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Wires

  • LONDON, Feb 19- British universities must offer students value for money, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday, launching a review that could reduce fees and restore grants in a bid to entice younger voters who helped punish her party at an election last year. In a speech designed to show her programme for Britain is more than just its departure from the...

  • LONDON— Executives at Latvian bank Norvik say the nation's central bank chief, who was detained Saturday without charges, sought to extort money from their firm for years. Norvik's CEO, Oliver Bramwell, told The Associated Press: "The high-level official mentioned in our request for arbitration is Rimsevics." Rimsevics is also on the highest policymaking...

  • ABU DHABI, Feb 19- Switzerland has not seen any major inward or outward movement of funds from Saudi Arabia, the chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association said on Monday when asked whether he had seen an increase in flows following Riyadh's anti-corruption campaign. Saudi Arabia detained dozens of top officials and businessmen last year and vowed to...

  • LONDON— Latvian bank owner tells AP that country's embattled central bank chief sought bribes, abused power for years.

  • PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb 19- The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases, days after a shooting at a Florida school killed 17 people. Trump spoke to Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, on Friday about a bi-partisan bill that he and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy introduced to...

  • BERLIN, Feb 19- German Chancellor Angela Merkel put forward close ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Monday to take over as secretary general of her Christian Democrats, heeding calls from within the party to inject new blood and groom a successor. In another sign of the increased pressure the established parties are facing, the far-right Alternative for...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- The value of global mining and metals deals hit a four-year high in 2017, according to accountancy firm EY, as financial distress abated and companies sold off non-core assets. One of the biggest coal deals last year was Rio Tinto's sale of its Coal and Allied mines to Australia's Yancoal for $2.7 billion. Steel deals doubled to $13.3 billion, mainly...

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 19- Euro zone finance ministers will choose Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos to succeed European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio in May, a move likely to boost the chances of a German becoming head of the ECB next year. Initially faced with two candidates-- de Guindos and Irish central bank governor Philip Lane-- the ministers had...

  • *Euro slips below $1.24; yen down slightly. LONDON, Feb 19- The dollar enjoyed a small rebound on Monday as investors bought back the greenback after its plunge to three-year lows, although analysts said any recovery looked set to be brief with dollar bears still out in force. Confidence in the dollar has also been shaken by concerns the United States could pursue a...

  • BERLIN, Feb 19- German Chancellor Angela Merkel put forward close ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Monday to take over as secretary general of her Christian Democrats, heeding calls from within the party to inject new blood and groom a successor. In another sign of the increased pressure the established parties are facing, the far-right Alternative for...

  • PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb 19- The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases, two days after a shooting at a Florida school killed 17 people. Trump spoke to Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, about a bi-partisan bill that he and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy introduced to improve...

  • LONDON— Fast-food chain KFC has been forced to close most of its 900 outlets in Britain and Ireland because of a shortage of chicken. The company is blaming "teething problems" with its new delivery partner, DHL. DHL, which recently took over the KFC contract from Bidvest Logistics, said that "due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- Copper fell 2 percent on Monday as a stronger dollar prompted some profit-taking in the metal after its biggest weekly rise in more than a year, while aluminium held its ground as the United States said it was considering import tariffs on the metal. "Financial markets have had quite a volatile month, and that has also been the case for copper," Danske...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- Copper fell 2 percent on Monday as a stronger dollar prompted some profit-taking in the metal after its biggest weekly rise in more than a year, while aluminum held its ground as the United States said it was considering import tariffs on the metal. "Financial markets have had quite a volatile month, and that has also been the case for copper," Danske...

  • PARIS, Feb 19- Cereal crops in the European Union have suffered very little frost damage this winter and no losses are expected during the second half of February, the EU's crop monitoring service said. The negligible damage reflected relatively mild weather, particularly in a swathe of central and eastern Europe including Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria with...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- Australia said on Monday it would be open to the idea of Britain joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade group after it leaves the European Union. But Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, visiting Britain as Prime Minister Theresa May tries to unite her cabinet on what they want from Brexit, also said Australia would only be able to strike a...

  • KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Feb 19- Saudi Arabia increased its crude oil exports slightly in December to 7.045 million barrels per day, official data showed on Monday. Saudi Arabia told OPEC that it pumped 9.983 million bpd in January. Saudi energy ministry Khalid al-Falih said last week that production by state oil company Aramco in March will be 100,000 bpd below...

  • *TOTAL SAYS SIGNED DEFINITIVE AGREEMENTS WITH BOREALIS AND NOVA CHEMICALS TO FORM A JOINT VENTURE IN PETROCHEMICALS ON THE U.S. GULF COAST. *TOTAL SAYS WILL OWN 50 PERCENT AND NOVEALIS HOLDINGS LLC, A JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN BOREALIS AND NOVA CHEMICALS, WILL OWN THE REMAINING 50 PERCENT. *THE AGREEMENT INCLUDES A NEW $1.7 BILLION ETHANE STEAM CRACKER THAT IS BEING...

  • RIGA, Feb 19- Latvia's third-biggest bank sought emergency financial support on Monday after U.S. officials accused it of helping breach North Korean sanctions, hours after the central bank governor was arrested over separate bribery allegations. The financial sector in Latvia, a small euro zone state that shares a border with Russia, has come under wider...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- Lloyds investors are expecting a share buy-back and a three-year plan centered on digital investment and growing its insurance and wealth businesses when the British bank reports on Wednesday. Britain's biggest mortgage lender will announce the strategy with its first full-year results since the government sold the remainder of its stake...