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Reuters Business News Schedule at 2000 GMT/4:00 p.m. ET

Initial NAFTA talks conclude amid signs that schedule could slip

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RPT-Wall St Week Ahead-Shift from non-GAAP bottom lines could be good for stock prices

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Investors worried about lofty stock-market valuations may take comfort in signs that companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index are padding their bottomlines less than they have in previous years.

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BRIEF-B&G Foods to acquire Back To Nature Foods Company

* B&G Foods - sees deal to be immediately accretive to its earnings per share, free cash flow

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Rosneft, partners to announce acquisition of India's Essar Oil completed

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, Aug 20 (Reuters) - A consortium led by Russian oil major Rosneft will announce on Monday completion of a $12.9 billion deal to acquire Indian private refiner Essar Oil, strengthening ties between the world's largest oil producer and the fastest growing fuel consumer.

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Freeport Indonesia copper mine access to resume after clashes

TIMIKA, Indonesia, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Limited access to the giant Grasberg copper mine in eastern Indonesia is expected to resume on Monday, its operator said, after hundreds of former workers blockaded the site and clashed with police.

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BRIEF-China United Network Communications' shares to resume trade on Aug 21

* Says it plans to raise up to 61.725 billion yuan ($9.25 billion) in share private placement

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UPDATE 1-Goldman Sachs gets approval for Saudi equities trading licence

DUBAI/RIYADH, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs received approval on Sunday to trade equities in Saudi Arabia, joining the growing band of western investment banks and fund managers expanding in the kingdom.

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VW gives green light for electric version of classic Microbus camper van

BERLIN, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Volkswagen has decided to go ahead with production of an electric version of its classic Microbus camper van as it seeks to boost its electric vehicle credentials.

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf finds support from robust oil price, Egypt declines

DUBAI, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf rose modestly on Sunday, lifted by a rally in oil prices at the end of last week, while three small to mid-sized Saudi Arabian insurers fell sharply after they were slapped with a temporary ban by the central bank.

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Those last moments on a mountain in Sierra Leone

"It happened as if it was a dream," says Gabriel Fattah Manga, recalling the day his world came tumbling down around him, and his life changed forever.

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Saudi regulator approves Goldman Sachs application for dealing licence

DUBAI, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority said on Sunday it had approved Goldman Sachs' request to conduct dealing, underwriting and custody services in the kingdom.

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BRIEF-Saudi's CMA approves amendment to Goldman Sachs business profile

* SAUDI'S CMA APPROVES AMENDMENT OF BUSINESS PROFILE OF GOLDMAN SACHS SAUDI ARABIA BY ADDING DEALING AS PRINCIPLE, AGENT, UNDERWRITER,CUSTODY ACTIVITIES Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Abu Dhabi signs with GE and Spain's TSK for Oman's first big wind farm

DUBAI, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar has signed a contract with General Electric and Spain's TSK to build Oman's first large-scale wind farm in Dhofar, United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM reported on Sunday.

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RPT-Bankruptcy fight over Oncor to test Warren Buffett's discipline

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett takes pride in naming his price to buy a company, and not paying a nickel more.

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UPDATE 1-Dubai Aerospace completes AWAS acquisition, jets into top tier

DUBAI, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has become one of the world's largest aircraft lessors after announcing on Sunday it had completed the acquisition of Dublin-based AWAS, the industry's tenth biggest firm.

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Dubai Aerospace completes AWAS acquisition

DUBAI, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Government-controlled Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) said on Sunday it had completed the acquisition of Dublin-based AWAS, the world's tenth biggest aircraft lessor.

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Brazil sugar group Clealco refinances nearly 1 bln reais in debt

SAO PAULO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian sugar group Clealco Açúcar e Álcool SA reached a deal with banks late on Friday to refinance almost 1 billion reais ($317 million) in debt, three people with knowledge of the operation said, and a company executive confirmed the deal.

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At least one dead, 5 burned in eastern Mexico pipeline explosion

MEXICO CITY, Aug 19 (Reuters) - At least one person died and five others suffered burns after a pipeline exploded during an illegal tap in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, state-owned oil company Pemex and state emergency services said on Saturday.

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Gulf project awards slumped in H1 but will pick up -MEED study

DUBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Contracts awarded to build economic projects in the Gulf's rich Arab oil exporting states slumped in the first half of this year but are expected to pick up in the second half, a data service tracking the industry said on Saturday.

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UPDATE 1-Former workers at U.S.-owned miner Freeport Indonesia injured in clash with police

Aug 19 (Reuters) - Hundreds of workers laid off by Freeport Indonesia clashed with security forces, injuring three, near the company's mines in the eastern province of Papua on Saturday, company and union officials said.

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UPDATE 1-Zambia restores full power supply to First Quantum mines

LUSAKA, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Zambia has restored full electricity supply to the mines of First Quantum Minerals , the ministries of finance and energy said on Saturday, after reducing power to the mines earlier this week in a dispute over new, higher prices.

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Fired workers protest against U.S.-owned miner Freeport Indonesia

Aug 19 (Reuters) - Hundreds of workers laid off by Freeport Indonesia blocked routes and set trucks on fire near the company’s mines in the eastern province of Papua on Saturday, company officials said.

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Solar eclipse presents first major test of power grid in renewable era

HOUSTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - As Monday's total solar eclipse sweeps from Oregon to South Carolina, U.S. electric power and grid operators will be glued to their monitoring systems in what for them represents the biggest test of the renewable energy era.

