NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., March 16- The largest U.S. banks are "practitioners of crony capitalism," need to be broken up to ensure they are no longer considered too big to fail, and continue to threaten financial stability, a top Federal Reserve official said on Saturday.
TOKYO, March 14- Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.2 percent on Thursday after two days of losses as real estate companies rebounded ahead of the confirmation of Bank of Japan leadership nominees by parliament. The benchmark Nikkei finished 141.53 points higher at 12,381.19. The broader Topix index rose 0.7 percent to 1,038.17.
NICOSIA, March 16- Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday a levy on bank depositors was a painful decision he had to make in order to obtain financial aid, or else the island's economy would have gone bankrupt.
CARACAS, March 13- Late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez may have had a hand in Christ's decision to opt for a Latin American pope, acting President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday. Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected in a surprise choice to be the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years.
NEW YORK, March 13- U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday, with the Dow rising for the ninth straight session to another record and the S&P 500 within striking distance of its all-time closing high, buoyed by surprisingly strong retail sales that suggested the economy has traction. The Dow's rally marked the longest streak for the blue-chip index since 1996..
OTTAWA, March 7- Canada said on Thursday it was too early to talk about lifting foreign ownership restrictions on large telecommunications firms, and public consultations would have to be held before seriously considering such a move. "What we understand is that we would have to hold public consultations.
March 7- Outdoor Channel Holdings Inc said on Thursday its board has decided a bid from Kroenke Sports& Entertainment was superior to an existing pact with InterMedia.
March 7- Navistar International Corp named a new chief executive as the truck and engine maker indicated it was on the road to recovery by forecasting market share gains in the second half of the year, pushing its stock 26 percent higher on Thursday.
BRUSSELS, March 16- The euro zone struck a deal on Saturday to hand Cyprus a bailout worth 10 billion euros, but demanded depositors in its banks forfeit some money to stave off bankruptcy despite the risks of a wider run on savings.
NAIROBI, March 12- Allies of Kenya's defeated presidential contender Raila Odinga filed a petition on Tuesday asking the High Court to compel the electoral commission and mobile operator Safaricom to release documents to bolster their claim the vote was stolen. Odinga, Kenya's prime minister, has so far refused to concede defeat.
NEW YORK, March 15- Major U.S. stock indexes have never been higher- and yet that's hardly scaring people. The forward 12- month price-to-earnings ratio for the S&P 500 is currently 13.5, which is about 9 percent less than the October 2007 ratio of 14.8 when the S&P last hit a record.
BRUSSELS, March 16- International lenders struck a deal on Saturday to hand Cyprus a bailout worth 10 billion euros to stave off bankruptcy, a senior euro zone official said.
*Dollar falls after data dents growth optimism. *Concerns about Italy could pressure euro. NEW YORK, March 15- The dollar skidded from a seven-month high against a basket of currencies on Friday after U.S. data sapped optimism about the economy and affirmed expectations the Federal Reserve will continue its bond-buying program for the foreseeable future.
*Al Qaeda- linked Ansaru seized seven workers on Feb. 7. *Italy and Greece says no rescue attempt. Al Qaeda- affiliated group Ansaru said on Saturday it had killed the hostages seized on Feb. 7 in the northern state of Bauchi because of attempts by Nigerian and British forces to free them.
*China buys zinc, aluminium to support domestic prices. NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 15- Copper fell on Friday with appetite for risk waning after the release of a set of mixed economic data from the United States, while rising stocks of the metal in China reinforced uncertainty about future demand. It's not firing on all cylinders, "said Edward Meir, analyst at INTL FCStone.
*Weidmann says France reform course seems to have floundered. FRANKFURT, March 12- The euro zone crisis is not over, France's reforms are slipping and the Bundesbank has set aside billions in new provisions against what it sees as risky European Central Bank moves, Germany's central bank said on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, March 15- The U.S. Air Force on Friday authorized U.S.-based Sierra Nevada Corp and Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA to resume work on a $428 million order building 20 light attack planes for Afghanistan, despite a protest filed by the losing bidder.
March 14- Billionaire Phil Anschutz has decided to retain ownership in Anschutz Entertainment Group and will terminate the sale process for the sports and entertainment empire, the company said on Thursday.
SOFIA, March 12- Bulgaria's president named diplomat Marin Raikov as interim prime minister on Tuesday, confirming an earlier Reuters report. "The prime minister should be a good diplomat.
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 12- Areas of Brazil's giant subsalt oil and gas region explored so far could yield 35 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, more than double Brazil's existing reserves, an energy ministry representative said on Tuesday.