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  • NEW YORK, Dec 27- A federal judge on Friday approved Bank of America Corp's $39 million settlement of a gender discrimination lawsuit by female brokers over objections that the accord would enshrine bias on Wall Street. Bank of America bought Merrill in January 2009.

  • HONOLULU, Dec 27- President Barack Obama called Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, on Friday to back their proposal to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months. A vote on the Reed/Heller bill is likely in early January, when the U.S. Senate returns from recess.

  • BRASILIA, Dec 27- The Brazilian government said on Friday it will raise a tax on operations with debit cards and travelers checks made abroad, in a move that will raise the country's tax intake by 552 million reais per year.

  • DETROIT, Dec 27- Detroit's two pension funds have asked the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear an expedited appeal of a judge's ruling that the city is eligible for bankruptcy protection. Detroit's two largest unsecured creditors, filed the appeal with the 6th Circuit late Thursday.

  • Neither Zuchowski nor a Hyundai spokesman gave any reason for why the parent company in South Korea did not offer Krafcik a contract extension.

  • ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH CONGRESS TO ACT PROMPTLY, IN BIPARTISAN FASHION ON EXTENDED BENEFITS, OBAMA SAYS.

  • PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLED SENATORS REED, HELLER ON FRIDAY TO SUPPORT PROPOSAL FOR EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS- WHITE HOUSE.

  • Top White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said in a statement issued on Friday that a failure to renew emergency jobless benefits would harm the economy and he urged Congress to move quickly to pass a short-term extension of the aid.

  • Dec 27- The attorney who filed a now-defunct bankruptcy petition for the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, sued the city and some of its officials for $289,000 plus interest on Friday for allegedly not paying him for the job. Schwartz also sued City Council President Wanda Williams and three other officials in the Court of Common Pleas for Dauphin County.

  • Dec 27- The world's mobile phone carriers have failed to implement technology fixes available since 2008 that would have thwarted the National Security Agency's ability to eavesdrop on many mobile phone calls, a cyber security expert says.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 27- As Wall Street's best year in more than 15 draws to a close, few are expecting a repeat performance in 2014, though traders have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic.

  • Brazil hikes IOF tax on debit card purchases abroad Friday, 27 Dec 2013 | 4:16 PM ET

    BRASILIA, Dec 27- The Brazilian government said on Friday it will raise a tax on operations with debit cards and travelers checks made abroad, in a move that will raise the country's tax intake by 552 million reais per year. Starting on Saturday, the government will hike the financial operation tax, known as IOF, to 6.38 percent from 0.38 percent on those operations.

  • Dec 27- U.S. stock indexes closed mostly flat on Friday, with some key technology companies eroding recent gains after investors took a break from a rally that has pushed stocks to all-time highs. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.47 points or 0.01 percent, to finish unofficially at 16,478.41.

  • *U.S. crude oil tops $100 for first time in 2 months. NEW YORK, Dec 27- U.S. crude oil futures settled on Friday with their highest gain in more than two months driven by the fourth straight weekly decline in oil inventories while Brent drew support from civil unrest in Africa that has cut off supplies.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 27- The euro jumped to its strongest level against the dollar in more than two years on Friday as banks adjusted positions for the year end, while the yen hit five-year lows for a second straight session.

  • The inflows into stock funds in the week ended Dec. 25 reversed the previous week's outflows of $3.4 billion and marked the strongest demand in four weeks, according to the data compiled by Reuters from EPFR Global and past Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research reports.

  • *Corn gains limited after China rejects U.S. *Wheat gains on short covering, bargain buying. Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans added 1 percent, or 12-3/ 4 cents, to $13.31-1/ 2 a bushel, finishing with a weekly loss of 0.6 percent.

  • ANKARA/ ISTANBUL, Dec 27- Protesters demanding Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan resign over a high-level corruption scandal clashed with riot police in Istanbul on Friday, while across the city thousands staged a rival show of support for the embattled leader.

  • Krafcik led the U.S. arm of Hyundai as it set sales records by using innovative marketing techniques including a program that allowed Hyundai buyers who lost their jobs during the recession in 2009 to return their new cars.

  • BOSTON, Dec 27- Target Corp said PIN data of its customers' bank ATM cards were stolen as part of the massive data breach at the third-largest U.S. retailer, but it was confident that the information was "safe and secure." The stolen PIN data was "strongly encrypted" when it was removed from Target's systems, spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement on Friday. "

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