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Narendra Modi: India’s salesman-in-chief

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4 hours ago

ISIL takes control of the last Syria-Iraq border crossing.

  Syrian government forces withdrew from the crossing at al-Tanf, allowing Islamic State militants to form a more direct link between their forces in the two countries. ISIL now controls half of Syria’s territory, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
3 hours ago

Greece talks remain stuck.

  Prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s late-night discussions with Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s François Hollande couldn’t convince them to move on unlocking further bailout funds, despite Hollande’s earlier optimism. The two leaders praised Greece’s progress but remain stuck over issues such as pensions and tax rates.
3 hours ago

Expedia concedes the battle for China.

  The US travel company sold its 62.4% stake in China’s Elong travel website to four buyers. Among them is Ctrip, which is now more firmly ensconced as the top player in China’s competitive online travel market.
3 hours ago

German business looks healthy.

  The Ifo Institute’s business confidence index nudged downwards to 108.5 in May, from a 10-month high of 108.6 in April, but beat expectations of 108.3. Separately, first-quarter spending by companies and consumers alike rose compared to a year earlier.
May 22, 2015

The Bank of Japan declines to expand its stimulus.

  The central bank bet that organic growth, coupled with its existing stimulus measures, will be sufficient to push inflation levels higher. First-quarter GDP grew at a better-than-expected annualized 2.4%.
May 22, 2015

Moody’s cuts Puerto Rico’s credit rating.

  The ratings agency cut its assessment of the US territory’s bonds and other items further into junk, claiming it is unlikely to be able to access cash before a crucial June 30 deadline. The cut comes despite the Puerto Rico government issuing a new, austere budget (paywall).
3 hours ago
Chart of the Moment

The world’s top selling beer is a $1-a-liter Chinese watery lager.

May 22, 2015

New Zealand’s consumer confidence dips.

  The survey from ANZ, a bank, indicated a slight fall to 123.9 in May, from 128.8 in April, but that’s still well above the 100 mark that signifies general optimism. ANZ itself remained optimistic; it expected 3% GDP growth this year, and healthy job creation.
3 hours ago

Did a vampire commit Sweden’s most bizarre unsolved murder?

  In the 1930s a prostitute was found with her blood drained.

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