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Zambia restores full power supply to First Quantum mines

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Zambia has restored full electricity supply to the mines of First Quantum Minerals , the ministries of finance and energy said on Saturday, after reducing power to the mines earlier this week.

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Car blast hits Syrian coastal city: Manar TV, monitor

AMMAN (Reuters) - A car bomb on Saturday hit the Syrian port city of Latakia with reports of injuries, the Lebanese Hezbollah group's al Manar television station and a monitor said.

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After CEO's dramatic exit, Infosys faces recruitment headache

* Ongoing spat between founders, board complicates CEO search

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No gambling, sex please: China widens crackdown on overseas deals

SHANGHAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A recent crackdown by China on overseas investments has been assumed to be mainly focused on high-profile acquisitions of things like hotels and football teams around the world.

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IEX plans to nab listings from rivals with cheaper, simpler fees

NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A year after disrupting the U.S. stock market with a new approach to handling trades, upstart stock exchange operator IEX Group is planning to nab listings from rivals by charging simpler, cheaper fees, Sara Furber, IEX's head of listings, said in a recent interview.

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BRIEF-Berkshire Hathaway Energy says five Texas stakeholder groups reach agreement with Co in Oncor acquisition

* Parties to agreement ask public utility commission of Texas to approve acquisition

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BRIEF-Westshore Terminals Investment Corporation announces normal course issuer bid

* Westshore Terminals Investment Corporation announces normal course issuer bid

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Muguruza outlasts Kuznetsova, next faces Pliskova in Cincinnati

(Reuters) - Fourth-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza won a lengthy battle against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-2 5-7 7-5 on a hot and windy day to reach the Cincinnati Open semi-finals on Friday.

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BRIEF-Pure Gold reports qtrly earnings per share $0.04

* Pure Gold Mining- exploration and evaluation expenditures increased to $6.8 million for 3 months ended June 30 compared to $3.0 million for same period in prior year Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 6-China's probe into chicken imports new blow to Brazil meat industry

* Brazil accounted for 85 percent of 2016 frozen chicken imports

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BRIEF-Athabasca Minerals Inc reports qtrly loss per share $ 0.020

* Qtrly loss per share $ 0.020 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Six Flags drops Confederate flag from Texas park: papers

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Six Flags Over Texas, faced with criticism over its longstanding display of a Confederate flag at its main amusement park, has decided to remove the item and display U.S. flags instead, local newspaper reports said on Friday.

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NuTonomy hopes for Q2 2018 launch of paid Singapore self-driving car rides

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. self-driving car startup NuTonomy and southeast Asian ride services partner Grab hope to turn a test pilot in Singapore into a paid, commercial service as soon as the second quarter of next year, NuTonomy Chief Executive Karl Iagnemma said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Ashanti Sankofa appoints Nancy Zhao CEO

* Says CFO William Pettigrew resigned Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Zaher to cut ties with Brazil's Estácio by next month

SAO PAULO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian businessman Chaim Zaher and his family plan to sell their remaining 1.25 percent stake in Brazilian for-profit education firm Estácio Participações SA after selling about 7 percent of the company's shares, he said on Friday.

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UPDATE 2-China's COFCO forms U.S. grain supply partnership with Growmark

Aug 18 (Reuters) - China's state-owned COFCO International Ltd (CIL) and U.S. farm cooperative Growmark Inc will partner in a deal that gives China more direct access to the food it imports, the companies said on Friday.

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BRIEF-ULF Rosberg reports 5.97 pct stake in Neonode

* ULF Rosberg reports 5.97 percent stake in Neonode Inc as of August 8, 2017 - SEC filing‍​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2v9iktZ)

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BRIEF-Peabody Energy files prospectus related to offering of 18.4 mln shares

* Peabody Energy - filed prospectus related to offering of 18.4 million shares of series A convertible preferred stock by selling stockholders

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BRIEF-RXi Pharmaceuticals files for sale of up to 7.3 mln shares

* RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp- files for sale of up to 7.3 million shares of common stock by Lincoln Park Capital Fund Llc - SEC filing‍​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2vQLno4) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Peter Lindell reports 5.97 pct passive stake in Neonode

* Peter Lindell reports 5.97 percent passive stake in Neonode Inc as of August 8, 2017 - SEC filing‍​‍​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2uZzJ9a)

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BRIEF-Sanchez Energy, plaintiffs, all named defendants enter into stipulation of settlement

* Sanchez Energy- ‍on Aug 11, co, plaintiffs, all named defendants entered into stipulation of settlement of AUG 2013 purchase of working interests in tuscaloosa marine shale​

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BRIEF-NXT Energy Solutions refiles 2016 annual information form

* NXT Energy Solutions Inc says it has refiled 2016 annual information form, at request of Alberta Securities Commission​

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UPDATE 1-Carl Icahn steps down as adviser to U.S. President Trump

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Friday ended his role as a special adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump after facing criticism that his recommendations on policy could help his own investments.

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US STOCKS-Wall St ends down after more White House turmoil

* Nike, footwear retailers trampled as price war sparks concerns

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Bayer, J&J win third U.S. trial over Xarelto bleeding risk

Aug 18 (Reuters) - A federal jury has cleared Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson of liability in the third case to go to trial out of thousands of lawsuits claiming the drugmakers' blood thinner Xarelto led to severe internal bleeding.

