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  • FRANKFURT, Aug 27- U.S. car service Uber is planning an aggressive expansion in Germany despite a backlash from cities such as Berlin and Hamburg, which have questioned its right to operate in highly regulated markets dominated by traditional taxis. Currently, Uber operates in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Duesseldorf.

  • EU Commission tells France: time to speed up reforms. By Ingrid Melander and Jean-Baptiste Vey. JOUY-EN-JOSAS, France, Aug 27- French Prime Minister Manuel Valls launched a charm offensive on the corporate world on Wednesday, promising to speed reforms aimed at freeing up the economy and to make tens of billions of euros in tax cuts.

  • CORRECTED-Berlin bans car service Uber Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 | 10:03 AM ET

    BERLIN, Aug 14- Berlin has banned car service Uber, which allows users to summon a ride on their smartphone, for not offering drivers and vehicles licensed to carry passengers, or full insurance cover, the German capital said.

  • *EU Commission tells France: time to speed up reforms. "It is urgent for France but not just France, for the other countries which are in a similar situation to speed up the work they are doing, the structural reforms," said a spokesman for EU Economic Commissioner Jyrki Katainen.

  • MADRID/ PARIS, Aug 27- The battle over Brazil's telecoms market is heating up, with the country's biggest fixed-line firm Oi signaling it may make an offer for Telecom Italia's local mobile business.

  • Citing Ebola, Air France suspends flights Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 | 9:11 AM ET

    PARIS— France on Wednesday recommended that its citizens leave the African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia because of the outbreak of Ebola there, and Air France temporarily suspended its three flights a week to Sierra Leone.

  • PARIS, Aug 27- IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been put under formal investigation by French magistrates for negligence in a political fraud affair dating from 2008 when she was finance minister.

  • UPDATE 2-Brazil telecoms battle heats up as Oi steps in Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 | 7:31 AM ET

    MADRID/ PARIS, Aug 27- The battle over Brazil's telecoms market is heating up, with the country's biggest fixed-line firm Oi signaling it may make an offer for Telecom Italia's local mobile business.

  • IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 | 5:29 AM ET

    PARIS— Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, was put under official investigation for negligence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as France's finance minister.

  • PARIS, Aug 27- IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been placed under formal investigation by French magistrates on Wednesday for her alleged role in a long-running political fraud case, a source close to the former French finance minister said.

  • PARIS— IMF chief Christine Lagarde under official investigation for' negligence' in corruption probe.

  • Uber eyes aggressive expansion in Germany despite bans Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 | 5:05 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Aug 27- U.S. car service Uber is planning an aggressive expansion in Germany despite a backlash from cities like Berlin and Hamburg, which have questioned its right to operate in highly regulated markets dominated by traditional taxis.

  • Journalist killing highlights role of freelancers Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 | 4:47 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Journalists James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Theo Curtis all shared one thing in common when they were captured by Islamic militants in Syria, the title "freelance journalist."

  • Asia's old communities vanishing amid rapid growth Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 | 3:17 AM ET

    BANGKOK— Century-old shop houses, twisting alleyways and temples scented with incense still pulsate with the pursuit of old trades and time-honored rituals of families who have lived in Bangkok's Chinatown for generations.

  • Telecom Italia to go ahead with bid for Vivendi's GVT Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 | 2:37 PM ET

    *Vivendi would get 15-20 pct in Telecom Italia- sources. MILAN, Aug 26- Telecom Italia will make a bid valued at roughly 7 billion euros for Vivendi's Brazilian broadband unit GVT, which would leave Vivendi with a 15 to 20 percent stake in the Italian group, said four people familiar with the matter.

  • French gov't reshuffle expels dissident ministers Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 | 1:11 PM ET

    PARIS— France's prime minister reshuffled his Cabinet on Tuesday to silence ministers who had openly criticized Socialist President Francois Hollande's economic policies as he tries to pull the nation out of stagnation and steer it toward growth.

  • *Euro STOXX 50 up 1 percent. LONDON, Aug 26- Euro zone blue chips recorded their biggest two-day gain in over a year on Tuesday, boosted by the prospect of further stimulus from the European Central Bank and by strong gains for some steelmakers. The euro zone's Euro STOXX 50 index closed 1 percent higher, posting its steepest two-day rise since June 2013 at 3.2 percent.

  • Steelmakers lead as euro zone shares extend ECB rally Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 | 11:04 AM ET

    *Euro STOXX 50 up 0.7 pct. LONDON, Aug 26- Euro zone blue chips were on track to record their best two-day gain this year on Tuesday, boosted by the prospect of further stimulus from the European Central Bank and by strong gains for some steelmakers.

  • Oldest US gay bookstore to reopen in Philadelphia Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 | 7:16 AM ET

    Philly AIDS Thrift says it's taking over the shop called Giovanni's Room. The group now has a two-year lease to operate Giovanni's Room. Giovanni's Room has long served as a resource, safe haven and gathering place for the city's gay community.

  • European shares consolidate ECB-fuelled gains Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 | 7:11 AM ET

    *FTSEurofirst 300, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.1 pct. Steelmakers ArcelorMittal, Salzgitter and Voestalpine outperformed broadly flat European bourses as analysts at UBS upgraded their shares to "buy" from "sell" in expectation that the trio will benefit from a turnaround in the sector.