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Low voter turnout could erode Japan PM Abe's call for fresh mandate

published about 4 hours ago
Low voter turnout could erode Japan PM Abe's call for fresh mandate
By Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese voters, puzzled as to why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling an election now and unimpressed by opposition alternatives, may shun a Dec. 14 election in record numbers. That could help Abe's ruling coalition win the poll for parliament's lower house, but also erode any claim of a new, strong mandate for his economic revival plan. ...

No easy 'plan B' for Iran if nuclear talks with major powers collapse

published about 10 hours ago
No easy 'plan B' for Iran if nuclear talks with major powers collapse
By Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian officials say they can turn to Beijing and Moscow if talks in Vienna fail to end Western sanctions, but with oil prices falling, China's economy slowing and Russia in its own sanctions-induced slump, Tehran's "plan B" hardly looks ideal. Talks between Iran and six powers, which include China and Russia as well as the United States and three big EU countries, are expected to fail to reach a deal to ... more

Iran, powers set to miss nuclear talks deadline, seek extension

published about 14 hours ago
Iran, powers set to miss nuclear talks deadline, seek extension
By Parisa Hafezi and John Irish VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran, the United States and other world powers are all but certain to miss Monday's deadline for negotiations to resolve a 12-year stand-off over Tehran's atomic ambitions, forcing them to seek an extension, sources say. The talks in Vienna could lead to a transformation of the Middle East, open the door to ending economic sanctions on Iran and start to bring a nation of 76 million people in from the cold ... more

Italy regional votes to test public mood on Renzi

published about 18 hours ago
Italy regional votes to test public mood on Renzi
By Isla Binnie and Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italians voted on Sunday in regional ballots which will test whether the country, tired of economic stagnation and austerity, is also wearying of Matteo Renzi's nine-month old coalition government. Renzi's popularity peaked in June shortly after a landslide victory in European parliament elections, but his ruling party has been steadily slipping lower in opinion polls since, as the economy stutters and joblessness remains stubbornly high. ...

Exclusive: China ready to cut rates again on fears of deflation - sources

published about 18 hours ago
Exclusive: China ready to cut rates again on fears of deflation - sources
By By Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) - China's leadership and central bank are ready to cut interest rates again and also loosen lending restrictions, concerned that falling prices could trigger a surge in debt defaults, business failures and job losses, said sources involved in policy-making. Friday's surprise cut in rates, the first in more than two years, reflects a change of course by Beijing and the central bank, which had persisted with modest stimulus measures before finally deciding last week ... more