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UPDATE 1-Elliott Management lawyer says utility may top Buffett's Oncor bid

Aug 18 (Reuters) - A lawyer for Elliott Management Corp told a U.S. bankruptcy judge on Friday that an unidentified utility could pay $9.3 billion to buy Texas power transmission company Oncor Electric Delivery Co, topping Berkshire Hathaway Inc's $9 billion bid.

cnn.com

Your last-last-last-minute eclipse cheat sheet

In case you haven't been paying attention (and NO ONE would judge you if you weren't), there is a teensy weensy little boring astronomical event happening on Monday known as the Eclipse of the CENTURY!!

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BRIEF-Bruce Grossman reports 6.2 pct passive stake in Intellicheck Inc

* Bruce Grossman reports 6.2 percent passive stake in Intellicheck Inc as of August 9, 2017 Source text: (http://bit.ly/2whTDkb) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-L2 Capital LLC reports 9.99 percent passive stake in Uni-Pixel Inc

* L2 capital llc reports 9.99 percent passive stake in uni-pixel inc, as of August 10, 2017 Source text: (http://bit.ly/2xbGwgZ) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Biocept Inc files for disposition of up to 2.9 million shares of common stock

* Biocept Inc files for disposition of up to 2.9 million shares of common stock by the selling stockholders Source text: (http://bit.ly/2fShoIH) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Hill International receives NYSE notice regarding late form 10-Q

* Hill International receives NYSE notice regarding late form 10-Q filing Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Maya Gold & Silver reports production results for the month of July

* Maya Gold & Silver Inc- ‍production of 16,210 ounces of silver during month of July 2017 at its zgounder silver mine in Morocco​

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BRIEF-Lowe's Companies sets quarterly cash dividend of $0.41 per share

* Sets quarterly cash dividend of $0.41per share Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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U.S. formally launches probe of China's intellectual property practices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday formally launched an investigation into China's alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, a widely expected move following a call from President Donald Trump earlier this week to determine whether one was needed.

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BRIEF-New Jersey Resources Corp,certain of unregulated subsidiaries, enters into a $100 million credit agreement

* New Jersey Resources Corp - ‍on August 18, co, certain of unregulated subsidiaries, entered into a $100 million credit agreement Source text: (http://bit.ly/2id171L) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Ensco and Atwood Oceanics file definitive proxy materials

* Ensco Plc and Atwood Oceanics Inc file definitive proxy materials in connection with pending transaction

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BRIEF-Douglas Dynamics enters into 2017 replacement term loan amendment

* Douglas Dynamics - on Aug. 17, entered into 2017 replacement term loan amendment, which amends credit and guaranty agreement dated as of Dec. 31, 2014

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BRIEF-Calithera Biosciences enters into sales agreement with Cowen and Co ‍​

* Calithera Biosciences - entered into sales agreement with Cowen And Company, Llc, or Cowen, relating to shares of co's common stock ‍​

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BRIEF-MGE Energy increases quarterly dividend by nearly 5 pct

* MGE Energy Inc- ‍Increased regular quarterly dividend rate by nearly 5% to $0.3225 per share on company's common stock​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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'Impossible' to have country-specific origin rules in NAFTA -Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo on Friday said it was "impossible" that country-specific rules of origin could be included in the North American Free Trade Agreement, currently being renegotiated in Washington.

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BRIEF-Retractable Technologies says court dismissed co's case against Becton, Dickinson and Co​

* On August 17, judge issued court's final judgment regarding RTI's suit against Becton, Dickinson and Co​

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UPDATE 1-Insys agrees to pay $4.45 mln to resolve Illinois opioid lawsuit

BOSTON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Insys Therapeutics Inc has agreed to pay $4.45 million to resolve a lawsuit by Illinois' attorney general claiming it deceptively marketed an addictive fentanyl-based cancer pain drug for off-label uses.

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UPDATE 1-Venezuelan oil company PDVSA blasts 'financial blockade'

CARACAS, Aug 18 (Reuters) - A U.S.-led "blockade" has hurt Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA's capacity to undertake routine financial transactions, and forced it to rely on political allies like China and Russia, the company's president said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Armistice Capital LLC reports 6.4 pct passive stake in Depomed Inc

* Armistice Capital LLC reports 6.4 percent passive stake in Depomed Inc as on August 8, 2017 - SEC filing‍​‍​ Source text (http://bit.ly/2vLa8Uq) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-‍Caxton Corp reports 5.3 pct passive stake in Agile Therapeutics Inc

* ‍Caxton Corp reports 5.3 percent passive stake in Agile Therapeutics Inc as on August 9, 2017 - SEC filing​ Source text (http://bit.ly/2vKGGOo) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-MiMedx signs agreement to divest Stability Biologics unit as part of co's strategic focus on biopharma

* MiMedx signs definitive agreement to divest Stability Biologics subsidiary as part of company's strategic focus on biopharma

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BRIEF-Third bidder places $9.3 bln bid for Oncor, higher than Berkshire Hathaway's $9 bln bid- CNBC, citing DJ

* Third bidder has emerged for Oncor, placing higher $9.3 billion bid than Berkshire Hathaway's $9 billion bid- CNBC, citing DJ

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Wall St Week Ahead-Shift from non-GAAP bottom lines could be good for stock prices

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Investors worried about lofty stock-market valuations may take comfort in signs that companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index are padding their bottomlines less than they have in previous years.

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Delphi partners with Innoviz for self-driving technology

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Delphi Automotive Plc said on Friday it has partnered with laser-based sensor maker Innoviz Technologies to improve vehicle safety for self-driving cars, after making a minority investment in the Israel-based company.

