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By Pete Sweeney SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Hours after China's central bank cut interest rates to battle slowing growth and rising deflationary risk, an official survey showed on Sunday that activity in China's factory sector contracted for a second straight month in February. The new reading ended a four-month streak of declining numbers, and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the rise should be viewed more positively as it occurred despite the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, during which PMI usually contracts. Accounting for 48 percent of China's $10.2 trillion economy last year, the services sector has weathered the growth downturn better than factories have, partly because it depends less on foreign demand. MIXED NEWS IS BAD NEWS From the breakdown of factory data, economic performance is uncertain.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela will shrink the size of the U.S. Embassy staff, limit the activities of U.S. diplomats and require American citizens to apply for visas if they want to come bask on the beach.