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SAO PAULO (Brazil) (AFP) - If psychic diva Marcia Fernandes is proven right, millions of Brazilians will be sorely disappointed next July as she forecast a German victory in the final of the World Cup. "Germany is going to prevail," the popular medium said in a highly anticipated prediction at Mystic Fair, an esoteric fest that drew more than 40,000 people at an exhibition center in suburban Sao Paulo. Prominent Brazilian astrologist Serena Salgado softened the blow somewhat by telling the crowd that hosts Brazil had a good chance of winning the tournament, but she was not as categorical. "I think that Brazil can conquer the Cup... this is a possibility," she said, noting that the Selecao were likely to face traditional adversaries such as Italy, Germany or Argentina.
GrainCorp chief executive Alison Watkins resigned on Monday, just days after the Australian government blocked a takeover bid by American agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) for being against the national interest. Watkins said she would leave the biggest grain handler in eastern Australia next month, with chairman Don Taylor taking on executive duties on an interim basis until a successor is found. "Given last week's unexpected developments, I feel it is in the best interests of GrainCorp, our people and customers that I move on now and allow the board to find new leadership to take the business forward into its new phase." Treasurer Joe Hockey vetoed the takeover on Friday, which would have have left 60 percent of wheat shipments from Australia controlled by three companies -- ADM, Glencore Xstrata and Cargill.
By Peter Griffiths LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron promised on Sunday to cut rising energy costs, seeking to regain the initiative from the Labour Party that has pledged to freeze bills if it wins the next election in 2015. Cameron said his government would set out measures to cut bills by an average of 50 pounds ($81.90) a year in an economic update on Thursday which the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he would use to carry on reducing Britain's budget deficit, even as the economy recovers. The soaring cost of household energy has dominated political debate in Britain since Labour leader Ed Miliband said in September that his party would freeze bills for 20 months if it wins power. "Instead of a fake giveaway, we have found another way to support Britain's hard-pressed families," Cameron wrote in a joint article with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the Sun on Sunday newspaper.
By David Brunnstrom and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will try to strike a delicate balance of calming military tensions with China while supporting ally Japan against Beijing on a trip to Asia this week that is being overshadowed by a territorial dispute in the East China Sea. Aiming to counter criticism that the United States is neglecting Asia because it is distracted by domestic politics and the Middle East, the White House has long been planning a visit by Biden to Japan, China and South Korea.
Beaver Creek (United States) (AFP) - Jessica Lindell-Vikarby won the women's alpine World Cup giant slalom at Beaver Creek on Sunday, the second World Cup race win of the Swede's career. But she stormed home to edge US starlet Mikaela Shiffrin with a total time of 2min 17.92sec. Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather was third, 0.56sec adrift. "I'm feeling great!" Lindell-Vikarby said.