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Europe Top News and Analysis United Kingdom

  • CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- The Greenbrier resort is buying one of the nation's oldest golf courses after it failed to sell at auction over the summer, the resort's owner told The Associated Press on Friday. Greenbrier owner Jim Justice confirmed the purchase of Oakhurst Links.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 12- The European Union provisionally approved new economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme on Friday, with senior diplomats giving their backing to measures against Tehran's banking sector, industry and shipping.

  • JOHANNESBURG, Oct 12- Standard& Poor's cut South Africa's credit rating one notch on Friday to BBB with a negative outlook, saying mining strikes and social tensions could reduce fiscal flexibility and hurt growth in the continent's biggest economy. It was trading at 8.75 at 1737 GMT, from 8.65 just before the announcement.

  • PARIS, Oct 12- STMicroelectronics said it was not planning to split itself up contrary to a report that Europe's top semiconductor maker was considering a breakup, which sent its shares up by nearly a fifth.

  • *Turkey- Syria tensions, lower N. Sea output support. The International Energy Agency's prediction of a further decline in oil consumption and higher supplies weighed on oil prices that have received support from slowed North Sea production and fears of potential supply disruptions from the Middle East.

  • TOKYO, Oct 13- British finance minister George Osborne on Saturday blamed an effective German veto for the failure of a $45 billion merger between British defence firm BAE.

  • TOKYO, Oct 13- Many Western economies are failing to face up to their responsibilities in the face of heavy economic headwinds, British finance minister George Osborne said on Saturday.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Bosideng International Holdings, China's largest maker and distributor of down clothing, is eyeing store openings in Milan and New York if its first overseas venture in London proves a hit with the British capital's shoppers.

  • By Sinead Cruise and Chris Vellacott. LONDON, Oct 12- A plan to allow British employers to give shares to workers who sign away employee rights could leave the same staff with soaring tax bills, experts warn.

  • *Turkey- Syria tensions, lower N. Sea output support. Brent and U.S. crude remained on track to post weekly gains of around 2 percent, as the turmoil in the Middle East, especially in Syria, continues to intensify.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Britain's' Big Six' energy suppliers, which control 99 percent of the market, are expected to increase energy tariffs this winter following a rise in underlying wholesale prices, network costs and mandatory government schemes to reduce carbon emissions and help disadvantaged households.

  • The FTSE Small Caps index closes 0.3 percent higher, outperforming falls of 0.6 percent on the FTSE 100 and 0.5 percent on the FTSE 250. Morgan Sindall gains 1.3 percent as the UK construction and regeneration group says it has been appointed preferred delivery partner for a 1.1 billion pounds contract at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant.

  • *STMicroelectronics rallies on break-up talk. LONDON, Oct 12- European blue chip shares ended the week in negative territory with weakness in commodity stocks outpacing gains in healthcare and consumer staples.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Frantic drilling activity across the United States has at last begun to moderate, as the industry responds to the plunge in prices for natural gas and now liquids such as butane and natural gasoline.

  • --We are assigning our' BBB-' issue rating to Prologis European Properties Fund II FCP' s proposed $300 million senior unsecured notes to be issued through its financing vehicle Prologis International Funding II S.A..

  • LONDON-- A U.K. watchdog has launched its biggest-ever investigation into police actions, opening a new inquiry Friday into the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster that left 96 fans dead and whole communities angry over a decades-long police cover-up.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 12- China has expressed concerns about a potential EU investigation of telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE Corp over illegal subsidies, a European Commission official said on Friday.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Peripheral banks unwilling or unable to lengthen their maturity profiles are building up a redemption hump which they will have to face just as billions of euros of cheap ECB money is coming up for repayment.

  • Oct 12- Fitch Ratings has downgraded The Co-operative Bank plc's (Coop,' BBB+'/ Rating Watch Negative/' F2') GBP600m mortgage covered bonds to' AA+'/ RWN from' AAA'/RWN.

  • Oct 12- Fitch Ratings has downgraded Yorkshire Building Society's GBP1.8bn mortgage covered bonds to' AA+', Stable Outlook from' AAA'/Rating Watch Negative.