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Shift away from China could benefit Dominican textile industry

Santo Domingo, Mar 6 (EFE).- The Dominican Republic's textile industry, hampered in recent decades by Chinese competition, has begun growing again and may recover a leadership position thanks to Western companies' declining enthusiasm for sourcing production in Asia, the CEO of Spanish garment technology company Jeanologia told Efe. Now is the time for Latin American countries to leverage technology to reclaim leadership of the textile industry and become the "great workshop" for the United States, Enrique Silla said.

Iceland environmentalists protest as China joins Arctic oil race

An Icelandic environmental group poured cold water over the Arctic nation's dreams of becoming an oil-producer Wednesday, following the approval of a Chinese-led exploration bid off the country's north coast. "Iceland should not bet on oil at a time when it is doubtful that humanity can reach its (greenhouse gas) goals," Arni Finnsson, chairman of Iceland Nature Conservation Association, told AFP.

Marshall Islands says climate change behind floods

Officials in the Marshall Islands blamed climate change Wednesday for severe flooding in the Pacific nation's capital Majuro which has left 1,000 people homeless. The Marshalls declared a state of emergency in the wake of the flooding, which peaked Monday when surges caused by so-called "king tides" inundated areas of the low-lying capital. Senator Tony de Brum, the Minister Assisting the President, said king tides were a regular phenomenon, but not at the damaging levels seen this week.

S. Korea to ship used military goods to Mongolia

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday signed an agreement to ship used military vehicles to Mongolia as part of efforts to expand defense cooperation between the two nations, the defense ministry here said. South Korean vice defense minister Baek Seung-joo held a meeting with his Mongolian counterpart Battus Avirmid to discuss regional security issues and signed a deal to hand over 15 used military vehicles, including excavators, bulldozers and cranes.

Ukraine crisis stokes Baltic nerves over Russia

By Andrius Saytas and Aija Krutaine VILNIUS/RIGA (Reuters) - The Baltics fear Russia's military buildup over Ukraine will lead to Moscow sowing more trouble in their region after it curbed important exports last year and buzzed their borders, forcing NATO to scramble jets dozens of times. The former Soviet republics of Estonia and Latvia have their own large ethnic Russian minorities and are alarmed by President Vladimir Putin's justification for Russian actions in and around Ukraine as protection for Russian speakers there.

Spain revises Q4 growth downward to 0.2 per cent, contracted 1.2 pct over year

MADRID - Spain's National Statistics Institute says the economy grew a smaller-than-expected 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the previous three-month period. The figure released Thursday revised earlier predictions by the institute and the Bank of Spain that estimated the economy had grown by 0.3 per cent for the October-December period. The institute confirmed that economic activity shrank 1.2 per cent for the whole of 2013.

Statistics Canada says business operating profits up in fourth quarter

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says Canadian corporations earned $79.1 billion in operating profits in the fourth quarter, up 0.8 per cent from the previous quarter. The increase followed a 0.2 per cent gain in the third quarter and were up 5.6 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. The agency says operating profits rose in 14 of the 22 industries tracked. Operating profits for the non-financial sector grew 2.1 per cent to $56.9 billion in the fourth quarter, following a 3.7 per cent increase the previous quarter.

China denounces Japan's 'disturbing' move to ease arms export ban

BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- China pressed Japan Tuesday not to lift its decades-old ban on arms exports, denouncing the reported move under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new defense strategy as "disturbing." In a move certain to worsen ties with South Korea and China, the Abe government has drafted a new proposal to reverse the self-imposed weapons export ban, according to Japanese media reports.

Danish PM to visit S. Korea next week

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt will visit South Korea next week for summit talks with President Park Geun-hye about increasing cooperation in green growth, trade and investment and other areas, the presidential office said Monday. Thorning-Schmidt will arrive in South Korea on March 5 for a four-day official visit. Accompanying her will be a 68-member economic delegation, which will be Denmark's largest-ever and seek business cooperation with South Korean firms.

Portugal nears end of painful 3-year bailout program, but more austerity and reforms likely

LISBON, Portugal - The Portuguese are less than three months away from their big day — May 17 — when they expect to get financial sovereignty back after three years of being told what to do by foreign bailout creditors. In return for the 78 billion-euro ($107 billion) rescue that has since 2011 prevented national bankruptcy, Portugal consented to an economic crash diet: deep cuts in pay and pensions and welfare rights, steep tax increases, and an end to long-standing labour entitlements.
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