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  • German Amazon strikes to last until Christmas Eve Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:22 PM ET

    BERLIN— A German labor union says striking workers at four Amazon.com distribution centers in Germany will remain off the job until Christmas Eve. Companies in Germany normally shut down for the holiday at that time and reopen on Dec. 27, or the next working day. The walkouts at four of Amazon's distribution centers in Germany are part of an effort by workers to...

  • Security flaws allow global cellular eavesdropping Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 10:06 AM ET

    The Berlin- based Security Research Lab, which discovered the problem in August, said a skilled person could exploit the flaws to eavesdrop on the phone calls, text messages and data traffic of billions of people. The Washington Post and Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on it Thursday. "The research disclosures made to the GSMA enabled us to...

  • FRANKFURT, Dec 19- European Central Bank officials are considering ways to ensure weak countries that stand to gain most from a fresh round of money printing bear more of the risk and cost. Such a move could help persuade a reluctant Germany to back plans to buy state bonds. But while the idea may help overcome opposition in Germany, which is worried that fresh money...

  • German consumer confidence on the rise Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:53 AM ET

    BERLIN— German consumer confidence is continuing to improve, supported by expectations of increasing economic strength and a greater willingness to make purchases. The GfK research group said Friday its forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 9 points for January from 8.7 points in December. GfK says consumers still have uncertainty over ongoing...

  • It's law now: 'No Social Security for Nazis' Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:21 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama on Thursday capped a swift and forceful response to an Associated Press investigation by signing into law a measure that bars suspected Nazi war criminals from receiving U.S. The AP's investigation, which was the impetus for the No Social Security for Nazis Act, found that dozens of former Nazis collected millions of...

  • Germany's BASF, Gazprom scrap planned asset swap Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:23 PM ET

    BERLIN— Germany's BASF SE says it has agreed with Russian gas company Gazprom to call off an asset swap that the two firms had planned for the end of this year. The planned swap would have seen BASF subsidiary Wintershall transfer a jointly operated natural gas trading and storage business to Gazprom. In addition, Gazprom would have got a 50 percent share in the...

  • Abu Dhabi's Etihad gets A380, complete with suite Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:17 PM ET

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates— Abu Dhabi's national carrier, Etihad, showcased on Thursday the arrival of its first Airbus A380, outfitted with "the only three-room suite in the sky." The A380 is the first of a fleet of 10 on order from Etihad Airways, which is to take delivery of four more of the double-decker jets next year. The airline also showcased Thursday its...

  • FRANKFURT, Dec 18- The European Central Bank said on Thursday it would start publishing accounts of its monetary policy meetings next year, a move that will raise the ECB's transparency but still leave it behind other big central banks. The ECB will begin publishing the accounts of Governing Council discussions starting with the meeting on Jan. 22.

  • *Delivery delays in UK after "Black Friday" surge. BERLIN/ PARIS, Dec 18- The Christmas rush is exposing the limitations of internet-only retailers as surging orders cause delivery delays, allowing Europe's shops to fight back with "click and collect" services and more in-store theatre. Britain's biggest department store group John Lewis, which was early to...

  • Rise of the car-sharing apps poses threat to auto sector Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:15 AM ET

    The rise of the likes of car hire app Zipcar and car-pooling rival BlaBlaCar are expected to present new challenges to mass-market carmakers such as Ford, GM, Volvo, Renault and Volkswagen while presenting fresh opportunities for existing rental networks. Online taxi business Uber is another seeking a slice of the market with its UberPop operation, which...

  • Daimler puts aside $748 million for antitrust case Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 9:30 AM ET

    BERLIN— Daimler AG says it's booking a 600 million-euro charge related to European Union antitrust proceedings against commercial vehicle makers. Daimler said Thursday it's increasing a provision first made in 2011 to deal with the investigation by the EU's executive Commission after reviewing documents on which Brussels based its accusations, which it...

  • EU leaders agree to fund for jumpstarting growth Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 9:21 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— European Union leaders agreed Thursday to create a strategic investment fund that could generate up to 315 billion euros in private- and public-sector money to upgrade infrastructure, jumpstart the EU's sluggish economies and ignite job growth. The plan approved by leaders of the 28- nation EU at their one-day summit meeting in Brussels calls for...

  • 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...

  • A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:53 AM ET

    So far, Timothy Ray Brown, a U.S. man treated in Germany, remains the only person thought to have been cured of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Gero Huetter of the University of Berlin. In a research letter in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, Huetter tells of six other patients with HIV and various blood cancers who received similar...

  • The watchdog announced sanctions totaling 345.2 million euros on cleaning products makers Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, Unilever, Procter& Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Sara Lee, SC Johnson and Bolton Solitaire. It announced a further 605.9 million euros of fines relating to personal hygiene products against Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, Unilever, Procter& Gamble,...

  • 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...

  • German business confidence up for 2nd month Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 4:09 AM ET

    BERLIN— A closely watched survey showed Thursday that business confidence in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has risen for the second month in a row as lower oil prices and a weaker euro helped brighten managers' outlook for the next six months. ING-DiBa chief economist Carsten Brzeski said in a blog post that "lower energy prices and the weaker euro should...

  • *But Samaras discussed plans with Berlin, Brussels. But in contrast to a recent predecessor, he made sure before dropping the bombshell that Berlin and Brussels wouldn't stand in the way. With Berlin playing a decisive role in European aid for Greece, Samaras and Schaeuble spoke repeatedly by telephone in the days before the early vote was announced on Dec. 8,...

  • Business events scheduled for Thursday Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 1:38 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, 8:30 a.m.. WASHINGTON— Mortgage company Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates, 10 a.m.. WASHINGTON— Conference Board releases leading indicators for November, 10 a.m..

  • 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...