France has a special responsibility as a euro zone heavyweight to take deficit cuts seriously, even though its budget deficit is above target, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said in an interview published Sunday.» Read More
*First court verdict to thwart Gazprom's take-or-pay claim. *Gazprom paid $2.5 bln to European firms as part of pricing deal. PRAGUE/ MOSCOW, Oct 24- RWE Transgas, the Czech unit of Germany's RWE, has won a landmark dispute with Gazprom over gas contracts, after a court ruled for the first time that a company did not have to pay fines under a ``take-or-pay'' clause.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina-- Argentina's new media regulator said Wednesday that he's prepared to auction off the broadcast licenses of the government's leading critic.
NIWOT, Colo.-- Crocs Inc., which makes colorful plastic shoes, said Wednesday that its net income rose 49 percent in the third quarter, helped by strength in the U.S. and Asia. But the company said demand slowed in Asia, particularly Japan, as the third quarter progressed, and it offered a fourth-quarter outlook below analysts' expectations.
PHOENIX-- Trucking company Knight Transportation Inc. said the third quarter was tougher than expected, as high fuel prices and a weak economy hurt demand for freight-shipping, resulting in flat earnings. The company said Wednesday that its net income was $16.6 million, or 21 cents per share, virtually the same results as the 2011 third quarter.
NEW YORK-- The dollar traded in tight ranges against the euro Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said the economy is improving only moderately and still needs its support to help lower unemployment. The euro slipped to $1.2973 in late trading Wednesday from $1.2976 late Tuesday. In other trading, the British pound rose to $1.6036 from $1.5942.
THE NUMBERS: Business software maker SAP AG's third-quarter profit fell 51 percent because of a large year-ago gain stemming from a legal settlement. But revenue grew 16 percent, and the company lifted its sales outlook for the year.
PONTIAC, Michigan, Oct 24- General Motors Co said the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Corvette that goes on sale next year will get a new 450- horsepower V8 engine.
COCOA BUZZKILL: Cocoa fell 4 percent on reports of good production in several African nations, including the Ivory Coast. Traders also speculated about the potential for diminishing demand in financially troubled Europe, home to the biggest number of chocolate consumers.
HIGHER SALES: U.S. sales of new homes jumped last month to the highest level in more than two years, the latest evidence of a sustained housing recovery that could boost the sluggish economy.
*Swiss to vote on curbing executive pay on March 3. ZURICH, Oct 24- Swiss business is rallying to arms to defend top managers' pay as the government set a date on Wednesday for a referendum that may impose the world's first law forcing companies to accept any limits shareholders place on executive rewards.
LAS VEGAS-- Wynn Resorts Ltd. says its profit fell nearly 12 percent in the third quarter, as a debt-related loss boosted expenses for the casino operator. The Las Vegas company said Wednesday that net income fell to $112 million, or $1.11 per share, compared with net income of $127.1 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier.
GENEVA, Oct 24- Global trade in commercial services such as tourism and air travel showed zero growth in the second quarter of 2012 as the Europe Union's appetite shrank 7 percent, preliminary trade figures showed on Wednesday. The Europe- led slowdown follows a Europe- led boom a year ago.
DEBT PROBLEMS GROW: Europe's debt problems are getting worse, as new figures show total government debt of the 17 countries that use the euro was worth 90 percent of their total economic output as of the end of the second quarter.
Oct 24- Chili's Grill& Bar parent Brinker International Inc on Wednesday said a cool-down in sales at established restaurants was stretching into the current quarter, sending its shares down more than 10 percent.
The White House released it Wednesday after the editor of the newspaper, which is still deciding its presidential endorsement, wrote a blistering blog complaining of the restriction.
SINGAPORE, Oct 24- UBS AG has suspended at least one trader in Singapore for possible manipulation of interbank lending rates, sources told Reuters, as the fallout from the Libor scandal widens. A spokeswoman for UBS in Singapore declined to comment on the suspensions.
LESS RED INK: Nintendo Co. narrowed its losses in the first half of its fiscal year. A year ago, it had cut the price of its 3 DS game machine, hurting its results.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Two mining officials who worked at an eastern Kentucky underground mine where a worker was killed last year are preparing to plead guilty to federal safety violations, according to court records.
CALM RETURNS: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25 points one day after a 243- point decline, its third-worst of the year. LIKE: Facebook had its best day since its stock market debut in May. REMOVE FROM QUEUE: Netflix dropped 12 percent after slashing its prediction for how many U.S. video-streaming subscribers it would add this year to 4.7 million to 5 million.
PHILADELPHIA-- Pennsylvania's gambling board on Wednesday reminded developers there are three weeks before the Nov. 15 deadline to submit applications for Philadelphia's second casino license.