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  • LONDON, Dec 18- The Swiss franc tumbled on Thursday after its central bank announced a charge on deposits, wary of a flood of money exiting Russia and likely inflows from the euro zone if the ECB starts full-scale money printing early next year. The jitters of recent weeks calmed a touch as oil rose for a second day, although the pressure was still on Russia's rouble...

  • Canada man finds woman for free trip around world Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:59 AM ET

    TORONTO— A Toronto man who made headlines last month by offering a free round-the-world air ticket to a woman with the same name as his ex-girlfriend has found Ms. Jordan Axani, 28, and his then girlfriend, named Elizabeth Gallagher, booked heavily discounted round-the-world air tickets in May, but their relationship ended and he didn't want her ticket to go to...

  • France fines 13 firms $1.2 bln for price-fixing Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:24 AM ET

    PARIS— Penalizing a dirty business involving cleaning products, French regulators fined 13 consumer-products makers about 950 million euros for price fixing on goods like shampoos, detergents and toothpaste. France's competition authority said Thursday that the companies sought to maintain "artificially high" prices in negotiations with supermarkets...

  • *Carrefour raises cash for Brazil expansion, Diniz back in retail. PARIS, Dec 18- Carrefour has sold a 10 percent stake in its Brazilian business to billionaire Abilio Diniz, in a first step towards a possible separate listing, as Europe's largest retailer looks to raise cash to accelerate growth in its second-largest market. With its core French market on the mend,...

  • French parliament passes deficit-cutting 2015 budget Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:08 AM ET

    Dec 18- The French parliament approved President Francois Hollande's revised 2015 deficit-cutting budget on Thursday, although it remains to be seen whether the European Commission will demand further efforts early next year. The budget has been at the center of a stand-off between the European Commission and France after Paris broke a promise to bring its...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- The Swiss franc tumbled on Thursday as its central bank slapped a charge on deposits, wary of a flood of money exiting Russia and the likely pressure from the euro zone if the ECB starts full-scale money printing early next year. The jitters of recent days also calmed a touch as Russia managed to stabilise its rouble ahead of an end-of-year address...

  • SNCF mulls buyout of UK govt's Eurostar stake-report Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:43 AM ET

    PARIS, Dec 18- French rail operator SNCF is considering using its pre-emption purchase rights on the Eurostar train service to block certain bidders for the stake put up for sale by its partner, the British government, according to Les Echos newspaper. The paper said the British government was about to name a shortlist of bidders for its 40 percent holding in the...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 17- Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in Carrefour SA's Brazilian unit, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday, potentially strengthening its ability to take on the supermarket chain Diniz's father founded. Under terms of the deal, Diniz, whose Peninsula Participações holding...

  • Dec 17- French telecom group Orange SA confirmed on Wednesday that it has been sued in California by San Francisco- based startup Telesocial in an intellectual property case, but said that the startup's claims were unfounded. Orange said Telesocial has already taken the company to two French courts including the Paris Court of Appeal based on the same...

  • FRANKFURT/ PARIS, Dec 17- European Central Bank policymakers are discussing how best to act to revive the euro zone economy rather than whether to do so, ECB board member Benoit Coeure said, as France pressed for a "more suitable" monetary policy for the common currency area. Coeure, a Frenchman close to ECB President Mario Draghi, said there was support on the bank's...

  • BRUSSELS, Dec 17- The International Monetary Fund estimates Ukraine needs another $15 billion in financing to withstand an economic crisis but the European Union has only limited capacity to help, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday. Ukraine will need $15 billion in addition to what is already planned, "he told the European...

  • BRUSSELS, Dec 17- The International Monetary Fund estimates Ukraine needs another $15 billion in financing to withstand an economic crisis but the European Union has only limited capacity to help, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday. "Ukraine will need more help. Ukraine will need $15 billion in addition to what is already...

  • NYC premiere of Rogen film canceled as threats fly Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:05 AM ET

    The New York premiere of "The Interview" canceled. The Department of Homeland Security said there was "no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters," but noted it was still analyzing messages from the group, dubbed GOP. The warning did prompt law enforcement in New York and Los Angeles to address measures to ramp up security.

  • The Department of Homeland Security said there was "no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters," but noted it was still analyzing messages from the group, dubbed GOP. The warning did prompt law enforcement in New York and Los Angeles to address measures to ramp up security. Carmike Cinemas, which operates 247 theaters across the...

  • 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...

  • France wants ban on new cannabis-extract "e-joint" Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 11:07 AM ET

    PARIS— France's health minister has said she wants to ban a controversial cannabis-extract electronic cigarette that's been launched in France. Marisol Touraine told French radio she was "opposed" to the self-styled "e-joint," that was launched online Tuesday. Though cannabis is illegal in France, French-Czech company KanaVape say their hemp vaporizer...

  • Russia-exposed stocks lag skittish European indexes Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 11:00 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 16- Shares in European companies exposed to Russia lagged volatile regional indexes on Tuesday, as the rouble plunged in value and concern grew about the state of the Russian economy. Shares in Raiffeisen Bank International, which relies on Russia for profits, fell more than 8 percent to a record low after Russia's aggressive hike in interest rates...

  • LONDON, Dec 16- Shares in European companies exposed to Russia fell sharply to lead a broad decline on Tuesday, as the rouble plunged in value and concern grew about the state of the Russian economy. Shares in Raiffeisen Bank International, which relies on Russia for profits, hit a record low after Russia's aggressive hike in interest rates failed to convince...

  • PARIS, Dec 15- European shares tumbled again on Monday, resuming last week's sharp sell-off as the relentless drop in oil prices hurt energy shares and fuelled fears of deflation in the euro zone. "The drop in oil would normally be good news for the European economy, but in this case, it's actually bad news because it seriously raises the risk of deflation," said...

  • Navajos buy back artifacts at Paris auction Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 11:30 AM ET

    PARIS— Navajo officials spent several hundred thousand euros to buy back seven tribal masks at an auction Monday in Paris— a sale that went ahead despite efforts by the U.S. government to stop it. The U.S. Embassy in Paris asked Drouot to suspend the sale to allow Navajo and Hopi representatives to determine where they came from. Jim, a medicine man who traveled to...