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  • PARIS, April 30- The French government will increase its influence at Renault after shareholders failed to block a change in voting rights which the carmaker has said could damage its alliance with Japan's Nissan. It has said it wants to safeguard French interests at Renault, which is deepening its ties with Nissan. Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan.

  • ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Albuquerque's former police chief potentially violated city and state ethics rules by influencing a no-bid $1.95 million contract to purchase body cameras before going to work as a consultant for the supplier, the New Mexico state auditor reported Thursday. Actions by Ray Schultz and his subordinates strongly suggest Taser...

  • The 49- year-old, one of Ukraine's most influential oligarchs, was arrested in Vienna a year ago at the request of U.S. authorities, who have been investigating him since 2006.. The detention of Firtash, whose business concerns in gas trading and chemicals thrived under Ukraine's ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich, coincided with a sharp...

  • PARIS, April 30- Daimler, which has a 3.1 percent stake in Renault, has voiced concerns about the French government's attempts to increase its voting rights in the French carmaker, Renault said on Thursday. However, Renault has warned that the French government's increased influence could upset its alliance with Japanese carmaker Nissan.

  • US, Japan miss UN climate change fund deadline Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 11:08 AM ET

    STOCKHOLM— A key U.N. climate fund hit a snag Thursday as major donors including the United States and Japan failed to meet a deadline for converting their pledges of climate aid into signed agreements. The U.S. pledged $3 billion to the fund while Japan promised $1.5 billion. "Despite U.S. missing the deadline, negotiations are ongoing and must be concluded as soon...

  • UPDATE 1-IMF says next Greek payment to Fund due May 6 Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 10:51 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, April 30- Greece's next payment to the International Monetary Fund, totaling some 200 million euros in interest payments, is due May 6 because of the May Day holiday in Greece, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday. He said the Fund did not have a "detailed" assessment of Greece's liquidity situation and hopes to get more information in the course of talks...

  • Rather than settle for garages of antique cars or a museum's worth of paintings, billionaires are increasingly willing to pay $100 million for homes that can serve as showcases for their fortunes, according to an analysis issued Thursday by Christie's International Real Estate. Sales in Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and other global hubs are...

  • FAA had questioned mental health of Germanwings pilot Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 7:24 AM ET

    The records, posted online by the FAA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, show that Andreas Lubitz had applied for a U.S. pilot license while he was employed by Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, and was training to be an airline pilot at a flight school in Phoenix in 2010. As part of the application, he initially submitted a medical form to...

  • Greek bailout talks to stretch into weekend Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 7:00 AM ET

    The creditors have for three months been trying to get Greece to agree to a list of budget measures before they accept to pay it the remaining 7.2 billion euros installment of its bailout program. Without the money, Greece is not sure to be able to meet a repayment to the International Monetary Fund on May 12 worth some 750 million euros. In Brussels, EU Commission...

  • FRANKFURT, April 30- Franco-Italian semiconductor maker STMicroelectronics posted slightly weaker than expected quarterly results on Thursday, blaming a sharp fall in demand for computer parts and warning it anticipated little pickup in the current quarter. Analysts, on average, had been looking for a profit of 1 cent per share, according to Thomson Reuters...

  • ZURICH/ LONDON, April 30- Swiss Re, the world's second-largest reinsurer, beat forecasts with a 17 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Thursday, boosted by strong investment returns, and said it was able to renew policies at "acceptable" rates. Swiss Re and other reinsurers help insurance companies cover the cost of major damage claims, such as for...

  • LONDON, April 30- OPEC oil supply in April has jumped to its highest in more than two years, boosted by record or near-record supplies from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, a Reuters survey showed, as key members stand firm in their focus on market share. The increase from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries puts output further above forecasts of demand for...

  • France sells 24 Rafale fighter jets to Qatar Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 5:22 AM ET

    PARIS— France has announced it will sell 24 Rafale fighter jets to Qatar in a 6.3 billion euro deal. Qatar becomes the third buyer of France's delta-winged Rafale, manufactured by Dassault Aviation. Hollande is due to visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia next week.

  • *Q1 adj EBIT down 2 pct at 2.07 bln eur vs 2.0 bln poll avg. FRANKFURT, April 30- Germany's BASF expects a slide in earnings at its Wintershall oil and gas unit brought on by lower oil prices to cancel out gains at its basic petrochemicals and crop protection businesses this year. Its earnings before interest and tax, adjusted for one-off items, slipped 2 percent in the...

  • PARIS, April 30- France's Sanofi warned revenue in its key diabetes division would fall this year after it was forced to offer discounts for its best-selling drug Lantus in the United States. Global sales of Lantus, which accounts for almost a fifth of the company's revenue but is due to go off-patent in the United States this year, fell 5 percent at constant...

  • German unemployment drops to 6.5 percent in April Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 4:39 AM ET

    BERLIN— Germany's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in April as the labor market in Europe's largest economy remained strong. The Federal Labor Agency said Thursday the unadjusted rate was down from 6.8 percent in March. ING economist Carsten Brzeski says even though there is "still some room for improvement, the extremely solid labor market remains...

  • The Paris- based company said Thursday its net income was 1.05 billion euros, down from 1.12 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Sales were 8.8 billion euros, up 12 percent from last year. Sanofi expects slight growth this year under new CEO Olivier Brandicourt. Sanofi shares were down slightly Thursday morning, to 90.49 euros.

  • PARIS, April 30- France could sign a deal worth about 3 billion euros with Qatar for the sale of as many as 36 Dassault Aviation- built Rafale fighter jets in the next few days, Europe 1 radio reported on Thursday. Dassault Aviation declined to comment. France has already sold Rafale jets to India and Egypt this year.

  • *Holcim net 310 million francs vs f'cast 340 mln. *Lafarge shares up 4.5 percent, Holcim up 2.0 percent. ZURICH/ PARIS, April 30- Swiss cement maker Holcim reported a jump in first-quarter net profit on Thursday, helped by asset sales, while its French merger partner Lafarge posted a better than expected rise in operating profit.

  • Swiss central bank takes $32 billion first quarter loss Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 3:47 AM ET

    BERLIN— Switzerland's central bank says it took a first-quarter loss of 30 billion Swiss francs as the rapid appreciation of the national currency led to high foreign exchange losses. The Swiss National Bank said Thursday that its loss on foreign currency positions alone came in at 29.3 billion Swiss francs in the quarter, which ended March 31, while the value...