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By Kwasi Kpodo and Matthew Mpoke Bigg ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's cocoa regulator Cocobod has purchased 652,986 tonnes of cocoa in the 2014/15 season as of June 26, Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson told parliament, according to records seen by Reuters on Friday. The amount is significantly down on last season but is sufficient to service the $1.7 billion cocoa loan Cocobod took out last year because the regulator forward sold just 624,500 tonnes as collateral, Forson said on Thursday. Ghana's output this season falls short of its initial forecast of more than 1 million tonnes, a fact that has rattled the global cocoa market given that the West African country is the world's second-largest producer, behind Ivory Coast.
PANCEVO, Serbia (AP) — Normally, Leo would run away at the sight of a bigger dog. The small dachshund liked most to cuddle with his owners or ride in the back seat of the family car. But, one day Leo showed that true bravery knows no limits.
Japan on Saturday pledged $6.1 billion in financial aid to the "Mekong Five" countries as it pushes infrastructure exports and courts influence in a region where rival China has an increasing presence. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled the pledge at a summit with his counterparts from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam -- fast-growing economies through which the lower section of the Mekong river flows. "Japan will implement support worth around 750 billion yen ($6.1 billion) in official development assistance for the next three years," Abe told a news conference following the seventh annual Japan-Mekong summit.