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  • SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 24- Amazon.com Inc will boost staffing at its secretive Silicon Valley- based hardware unit by at least 27 percent over the next five years as it tests Internet-connected "smart" home gadgets such as a one-button device to order supplies.

  • EXCLUSIVE-AMAZON.COM INC TESTING' CONNECTED HOME' DEVICES AT LAB126 HARDWARE DIVISION- SOURCES.

  • PARIS, Sept 24- BNP Paribas Chairman Baudouin Prot will leave the bank and its board is due to meet on Friday to replace a man at the center of its strategy for over a decade, two sources close to the situation said.

  • French employer group urges "shock therapy" for economy Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 | 6:51 AM ET

    *France should scrap 35 hours, lower minimum wage- employer chief. PARIS, Sept 24- France should scrap its 35- hour work week, raise the legal retirement age and lower the minimum wage if it hopes to bring down chronically high unemployment and stimulate growth, the country's main employer group said on Wednesday.

  • LONDON, Sept 24- Britain's accounting regulator will study the outcome of retailer Tesco's probe into book-keeping mistakes before deciding whether to take enforcement action, it said on Wednesday.

  • BEIJING, Sept 24- China and Japan need to restart their economic relations, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang told a visiting group of Japanese business executives on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Japanese delegation said.

  • *Nanoco shares rise more than 27 pct. Sept 24- Nanoco Group Plc said commercial production of quantum dots, used to make vibrant screen displays, is expected to begin in the first half of next year at a plant in South Korea being built by its partner, Dow Chemical Co..

  • LONDON, Sept 24- Gold edged up on Wednesday as the dollar's rally paused and international political tensions intensified, but investors remained cautious ahead of U.S. economic data later in the week. U.S. gold futures were up $3.30 at $1,225.30 an ounce.

  • MANILA, Sept 24- China has many tools to keep growth well above 7 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday, downplaying the risks of the cooling property market in the world's second-largest economy.

  • AMMAN, Sept 24- Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada was set free on Wednesday from a Jordanian prison hours after a court cleared him of charges of providing spiritual and material support for a plot to attack tourists during Jordan's New Year celebrations in 2000..

  • MUSLIM CLERIC ABU QATADA RELEASED FROM JORDANIAN PRISON FOLLOWING COURT VERDICT THAT CLEARS HIM OF TERROR CHARGES- JUDICIAL SOURCE.

  • WOLFSBURG, Germany, Sept 24- In an era of automation, robotics and spotless factory floors, you don't expect to see car workers lugging metal along a production line. But at Volkswagen's main Wolfsburg plant earlier this year, workers had to resort to handing metal sheets to robots working on the E-Golf, said people who saw it happen.

  • As risks multiply, NGOs reassess security in Middle East Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 | 6:05 AM ET

    ARBIL, Iraq, Sept 24- Aid agencies are tightening security measures in the Middle East and increasingly outsourcing work to local organizations to limit their exposure to multiplying risks across the region.

  • MOSCOW, Sep 24- The Russian Finance Ministry sold all 10 billion roubles of 10- year OFZ treasury bonds on offer at auction on Wednesday at an average yield of 9.37 percent. The auction was the first to be held since mid-July. The ministry had canceled nine straight weekly auctions of OFZ bonds due to "unfavorable market conditions."

  • CME targeting higher Brent crude market share - executive Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 | 5:58 AM ET

    *Asia's interest in US LPG grows amid shale oil boom. SINGAPORE, Sept 24- CME Group is targeting raising its market share in Brent, the largest energy product traded globally, by at least a third in a move that will make the crude futures contract its third-biggest product, an executive of the bourse operator said.

  • LONDON, Sept 24- The order book for the Netherlands' new five-year bond closed at 13.7 billion euros on Wednesday, the Dutch State Treasury said. Real money accounts such as asset and fund managers as well as pension funds accounted for 35 percent of the orders, it said in a statement.

  • DUBAI, Sept 24- Saudi Arabia's economic growth eased to an annual 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014, the lowest rate in a year, because of a slowdown in the oil sector, official data showed on Wednesday.

  • *Citizens shares priced at $21.50, below $23- 25 predicted range. LONDON, Sept 24- The biggest U.S. bank listing since the financial crisis got a lukewarm reception from investors, forcing Royal Bank of Scotland to cut the price of shares sold in Citizens Financial Group.

  • World Bank warns Russia of stagnation in medium term Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 | 5:38 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Sept 24- Russia's economy will stagnate, with growth set to be no more than 0.5 percent in 2014-2016, the World Bank said on Wednesday, with the country paying the price for the Ukraine crisis, lack of structural reforms and uncertain economic policy.

  • *Business could draw insurers from Japan, Canada. SYDNEY/ HONG KONG, Sept 24- National Australia Bank is considering the sale of its life insurance unit worth an estimated $800 million, seeking to boost earnings and returns on capital, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.