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  • *Mechel should repay $1 bln of debt this year. MOSCOW, March 14- Russia may again have to step in to help coal and steel group Mechel after the country's largest private bank asked for the early repayment of a $150 million loan.

  • MOSCOW, March 14- Russian state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank, or VEB, needs to be recapitalised in order to fund housebuilding projects, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, according to RIA news agency.

  • *Draghi sees euro zone deflation risks as "quite limited". *Japan experience shows how deflation can gradually take hold. FRANKFURT/ WASHINGTON, March 14- Meeting students at the University of Amsterdam in April last year, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi extolled the virtues of courage, recalling a story his father had told him:.

  • RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER MEDVEDEV SAYS STATE-OWNED DEVELOPMENT BANK VEB NEEDS TO BE RECAPITALISED- RIA NEWS AGENCY.

  • *Equities tumbled on Thursday on rising concerns over Ukraine and Russia and new signs of an economic slowdown in China. Secretary of State John Kerry will seek assurances from Russia on Friday that it will not seek to annex Crimea and will address concerns over Ukraine through negotiation, a senior State Department official said before talks in London.

  • MOSCOW, March 14- Russian stock indexes hit their lowest levels since 2009 on Friday before clawing back some ground, two days before a referendum in Crimea that is expected to provoke western sanctions against Russia.

  • March 14- U.S. packaged foods group General Mills Inc warned third-quarter earnings would fall below analysts' expectations as it faces increased competition from store brands and spends more on marketing its yogurts.

  • BEIJING, March 14- China's largest state refiner, Sinopec Corp, said it had entered a long-term deal to buy liquefied petroleum gas from Phillips 66, showing the U.S. shale drilling boom is having an impact on Asian markets.

  • Women's apparel retailer Ann to cut about 100 jobs Friday, 14 Mar 2014 | 7:39 AM ET

    March 14- Women's apparel retailer Ann Inc said it would cut about 100 jobs from its corporate workforce.

  • European shares extend slide ahead of Crimea vote Friday, 14 Mar 2014 | 7:36 AM ET

    *U.S. flows into Europe equities slow- Lipper. PARIS, March 14- European shares fell on Friday, extending their pull-back as tensions in Ukraine before a weekend referendum in the Crimea peninsula unnerved investors.

  • LOS ANGELES/ NEW YORK, March 13- Media companies plan to press Comcast Corp for higher fees in the coming year, seeing an opportunity to squeeze better terms from the U.S. cable company as regulators review its planned takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc..

  • PARIS, March 14- Vivendi has decided "whatever the cost" to pick local cable group Numericable to buy its French telecoms unit SFR, France's industry minister said on Friday just before the seller's board convened to decide on competing bids.

  • GM under mounting pressure to pay crash victims Friday, 14 Mar 2014 | 7:24 AM ET
    Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors.

    General Motors is facing increasing pressure to compensate victims for an ignition defect that prompted the recall of 1.6 million vehicles.

  • Puerto Rico debt restructuring seen as inevitable Friday, 14 Mar 2014 | 7:09 AM ET
    A roofless colonial building is overtaken by vegetation in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Few who have followed the Caribbean island's financial troubles doubt that a massive restructuring is in its future.

  • General Mills warns on third-quarter profit Friday, 14 Mar 2014 | 7:09 AM ET

    March 14- U.S. packaged foods group General Mills Inc estimated quarterly earnings below analysts' expectations due to lower sales volumes and increased marketing spending in its U.S. yogurt business.

  • SEVASTOPOL/DONETSK, Ukraine, March 14- Russia shipped more troops and armour into Crimea on Friday and repeated its threat to invade other parts of Ukraine, showing no sign of listening to Western pleas to back off from the worst confrontation since the Cold War.

  • UPDATE 3-Oil steady above $107 on Ukraine tension Friday, 14 Mar 2014 | 6:20 AM ET

    LONDON, March 14- Brent crude oil steadied above $107 a barrel on Friday, on track for a third weekly loss amid worries over Chinese economic growth and rising U.S. stockpiles, although tension in Ukraine heightened worries over Russian oil supplies.

  • MADRID, March 14- A construction industry consortium led by Spain's Sacyr said in a statement on Friday it had signed a deal late on Thursday to complete work on the multi-billion dollar project to widen the Panama Canal, settling a long-running dispute over cost overruns.

  • TOKYO, March 14- Japan's biggest refiner JX Nippon Oil& Energy has cut its annual crude contract with Iran by 27 percent, an industry source said, a move that will likely keep at bay any potential U.S. pressure over oil shipments from the Islamic republic.

  • MOSCOW, March 14- The Russian central bank kept its key lending rates unchanged at a regular meeting on Friday, after unexpectedly raising them two weeks ago when assets tumbled on President Vladimir Putin's declaration he had the right to invade Ukraine.