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Continental eyes investment in solid-state batteries

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FRANKFURT, Nov 11 (Reuters) - German automotive supplier Continental is considering investing in battery production to compete with Asian and U.S. manufacturers, Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart told trade weekly Automobilwoche in an interview published on Saturday. [Source]

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UPDATE 3-Sanofi to buy U.S. haemophilia group Bioverativ for $11.6 bln

* To fund deal via cash and debt issue (Adds further CEO comments and detail)

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street futures, dollar dip after US government shutdown, Asia resilient

* South African rand shines, Turkish lira drops on Syria conflict

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UPDATE 1-Richemont offers 2.8 bln euros to buy Yoox Net-A-Porter

ZURICH, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Luxury goods maker Richemont on Monday offered up to 2.8 billion euros ($3.42 billion) to buy the shares in Yoox Net-A-Porter that it does not already own in a deal aimed at boosting the Swiss company's online presence.

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Ocado to tap into Canada's online grocery market with Sobeys tie-up

Jan 22 (Reuters) - British online grocer Ocado said it had signed an agreement with Sobeys Inc to help Canada's second largest food retailer to develop its online grocery business.

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UPDATE 1-Rio Tinto sets up new exploration office in Mongolia

MELBOURNE, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto will set up a new office in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, separate from its Oyu Tolgoi mine division, to focus on exploration and building local ties.

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Japan stocks eke out small gains as strong financials offset resources-related stocks

TOKYO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks eked out small gains on Monday, with strength in securities and insurers offsetting falls in resources-related sectors including trading houses, steelmakers and shippers.

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Sanofi confirms deal to buy Bioverativ for $11.6 bln

PARIS, Jan 22 (Reuters) - French healthcare group Sanofi has agreed to buy U.S. peer Bioverativ for $11.6 billion, in a deal which Sanofi said would boost its earnings and strengthen its presence in the field of treatment for rare diseases.

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U.S. soy cargo to China traded using blockchain

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - A cargo of U.S. soybeans shipped to China has become the first fully-fledged agricultural trade conducted using blockchain, participants said on Monday.

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U.S. government workers awake to shutdown, Senate vote looms

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of federal workers will wake up on Monday with the U.S. government still shut down and the Senate expected to try again to restore federal funding, if only temporarily, and work on resolving a dispute over immigration.

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UPDATE 2-Icahn, Deason to jointly push Xerox to explore selling itself, other options-WSJ

* Icahn, Deason earlier separately called for change at Xerox

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Anxiety for U.S. federal workers facing government shutdown furloughs

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Thousands of federal workers faced anxiety about the status of their jobs and paychecks after U.S. Senate leaders failed to reach agreement to end a federal government shutdown before the work week begins on Monday.

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UPDATE 10-Government still shut down on Monday as U.S. Senate fails to clinch deal

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. government shutdown will enter its third day on Monday as Senate negotiators failed to reach agreement late on Sunday to restore federal spending authority and deal with demands from Democrats that young "Dreamers" be protected from deportation.

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UPDATE 2-Wal-Mart shops Brazil unit stake to Advent, other funds -sources

SAO PAULO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is in talks with buyout firm Advent International Corp and other funds to sell a major stake in its Brazilian operations, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.

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Billionaire Gupta looks to make electric cars in Australia

MELBOURNE, Jan 22 (Reuters) - British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta is set to bid for industrial assets at General Motors Co's former Holden manufacturing site in South Australia, according to the state's treasurer, aiming to use the equipment to build electric vehicles.

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UPDATE 4-'Three Billboards' biggest winner at female-flavored SAG awards

* Color returns to red carpet (Adds quotes, other awards, background, paragraphs 11-22)

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BRIEF-Enerkem And Sinobioway Group Sign A C$125 Mln Agreement

* ENERKEM AND SINOBIOWAY GROUP SIGN A C$125M AGREEMENT TO ACCELERATE ENERKEM'S GLOBAL EXPANSION AND CREATE A JOINT VENTURE TO BUILD OVER 100 BIOFUEL FACILITIES IN CHINA Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: ( Bangalore.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com )

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UPDATE 3-'Three Billboards' wins top prize at Screen Actors Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Dark comedy "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" won the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Sunday in a ceremony marked by speeches about female empowerment in the face of a sexual misconduct scandal that has swept Hollywood.

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UPDATE 1-Toshiba considering IPO for memory chip unit - FT

* Toshiba no longer faces as much pressure to complete chip deal

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Japanese retail investors pull out of bear fund as Nikkei hits 26-year peak

* In the past, inflows to inverse ETF rose when Nikkei gained

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Nikkei dips on U.S. govt shutdown, resource-related stocks worst hit

TOKYO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average inched lower on Monday, with resource-related sectors including trading houses, steelmakers and shippers leading the losses as the U.S. government shutdown hurt risk appetite globally.

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UPDATE 9-U.S. government to remain closed on Monday as Senate still short of deal

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. government shutdown will enter its third day on Monday as Senate negotiators failed to reach a deal late on Sunday on Democrats' demand for legislation protecting "Dreamers," young people brought to the country illegally as children.