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Venezuela's oil company says 'financial blockade' hurts payments

CARACAS, Aug 18 (Reuters) - A U.S.-led "financial blockade" has hurt Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA's capacity to collect payment for crude cargoes, and forced it to rely on political allies like China and Russia, the company's president said on Friday.

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Insys agrees to pay $4.5 mln to resolve Illinois opioid lawsuit

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Insys Therapeutics Inc has agreed to pay $4.5 million to resolve a lawsuit by Illinois' attorney general claiming it deceptively marketed a highly addictive fentanyl-based cancer pain drug for off-label uses.

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UPDATE 1-U.S. subsidiary of Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo to pay $35 mln over improper ADRs- SEC

WASHINGTON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - A U.S. subsidiary of Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, has agreed to pay $35 million to settle charges it violated U.S. securities laws governing the issuance of American Depositary Receipts, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Socket Mobile says certain selling stockholders may sell 972,884 shares of co's stock

* Socket Mobile files prospectus related to 972,884 shares of co's stock which may be sold by certain selling stockholders - SEC filing‍​ Source text (http://bit.ly/2wYdrGD) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-General Motors names Jeffrey Massimilla as new Vehicle Safety Chief ‍​

* Says Massimilla is currently GM’s Chief Cybersecurity Officer‍​

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Romania negotiating to buy U.S. rocket systems worth $1.25 bln -Pentagon

WASHINGTON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of mobile artillery rocket systems to Romania worth up to $1.25 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Yield10 Bioscience says selling security holders‍​ may resell up to 570,784 shares of company

* Files prospectus related to resale of upto 570,784 shares of co's stock issuable upon exercise of certain outstanding warrants‍​

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bannon's White House exit lifts U.S. stocks; dollar off lows

* European shares fall; Barcelona attack weakens travel stocks (Updates with U.S. prices, adds commentary, changes byline, previous dateline London)

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BRIEF-Root9B announces Notice of Foreclosure sale of its assets

* Says as result of default on secured debt, received foreclosure notice from agent of co's secured creditors‍​

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BRIEF-Morguard acquires Argus Corporate Centre

* Morguard acquires Argus Corporate Centre, premier class A office property in Oakville, ON

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks up on Petrobras boost

By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks on Friday rose near six-month highs after the government renewed tax breaks on the oil industry, boosting shares of state-controlled Petróleo Brasileiro SA. According to a statement published on the official gazette, Brazil will extend the so-called Repetro tax regime, which sets lower taxes for exports and imports of goods related to oil production and research in the sector. Analysts at XP Investimentos brokerag

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U.S. drillers cut oil rigs for second week in three - Baker Hughes

By Jessica Resnick-Ault Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a second week in three, data showed on Friday, with drillers cutting spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Aug. 18, bringing the total count down to 763, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its report on Friday. That compares with 406 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago. Drille

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to take 2 months of paternity leave

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday he would be taking two months of paternity leave after the birth of his second daughter.

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BRIEF-LGC Capital receives approval for private placement of upto 30 mln units

* LGC Capital Ltd. announces $1,555,000.00 private placement to advance the company's medical cannabis initiatives

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UPDATE 1-LATAM Airlines 'very cautious' on Brazil demand outlook

SANTIAGO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - LATAM Airlines Group SA, Latin America's largest airline, is still "very cautious" on the outlook for its key domestic Brazilian market, with demand volatile, a top executive of the company said on Friday.

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US STOCKS-Wall St recoups losses after report of Bannon's exit

* Indexes up: Dow 0.03 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.38 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

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Mexican government raises Pemex deductions to continue oil output

MEXICO CITY, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Mexico's finance ministry on Friday said state oil company Pemex will be allowed to deduct more costs for developing some projects so the firm can maintain production, which has been steadily declining since 2004.

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UPDATE 1-Emerging markets CDS trading drops 35 pct in 2nd qtr: EMTA

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Investors in the second quarter largely pulled back on bearish insurance bets on emerging market trades, a survey released on Friday showed, as trading of credit default swaps, or CDS, slid 35 percent from the previous quarter.

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US dollar stores stand their ground in escalating retail price war

Aug 18 - U.S. dollar stores have not become collateral damage, as feared, in a price war among big retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Kroger Co, which has pushed down prices of key items such as eggs and laundry detergent.

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MOVES-Stifel names new senior vice presidents

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Stifel Financial Corp said Nicholas Dukas and Jason Dukas have joined its broker-dealer unit Stifel, Nicolaus & Co Inc's private client group office as senior vice presidents of investment.

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BRIEF-Facebook's Zuckerberg says planning to take two months of paternity leave for birth of daughter- Facebook post

* Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says planning to take two months of paternity leave for birth of daughter- Facebook post Source http://bit.ly/2vPxMNP

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BRIEF-Ritter Pharma announces Phase 3 plans after end of Phase 2 meeting with FDA on RP-G28

* Ritter Pharmaceuticals announces Phase 3 plans after its end of Phase 2 meeting with FDA on RP-G28 for lactose intolerance

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BRIEF-LSC Lithium announces review of strategic alternatives

* LSC Lithium Corp - ‍In connection with review of strategic alternatives, company has retained BMO Capital Markets to act as its advisor​

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BRIEF-OneREIT obtains interim order for plan of arrangement

* Says obtained interim order from Ontario Superior Court of Justice with relation to deals with Strathallen Acquisitions, among others​

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BRIEF-Groenlandsbanken H1 pretax profit DKK 73.8 million

* H1 pretax profit 73.8 million dkk versus 47.7 million dkk year ago

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UPDATE 3-Deere shares slide as sales miss estimates

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Deere & Co reported quarterly sales below estimates and its full-year farm equipment sales forecast indicated sluggish demand for its trademark green tractors and harvesting combines in the United States, sending its shares down 9 percent.

