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  • WASHINGTON, May 8- Lawmakers expressed concern about combining the top two U.S. cable operators at a congressional hearing Thursday to discuss Comcast's plan to merge with Time Warner Cable Inc..

  • WASHINGTON, May 8- A bill to end the government's bulk collection of telephone records got a unanimous go-ahead on Thursday from a second U.S. congressional committee, advancing the first legislative effort at surveillance reform since former contractor Edward Snowden revealed the program a year ago.

  • Democratic Senator Carl Levin on Thursday said he plans to introduce legislation soon to prevent corporate inversions, an increasingly-popular transaction that involves U.S. companies reincorporating overseas to avoid U.S. taxes.

  • LONDON, May 8- Britain's financial regulator will next week appeal a court decision to throw out a fraud case amid a row over government cuts to the legal aid budget that could delay or derail a raft of high-profile trials scheduled for this year and next.

  • *Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine say to go ahead with referendum. NEW YORK, May 8- U.S. crude oil fell on Thursday after a rally driven by a drop in commercial crude stocks topped out at a key technical level, while Brent fell as the market awaited developments in the Ukraine conflict.

  • At one point, Tempbank delivered millions of dollars in cash to Moscow's Vnukovo Airport so cash couriers working for Syria's central bank could pick it up. Tempbank also provided services to Syria's Sytrol, a state oil company that is already sanctioned by the United States and the European Union, according to the Treasury.

  • *South Korea income falls amid restructuring. HONG KONG/ LONDON, May 8- Asia- focused bank Standard Chartered saw more than 40 percent of its shareholders oppose its pay plan on Thursday, hours after the bank posted a drop in profits due to lower investment bank revenues and problems in South Korea.

  • EU lays groundwork for sanctions on Russian companies Thursday, 8 May 2014 | 12:19 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, May 8- European Union governments have laid the groundwork for possible sanctions against Russian companies, including energy giants, over Ukraine, but diplomats say there is little appetite for now to impose any far-reaching measures.

  • *Priceline, Tesla bounce from early lows. NEW YORK, May 8- U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, as a turnaround in beaten-down momentum names boosted the Nasdaq while initial jobless claims data, which suggested the labor market was improving, helped lift the broader market. Tesla Motors halved its losses in the session so far and was down 5.7 percent at $189.87.

  • Democratic Senator Carl Levin on Thursday said he plans to introduce legislation soon to prevent corporate inversions, an increasingly popular restructuring that involves U.S. companies moving overseas to avoid U.S. taxes. Levin, a long-time advocate for closing corporate tax loopholes, said he is talking with other senators about potential legislation.

  • May 8- General Electric, which wants to buy Alstom's energy businesses, is not in talks with Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp about the French company's power grid business, a GE France spokesman said on Thursday. The Nikkei business daily said Toshiba would offer to buy Alstom's power grid unit if GE purchased the French firm's energy businesses.

  • May 8- Freeport-McMoRan Copper& Gold Inc said on Thursday it would buy Apache Corp's deepwater oil and gas projects in the Gulf of Mexico for $1.4 billion, a day after saying it would shed $3.1 billion in Eagle Ford shale assets in Texas.

  • *IMF says deposits and credit highly concentrated in Qatar. His remarks come after the International Monetary Fund warned in February that both credit and deposits were highly concentrated in Qatar, and that the authorities should carefully monitor vulnerabilities in the banking system.

  • By Jan Strupczewski and John O'Donnell. BRUSSELS, May 8- The European Central Bank is ready to take action next month to boost the euro zone economy if updated inflation forecasts merit it, its president said on Thursday, warning outsiders not to pressure the bank into action.

  • Cheetah Mobile shares surge in market debut Thursday, 8 May 2014 | 11:56 AM ET
    Still from Cheetah promotional video

    Cheetah Mobile's shares spiked in their market debut, valuing the Chinese security software maker at about $2.2 billion.

  • *Cuts 2014 rev range to $995 mln- $1.025 bln, EPS ex-items to $2.68- $2.80. *Sees Q2 revenue $230- $240 mln, EPS ex-items $0.55- $0.62. JERUSALEM, May 8- Israeli software provider Nice Systems trimmed its 2014 profit and revenue forecasts after first-quarter results fell short of expectations, driving its shares down more than 9 percent.

  • May 8- Dean Foods Co, the largest U.S. milk processor, cut its full-year adjusted profit forecast after posting a surprise loss for the first quarter, as milk costs reached an all-time high and a severe winter hurt supply.

  • LONDON/ VILNIUS, May 8- Lithuanian utility Lietuvos Dujos said on Thursday it has won cheaper gas from Gazprom until the end of 2015, as the pressure of competing liquefied natural gas and a European pricing probe put pressure on the Russian giant.

  • U.S. slaps sanctions on Russia's Tempbank for Syria Thursday, 8 May 2014 | 11:43 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, May 8- The United States on Thursday for the first time slapped sanctions on a Russian bank for its dealings with the Syrian government, which has been engaged in bloody three-year civil war with opposition forces.

  • UPDATE 2-Priceline 2nd-qtr profit tops estimates Thursday, 8 May 2014 | 11:35 AM ET

    May 8- Travel website owner Priceline Group Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as it booked more hotel stays, car rentals and airline tickets. Priceline is "executing well," said Dan Kurnos, an analyst with Benchmark Co. Its shares rose 1.3 percent.