July 26th, 2012
04:28 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – The British economy is shrinking far faster than expected. The latest figures - showing a 0.7% contraction - are a huge shock.

The rotten weather, extra days off for the Diamond Jubilee and contagion from the eurozone crisis have contributed: Now even UK Chancellor George Osborne is conceding the country has “deep-rooted economic problems.”

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at foreign exchange company World First, points to the eurozone’s hoovering up of government cash as one issue. Government spending is meant to be dropping but is instead increasing, he says. “We’ve said the situation would get worse before it gets better, anything worse than this and we are risking depression,” he warns.

Oh dear, what a gloomy picture. But at least London is hosting the Olympics, right? British Prime Minister David Cameron has declared the games in London will bring great spoils: Around $20 billion, we’re told. Banks, restaurants and retail outlets have staffed up, helping nudge unemployment to a nine-month low.

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July 26th, 2012
10:37 AM GMT
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(Johannesburg) CNN – It is being dubbed by some as the “Second Scramble for Africa” - millions of acres of land being snapped up by companies from Asia and the Middle East.

The land rush was in part spurred by the food and financial crisis of 2008, when corporations, investment funds and governments began to re-focus their attention on agriculture as a profitable commodity.

Massingir Agro-Industrial is a South African and Mozambican company that has been given the use of 30,000 hectares of land in Massingir, western Mozambique, by the country’s government.  Backed by European investors, once feasibility studies are complete, the company will begin planting sugar cane to produce sugar - 80% of which will be exported to Europe.

Under the deal, local villagers will not be relocated. Some land will be left for the villagers but the vast majority of it will be off limits.

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