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#Australia signs uranium deal with #India

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has sealed a civil nuclear deal to sell uranium to India and also offered to increase supplies of conventional fuel to help it overcome chronic shortages.

Read more: #Australia signs uranium deal with #India

   

BP faces $49bn bill for Gulf oil disaster

BP faces a total of $49bn in costs and fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spil disaster, after a federal judge ruled the company acted with "gross negligence''.

Read more: BP faces $49bn bill for Gulf oil disaster

   

Ex-New York mayor returns to lead #Bloomberg

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is to return as head of Bloomberg, the data and financial news company he founded in 1981, replacing Daniel Doctoroff who has decided to step aside, the company has said.

Read more: Ex-New York mayor returns to lead #Bloomberg

   

#France halts warship delivery to #Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin France has suspended the delivery of the first of two Mistral-class warships to Russia "until November" after fierce criticism from its allies given the crisis in Ukraine.

Read more: #France halts warship delivery to #Russia

   

#India near to signing French fighter jet deal

India's air force chief has said that a $22bn fighter jet deal with French company Dassault Aviation is to be concluded imminently after several missed deadlines and delays.

Read more: #India near to signing French fighter jet deal

   

#Halliburton to pay $1.1bn for US Gulf spill

Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1bn to settle a substantial portion of claims arising from its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Read more: #Halliburton to pay $1.1bn for US Gulf spill

   

#Malaysia Airlines cuts 6,000 jobs in overhaul

Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers and remove itself from the Malaysian stock exchange as part of a $1.9bn overhaul to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters.

Read more: #Malaysia Airlines cuts 6,000 jobs in overhaul

   

#Google drones: tech giant plans robot fleet

Google is building a fleet of drone aircraft that can bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly in the United States.

Read more: #Google drones: tech giant plans robot fleet

   

Indian banks connect poor to banking sytem

India's state-owned banks are conducting a massive campaign to open millions of accounts for poor Indians who are off the financial grid and vulnerable to black market money lenders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched the programme on Thursday, saying it would give the poor "renewed strength to fight poverty".

"When a bank account is opened, it's a step towards joining the economic mainstream," said Modi, who swept to power in May after an election campaign that promised an end to corruption, a revival in economic growth and a fairer society.

The programme may eventually help sideline extortionate money lenders or unscrupulous banks, some of which are blamed for driving tens of thousands of impoverished farmers to suicide each year over debts amounting to just a few thousand dollars.

Tens of thousands of people have applied to open accounts since August 15, when Modi announced the campaign in his Independence Day speech to the nation, bank managers said.

Modi had urged banks in a recent letter to "try your best to ensure that no one is left without a bank account." The goal is to sign up 150 million people by 2018. About half of India's 1.2 billion people lack bank accounts.

"There is an urgency to this exercise, as all other development activities are hindered by this single disability," Modi's letter said, according to his website.

The four-year programme may also help beat back the endemic corruption affecting almost every level of Indian bureaucracy, by channelling government welfare and work payments directly into the accounts of individuals rather than through regional and local offices.

The accounts are unique in that they would stay open without penalty if empty, a key condition for keeping enrolled the hundreds of millions of impoverished Indians earning about a dollar a day or less.

As an incentive, the federal government is providing Rs 100,000 ($1,650) in life insurance to every account holder.

Dozens of state banks with more than 100,000 branches countrywide are participating.

   

Australia's Qantas reports record $2.6bn loss

Qantas Airways has reported its biggest financial loss so far, after writing $2.4bn off the value of its fleet due to a company restructure.

Read more: Australia's Qantas reports record $2.6bn loss

   

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