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A Reuters team that drove into the heart of Bani Walid, in desert hills 150 km (90 miles) south of Tripoli, saw no signs of resistance from supporters of the deposed leader who have been holed up inside the town for more than six weeks.”Bani Walid is completely free. It is liberated, 100 percent,” said Mohammed Shakonah, a military commander with the National Transitional Council (NTC).The apparent capture of Bani Walid brought Libya’s new rulers a step closer to being in full control of the vast, oil-producing North African country almost two months after rebels entered Tripoli and ended 42 years of one-man rule by Gaddafi.Along with Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte, Bani Walid was one of Libya’s last sources of armed resistance to the NTC.Bursts of gunfire, fireworks and car horns merged into a cacophony on streets littered with empty bullet casings and lined with buildings damaged or destroyed by the fighting.Some buildings were still ablaze just before sundown on Monday, others were flattened by NATO air strikes. Several shops looked like they had been looted. Thick black smoke billowed in the distance.An NTC fighter in camouflage fatigues and with an AK-47 assault rifle hanging from his shoulder, embraced a medical worker and both men wept in joy.”If Gaddafi could see this, he would give up,” said Abdelfattah, another NTC fighter in the central square.There was no evidence of civilians joining in the street celebrations in Bani Walid, home to the Warfalla, Libya’s biggest tribe, whose members are traditional supporters of Gaddafi.”This is a very important day because it now means Gaddafi doesn’t have even one town in Libya,” said Ayad Sayed al Russi, a senior NTC commander. “We hope that the residents who fled will come back now that the town is free.”The town had been under siege for weeks, with hundreds of Gaddafi loyalists dug into its steep valleys and hills resisting advancing interim government forces.NTC officials had been negotiating with Bani Walid’s tribal leaders for its surrender.SIRTE FIGHTS ONIn Sirte, where Gaddafi loyalists have been under siege for weeks, there was little or no indication of the often disorganized NTC forces making any progress on Monday. Chaos and confusion forced them to retreat in some places.A doctor for the medical aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in Sirte has estimated that 10,000 people remain trapped in the city of 75,000. Many are women and children, some are sick or injured.NTC tanks and rockets bombarded a small area of central Sirte where they have boxed in the remaining Gaddafi loyalists. Libya’s new leaders say they will only begin the transition to democracy after they capture the city.Frustration is growing on the front line. Some fighters are irritated that their commanders have not ordered a big push to take the rest of the city.There is also anger between NTC forces from Misrata to the west and from Benghazi to the east, who have accused each other of hitting their allies in “friendly fire” incidents.”What we are trying to do is to limit attacks from the east and west to avoid friendly fire, and instead attack from the south,” said Mohammad Al Sabty, a field commander.”We have lost a lot of martyrs in recent days,” said Mustafa Salim from a Misrata brigade. When Misrata units get close to Benghazi units “it gets harder,” he said. “They fire at us and we fire at them.”Government forces captured 15 Gaddafi loyalist fighters on Monday, all of them black, a Reuters witness said. Gaddafi armed many sub-Saharan Africans to fight for him and black people have been subject to arbitrary reprisals by the NTC forces.Some government fighters present tried to hit the newly captured prisoners, but were held back by more senior officers and the 15 men were marched off to the rear as NTC forces laid down suppressing fire at nearby snipers.The new government’s forces have been accused of mistreating prisoners and Amnesty International said in a report last week it was in danger of repeating some of the abuses of Gaddafi’s rule, particularly through the use of arbitrary detention.The often chaotic struggle for Sirte has killed scores of people, left thousands homeless and laid waste to much of what was once a showpiece Mediterranean city where Gaddafi entertained foreign leaders.