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29 more funny women having the last laugh

These are just 30 of the women whose work has made a major influence on American comedy. For more, watch CNN's "The History of Comedy" on Thursdays at 10 pm ET/PT.

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US STOCKS-Wall St lower on growing concerns over Trump agenda

* Indexes down: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq flat (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX slides as investors shun riskier assets, gold shines

TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Friday, led lower by heavyweight bank shares, as investors worldwide fled equities to perceived safe-haven investments amid global geopolitical uncertainties.

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BRIEF-Royal Canadian Mint Q2 rev C$401.6 mln versus C$610.1 mln

* Qtrly ‍shipment of 294 million foreign coins and blanks versus 341 million​

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BRIEF-DIVERGENT Energy Services-Qtrly basic loss per share $0.01

* Qtrly revenue $2.1 million versus $2.6 million Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Chicken Soup for The Soul Entertainment Class A shares debut 8.3 pct above IPO Price at $13.00

* Chicken Soup for The Soul Entertainment Inc class A shares open at $13.00 in debut on NASDAQ vs IPO price of $12.00 per share Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-MDU Resources Group files for potential mixed shelf; size not disclosed

* MDU Resources Group Inc files for potential mixed shelf; size not disclosed - SEC filing‍​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2wnYq2P) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Ceres Global Ag provides update on Scoular litigation

* On Aug 16, the Court rendered a decision on a motion brought by Ceres for summary judgment on pending action commenced by Scoular company​

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US STOCKS-Wall St dragged down by industrial, discretionary stocks

* Indexes up: Dow 0.18 pct, S&P 0.27 pct, Nasdaq 0.13 pct (Updates to open)

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX slides at open as riskier assets shunned

TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened lower on Friday, as investors fled to safety amid global geopolitical uncertainties, with the heavily weighted financial stocks leading broad declines.

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UPDATE-BRIEF-China Rapid Finance reports Q2 loss per share of $1.93 (Aug. 17)

* China Rapid Finance reports unaudited second quarter 2017 financial results

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RPT-Despite legal victory, America Movil may face tough ride with regulator

MEXICO CITY, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Mexican mogul Carlos Slim has won a ruling weakening the impact of a landmark reform bill on his America Movil cellular operator, but that nation’s telecoms regulator could yet spoil his celebration.

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BRIEF-Shake Shack Inc says licensee to open first restaurant in Mainland China by 2019​

* Shake Shack Inc - ‍plans are now underway for co and its licensee to open first restaurant in Mainland China by 2019​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Glenview directors leave Tenet board, cite irreconcilable differences

NEW YORK, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Glenview Capital Management, Tenet Healthcare Corp's largest shareholder, is pulling its two representatives off the hospital company's board, citing "irreconcilable differences" over strategy.

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UK publisher pulls scholarly articles from China website at Beijing's request

SHANGHAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Cambridge University Press, one of Britain's most respected academic publishers, has blocked online access in China to hundreds of scholarly articles and book reviews on Chinese affairs after coming under pressure from Beijing.

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BRIEF-Benz Mining retains services of Paradox Public Relations, announces non-brokered private placement

* Benz Mining Corp retains the services of Paradox Public Relations Inc and announces non-brokered private placement

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COLUMN-Stock holdings shine light on investors' risk-averse psychology: McGeever

LONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - As Wall Street and world stocks chalk up record high after record high, anxiety about a steep correction is mounting.

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BRIEF-Meritor announces notice of partial redemption of notes due 2021

* Meritor announces notice of partial redemption of $100,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its 6.750% notes due 2021

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BRIEF-P&G files prospectus supplement related to a potential offering of floating rate notes due 2067 - SEC filing

* P&G files prospectus supplement related to a potential offering of floating rate notes due 2067 - SEC filing Source text: (http://bit.ly/2v7GKUP) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Eplus announces stock repurchase program

* Company to repurchase up to 500,000 shares of Eplus' outstanding common stock over a 12-month period commencing August 19, 2017

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BRIEF-Amtech Systems offers 1.06 mln shares at $9.50/shr

* Says public offering of 1.06 million common shares priced at $9.50 per share Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Champions Oncology to collaborate with Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute

* Champions Oncology announces research collaboration with the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute to develop unique cohort of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models

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BRIEF-Usana says plans to expand in four European countries

* Says ‍it will be expanding in four European countries beginning mid-year 2018​

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BRIEF-Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to acquire stake in Calpine Corp

* Canada Pension Plan Investment Board signs agreement to acquire stake in Calpine Corporation

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China Unicom's $12 billion ownership-reforms plan mired in confusion

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Telecoms group China Unicom's $11.7 billion ownership-reforms plan, billed as a model case for revitalizing Chinese state firms with private capital, remained under a cloud on Friday, with confusion about fundraising details persisting.

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CANADA STOCKS-Futures lower ahead of inflation data

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index futures were lower on Friday ahead of inflation data, which is expected to have edged up to 1.2 percent in July on an annualized basis.

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UPDATE 1-Estee Lauder's FY profit forecast tops Street, shares rise

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Cosmetics maker Estee Lauder Cos Inc forecast full-year profit ahead of analysts' estimates and posted higher-than-expected quarterly results, driven by strong demand for its brands such as M.A.C, Tom Ford and Smashbox.

