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Juppé's star rises amid French leadership void

PARIS (Reuters) - He has a criminal record for corruption and as prime minister in the 1990s caused France's worst unrest since May 1968 with a failed austerity push. Two decades on, opinion polls show he is the country's most respected politician in office.

Business

BOJ shocks markets with more easing as inflation slows

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan surprised global financial markets on Friday by expanding its massive stimulus spending in a stark admission that economic growth and inflation have not picked up as much as expected after a sales tax hike in April.

Entertainment

U.S. judge tosses Paramount movie financing fraud case after trial

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Paramount Pictures won the dismissal Thursday of a lawsuit by investors in a slate of mid-2000s movies including "Mean Girls" who said the studio concealed a risky business strategy in obtaining $40 million in financing.

Life

New Zealand's Fonterra says China lifts ban on baby formula ingredients

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Fonterra Co-Operative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter, said the Chinese government has lifted a ban on the last two products that were embroiled in last year's contaminated infant formula scare.

Sports

Clippers launch new era under Balmer with scrappy win

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It was not pretty but the Los Angeles Clippers somehow found a way to launch their 2014-15 season under new owner Steve Ballmer with a scrappy 93-90 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

Technology

HTC forecasts higher fourth-quarter sales; above market estimates

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp said on Friday that it expects revenue in the fourth quarter to reach T$43 billion-T$47 billion ($1.4 billion-$1.57 billion), beating market expectations of T$41.5 billion.

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