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  • *Russia, Turkey raise gold reserves in February. *Barclays ups gold price forecast. NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 26- Gold fell to near $1,300 an ounce on Wednesday as encouraging U.S. manufacturing data reduced bullion's appeal to institutional investors as a hedge against economic uncertainty, sending prices to their lowest in more than five weeks.

  • NAIROBI, March 26- Homosexuality in Kenya is as bad a problem as terrorism, the ruling party's parliamentary leader said on Wednesday, but argued against stepping up legal sanctions on the grounds that existing laws were tough enough. "Can't we just be brave enough, seeing that we are a sovereign state, and outlaw gayism and lesbianism, the way Uganda has done?"

  • PARIS, March 26- China signed a new 10- year accord on Wednesday allowing Airbus to assemble A320 planes on its soil until 2025 and unblocked orders for larger jets worth more than $6 billion, restoring ties after a row with Europe over aircraft emissions.

  • Smartwatches? Not at this time, say wary Swiss Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 3:03 PM ET

    BASEL, Switzerland, March 26- With their hundreds of years of watchmaking experience, Swiss watchmakers can afford to take a long view of technological fads and fashions.

  • NEW YORK, March 26- Between 9 and 18 barrels of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from BP Plc's Whiting refinery in Indiana after a malfunction on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed on Wednesday. About 5,000 square yards of water was coated in an oily sheen and oil slicks could be seen on the shore and rocks, BP said in its initial report to the EPA.

  • NEW YORK, March 26- U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, led by renewed selling pressure in technology shares, while the dollar pared gains after an earlier rally on strong U.S. economic data. President Barack Obama and his allies agreed to hold off on more damaging economic sanctions unless Moscow goes beyond the seizure of Crimea.

  • BUENOS AIRES, March 26- Opposition labor unions said on Wednesday they will hold a 24- hour strike on April 10 to press for wage increases in line with Argentina's inflation rate, estimated by private economists at more than 30 percent per year.

  • PARIS, March 26- China's President Xi Jinping and French counterpart Francois Hollande oversaw the signing of a series of industrial co-operation deals and multi-billion dollar aircraft sales in Paris on Wednesday, the business highlights of a Chinese state visit.

  • Amazon follows Google in slashing cloud computing prices Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 2:45 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO, March 26- Amazon.com Inc will drop prices on most of its cloud computing services starting April 1, the largest U.S. online retailer said on Wednesday, a day after rival Google Inc outlined a major price cut of its own.

  • *Facebook buys Oculus for $2 billion; shares fall. NEW YORK, March 26- U.S. stocks edged lower in the afternoon on Wednesday, led by losses in the materials and technology sectors.

  • MOSCOW, March 26- Russia has revived plans to develop its own card payment system to cut its dependence on Visa and Mastercard after U.S. sanctions led to disruptions in their services, its finance minister said on Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON, March 26- The International Monetary Fund is expected to announce a bailout package for Ukraine of about $15 billion as early as Thursday, the Financial Times said, citing officials involved in the negotiations.

  • Germany's Siemens says committed to Russian partners Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 | 2:26 PM ET

    NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, March 26- The chief executive of Germany's Siemens said his firm supported a "trusting relationship" with Russian companies after meeting President Vladimir Putin at his residence outside Moscow on Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK, March 24- You get that call- all is not right with mom or dad. Just ask Diana Raab, 60, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, while her 84- year-old mother lives in New York. If a properly signed and witnessed legal document is already on file, you're ready to go, says Howard Krooks, president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

  • US COAST GUARD SAYS 9-18 BARRELS OF OIL SPILLED INTO LAKE MICHIGAN AFTER BP REFINERY LEAK ON MONDAY.

  • March 26- Dish Network Corp Chief Executive Officer Charlie Ergen recently contacted DirecTV CEO Mike White to discuss a possible tie-up of the companies, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Both Dish and DirecTV representatives declined to comment.

  • NEW YORK, March 26- U.S. "It was well received, there was a very low dealer takedown... it looks like there was a lot of fund demand and demand from abroad," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities in New York. The Treasury will sell $29 billion in seven-year notes on Thursday, the final sale this week of $96 billion in new coupon-bearing supply.

  • FRANKFURT, March 26- Europe's slow economic recovery and deflation fears have prompted Germany's Bundesbank to take a closer look at printing money, one of the most divisive tools the European Central Bank has in its arsenal.

  • WASHINGTON/ DETROIT, March 26- A U.S. Senate panel will hold its first hearing on April 2 to probe how General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration handled recalls over the past decade of malfunctioning GM ignition switches, which are linked to 12 deaths.

  • WASHINGTON, March 26- The International Monetary Fund is expected to announce a bailout package for Ukraine of about $15 billion as early as Thursday, the Financial Times said, citing officials involved in the negotiations. The IMF had considered a quick infusion of $1 billion from its so-called rapid financing instrument, according to the paper.