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US STOCKS-Futures flat amid growing concerns over Trump agenda

Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, a day after the S&P posted its biggest daily percentage loss in about three months, on mounting worries about President Donald Trump's ability to legislate his pro-growth agenda.

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BRIEF-H&E Equipment Services announces pricing of senior notes offering

* H&E Equipment Services, Inc. announces pricing of senior notes offering

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BRIEF-Peabody announces that the secondary offering by certain selling stockholders has been priced

* Peabody announces that the secondary offering by certain selling stockholders has been priced

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BRIEF-Risesun Real Estate Development's unit signs strategic agreement with Alibaba-backed logistics firm

* Says unit signs strategic agreement with Alibaba-backed logistics firm on areas including internet of things, e-commerce innovation

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UPDATE 1-Group led by Energy Capital to buy Calpine Corp for $5.6 bln

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Debt-laden power producer Calpine Corp said it agreed to be acquired by a consortium of investors led by Energy Capital Partners for $5.6 billion.

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BRIEF-Jazz Pharma announces $500 mln offering of 1.50 pct exchangeable senior notes due 2024

* Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc - ‍offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 1.50% exchangeable senior notes due 2024​

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BRIEF-Magnegas reports preliminary Q2 financial results

* Magnegas reports preliminary financial results and business update for the second quarter of 2017

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BRIEF-Estée Lauder Companies declares qtrly dividend of 34 cents/shr

* The Estée Lauder Companies Inc declares quarterly dividend of $.34 per share Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Deere & Co Q3 earnings per share $1.97

* Q3 earnings per share view $1.95 -- Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

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Deere profit rises 31.3 percent

Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. farm equipment maker Deere & Co on Friday reported a 31.3 percent rise in quarterly profit, and raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts for the third time.

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German gov't not involved in Air Berlin talks - economy ministry

BERLIN, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The German government is not involved in talks on the sale of insolvent German airline Air Berlin's assets, an Economy Ministry spokesman said on Friday, adding there was also no deadline for the companies to seal a deal.

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METALS-Zinc set for biggest weekly gain since November

* LME/ShFE arb: http://tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm20 (Updates throughout, changes dateline from Sydney)

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BRIEF-Randy Simpson, Matt Ripperger resign from Tenet Healthcare Board​

* On Aug. 17, Randy Simpson, Matt Ripperger submitted letter to co's board notifying of their resignation from board​ - SEC filing

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BRIEF-Rayonier Advanced Materials enters first restatement agreement to amend and restate credit agreement

* On Aug 17 co entered first restatement agreement to amend and restate credit agreement, dated as of June 24, 2014​

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BRIEF-Howard Bancorp says deal ‍agreement contains termination rights for co, First Mariner

* Howard Bancorp says deal ‍agreement contains termination rights for co, First Mariner - SEC filing

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BRIEF-Park City Capital's Michael J. Fox owns 7.2 pct stake in Resonant Inc

* Park City Capital's Michael J. Fox says Resonant Inc may be able to achieve a better outcome for shareholders by pursuing a sale of the company - SEC filing

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UPDATE 1-India's IndiGo grounds eight planes amid reports of engine problems

* Engine issues cause groundings, flight cancellations - media

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EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging markets defy Washington woes, make weekly gains

LONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks and some currencies ended the week on a sour note as investors fretted over U.S. political turmoil on Friday, but many assets were still in line for solid weekly gains.

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CEE MARKETS-Stocks follow West lower on security and economic concerns

By Marton Dunai BUDAPEST, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Emerging European stocks fell on Friday over concern raised by attacks in Spain and U.S. economic policy while currencies trod water ahead of the release of Polish economic data. Spain mounted an anti-terrorism operation on Friday after a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, killing 13 people, in what police suspect was one of a planned wave of attacks. A slide on European stock markets set the mood for the

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Investors flee stocks for bonds, gold as U.S. tax cut hopes fade

LONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - World stocks were set for a second day of losses on Friday after an exodus of U.S. executives from presidential business councils dealt a fresh blow to hopes of tax reform, hammering Wall Street and filtering through to Asia and Europe.

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BRIEF-India's Indigo says 8 Neo planes grounded

* Eight Neo planes grounded; schedule for July, August, September planned in June Further company coverage: (Reporting by Nidhi Verma)

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UPDATE 1-Barcelona attack dents travel stocks as global sell-off spreads to Europe

* Wienerberger, Vestas Wind recover from Thursday's slump (ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon, see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)

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China confirms bird flu outbreak at quail farms in Guizhou province

BEIJING (Reuters) - China confirmed a bird flu outbreak at quail farms in the country's southwestern province of Guizhou, according to a Ministry of Agriculture statement on Friday.

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Malaysia c.bank says will act on international banks trading ringgit in Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Any international bank that has an operating license in Malaysia could face legal action if it facilitates ringgit futures trading on the Singapore Stock Exchange and the Intercontinental Exchange, Malaysia's central bank governor said on Friday.

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UPDATE 2-China to curb "irrational" overseas Belt and Road investment-state planner

* NDRC says will provide guidance to Chinese firms going abroad

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Indian airline IndiGo grounds 13 planes after engine issues - TV channels

NEW DELHI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - India's biggest airline, IndiGo, has been forced to ground 13 planes and cancel 84 flights because of issues with its Pratt and Whitney made engines on its Airbus A320 neo aircraft, Indian TV channels reported on Friday.

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Barcelona attack dents travel stocks as global sell-off spreads to Europe

LONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - European travel stocks fell sharply in early trading on Friday after a deadly attack in tourist hotspot Barcelona, with investors also increasingly concerned the Trump administration was fraying at the seams.

