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  • UPDATE 1-Uber plans tighter screening for drivers Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 8:39 PM ET

    Dec 18- Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc, which had a driver was accused of rape in New Delhi, said it was exploring adding new methods to verify drivers' credentials and make its service safer. In the United States, Uber's background-verification process includes checks of court records going back seven years; a multi-state criminal database; and the...

  • TABLE-Reuters U.S. primary dealer poll results Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:46 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 17- These are the results of Reuters poll of U.S. primary dealers following the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday. For the related story click. Primary Dealer When do Will the Where do Where do Would a.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- Economists at Wall Street's biggest banks remain convinced the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by next June and most expect the Fed to tighten policy more than once in 2015, a Reuters poll found after the U.S. central bank wrapped up a policy meeting on Wednesday. The Fed last raised interest rates in 2006 and has held its target policy...

  • Uber plans tighter screening for drivers Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:17 PM ET

    Dec 18- Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc, one of whose driver was accused of rape in New Delhi, said it would add new methods to verify drivers' credentials and make its service safer. France, Spain and Thailand have banned some or all Uber services. The company's services have also been in New Delhi following the rape allegation.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company rank among the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank,...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company are the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank, comparable to...

  • Novartis sues India's Cipla over respiratory drug Onbrez Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 8:22 AM ET

    MUMBAI, Dec 17- Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG said on Wednesday it had sued India's Cipla Ltd for infringing patents covering its respiratory drug Onbrez, a month after Cipla launched a copy at a fifth of the original drug's price. Cipla, India's fourth-largest drugmaker by revenue, launched its copy of Onbrez in New Delhi in October, citing urgent unmet need for the...

  • Currency and stock markets in Asia generally firmed on Wednesday after a two-day sell-off that saw Indonesia's rupiah drop to its weakest level since the Asian currency crisis in 1998 and Thailand's main stock index register its biggest intraday loss since October 2008. Bank Indonesia said it had sold dollars to support the rupiah on Tuesday, and traders...

  • Iraq's Kurdistan says to deepen ties with Iran Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 5:11 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 17- Iraqi Kurdistan plans to strengthen its relationship with Iran, the prime minister of the semi-autonomous region said on Wednesday in an acknowledgement of the deepening ties between Arbil and Tehran. Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said in a statement a new oil deal between Arbil and Baghdad would not impact the Kurdistan Regional...

  • Dec 17- Convenience-store chain The Pantry Inc has hired an investment bank to sell itself through an auction, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Using a typical takeover premium, an acquisition of the company could value it at more than $850 million, the newspaper reported. The Pantry, which does business primarily under...

  • BEIJING/ SHANGHAI, Dec 17- Deep-pocketed Chinese rivals and tough regulators stand in the way of U.S. car-hailing service Uber's plans to conquer one of the world's biggest transportation markets, even after it signed a tieup with domestic internet giant Baidu Inc.. "You have to do things differently in order to succeed here in China," Uber Chief Executive Travis...

  • Cash-strapped Indian airline SpiceJet grounded Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:28 AM ET

    NEW DELHI— Low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet grounded all flights Wednesday after oil companies stopped supplies of jet fuel to the financially beleaguered carrier. India's civil aviation ministry Tuesday asked state-owned oil companies and airport operators to extend credit to SpiceJet for 15 days to prevent the airline from shutting down.

  • BEIJING, Dec 17- Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc agreed to buy a stake in Uber as the online car-hailing service seeks to gain ground on rivals with powerful backers in one of the world's biggest transportation markets. Baidu is the latest big-name investor, joining the likes of Goldman Sachs and Google Inc, to place a bet on the fast-growing transportation...

  • NEW DELHI, Dec 17- Business sentiment among Asia's top companies rebounded in the fourth quarter to the second-highest level in almost three years, a Thomson Reuters/ INSEAD survey showed, helped by a stronger U.S. economy and a plunge in oil prices. The Thomson Reuters/ INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index increased to 72 in the fourth quarter from 66 in the...

  • *Japanese lenders also planning to offer new services in India. MUMBAI, Dec 17- Faced with a shrinking economy and tepid loan demand at home, Japan's largest banks are looking to bolster their presence in India, enthused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reform agenda and improving ties between the two countries. Standard Chartered, the biggest foreign player in...

  • Dec 16- Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc has limited employee access to its "God View," a real-time taxi monitoring tool, amid increasing privacy concerns. God View, which lets the company see all Uber cabs in a city and waiting customers who have hailed cars, is now available only to "employees working in operations or other areas, like fraud prevention," Uber...

  • WASHINGTON/ PARIS, Dec 16- Alstom SA is close to settling a bribery case with the U.S. Justice Department for $700 million, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday, in what would be the largest criminal fine levied by the United States for foreign bribery. A top Justice Department official said in a speech last month that Alstom executives along with Japanese...

  • Dec 16- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc to pay $188 million to employees who had sued the retailer for failing to compensate them for rest breaks and all hours worked. Wal-Mart said on Tuesday that it might appeal the decision, which upheld lower court rulings, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Monday's ruling on the class-action lawsuit will...

  • Dec 16- Wal-Mart Stores Inc said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had ordered it to pay about $188 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by employees who claimed their meal and rest breaks were regularly cut. Wal-Mart said the ruling, which it may appeal, would reduce its fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations by about 6 cents per share.

  • Myanmar: Magazine must go with the river's flow Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 8:46 AM ET

    State-run newspapers published an Information Ministry announcement Tuesday telling the Irrawaddy Publishing Group that it must change the names of its two publications named after the Irrawaddy River to use the spelling "Ayeyawady." That's what the former ruling junta renamed the river in 1989, when it also changed the country's name from Burma to...