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  • UPDATE 1-Facebook to buy Whatsapp for $16 billion Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 5:33 PM ET

    Feb 19- Facebook Inc will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock, as the world's largest social network looks for ways to boost its popularity, especially among a younger crowd.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- U.S. stocks slid on Wednesday in a late selloff after minutes of the U.S.

  • President Barack Obama called on Ukraine's armed forces on Wednesday to stay out of the country's political crisis and warned that there would be consequences for those who "step over the line."

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- U.S. natural gas futures sprinted past $6 on Wednesday to their highest price in more than five years, ending up nearly 11 percent on forecasts that more late winter cold weather across the United States will increase heating demand and deplete increasingly thin supplies.

  • U.S. Treasury's Lew urges Ukraine to turn to IMF Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 5:24 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 19- The Ukraine's fundamental problem is that it suffers from an economic crisis and the country should ask the International Monetary Fund for help, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday. "At the core they have an economic crisis and they are going to need to deal with it," Lew told a conference hosted by the World Affairs Council.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- Safeway Inc, the second-largest U.S. mainstream grocery store operator, said on Wednesday it is in talks about a possible sale of the company. A handful of buyout firms, including Cerberus Capital Management LP, have been exploring a deal for all or part of Safeway, Reuters reported in October.

  • Feb 19- U.S.-based Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc said it would buy Aktiv Kapital AS, a Norway- based company that services non-performing consumer loans, for about $880 million. Portfolio Recovery, which provides fee-based debt collection services, said it would also assume Aktiv's debt of $435 million, giving the deal an enterprise value of $1.3 billion.

  • *Polish, French, German foreign ministers flying to Kiev on Thursday.

  • Facebook to buy Whatsapp for $16 billion Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 5:07 PM ET

    Feb 19- Social networking company Facebook Inc said it would buy mobile messaging company WhatsApp for about $16 billion in cash and stock. Facebook said it would pay $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion in stock. Facebook said WhatsApp co-founder and Chief Executive Jan Koum would join Facebook's board.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 19- A Nebraska court on Wednesday invalidated the governor's decision to allow the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to pass through the Midwestern state, casting uncertainty over the project to link Alberta's oil sands with refineries in Texas.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- Stock markets around the world fell on Wednesday, with declines accelerating after minutes from a U.S. At the meeting, the Fed ultimately decided to make a second modest cut to its bond-buying program, which now runs at $65 billion per month.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- More than 800,000 Californians have enrolled in private health insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, but that number included fewer Latinos than officials hoped, the head of its state-run marketplace said on Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK/ ST. LOUIS, Feb 19- Three Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday said they believe the U.S. economy is gaining traction despite a recent slowdown from cold weather, allowing the central bank to stick to its plan to wind down its massive bond-buying stimulus this year.

  • Feb 19- Tesla Motors Inc, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Wednesday and said deliveries of its Model S electric sedan would surge more than 55 percent this year.

  • UPDATE 1-Safeway says exploring possible sale of company Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 4:43 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Feb 19- Safeway Inc, the second-largest U.S. mainstream grocery store operator, said on Wednesday it is in talks about a possible sale of the company. A handful of buyout firms, including Cerberus Capital Management LP, have been exploring a deal for all or part of Safeway, Reuters reported in October.

  • Cerberus currently in talks with Safeway -source Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 4:35 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Feb 19- Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP is currently in talks with U.S. supermarket chain Safeway Inc about a possible transaction, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

  • MEXICO CITY, Feb 19- Emerging market currencies weakened on Wednesday after minutes from the last U.S. Meanwhile, Ukraine's bond prices fell as more violence hit Kiev, while mounting unrest in Venezuela drove the price of its credit default swaps to near five-year highs.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 19- U.S. crude oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday ahead of inventory data expected to show an unusually cold winter in North America has drawn down heating oil inventories to record lows.

  • DEALTALK-Greenberg channels Buffett in post-AIG comeback Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 4:29 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Feb 19- Since his ouster from American International Group Inc in 2005, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg has been quietly building an insurance and investment conglomerate that people close to him describe as a mini version of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc..

  • PRECIOUS-Gold falls nearly 1 percent after Fed minutes Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 | 4:23 PM ET

    *Gold outlook weak despite emerging-market jitters- analyst. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Feb 19- Gold fell almost 1 percent on Wednesday after minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting showed several policymakers wanted to keep cutting monetary stimulus, weighing down on bullion's inflation-hedge appeal.