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UPDATE 1-Russia's TMK says stronger U.S. sales to propel H2 earnings

MOSCOW, Aug 18 (Reuters) - TMK, Russia's largest maker of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, said on Friday its first-half core earnings, or EBITDA, rose 2 percent year on year and would rise further in the second half due to stronger sales in the United States.

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UPDATE 1-Chief of Taiwan gas supplier CPC resigns after power blackout

TAIPEI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The chairman of Taiwan gas supplier CPC Corp resigned on Friday, three days after a power blackout hit businesses and homes across the island, affecting nearly seven million households.

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Nikkei hits 3-1/2 month low on strong yen; posts fifth weekly drop

* Wall Street logs losses as U.S. political woes rattle investors

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Tokyo Stock Exchange hopes new entrants can revive stagnant solar trust markets

TOKYO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The Tokyo Stock Exchange's (TSE) two-year old infrastructure market hopes to get a badly needed boost for its listed solar power trusts as two new entrants plan to start up as early as this year.

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BRIEF-Shanta Gold terminates arrangement agreement with Helio

* DELIVERED NOTICE TO HELIO RESOURCE OF ARRANGEMENT AGREEMENT TERMINATION DUE TO POTENTIAL IMPACT ON HELIO OF BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW IN TANZANIA SOURCE TEXT FOR EIKON: FURTHER COMPANY COVERAGE:

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BRIEF-Reckitt Benckiser completes sale of food business to McCormick

* COMPLETED SALE OF FOOD BUSINESS TO MCCORMICK & COMPANY, INC. FOR $4.2 BLN SOURCE TEXT FOR EIKON: FURTHER COMPANY COVERAGE:

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"What's 'smog' in Kazakh?" China language mix snags environment inspectors

BEIJING (Reuters) - With one national language often spoken poorly and thousands of regional dialects and ethnic minority tongues, China is having to employ multilingual officials as it embarks on its latest round of environment inspections across the country.

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Frankfurt and Dublin make bankers feel wanted in battle for Brexit jobs

* Wall St groups, Nomura of Japan among those choosing Frankfurt

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UPDATE 1-Former Uber CEO says investor lawsuit a 'public and personal attack'

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - The ousted chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc called a lawsuit filed against him by one of the company's top investors a "public and personal attack" without merit, according to court documents filed late on Thursday.

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UPDATE 2-China's new home price growth cools in July - statistics bureau

* Property curbs may persist longer term - developer (Adds analyst quotes, detail)

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BRIEF-Crown Point Energy reports quarterly FFO per share of $0.01

* Crown Point announces operating and financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017

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UPDATE 1-Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka resigns; co names interim chief executive

Aug 18 (Reuters) - India's No. 2 IT Services company Infosys Ltd said Vishal Sikka had resigned as managing director and chief executive of the company with immediate effect, sending shares tumbling more than 7 percent in early trading on Friday.

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China's top party school urges cadres to learn from Xi's teenage travails

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's top training school for Communist Party cadres has published a book on the experiences of President Xi Jinping during the Cultural Revolution, exhorting party members to learn from the events that drove his "unshaken pursuit of ideals".

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JGBs steady, tracking gains in Treasuries, BOJ operation

TOKYO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Japanese government bond prices were steady to a touch firmer on Friday with the market underpinned after gains by U.S. Treasuries and a regular debt-buying operation by the Bank of Japan.

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India's Infosys CEO and MD Sikka resigns

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Infosys Ltd said on Friday Vishal Sikka has resigned as managing director and chief executive of the company with immediate effect.

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Fire put out at major PetroChina refinery in Dalian

BEIJING (Reuters) - A fire that broke out on Thursday at state oil major PetroChina's plant in northeastern China, one of the country's largest refineries, has been put out with no reported casualties, state media reported.

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MOVES-JPMorgan names Deutsche banker as China investment banking vice chairperson - memo

HONG KONG, Aug 18 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co named on Friday Lan Chen as the vice chairperson of the U.S. bank's global investment banking business in China as part of its efforts to expand in that market, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

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BRIEF-SS&C Technologies says increases quarterly dividend to $0.07 per share

* SS&C increases quarterly dividend by 12 percent $0.28 per share annualized dividend

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Ex-Pemex CEO denies funneling Odebrecht bribes to Pena Nieto campaign

MEXICO CITY, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Emilio Lozoya, the former head of Mexican oil firm Pemex, on Thursday denied he was involved in shifting cash to President Enrique Pena Nieto's campaign, saying bank accounts where millions of dollars were allegedly deposited were not his.

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Nikkei dragged to 3-month low by weaker Wall St, stronger yen

* Wall Street logs losses as U.S. political woes rattle investors

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UPDATE 1-Jack Ma-backed Yunfeng leads $1.7 bln purchase of MassMutual Asia unit

* Other investors include Ant, GIC-affiliate City-Scape (Recasts with details of the deal, Yunfeng share price surge)

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UPDATE 1-U.S. digital rights group slams tech firms for barring neo-Nazis

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A digital rights group based in San Francisco on Thursday criticized several internet companies for removing neo-Nazi groups from servers and services, saying the actions were "dangerous" and threatened free expression online.

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U.S. digital rights group slams tech firms for barring neo-Nazis

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A digital rights group based in San Francisco on Thursday criticized several internet companies for removing neo-Nazi groups from servers and services, saying the actions threatened free expression online.

