Business News Dec 2: Keystone Pipeline; Germany, Greece; China Index Grows

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama faces mounting pressure to decide whether to approve Keystone XL, a $7 billion proposed oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada.
Environmental activists and oil producers have fought for years over the potential environmental impact in states the pipeline will cross. But it's really a proxy battle over broader issues, like climate change and energy consumption.
Both sides consider Obama's decision a sign of what approach he'll take to energy and the environment in his second term.
Opponents have been protesting in Washington and Texas. On Capitol Hill, support appears to be building. A bipartisan group of senators is urging Obama to approve the pipeline quickly.
After Obama rejected the initial proposal in January, the pipeline's route was adjusted to satisfy some environmental concerns.

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's chancellor says she understands the frustration felt by many Germans over the repeated bailout programs for Greece.
But Angela Merkel also insists that helping debt-ridden Greece is in her country's self-interest because it helps stabilize the 17-nation eurozone on which Germany's prosperity depends.
In an interview released Saturday, Merkel told Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag: "I obviously feel many citizens' skepticism, and partly understand it, because Greece has often disappointed its partners in the past."
The chancellor stressed in the interview that the new Greek government shows the necessary resolve "to change the country, to create modern structures."
Merkel's comments came a day after Germany's Parliament accepted granting Greece more lenient terms on its bailout program, clearing the hurdle for disbursing a (euro) 44-billion ($57-billion) rescue loan payment.

BEIJING (AP) -- A state-sanctioned survey has shown that China's manufacturing grew in November in the latest sign the world's second-largest economy is recovering from its deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis.
The China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said Saturday its monthly purchasing managers' index improved to 50.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate activity is expanding. That was up 0.4 points from October's numbers.
The PMI index measures overall manufacturing activity by surveying numerous indicators including orders, employment and actual production.
The Chinese numbers are rare good news for the world economy, which has slowed as Europe's chronic debt crisis worsened and the American economy stagnated.
Growth slowed to a three-year low of 7.4 percent in the three months ending in September.

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Singapore's government says it is deporting 29 Chinese immigrant bus drivers who were involved in the city-state's first strike in 26 years.
The Ministry of Manpower also said in a statement Saturday that a fifth driver will be charged with instigating the strike. Four others were arrested and charged on Thursday. They face up to a year in prison if found guilty.
The ministry said a police investigation found that the drivers had been absent from work without reason.
Strikes are almost unheard of in Singapore. The last was in 1986 by shipyard workers.
Some 171 Chinese bus drivers went on strike last Monday in protest at being paid nearly a quarter less than Malaysian bus drivers who work for the same transport company. The strike was over by Wednesday.


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