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  • BRUSSELS, March 31- European Union antitrust regulators have asked Luxembourg for information on its tax rulings for McDonald's after labor unions accused the U.S. fast food chain of avoiding taxes, a person involved in the issue said on Tuesday. The move, which neither the EU nor Luxembourg would immediately confirm, falls well short of the proceedings the EU...

  • BERLIN, March 31- The German pilot who crashed a plane in the French Alps last week, killing 150 people, told officials at a Lufthansa training school in 2009 that he had gone through a period of severe depression, the airline said on Tuesday. The statement is potentially damaging for the airline and its CEO Carsten Spohr, who told reporters last week that the carrier...

  • BUSINESS NEWS SCHEDULE AT 1830 GMT/2:30 PM ET Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 | 2:30 PM ET

    Editor: Steve Orlofsky 1 646 223 6214. NEW YORK- U.S. consumer confidence rebounded strongly in March amid optimism over the labor market and home prices increased, hopeful signs that a recent sharp slowdown in economic activity will be temporary. NEW YORK- U.S. stocks decline in a retreat from the previous session's sharp rally, but major indexes remain on track...

  • March 31- YouTube pioneer Michelle Phan, who built a business empire around her popular makeup tutorials, on Tuesday debuted a global online network devoted to beauty, fashion and lifestyle that features original series by her and other creators. Phan launched the ICON network with Endemol Beyond, a premium channel network owned by Endemol Shine Group.

  • WASHINGTON, March 31- The Obama administration on Tuesday published plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, part of a strategy to generate momentum for a global agreement later this year on combating climate change. The formal submission to the United Nations fleshes out domestic measures to be taken and the White...

  • Merkel and Hollande edge closer after tragedies Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 | 1:13 PM ET

    *Berlin and Paris to step up cooperation on energy, drones. BERLIN, March 31- The leaders of Germany and France announced plans on Tuesday to work more closely on economic and security issues after years of strain, saying the tragedies of the Charlie Hebdo killings and air crash in the French Alps had brought them closer. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President...

  • BERLIN— Lufthansa says co-pilot informed flight school in 2009 he had a' serious depressive episode'.

  • *Corn stocks as of March 1 reached 7.7 billion bushels- USDA. The USDA estimated farmers will plant 89.2 million acres of corn this spring, above analysts' expectations for 88.7 million, and 84.6 million acres of soybeans, below expectations for 85.9 million. Corn stocks as of March 1 were 7.7 billion bushels, above estimates for 7.6 billion.

  • ATHENS, Greece— Greece's new government disagrees with sanctions against Russia, and wants to boost trade ties with the country, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said before a visit to Moscow next week. The U.S. and the EU imposed crippling economic sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support for an insurgency in...

  • ATHENS, March 31- Greece failed to reach an initial deal with the European Union and the IMF to unlock aid after the creditors dismissed a package of reforms from Athens as ideas rather than a concrete plan, officials said on Tuesday. Athens put a brave face on the failure to reach an agreement with the " Brussels Group" of representatives from the EU and the IMF, saying...

  • German jobless rate slips to 6.8 percent in March Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 | 11:45 AM ET

    BERLIN— Germany's unemployment rate edged down to 6.8 percent in March as a traditional springtime uptick in hiring bolstered an already robust labor market in Europe's biggest economy. The Federal Labor Agency said Tuesday that the unadjusted jobless rate was down from 6.9 percent in February. Last week, a closely watched survey showed German business...

  • Germany, France, Italy plan to develop military drones Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 | 10:48 AM ET

    BERLIN— The militaries of Germany and France plan to work together with Italy to develop surveillance drones that could also carry weapons. The U.S. practice of using drones for lethal strikes against terror suspects has caused unease in Germany. However, Merkel says she's confident there is "acceptance" in Germany for the idea of developing surveillance...

  • *Blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 set to rise 5 pct by end-2015. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index, home of bellwethers such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, and LVMH, the world's No.1 luxury goods maker, is expected to rise nearly 5 percent by the end of 2015, reaching 3,900 points. "For the euro zone, which is the biggest exporting region in the...

  • By Rahul Karunakar and Hari Kishan. March 31- Uncertainty surrounding the timing of the U.S. Chinese and most European stocks have led the way with a stellar run, buoyed by stimulus from the People's Bank of China and the European Central Bank.

  • Germany's Merkel says no time to lose on Greece Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 | 9:36 AM ET

    BERLIN, March 31- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that Greece needed to stick to its commitments and though there was some leeway for the new government to make some changes, it needed to fulfill the general framework of what had been agreed.

  • LONDON, March 31- OPEC oil supply has jumped in March to its highest since October as Iraq's exports rebounded after bad weather and Saudi Arabia pumped at close to record rates, a Reuters survey found, a sign key members are sticking to their effort to regain market share. OPEC supply has risen in March to 30.63 million barrels per day from a revised 30.07 million...

  • WASHINGTON/ ZURICH, March 31- Swiss bank BSI has become the first of what is expected to be several dozen Switzerland- based private banks to reach a deal under a voluntary disclosure programme for tax-related offenses being run by the U.S. Department of Justice. Under a non-prosecution agreement signed on Monday, Lugano-based BSI will pay a $211 million penalty...

  • ATHENS, Greece— Talks between Greece and its creditors have wrapped up for now without a deal to unlock remaining Greek bailout funds urgently needed to stave off a potential default. A Greek government official said Tuesday that the current phase of talks held in Brussels between Greece and its creditors at the European Central Bank, International Monetary...

  • PARIS, March 31- The Paris appeals court has delayed a decision on whether to ban Uber's unlicensed UberPOP service while it awaits the result of the U.S. company's constitutional challenge of a new French law on taxis and chauffeured cars. A loss in France would add to a recent court decisions against UberPOP in Germany and the Netherlands, as well as an outright...

  • COLOGNE, Germany, March 31- The strong finances of Germany's second-biggest supermarket group REWE mean it is well positioned to pounce on potential acquisitions, its chief executive said on Tuesday after profit grew faster than it expected in 2014.. Analysts have speculated that REWE might be interested in buying or being involved in an asset swap for some of...