Romarco Minerals Inc. reopened the historic Haile Gold Mine near Kershaw, S.C., this year and expects to pour its first gold bar there in early 2014, Chief Executive Diane Garrett told Reuters this week.Once environmental impact studies and permits are complete, Haile will be the only modern gold mine east of the Mississippi River, Garrett said, and the first since the Kennecott Minerals mine closed in Ridgeway, S.C., in 1999.Based on the proven gold reserves found in samples, the Toronto company estimates it has 3.1 million ounces of gold at Haile. The mine will produce an average of 150,000 ounces of gold a year for five years, according to its website.”It sits on one of the most significant trends of gold in the United States,” Garrett said. “A lot of people had forgotten just how significant the gold production was in this area.”Romarco’s success at finding the gold left at Haile has sparked renewed industry interest in the southeastern United States.The gold is embedded in microscopic flecks in volcanic rock along what geologists call the Carolina Slate Belt, which winds from northern Georgia through the Carolinas and into Virginia.Vancouver’s Revolution Resources Corp. said in early October that it had begun drilling at several historic North Carolina gold mine sites along the Slate Belt.Strongbow Exploration Inc., also of Vancouver, said this summer that it had bought mine properties in South Carolina and had begun drilling at North Carolina’s historic Parker Gold Mine.Erin Ventures Inc., another Canadian company, also is prospecting for gold in North Carolina, according to its website.The “unprecedented climb into the stratosphere” for gold prices has spurred the eastern development, said Michael George, gold commodities specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va.”We may have three or four mines started up in the next 10 to 15 years” in the southeastern United States, he said on Friday.Gold prices this week posted their biggest gain in six weeks, buoyed by optimism about European plans to contain the region’s debt crisis. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $14.50 at $1,683 an ounce.LONG TRADITIONGold was first discovered in the United States in 1799 when a 12-year-old boy found a large nugget in a North Carolina creek. The story goes that his family used the nugget as a doorstop until a jeweler bought it for $3.50, said Kenneth Taylor, North Carolina’s chief geologist.”There are hundreds of old gold mines all over North Carolina,” Taylor said. “When the gold rush in California came in (in the 1840s), the experienced miners were here in North Carolina, so they went west.”Gold was first found on the Haile property in South Carolina in 1827. Mining continued off and on into the 1990s.Romarco owns about 10,000 acres that include the 4,200-acre mine site. The company has spent about $350 million on site preparation and hiring and, by the time it produces gold, will have spent about $650 million, said Garrett, the chief executive.”Mining is a capital-intense industry,” said Garrett, whose company also owns two gold exploration sites in North Carolina. “When you look out West, this mine is quite small. Out there you’ve got mines that go for 20 miles and go thousands of feet deep.”The microscopic gold at Haile will be extracted by crushing tons of rock into dust and using a cyanide solution to separate the gold.The Army Corps of Engineers requires an environmental impact study from Romarco on how it will replace 160 acres of wetlands it plans to destroy.Environmentalists also are concerned about an endangered freshwater mussel, the Carolina heelsplitter, found in creeks near the site.Garrett said the company, which expects to be at Haile for at least 13 years and likely 20, would propose land restoration and creating wetlands to replace those destroyed.The environmental impact study will take about a year and has set back groundbreaking and hiring, she said. The mine has 106 employees, she said, and Romarco expects to hire up to 800 mostly local workers.Kershaw Mayor Wayne Rhodes said the company would have a huge impact on his economically depressed town of about 1,800 people, and he is concerned about the delay in hiring.”People here are begging for jobs,” Rhodes said.
Borrower European Investment Bank (EIB)Issue Amount 250 million Russian rubleMaturity Date December 15, 2015Coupon 6.5 pctIssue price 98.375Yield 6.956 pctPayment Date October 21, 2011Lead Manager(s) JPMorgan Chase BankRatings Aaa (Moody’s), AAA (S&P),AAA (Fitch)Listing LuxFull fees 1.625 pct (Selling 1.4 pct , 0.225 pct M&U)Denoms (K) 50Governing Law EnglishNotes Launched under issuer’s EMTN programmeThe issue size will total 8.8 billion Russianruble when fungibleISIN XS0523712791Security details and RIC, when available, will beonCustomers can right-click on the code forperformance analysis of this new issueFor ratings information, double click onFor all bonds data, double click onFor Top international bonds newsFor news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC,where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals)Data supplied by International Insider.
By Andrea Shalal-EsaWASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Northrop Grumman Corp on Thursday pulled out of the 2012 international air show in Farnborough, England, a dramatic move underscoring the company’s drive to cut costs as it prepares for leaner times in the global defense market.Northrop has participated in the air shows — which alternate between Paris and Farnborough — each year since it merged with Grumman in 1994, said spokesman Randy Belote.Belote said the company had already been reducing its footprint at the international air shows in recent years, but pulling out completely would save millions of dollars.He said it did not diminish the company’s commitment to Britain or other international customers.Virginia-based defense consultant Loren Thompson said it would be the first time in decades that the company — one of the five largest U.S. defense contractors — was not present at the big international showcase of commercial and military aircraft.”This is just the latest indication of how determined Chairman Wes Bush is to cut costs,” Thompson told Reuters. “They’re going to break the model in terms of what is expected in terms of industry leaders.”Bush has realigned the company around four business areas focused on cybersecurity, logistics, communications and intelligence, and unmanned systems, and recently spun off the company’s shipbuilding business.Belote said Northrop was reevaluating its participation in other international air shows as well, but was only prepared to announce its decision about Farnborough at this point.
Slovakia is the only one of the euro zone’s 17 members yet to approve an increase in the EFSF’s powers.Its fallen ruling coalition was preparing a new vote on the EFSF on Thursday after forging a deal with the leftist opposition. The vote is intended to end a standoff over the fund, which is designed to stop the spread of the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday gave a speech on the lessons about sustained growth that can be gleaned from the experience of emerging markets. Bernanke said not all of the “Washington consensus” policies pushed by multilateral lenders in the 1990s had proven fruitful. In particular, he said the Asian financial crisis showed the risks of opening up financial markets to foreign capital flows until a country has implemented measures to strengthen banks and regulation. Yet Bernanke missed an opportunity to link his speech back to the recent experience of the United States. For while his message was tailored for the developing world, he may as well have been describing the U.S. banking sector in the run-up to the 2008-2009 financial crisis: Dismantling controls on the domestic financial industry has proven counterproductive when important complementary factors — such as effective bank supervision … were absent.