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Brazil to swap environmental fines for recovery works

BRASILIA, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Brazil will allow environmental transgressors to exchange millionaire fines for recovery works at a discount, the environment minister said on Thursday, in a bid to reduce litigation and raise funds for projects in times of austerity.

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China's Lenovo sinks to loss on higher costs, sluggish PC market; outlook challenging

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd posted a first-quarter loss on Friday citing higher costs and slower growth in the personal computer market, and said the outlook was challenging due to supply constraints.

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UPDATE 1-China's Lenovo sinks to loss on higher costs, sluggish PC market; outlook challenging

HONG KONG, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd posted a first-quarter loss on Friday citing higher costs and slower growth in the personal computer market, and said the outlook was challenging due to supply constraints.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Investors sell stocks, dollar on fears Trump agenda is foundering

* Markets jittery about Trump ability to fulfill growth agenda

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UPDATE 2-Alibaba beats on earnings as e-commerce remains core revenue driver

* Revenue 50.1 bln yuan, up 56 pct, vs 47.7 bln expected by analysts

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UPDATE 1-Canada's TMX asks regulators for rules for U.S.-linked pot stocks

TORONTO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Canada's TMX Group Ltd is seeking guidance from the country's securities regulators, it said on Thursday, as it weighs how to deal with marijuana companies listed in Canada with interests in the United States, where the business remains federally illegal.

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Nikkei stock index falls more than 1 pct to three-month low

TOKYO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei stock index skidded to its lowest in three months in early trade on Friday, after a selloff on Wall Street.

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UPDATE 2-Wisconsin bill giving $3 bln incentives to Foxconn advances

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Wisconsin's Republican-controlled State Assembly voted 59-30 on Thursday to approve a bill that paves the way for a $3 billion incentives package for a proposed liquid-crystal display plant by Taiwan's Foxconn.

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BRIEF-QCP starts legal process to appoint independent receiver under facilities lease

* QCP starts legal process to appoint independent receiver under facilities lease

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BRIEF-Greenspace Brands announces agreement to acquire the Cold Press Corp

* Greenspace Brands announces agreement to acquire the Cold Press Corp (CEDAR)

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BRIEF-Acceleware reports results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017

* Acceleware reports results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017

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BRIEF-LiveWorld reports second quarter financial results

* Q2 revenue $2.5 million versus $2.3 million Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-U.S. VP Pence says U.S. wants increased trade with Latin America

PANAMA CITY, Aug 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that Washington wants more trade and investment with Latin America, pushing back against perceptions in the region that the Trump administration has an isolationist agenda.

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Becton Dickinson blood tubes not linked to inaccurate lead results -FDA

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Blood collection tubes made by Becton Dickinson & Co that were used in conjunction with Magellan Diagnostics' lead-testing devices were not linked to the cause of inaccurate results of lead levels, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday.

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UPDATE 1-Car owners' lawyers accuse GM of threats in ignition switch deal

NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Lawyers for car owners suing General Motors Co over faulty ignition switches and other defects on Thursday accused the carmaker of meddling in settlement talks and having issued threats that led to the canceling of an agreement.

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Wisconsin Foxconn bill clears first legislative chamber

Aug 17 (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Assembly voted 59-30 on Thursday to approve a bill that paves the way for a $3 billion incentives package for a proposed liquid-crystal display plant by Taiwan's Foxconn.

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Canada's TMX asks regulators for rules for U.S.-linked pot stocks

TORONTO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Canada's TMX Group Ltd is seeking guidance from the country's securities regulators, it said on Thursday, as it weighs how to deal with marijuana companies listed in Canada with interests in the United States, where the business remains federally illegal.

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US STOCKS-Washington's mounting woes push S&P to biggest loss in 3 months

* Indexes down: Dow 1.2 pct, S&P 1.5 pct, Nasdaq 1.9 pct (Updates close with S&P futures opening down, valuation details)

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UPDATE 1-U.S. high-yield fund withdrawals largest since March -Lipper

(Adds details on mutual fund, ETF flows and market, analyst and investor quotes, table, byline) By Trevor Hunnicutt NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Investors recoiled during a turbulent week for markets, pulling the most cash from high-yield bond funds since March and billions more from stock funds, Lipper data for U.S.-based funds showed on Thursday. Those high-yield "junk" bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds posted $2.2 billion in withdrawals, while stock fund outflows sank t

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BRIEF-BHP says Elliott owns 5.04 pct stake in co

* Elliott Capital Advisors, L.P. acquires 5.04 percent stake in co Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Brazil to ask for WTO panel on Bombardier subsidies

BRASILIA, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Brazil will ask the World Trade Organization on Friday to set up a dispute settlement panel to rule on its complaint that Canada has hurt Brazil's commercial jet industry by subsidizing CSeries planes made by Bombardier Inc, the foreign ministry said.

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UPDATE 1-Hudson's Bay taps J.C. Penney for new CFO

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Co on Thursday named former J.C. Penney Co Inc executive Edward Record as its chief financial officer, effective Aug 28.

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BRIEF-SeaChange International names ‍william Markey chairman of board

* SeaChange International Inc - ‍William Markey has been named chairman of board and Steven Craddock has decided to retire from board​

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BRIEF-Sanchez Energy Corp announces $105 mln sale of Javelina asset

* Sanchez Energy Corporation announces $105 million sale of Javelina asset

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Ex-Venezuela parliament head loses bid to sue Dow Jones for libel

NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the former head of Venezuela's National Assembly accusing The Wall Street Journal of libeling him in an article that identified him as the target of a U.S. drug trafficking investigation.