to pay $1.4 bln for role in BP oil spill

* Transocean owned doomed rig in 2010 Macondo disaster * Payment less than company set aside, shares jump 6.4 pct * Settlement still to be reached with plaintiffs * Halliburton still to settle with DoJ; its shares up 1.7 pct By David Ingram WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Offshore rig contractor Transocean Ltd has agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle U.S. government charges arising from BP Plc's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The settlement unveiled on Thursday by the U.S.
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