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An outbreak of E.Coli infections in Germany killed 17 and affected 1'500 people. An initial statement blaming imported Spanish cucumbers for the outbreak was subsequently withdrawn, but not before many Spanish vegetable and fruit suppliers had lost their market in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone maker, issued a profits warning and forecast that profits in the second quarter would be the lowest for 13 years. The company is developing a new range of products which will not be on the market until the end of 2011.

The South African Competition Tribunal gave the go-ahead to the US Walmart company's takeover of Massmart, a local retailer with stores in 13 African countries. South African trade unions opposed the deal because of Walmart's employment policies.

Germany reversed its nuclear energy policy, announcing that all existing reactors will be phased-out by 2022 and not replaced. Critics said that the policy will increase dependence on fossil fuels and make it difficult for Germany to meet carbon-cutting targets.