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  • Swiss drug maker Novartis posts Q4 profit drop Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 3:36 AM ET

    BERLIN— Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG says fourth quarter net income dropped 26 percent but the company still posted a healthy 2014 annual profit. The Basel, Switzerland- based company said Tuesday that fourth quarter net income came in at $1.49 billion, down from $2 billion in the same quarter the year before excluding its blood-transfusion...

  • FRANKFURT, Germany— Industrial machinery maker Siemens AG says net profit fell 25 percent in its most recent quarter as lower earnings at its key power and gas business weighed on the bottom line. That was down from 1.46 billion euros a year earlier. CEO Joe Kaeser said Tuesday net profit was hurt by a reassessment in the value of financial derivatives the company...

  • AMSTERDAM— Royal Philips NV, the world's biggest lighting maker, said Tuesday that its net profit slumped in 2014' s fourth quarter to 134 million euros from 412 million euros a year due to declining sales and restructuring costs. Shares plunged 5 percent on the Amsterdam stock exchange before rallying slightly to be down 4.3 percent at 25.64 euros early Tuesday.

  • TOKYO— The plight of freelance journalist Kenji Goto, taken captive by Islamic State group militants, has gripped Japan, and the people's hopes for his safety are now on Facebook with a simple, unifying plea: "I am Kenji." "We want Kenji to come home," said Taku Nishimae, a Japanese filmmaker living in New York, who started the "I am Kenji" Facebook page, right after seeing last...

  • UPDATE 1-Facebook, Instagram suffer widespread outage Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 2:11 AM ET

    Jan 27- Facebook and Instagram services were down Tuesday with the social media site saying it is working on fixing the issue, several users said. We're working on it and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can, "Facebook said on its website. Users in the United States and many countries in Asia and Europe reported that they were unable to log on to the website and mobile...

  • LONDON, Jan 26- European politicians at opposite ends of the spectrum celebrated the election victory of Greece's anti-austerity Syriza party on Monday, but Alexis Tsipras' post-communist triumph is forcing mainstream leftists to reconsider their position. "This is a slap at what I see as very right-wing economic policy in Europe," Finnish Foreign Minister...

  • *Core EPS $1.21 vs $1.18 forecast in Reuters poll. ZURICH, Jan 27- Swiss drugmaker Novartis forecast sales and profits to grow at a faster pace this year as recent drug successes and its portfolio overhaul help it weather the impact of generic competition. Novartis unveiled a transformative series of deals last year which will see it focus on a smaller number of...

  • LONDON, Jan 26- Pfizer is to cut the price of its pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar 13 by 6 percent to $3.10 per dose in poor countries as part of a commitment to the GAVI global vaccines alliance, the U.S. drugmaker said on Monday. Pfizer's move comes as GAVI holds a major funding conference in Berlin at which it hopes to raise $7.5 billion from donors to pay for increased...

  • BRUSSELS, Jan 26- Austria will spearhead fresh efforts by eleven European finance ministers to reach a deal on an elusive financial transactions tax, France's finance minister said on Monday. France and Austria sent a letter last week to the nine other European countries, proposing to make a fresh start with the talks and seek to apply it to a wide range of...

  • Overall, the losses were far from unusual for Greece's volatile markets. First, open threats of "Grexit" from the euro zone; second, any writedown of the country's private sector debts; or third, an easy capitulation of euro sovereign creditors that boosts support for other anti-austerity parties, such as Ireland's Sinn Fein or Spain's Podemos, that could sow...

  • ROME— Italy is making waves by turning stereotypes on their head— and selling the world its more serious side. People here are reacting with surprise at the possibility that Italy may have finally figured out how to market itself abroad— by acknowledging stereotypes only to show a different "Made in Italy" that Italians can be proud of. The ministry of economic...

  • LONDON, Jan 26- European politicians at opposite ends of the spectrum celebrated the election victory of Greece's anti-austerity Syriza party on Monday, but Alexis Tsipras' post-communist triumph is forcing mainstream leftists to reconsider their position. "This is a slap at what I see as very right-wing economic policy in Europe," Finnish Foreign Minister...

  • PARIS— France's Parliament has started debating a bill promoted by the Socialist government aimed at freeing up the country's labor rules and regulations, in order to boost hiring. Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told the National Assembly on Monday that the bill will inject "more vitality, more justice and more transparency" into France's economy.

  • MOSCOW, Jan 26- The rouble and Russian stocks fell sharply on Monday, following a return to full-scale warfare in eastern Ukraine and threats of further Western sanctions against Russia. Washington and Brussels are both considering new sanctions against Russia after accusing it of openly supporting the latest rebel advance in Ukraine.

  • BERLIN— WikiLeaks on Monday criticized Google for failing to swiftly inform the secrets-spilling group about U.S. search warrants issued seeking emails and other personal information from three of its staff. The warrants, issued in March 2012, required the Internet giant to hand over the phone numbers, IP addresses, credit card details, contents of all emails...

  • PARIS— At Paris' high-octane couture week, what happens on the catwalk is only half the story. Academy Award winner Goldie Hawn and her daughter Kate Hudson made a surprise appearance at Atelier Versace in an atypical family night out in Paris. Her mother dressed more prudently in a black long sleeve cocktail dress with crystal zipper details from this year's...

  • LONDON, Jan 26- When Mario Draghi announced the European Central Bank's trillion-euro scheme to buy government bonds, he acknowledged that in the round of strategies to revive inflation and boost the economy, the bank had just played its last hand. Asked by reporters what would happen if the plan to purchase 60 billion euros of assets a month for 19 months failed,...

  • *Greece must get bailout extension, discuss reforms with its lenders. BRUSSELS, Jan 26- Europe showed a willingness on Monday to give Athens more time to pay its debts, but little sign that it would yield to a new Greek government's demands for debt forgiveness. Before any talks on more time for Greece to repay its debts can start, Athens must get an extension of its...

  • OSLO, Jan 26- Last year tied with 2010 as the hottest on record, in a new sign of long-term global warming stoked by human activities, according to British data on Monday that back up U.S. findings of record-breaking heat in 2014.. The worldwide data, compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia from records stretching back to 1850, showed average...

  • BRUSSELS— For a man long seen as the eurozone's worst nightmare, Alexis Tsipras has had a smooth first day as prime minister of Greece. But concerns of a disastrous confrontation— in which, say, Greece might stop repaying its loans or the eurozone stop funding Athens— eased on Monday after both sides said they were open to negotiation. Besides calling for the...