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  • LONDON, Jan 28- British prosecutors are investigating whether subsidiaries of Alstom, the French power and transport company at the centre of an international corruption inquiry, committed offences in Hungary, a London court heard on Wednesday. The Serious Fraud Office has already charged two UK- based Alstom subsidiaries and four former employees with...

  • *Sale of assets including stake in Greece's main utility halted. *Greek minister says Athens against sanctions on Russia. It said it would halt the sale of stakes in the Public Power Corporation of Greece, Greece's biggest utility, and refiner Hellenic Petroleum and put other planned asset sales of motorways, airports and the power grid on ice.

  • *Scotland blocks new permits for fracking. LONDON, Jan 28- Scotland on Wednesday blocked the granting of permits for fracking and a local English council delayed a decision on two projects, casting doubt on British Prime Minister David Cameron's shale gas ambitions. Scotland, estimated to have around 80 trillion cubic metres of shale gas resources- enough to...

  • Trade union turns lights off on French prime minister Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 12:42 PM ET

    PARIS, Jan 28- An inquiry was under way on Wednesday after French trade unionists turned the lights off on a keynote speech by Prime Minister Manuel Valls in protest at planned energy reforms. The mines and energy federation of France's militant CGT union said in a statement it supported the action. France's energy reforms have a wider purpose, aiming to boost the...

  • Unions turn lights off on French prime minister Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 12:40 PM ET

    PARIS, Jan 28- An inquiry was under way on Wednesday after French trade unionists turned the lights off on a keynote speech by Prime Minister Manuel Valls in protest at planned energy reforms. The mines and energy federation of France's militant CGT union said in a statement it supported the action. France's energy reforms have a wider purpose, aiming to boost the...

  • BRUSSELS, Jan 28- New European Union sanctions against Russia could include further capital markets restrictions, making it harder for Russian companies to refinance themselves and possibly affecting Russian sovereign bonds, EU officials said on Wednesday. EU foreign ministers are expected to ask the executive European Commission on Thursday to prepare...

  • BRUSSELS— Internet giant Google said Wednesday that its video-sharing website YouTube is so inundated that staff cannot filter all terror related content, complicating the struggle to halt the publication of terrorist propaganda and hostage videos. The European Union's counter-terror chief believes it's time to help companies to contain the security...

  • TOKYO, Jan 28- Japan's leading independent budget airline Skymark Airlines Inc filed for protection from creditors late on Wednesday, blaming a weak yen and a dispute with Airbus Group for its financial straits. "The company, believing the demands for breach-of-contract payments were unreasonable, attempted to negotiate a reduction in the payments with...

  • Germans in shock as new Greek leader starts with a bang Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 11:15 AM ET

    *Fiery Tsipras start challenges policy assumptions in Berlin. *Russia overtures deepen concerns over EU consensus on Ukraine. The move did not go unnoticed in Berlin.

  • *Sale of stake in Greece's biggest utility halted. A swift series of announcements signaled the newly installed government would stand by its anti-austerity pledges, setting it on course for a clash with European partners, led by Germany, which has said it will not renegotiate the aid package needed to help Greece pay its debts. After announcing a halt to the...

  • German automakers lobby for US-EU trade deal Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 9:31 AM ET

    BERLIN— German automakers are throwing their support behind a new trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. Representatives from major car manufacturers like Daimler, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen lobbied Wednesday for the deal at an event in Berlin. Organizer Matthias Wissmann, of the German Association of the Automobile...

  • Car industry heads lobby to drop tariffs between EU, US Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 9:03 AM ET

    BERLIN, Jan 28- The heads of German car companies including BMW, Daimler and Audi lobbied politicians on Wednesday to reach a trade deal that could see tariffs dropped between the United States and the European Union. BMW boss Norbert Reithofer said around 40 percent of all cars produced are sold in Europe and the United States. Carmakers waste resources...

  • BRUSSELS, Jan 28- The EU has prepared a draft statement for the foreign ministers of its 28 members to agree to extend sanctions against Russia by six months, add new people to the sanctions list and prepare new measures. The statement was referring to asset freezes and travel bans put on dozens of Ukrainians and Russians since Russia's annexation of Ukraine's...

  • UPDATE 1-OMV, Gazprom amend gas supply deal terms Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 8:15 AM ET

    VIENNA, Jan 28- Austrian energy group OMV and Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom have agreed to amend a long-term contract for gas supplies, OMV said on Wednesday without disclosing details. Alexander Medvedev, deputy head of Gazprom's management committee, and OMV Chief Executive Gerhard Roiss signed the amendment at a meeting in Vienna, OMV said in a...

  • *Gazprom cannot afford to lose Ukraine. MOSCOW/ KIEV, Jan 28- Ukraine has a stronger hand to play at talks with Russia on gas supplies thanks to the fall in oil prices, which has dragged down gas prices, and after showing it can live on less. Although a milder winter and a scramble for other sources has shown Ukraine can survive with less gas from Russia, it still needs it to...

  • BRUSSELS, Jan 28- The European Union will extend by six months sanctions imposed on Russia last March over its annexation of Crimea, add new people to those under sanctions and prepare new measures, draft conclusions for an EU foreign ministers meeting showed. "In view of the worsening situation, the Council agrees to extend the restrictive measures targeting...

  • One-day strikes planned for Duesseldorf, Cologne airports Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 6:15 AM ET

    BERLIN— Germany's ver.di trade union says private security personnel at the country's Duesseldorf and Cologne-Bonn airports will stage a one-day warning strike Thursday in an ongoing dispute over wages. Union representative Andrea Becker told the dpa news agency Wednesday that after three unsuccessful rounds of talks, ver.di hopes to put pressure on...

  • Greece, eurozone creditors gear up for clash over bailout Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 5:37 AM ET

    ATHENS, Greece— Greece's new radical left government has shot the first salvo in what is expected to be a tough clash with fellow eurozone countries over budget cuts that Athens says are choking the life out of its economy. The hard line prompted a quick warning from the European Union and sent local investors into a panic on the prospect that the country might get...

  • *CEO says Roche committed to Switzerland despite franc rise. While cross-town rival Novartis has said it will review its Swiss cost base, Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan said his company had no plans to move operations. "I continue to believe that Switzerland and Basel offer a very good framework for our business," Schwan told reporters.

  • Putin eyes benefits as rebels gain in Ukraine Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 5:09 AM ET

    *Fighting has surged in eastern Ukraine. *Putin blames Kiev but could see gains. MOSCOW, Jan 28- Boxed into a corner by a financial crisis and the West's refusal to drop sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out fighting.