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  • PARIS/ NEW YORK, July 31- French telecoms company Iliad has made a surprise offer for T-Mobile US Inc, setting up a potential bidding war with rival suitor Sprint Corp, the U.S. mobile firm now controlled by Japan's Softbank.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 31- Argentina's main government bond, stock market and peso currency dropped on Thursday after Latin America's No. 3 economy defaulted for the second time in 12 years following the failure of last-ditch talks with holdout creditors.

  • *Tripoli fighting spreads to western city district. TRIPOLI, July 31- Clashes with artillery and rockets spread on Thursday into two Tripoli districts, where rival militia brigades were battling over the airport in Libya's worst fighting since the 2011 revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

  • PARIS, July 31- U.S. private equity firm Catterton Partners has acquired Bali- inspired jeweller John Hardy for an undisclosed sum, closing a transaction that took months to negotiate.

  • *Shares in Adidas and Banco Espirito Santo slump. LONDON, July 31- European shares fell sharply on Thursday, with the euro zone's blue-chip index slipping to a three-month low, on concerns of an earlier than expected interest rate hike in the Uniteed States and a debt default by Argentina.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- French telecoms operator Iliad SA has recently made a buyout approach for T-Mobile US Inc, according to a person familiar with the matter, a surprise bid that counters an existing takeover bid by Sprint Corp..

  • BRUSSELS, July 31- The European Union has published a law that will curb arms sales to Russia and to cut off financing for five major Russian banks over Moscow's support for rebels in Ukraine.

  • New Paris hotel joins race to pamper the super rich Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 12:19 PM ET

    *Hotel helps Paris compete against others luxury capitals. It is part of a battle to attract Asia's new class of super-rich that not only pits the world's top hotel groups against each other but also cities such as Paris, New York and London.

  • July 31- French telecoms operator Iliad SA has made a buyout offer for T-Mobile USA Inc, a person familiar with the matter said, countering an offer by Sprint Corp..

  • ZURICH, July 31- Family-owned Swiss private bank Rothschild Bank AG won't pay its owners, the descendants of the bank's famous founding family, a dividend this year, after it swung to a loss following a decision to cooperate with a U.S. tax evasion crackdown.

  • EU identifies 5 Russian banks it is sanctioning Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 11:37 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union on Thursday revealed the details of its broad economic sanctions against Russia, including the names of five major banks which will see their access to the 28- nation bloc's capital market curtailed.

  • European shares hit 3-week low, earnings disappoint Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 11:09 AM ET

    *Adidas, Banco Espirito Santo shares slump. LONDON, July 31- Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 share index hit a three-week low on Thursday, led lower by Adidas after the group warned about business in Russia.

  • MOSCOW, July 31- Russian stock indexes erased early gains on Thursday, falling into the red by evening, as global markets declined and Russia waited to see details of further European Union sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

  • FREETOWN, July 31- Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims on Thursday, joining neighboring Liberia in imposing tough controls as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa. The WHO reported 57 new deaths between July 24 and July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

  • EU adopts toughest Russian sanctions yet Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 10:17 AM ET

    BRUSSELS, July 31- The European Union formally adopted sanctions on Thursday curbing arms sales to Russia and cutting off financing for targeted banks over Moscow's support for rebels in Ukraine.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 31- Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after last-ditch talks with what it called "vulture" creditors failed, as focus turned to whether big banks and funds would request the declaration of a "credit event".

  • BOSTON, July 31- USB devices such as keyboards, thumb-drives and mice can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed on Thursday.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 31- Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after last-ditch talks with what it called "vulture" creditors failed, though debt insurance prices on Thursday suggested investors believed a deal could eventually be reached.

  • TEL AVIV, July 31- Diamonds are a girl's best friend- but only if they are natural. Global diamond jewelry sales are worth more than $72 billion a year, according to the World Diamond Council, and jewelers like Tiffany and diamond miners led by De Beers stress that a jewel mined at great expense, and often with great risk, is infinitely more valuable than one made by man.

  • BERLIN, July 31- Volkswagen posted a 3.1 percent drop in second-quarter operating profit due to a plunge in earnings at its core passenger-car division, reinforcing the pressure on Europe's largest automotive group to cut costs.