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  • *Starbucks says results reflects rise in licensed stores. LONDON, April 24- Starbucks suffered its first ever drop in UK sales last year, a period in which the company became the subject of boycotts and public criticism over its tax practices. Starbucks said the result was not because of weakness in the business but reflected the closure of unprofitable stores.

  • *Obama says more sanctions "teed up" against Russia. LONDON, April 24- Oil rose towards $110 a barrel on Thursday as the dispute between Russia and the West over Ukraine added to supply concerns, although record U.S. crude inventories kept gains in check.

  • LONDON, April 24- Global stocks rose on Thursday lifted by upbeat earnings from tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook which helped shake off some of the concerns about overheating that have dented the sector in recent weeks.

  • LONDON, April 24- Starbucks suffered its first ever drop in UK sales last year, a period when the company became the subject of boycotts and public criticism over its tax practices.

  • LONDON, April 24- Oil edged further above $109 a barrel on Thursday as the dispute between Russia and the West over Ukraine added to supply concerns, although record U.S. crude inventories kept gains in check.

  • BIROBIDZHAN, Russia, April 24- Russia warned foreign companies working in the oil and gas sector that if they quit the country over Ukraine- related sanctions, they would not be able to return any time soon.

  • *German businesses shrug off Ukraine crisis. BERLIN, April 24- German firms shrugged off concerns about tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, helping the Ifo business climate index to a surprise increase in April and signalling that Europe's largest economy is on track for firm growth this year.

  • LONDON, April 24- Oil rose further above $109 a barrel on Thursday as disagreement between Russia and the West over Ukraine added to supply concerns, although record U.S. crude inventories kept gains in check.

  • New drug sales help boost Novartis Q1 profit Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 1:56 AM ET

    GENEVA— Strong new drug sales and higher operating income helped Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis AG report a 24 percent rise in first-quarter profit. "Novartis delivered a solid quarter, with all divisions contributing to growth," CEO Joseph Jimenez said.

  • Business events scheduled for Thursday Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 | 2:09 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases durable goods for March, 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. WASHINGTON— Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, 8:30 a.m.. WASHINGTON— Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases weekly mortgage rates, 10 a.m..

  • *Russia proposes April 28 for Moscow meeting. BRUSSELS/ MOSCOW, April 23- European and Russian officials will meet this week and next for emergency talks to try to prevent Moscow cutting off gas supply to Ukraine, as Europe explores how to pump more gas to the struggling country.

  • LONDON, April 23- The loud welcome given by investors to this week's deal for Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline to trade more than $20 billion of assets could trigger more pacts in the pharmaceuticals sector and beyond.

  • Kiev and Washington twisting peace accord: Moscow. KIEV, April 23- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of being behind the political upheaval in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond if its interests came under attack.

  • *Washington will stand by us: Ukraine deputy prime minister. *Talks proposed on Ukraine- Russia gas row. After a lull for the Easter religious holiday, officials in Kiev decided to renew what they call an "anti-terrorist operation" against separatist militias who have seized control of about a dozen public buildings in eastern Ukraine.

  • *Ukraine president calls for new crackdown in east. SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine, April 22- Ukraine's acting president accused Russia of aiding "terrorists" who killed a politician from his own party, urging a crackdown in the east on Tuesday that could hamper international efforts to defuse the crisis.

  • Ukraine leader urges crackdown as peace eludes east Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 | 4:08 PM ET

    *Ukraine president calls for new crackdown in east. SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine, April 22- Ukraine's acting president accused Russia of aiding "terrorists" who killed a politician from his own party, urging a crackdown in the east on Tuesday that could hamper international efforts to defuse the crisis.

  • *Biden says in Kiev that Russia must act to defuse crisis. KIEV/ MOSCOW, April 22- Ukraine's acting president Oleksander Turchinov called on Tuesday for government forces to relaunch an offensive against pro-Russian rebels after a local politician from his own party was found dead with signs of torture.

  • *Biden says in Kiev that Russia must act to defuse crisis. Vice President Joe Biden told Russia on Tuesday that "time is short" for action on defusing the crisis in eastern Ukraine, but Moscow refused to be rushed, saying it could handle any tougher economic sanctions the West might impose.

  • *Ukraine peace deal falters as rebels dig in. LONDON, April 22- Brent oil fell towards $109 a barrel and the U.S. benchmark saw a sharper decline on Tuesday on forecasts of rising crude stocks as a faltering pact to ease tensions in Ukraine offered some support.

  • *Novartis to buy GSK's oncology assets for $14.5 bln. The deals, which include Novartis buying GSK's cancer drugs and GSK acquiring Novartis' vaccines business, came hot on the heels of a newspaper report that AstraZeneca had turned down a $101 billion bid approach from Pfizer- a story that sent shares across the sector surging.

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