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European countries off Greece $40 billion loan package

brussels

Europe offers $40 billion in loans to greece

European leaders provided a long-awaited financial rescue line to Greece on Sunday, offering the country up to $40 billion in aid to meet its giant debt obligations. Under the plan, Greece would receive loans at about 5 percent interest, significantly lower than the rate of 7.5 percent that the markets were demanding last week, though not as low as Greece had wanted. The European plan makes the funds available to Athens if it asks. Greece has not made a formal request.

• Greek police arrested six people suspected of being members of Revolutionary Struggle, a terrorist group accused of a rocket strike against the U.S. Embassy.

pakistan

Airstrike kills 10 insurgents

Fighter jets pounded militant hideouts in northwestern Pakistan, killing 10 suspected insurgents as part of a military operation that has eliminated more than 300 fighters in the last three weeks. The strikes came as the Pakistani military is holding its largest military exercise in two decades in southeastern Pakistan. The monthlong operation, which started Saturday, will involve some 20,000 troops backed by tanks, artillery and air power, the army said.

bangkok

Protesters stage funeral procession

Anti-government protesters paraded coffins through the Thai capital today following a weekend of savage street fighting that left 21 killed and fears of further violence unless the activists and government reach a political compromise. At least 874 others were injured when security forces tried to crack down Saturday on demonstrators who have been staging a month of disruptive protests, seeking to have Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajva dissolve Parliament and call new elections. It was the country's worst political violence in nearly two decades.

hungary

Center-right party wins election

The center-right party reclaimed the right to govern, winning over 50 percent of the vote and handing the ruling Socialists a defeat. Extreme rightists backed by black-clad paramilitary troops took more than 15 percent to come in third. The strong gain of the extreme right Jobbik party shattered the traditional postcommunist status quo of a parliament dominated by the center right and the left. Fidesz's victory had been expected, and its result of 52.8 percent in the first round translated into 206 seats in the 386-seat legislature.

atlanta

Energy providers merge in $1.61B deal

Mirant Corp. and RRI Energy are combining in a $1.61 billion stock-swap deal, creating a utility powerhouse that will become one of the nation's largest independent power producers. The new company, which will have a market capitalization of about $3.1 billion, will be called GenOn Energy and be based in Houston, where RRI is headquartered.

Elsewhere

California: A magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck about 11 miles west of downtown Calexico, Calif., Sunday and more than two dozen in the magnitude 3 range were reported in the same area, with no damage or injuries.

Solomon Islands: An earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck southwest of the island chain's Kira Kira island in the South Pacific, with no reports of damage or injuries.

Times wires

European countries off Greece $40 billion loan package 04/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 12, 2010 1:02am]
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