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  • PHILLIPS, Calif., April 1- California Governor Jerry Brown, in his most sweeping action to combat a devastating multi-year drought, ordered residents and businesses on Wednesday to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in California history. The move comes as California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the...

  • Bradken says proposal does not represent fair value. SYDNEY, April 2- Koch Industries Inc and Pacific Equity Partners have made a takeover approach to Bradken Ltd valuing the Australian mining products firm at A $430 million. Bradken shares jumped 21 percent on Thursday as rumors of a fresh bid circulated before Bradken requested a trading halt in mid-session.

  • *Consumer prices still seen up 1.4 pct a year from now. TOKYO, April 2- Japanese companies' inflation expectations in the Bank of Japan's March tankan survey were largely unchanged from the previous survey, a sign that inflationary pressure may not be increasing as quickly as the central bank expects. "The economy has not deteriorated to the point where more...

  • METALS-London copper drifts ahead of Easter break Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 8:34 PM ET

    MELBOURNE, April 2- London copper drifted towards two-week lows on Thursday as traders showed little urgency to lock-in stocks given sluggish demand growth in top consumer China, instead squaring positions ahead of a four-day Easter weekend in some countries. *Companies struggled in China and much of the rest of Asia in March, suggesting central banks may have...

  • Senator Robert Menendez said on Wednesday he will temporarily step aside as ranking member, or top Democrat, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in the wake of his indictment on corruption charges. "I believe it is in the best interests of the committee, my colleagues, and the Senate, which is why I have chosen to do so," he said in a letter to Senate Democratic...

  • TOKYO, April 2- Asian shares edged up in early trade on Thursday, but gains were tempered by weak U.S. private sector employment and manufacturing data that raised concerns ahead of Friday's key employment figures. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.2 percent in cautious trade, shrugging off modest overnight losses on...

  • SEATTLE, April 1- Seattle's new minimum wage law took effect on Wednesday amid mixed reaction from businesses, giving some workers a bump in compensation on the way to a $15 hourly wage, among the highest big-city pay floors in the United States. Seattle became the first major U.S. city to commit to such a high basic wage when Mayor Ed Murray proposed the plan last May.

  • MEXICO CITY, April 1- At least four people died after a fire broke out on an oil processing platform in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday, leading to the evacuation of 302 workers, Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said. The fire, which burned throughout the day, erupted overnight on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the oil-rich Bay of Campeche.

  • April 1- A U.S. judge on Wednesday issued an order temporarily blocking Allegiant Air pilots from striking after they announced a Thursday walkout. Allegiant sued the pilots union in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on Monday, saying it had violated the Railway Labor Act by moving to strike before the parties had exerted every effort to settle their disputes.

  • SINGAPORE, April 2- Gold hovered above $1,200 an ounce on Thursday, clinging to gains from the prior session when it rose the most in two months, after weak U.S. private jobs data suggested that a more comprehensive employment report could disappoint. *Spot gold was flat at $1,203.70 an ounce by 2324 GMT, after climbing 1.8 percent on Wednesday.

  • NYMEX-Crude pares strong gains as Iran talks drag on Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 7:27 PM ET

    TOKYO, April 2- U.S. crude futures pared a 5 percent jump in the previous session in early Asian trade on Thursday, amid speculation that ongoing talks over Iran's nuclear program could reach a deal and add more crude to a global oil glut. *In Switzerland, Iran and six world powers were closer to a preliminary accord on Tehran's nuclear program as marathon talks were...

  • MEDIA-EU LAYS GROUNDWORK FOR ANTITRUST CHARGES AGAINST GOOGLE.

  • SYDNEY, April 2- The dollar nursed modest losses early on Thursday, having suffered a setback on fresh signs that the U.S. economy slowed significantly in the first quarter. It fell as far as 119.42 yen, from levels above 120.00, before steadying at 119.66 early in Asia. The euro climbed to $1.0800, from one-week lows of $1.0713.

  • *Oxfam says hard to track development impact. WASHINGTON, April 1- The World Bank's private sector arm may be doing more harm than good when it invests in private equity firms, banks and other financial intermediaries, global development group Oxfam said in a report on Wednesday. "By channeling funds through third parties, the IFC loses control of how the money is...

  • LOS ANGELES, April 1- McDonald's Corp plans to raise the average pay of about 90,000 U.S. workers to around $10 an hour, but the increase will not benefit workers at the vast majority of the restaurants, because they are operated by franchisees, who make their own wage decisions. Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other retailers have introduced entry-level wage hikes in...

  • Senator Robert Menendez will temporarily step aside as ranking member, or top Democrat, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in the wake of his indictment on corruption charges, two Senate aides said on Wednesday. Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Benjamin Cardin are the next most senior Democrats on the influential panel. The New Jersey lawmaker...

  • MEXICO CITY, April 1- At least four people died after a fire broke out on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday, leading to the evacuation of 302 workers, Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said. Local emergency services said as many as 45 people were injured in the blaze, which erupted overnight on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the oil-rich...

  • Senator Robert Menendez will temporarily step aside as ranking member, or top Democrat, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in the wake of his indictment on corruption charges, two Senate aides said on Wednesday. Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Benjamin Cardin are the next most senior Democrats on the influential panel. It was not yet clear which...

  • UPDATE 3-Chipmaker Micron forecast weakens, shares drop Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 6:26 PM ET

    *Sees Q3 revenue of $3.8 bln- $4.05 bln vs est $4.29 bln. April 1- Chipmaker Micron Technology Inc forecast lower revenue for the current quarter, saying it was willing to hold inventories longer in the face of waning customer demand for electronics featuring its technology. The stock slid after Micron CEO Mark Durcan told analysts on a conference call that he...

  • NEW YORK, April 1- Morgan Stanley's board boosted Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman's compensation by one-third last year, saying the bank's performance was "strong" but had "room for continued progress," according to its proxy filing on Wednesday. Gorman was awarded $16 million for his work last year, up from $12 million in 2013. He is eligible to receive...