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  • MOSCOW, July 31- President Vladimir Putin has decided to introduce a sales tax on Russian consumers, two sources acquainted with the issue said on Thursday, raising the tax burden earlier than expected as Western sanctions deepen the country's financial woes.

  • *Investors fret over Argentina default fallout, Russia tensions. Problems in overseas economies added to the bearish tone, with Argentina defaulting on its debt for the second time in 12 years.

  • The EPA said the extension was necessary because refiners need to know their 2014 obligations before they can determine how many biofuel credits they may need to carry over from 2013 in order to comply with this year's requirements.

  • Action camera maker GoPro reports bigger loss Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:21 PM ET

    July 31- GoPro Inc, which makes cameras worn by surfers, skydivers and other action junkies to record and post their exploits online, reported a bigger quarterly loss as costs nearly doubled. GoPro shares fell 9.3 percent to $43.50 in extended trading.

  • SunPower profit falls as solar plant sales drop Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:21 PM ET

    SunPower Corp, the second-largest solar panel maker in the United States, reported a 30 percent fall in quarterly profit as it sold fewer solar plants. Net income fell to $43.9 million, or 28 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 29, from $62.8 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Microsoft Corp must turn over a customer's emails stored in a data center in Ireland to the U.S. government, a U.S. judge ruled on Thursday in a case that has drawn concern from privacy groups and major technology companies.

  • BlackBerry opens up BBM to Windows phone users Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:17 PM ET

    BlackBerry, which is seeking to reinvent itself as a more software and services driven company as its smartphone market share has dwindled, has been lately touting new BBM features in a bid to make it a more viable messaging tool for clients such as corporations and government agencies that are on the lookout for a secure messaging service.

  • Outerwall profit halves, hurt by fewer DVD releases Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:17 PM ET

    July 31- Outerwall Inc quarterly profit fell by more than half as fewer movie DVD releases led to lower revenue for its Redbox video rental kiosk business. The company's net income fell to $21.8 million, or $1.08 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from $46.9 million, or $1.64 per share, a year earlier.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. stocks tumbled on Thursday, with the S&P 500 posting its worst daily decline since April and first monthly drop since January as economic data sparked concern that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than some expect.

  • LinkedIn revenue rises 47 pct Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:14 PM ET

    July 31- Corporate networking site LinkedIn Corp reported a 47 percent increase in quarterly revenue, helped by higher demand for its hiring solutions. Revenue rose to $533.9 million in the quarter ended June 30 from $363.7 million a year earlier.

  • WTO fails to agree global trade deal, Azevedo says Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:12 PM ET

    GENEVA, July 31- The World Trade Organization failed on Thursday to reach a global deal to standardise customs rules, which would have been the first global trade reform in two decades but was blocked by India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- The U.S. Energy Department on Thursday approved Oregon LNG to export liquefied natural gas, as the Obama administration works through applications to export fuel from the domestic drilling boom to markets in Asia and Europe.

  • Western Union profit falls as costs rise Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 4:09 PM ET

    July 31- Western Union Co, the world's largest money-transfer company, reported a 2 percent fall in quarterly profit as costs rose slightly. Net income fell to $193.8 million in the second quarter ended June 30 from $198.6 million a year earlier. The company's earnings were flat on a per share basis at 36 cents.

  • TAMPA, Fla., July 31- Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld said on Thursday they are ending a longtime marketing partnership, as the airline faces pressure from animal rights groups critical of the marine life conditions at its popular tourist attractions.

  • President Barack Obama on Thursday signed an executive order that requires contractors bidding for government work to disclose past labor law violations and gives screening assistance to federal agencies awarding contracts.

  • WTO'S AZEVEDO SAYS "WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND A SOLUTION"- TEXT OF STATEMENT TO WTO MEETING.

  • July 31- An employee complaint exposed accounting misconduct at L-3 Communications Holdings Inc, according to people familiar with the matter, prompting the aerospace and defense supplier to fire four people, revise two years of earnings statements and cut its earnings forecast.

  • As investors look to the possibility of rising official interest rates in the U.S. and Britain in the coming year their expectations are colored by nasty memories of 2013' s taper tantrum, when bumbled communications by the Federal Reserve caused Treasury yields to spike and emerging markets to suffer.

  • WTO CHIEF AZEVEDO TELLS MEETING THAT UNLESS THERE IS A MIRACLE DEAL, DIPLOMATS SAY.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, July 31- Chemicals firm LyondellBasell, part of Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik's business empire, said it will quit buying "disputed" oil from Iraq- one day after Reuters identified it as the mystery American importer of Kurdish crude.