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  • President of French far-right Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen delivers a speech during a major rally to launch her presidential programme on February 5, 2017 in Lyon, France.

    France's left-wing is gearing up for what promises to be a tough presidential campaign against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

  • MILAN— Italian media says the Bank of China has agreed to pay a 600,000- euro fine as part of a plea deal in a 4.5- billion-euro money laundering probe. The Bank of China said the plea deal was aimed at "avoiding a long trial and allowing the Milan branch to concentrate on developing its own business." It said the Milan branch had respected national and international...

  • Controversy is swelling in Italy over the Treasury's use of derivatives, which were its weapon of choice to insure its 2.2 trillion euros public debt- the second highest in the euro zone relative to economic output- against rising interest rates after the 2008 financial crisis. Opposition parties are calling for the publication of all the contracts, including...

  • *Leadership contest seen delaying explosive Italy election. The ECB currently weights its purchases based on the size of a country's economy, meaning the lion's share of buying is in Germany, but investors expect any deviation from that could benefit countries with the biggest debt pools such as Italy. Investors in Italy have been beset by political worries...

  • *Unilever says $50/ shr bid too low. LONDON, Feb 17- Unilever rejected a surprise $143 billion takeover bid from U.S. food company Kraft Heinz Co on Friday, saying it saw no reason to discuss a deal which it said had no financial or strategic merit. A combination of the two multinationals would be the third-biggest takeover in history and the biggest ever acquisition...

  • *Leadership contest seen delaying explosive Italy election. The ECB currently weights its purchases based on the size of a country's economy, meaning the lion's share of buying is in Germany, but investors expect any deviation from that could benefit country's with the biggest debt pools such as Italy. Investors in Italy have been beset by political worries...

  • *STOXX 600 down 0.5 pct, but remains close to 13- month high. MILAN, Feb 17- European shares fell on Friday with gains in insurance heavyweight Allianz and firmer pharma stocks more than offset by a pull-back in banking and mining stocks. Europe's largest insurer proposed spending 3 billion euros on buying back its own shares after posting higher-than-expected...

  • *Leadership contest seen delaying explosive Italy election. The ECB currently weights its purchases based on the size of a country's economy, meaning the lion's share of buying is in Germany, but investors expect any deviation from that could benefit country's with the biggest debt pools such as Italy. Although investors in Italy have been beset by political...

  • *Leadership contest seen delaying explosive Italy election. The ECB currently weights its purchases based on the size of a country's economy, meaning the lion's share of buying is in Germany, but investors expect any deviation from that could benefit country's with the biggest debt pools such as Italy. Although investors in Italy have been beset by political...

  • *Leadership contest seen delaying explosive Italy election. The ECB currently weights its purchases based on the size of a country's economy, meaning the lion's share of buying is in Germany, but investors expect any deviation from that could benefit country's with the biggest debt pools such as Italy. Although investors in Italy have been beset by political...

  • ROME— Taxi drivers in Rome, Milan and Turin are staging wildcat strikes to protest proposed Italian legislation they say will favor Uber and other car-sharing services. The ANSA news agency reported that with taxis still idled Thursday, Rome's airports arranged for extra shuttle services to get passengers into town. A Milan court in 2015 ruled that Uber's...

  • ROME— Italian art conservationists have restored two funerary busts from the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria that were badly damaged by members of the Islamic State group. Restorers in Rome used a 3- D printer to generate replicas of the missing parts of the busts, which date from the 2nd or 3rd centuries A.D. After Palmyra fell to Islamic State militants in 2015,...

  • MILAN, Feb 16- The European Union is likely to select a new home for the bloc's London- based medicines regulator by June, according to the mayor of Milan, one of several cities vying to host the organisation after Brexit. Other countries vying to host the agency include Denmark, Sweden, Spain, France, Ireland and Poland. Sala was flanked at the briefing by Economy...

  • WINNIPEG/ ROME, Feb 15- Canada has raised concerns with Rome about Italy's plan to require country of origin labels on pasta sold there, Canada's agriculture minister said on Wednesday about a move that is alarming Canadian wheat exporters just as a free trade deal gained European approval. Rome sent a draft decree to the European Commission in December, seeking...

  • Defence Minister James Mattis addresses the press during a NATO defence ministers' meetings at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 15, 2017.

    "I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States, and to state the fair demand from my country's people," Mattis said.

  • VATICAN CITY, Feb 15- Pope Francis appeared on Wednesday to back Native Americans seeking to halt part of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying indigenous cultures have a right to defend "their ancestral relationship to the earth." The Latin American pope, who has often strongly defended indigenous rights since his election in 2013, made his comments on protection...

  • *Opel business has struggled for profitability. In separate statements, GM which owns the Vauxhall and Opel brands, and the maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars said they were looking at a number of "strategic initiatives" with the aim of increasing profitability and operating efficiency, including through a potential acquisition of Opel.

  • *Opel business has struggled for profitability. The maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars is "exploring a number of strategic initiatives with GM with the aim of increasing its profitability and operating efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel," a spokesman said. Together, PSA and Opel would command a 16.3 percent share of the European car market...

  • BRUSSELS/ MILAN, Feb 14- Gazprom's bid to tap into a pipeline meant to wean Europe off Russian gas threatens to undermine a pillar of European energy policy and slow plans to develop rival deposits in the east Mediterranean. Construction work on TAP gives EU officials the first non-Russian gas pipeline to supply Europe since Algeria's Medgaz link nearly a...

  • MILAN, Feb 13- Luxury fashion group Prada said sales had accelerated in the past two months, particularly in Greater China and Russia, pointing to an improving outlook after its revenues slumped last year. Sales in Greater China grew in the final quarter of 2016 and Russian sales were up "double-digit". Greater China is Hong Kong- listed Prada's biggest market.