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  • *Apple rallies a day after announcing 7- for-1 stock split. *Caterpillar gains after results; Verizon, 3 M fall. NEW YORK, April 24- The Nasdaq rose modestly in choppy trade on Thursday as Apple's shares rallied a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held back the broader market.

  • *Russia launches army drills near Ukraine border. NEW YORK, April 24- Global equity markets rose in choppy trading on Thursday in the wake of strong earnings results from tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook, but worries about rising tensions in Ukraine limited gains and dragged the dollar lower.

  • WASHINGTON, April 24- The U.S. Senate Banking Committee appears likely to back a bill to wind down government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to sources familiar with talks on the legislation.

  • DETROIT, April 24- General Motors Co's first-quarter profit tumbled 88 percent on Thursday due to the massive recall for defective ignition switches, and shares fell 1.3 percent after the company said expectations for the rest of the year must be trimmed.

  • *France, United Nations have spoken out against partition. BAMBARI, Central African Republic, April 24- In this dusty town at the heart of the Central African Republic, many angry Muslims advocate a simple solution to the threat of religious violence from Christian militias terrorising the country's south: partition.

  • *American, Southwest top expectations as JetBlue trails. April 24- American Airlines Group and Southwest Airlines posted profits that beat forecasts in the first quarter, even though harsh winter weather prompted many flight cancellations in the seasonally weak period.

  • UPDATE 1-Adidas shifts orders from striking China plant Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 | 1:54 PM ET

    SHANGHAI, April 24- Sportswear company Adidas AG is shifting some orders from a factory in south China that has been at the centre of one of the country's biggest labour strikes, underlining a rising challenge for companies operating in China, where an increasingly assertive workforce is pushing harder for its rights.

  • Consumer advocates sharply criticized Wheeler's draft after details leaked out on Wednesday, as he prepared to share his proposal with other FCC commissioners.

  • NEW YORK, April 24- A fire is still raging at Williams Companies Inc's natural gas processing plant in southwestern Wyoming, which exploded on Wednesday afternoon and disrupted regional supplies, the company and local emergency responders said On Thursday.

  • April 24- Aetna Inc said on Thursday its first few months under Obamacare turned out better than expected as it added new members not only on the exchanges but in its traditional large corporate business.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, April 24- Google Inc's head of social networking services, Vic Gundotra, announced on Thursday that he is leaving the Internet search company. Gundotra, who has worked at Google for eight years, did not say where he was going in a message he posted on the Google+ social network announcing the move.

  • UNITED NATIONS, April 24- The United Nations Security Council asked for an urgent investigation on Thursday into the ethnic massacre of hundreds of people in South Sudan's oil hub Bentiu and expressed its willingness to "take additional measures" if there are more attacks on civilians.

  • April 24- Author Michael Lewis' claim that the U.S. stock market is rigged was "irresponsible," but the debate it has sparked could lead to positive change, said Bob Greifeld, chief executive of Nasdaq OMX Group, which reported higher earnings on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, April 24- Gold rose on Thursday as rising geopolitical tensions and options-related buying helped reverse the precious metal's early sharp losses after it fell to a 2-1/ 2 month low.

  • LONDON, April 24- Consumer goods giant Unilever opened its first European tea shop in London on Thursday, aiming to cash in on the growing appeal of unusual and luxury cuppas and ignite fresh enthusiasm for the national drink.

  • April 24- Banco Bradesco SA is wary about raising lending interest rates even if funding costs in Brazil stay high, executives said on Thursday, a signal the nation's No. 2 private-sector bank wants to protect market share as competition mounts.

  • JOHANNESBURG, April 24- Major platinum producers in South Africa said on Thursday they would take their latest wage offer directly to employees, after they failed to reach a deal to end a 13- week strike with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

  • *Starbucks says results reflects rise in licensed stores. LONDON, April 24- Starbucks suffered its first ever drop in UK sales last year, a period in which the company became the subject of boycotts and public criticism over its tax practices. Starbucks said the result was not because of weakness in the business but reflected the closure of unprofitable stores.

  • JERUSALEM, April 24- Israel on Thursday suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas's unexpected unity pact with the rival Islamist Hamas group.

  • NEW YORK, April 24- Money manager and arts patron Alberto Vilar was resentenced on Thursday to 10 years in prison, a year longer than previously, in connection with his 2008 conviction for fraud and money laundering.