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Low Afghan vote turnout raises legitimacy questions

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KABUL, Aug 27 (AFP): As the results in Afghanistan's bitterly contested election trickle out, Afghans are caught in a complex guessing game about who will be their next president and how solid his mandate will be.
The gap between the main rivals in the race for the top job - President Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah - appears to be widening in the incumbent's favour, though observers insist it is still too close to call.
The figures appear to suggest however that turnout was low - around 30-35 percent - raising questions about the legitimacy of the man who is declared president when final results are known in mid-September.
Afghanistan's second presidential election and a parallel vote for provincial councillors were held on August 20 under the shadow of scores of Taliban attacks, suicide bombings and, later, amputation of some voters' inked fingers.

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Mitsubishi suspends operations in Venezuela

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CARACAS, Aug 25 (IANS): Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which assembles Mitsubishi, Hyundai and FUSO vehicles in Venezuela, has suspended its operations in the South American nation due to the low productivity of its plant in the eastern city of Barcelona.
"To the very low performance of our operation can be added the high level of absenteeism, lack of discipline, aggressiveness and anarchy that reigns in a group of workers," the company said in a communiqué.
In addition, the firm said that there were supposedly "intentional acts of sabotage and intimidation within a framework of impunity".
It also said that the current output at the plant is not only the lowest in the past five years but also the worst of all automobile assembly plants established in Venezuela.
The firm portrayed the fall in productivity in a chart in which shows that while in 2004 the plant turned out 24 vehicles per worker, in July 2009 that figure was just two vehicles per worker.
The announcement noted that this situation is occurring after the crisis suffered at the beginning of the year, when the murder of two Mitsubishi workers led to the takeover of the installations for more than 120 days.
When that problem was overcome, the plant resumed its activities on April 13 with the commitment of the unions to produce at least 60 vehicles per day, but output had only reached 33 vehicles per day, the announcement said.
The firm has 1,412 workers on its payroll.

 
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Four Seasons wine launched in Shillong

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SHILLONG, Aug 24: Four Seasons Wines Limited (FSWL), a subsidiary of United Spirits Ltd (USL), part of the UB Group, launched its first varietal range of wines here called the Four Seasons.

An exclusive wine tasting was held in the city which introduced people to the Four Seasons range of wines.
The Four Seasons wines have been lauded by world renowned wine experts like Steven Spurrier, wine expert and editor of Decanter Magazine, Jaques Puisais, French wine expert and author, vice president and co-founder of the Institute of Taste, France, and Bruno Li Paumard, French wine expert and master sommelier.
The Four Seasons wines will leverage the distribution strength of USL and will be available across metros and mini-metros in India.
In Meghalaya, the Four Seasons Chenin Blanc white wine is priced at Rs 381 for a 750 ml bottle and Rs 191 for a 375 ml bottle. Four Seasons Shiraz red wine is priced at Rs 461 and Rs 231 and Blush at Rs 381 and Rs 191 for 750 ml and 375 ml respectively.
The UB Group has varied business interests with the core businesses being beverage alcohol (spirits and beers) and aviation.
At a time when wine consumption in India is growing at a rapid pace, the UB Group’s Spirits Company – USL – has made a timely entry. The wine business operates through two companies, United Vintners Limited (UVL) and Four Seasons Wines Ltd.
While UVL will import wines from abroad to create a portfolio of wines available in different styles and price points, FSWL will produce quality Indian wines at its winery at Baramati, 65 km from Pune.
These wines will be marketed under the brand names Zinzi and Four Seasons.

 

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Aus, India close to completing feasibility study on FTA

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CANBERRA, Aug 24 (PTI): Taking forward their growing economic ties, Australia and India are close to completing a feasibility study to establish a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in a wide range of areas, an Australian official said on Monday.

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Fortis to spend Rs 9.09 bln to buy 10 hospitals

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MUMBAI, Aug 24 (Agencies): Fortis Healthcare Ltd said on Monday it will spend Rs 9.09 billion to acquire 10 hospitals from Wockhardt Hospitals Ltd, promoted by the founders of Wockhardt Ltd.

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Himachal firm goes for Rs.143-crore expansion

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Shimla, Aug 24 (IANS): Himachal Pradesh-based knitting and weaving products firm Winsome Textile has outlined a Rs 143 crore expansion programme after banks approved its debt restructuring plan, a top company official has said.

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Toyota launches Fortuner in India

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New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS): Japanese car maker Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) on Monday launched its sports utility vehicle (SUV) Fortuner here.

Priced at Rs 18.45 lakh - ex-showroom in Delhi - the Toyota Fortuner is now available in India in only its diesel variant.
The car is available in five colours - white, silver, grey, black and light blue.

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