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U.S. Senate sets noon Monday vote after it is unable to reach deal to open government

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate scheduled a vote for Monday at noon (1700 GMT) on a stopgap spending measure, canceling a planned vote for Monday at 1 a.m. (0600 GMT), ensuring that the federal government will remain closed when the work week begins.

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UPDATE 2-Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell among early winners at SAG awards

LOS ANGELES, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell won early honors at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Sunday in a ceremony that showcased women and their stories amid a sexual misconduct scandal sweeping the United States.

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UPDATE 1-Sanofi set to buy Bioverativ for more than $11.5 bln - WSJ

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Sanofi SA is close to a deal to take over U.S. drug maker Bioverativ Inc for more than $11.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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UPDATE 8-Senators race to end U.S. government shutdown before work week begins

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic senators raced on Sunday to try to break an impasse and hammer out a deal that would end a two-day-old U.S. government shutdown before the start of the work week.

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Sanofi near deal to buy Bioverativ for more than $11.5 bln -WSJ

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Sanofi SA is said to be near a deal to buy drug maker Bioverativ Inc for more than $11.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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BRIEF-Sanofi nears deal to buy Hemophilia drugmaker Bioverativ for over $11.5 bln - WSJ

* SANOFI NEARS DEAL TO BUY HEMOPHILIA DRUGMAKER BIOVERATIV FOR MORE THAN $11.5 BILLION - WSJ, CITING SOURCES‍​ Source: http://on.wsj.com/2mYJulp Further company coverage:,

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Toshiba considering IPO for memory chip unit: FT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is considering an IPO of its prized memory chip business if an agreed $18 billion sale of the unit to Bain Capital fails to gain antitrust approval by the end of March, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

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Toshiba considering IPO for memory chip unit - FT

TOKYO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is considering an IPO of its prized memory chip business if an agreed $18 billion sale of the unit to Bain Capital fails to gain antitrust approval by the end of March, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

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U.S. Commerce Dept sends Trump aluminum probe findings -officials

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department has sent President Donald Trump the results of its national security probe into aluminum imports, Trump administration officials said on Sunday, while declining to disclose details.

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UPDATE 7-Senators race to end U.S. government shutdown before work week begins

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republican and Democratic leaders met on Sunday amid a flurry of congressional negotiations aimed at breaking an impasse that has kept the U.S. government shut down for two days, but it was unclear if a deal could be struck to reopen federal agencies by the start of the work week.

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PRECIOUS-Gold up on safe haven buying after U.S. govt shutdown

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Monday amid a softer dollar as investors sought safe haven assets after the U.S. government shutdown due to a funding impasse. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,334.10 an ounce by 0046 GMT. * Spot gold fell 0.5 percent last week, its first weekly decline in six weeks. * U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,333.80. * The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, dollar sag after US government shutdown

* South African rand shines, Turkish lira drops on Syria conflict

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UPDATE 1-Icahn, Deason call on Xerox to explore options, including sale -WSJ

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Hedge fund investor Carl Icahn and another major owner of Xerox Corp stock, Darwin Deason, are pushing the digital print technology provider to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

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UPDATE 1-Australian short-seller target Quintis appoints administrators

* Shares not traded since May (Adds Glaucus comments and short-selling details)

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UPDATE 1-U.S. stock index futures dip after government shutdown continues

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Stock investors gave a muted reaction to the second day of a U.S. government shutdown on Sunday, with U.S. stock index futures dipping only slightly on expectations that the political impasse will not hurt the U.S. economy.

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UPDATE 1-Color back on red carpet ahead of Screen Actors Guild awards

LOS ANGELES, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Color returned to the red carpet on Sunday for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award on a night expected to celebrate female empowerment in the midst of the sexual misconduct scandal sweeping the United States.

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Icahn, Deason call on Xerox to explore options, including sale -WSJ

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Hedge fund investor Carl Icahn and another major owner of Xerox Corp stock, Darwin Deason, are pushing the digital print technology provider to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

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Merkel readies for intense German coalition talks after tight SPD vote

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives start preparing for formal coalition talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) on Monday, wasting no time after the center-left party narrowly voted to go ahead following months of political deadlock.

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BRIEF-Carl Icahn And Darwin Deason push for Xerox to explore sale - WSJ‍​

* CARL ICAHN AND DARWIN DEASON PUSH FOR XEROX TO EXPLORE SALE - WSJ, CITING SOURCES‍​ Source: http://on.wsj.com/2EYCRHd Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Wal-Mart shops Brazil unit stake to Advent, other funds -sources

SAO PAULO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is in talks with buyout firm Advent International Corp and other funds to sell a major stake in its Brazilian operations, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.

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Rio Tinto sets up new exploration office in Mongolia

MELBOURNE, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto will set up a new office in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, separate from its Oyu Tolgoi mine division, to focus on exploration and building local ties.

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UPDATE 1-U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global has invested more than $1 bln in Barclays -FT

Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management has invested more than $1 billion in Britain's Barclays Plc , the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

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U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global has invested more than $1 bln in Barclays - FT

Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management has invested more than $1 billion in Britain's Barclays Plc , the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

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Advent in talks to buy 50 pct of Wal-Mart's Brazilian unit -report

SAO PAULO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Advent is in talks to buy 50 percent of Wal-Mart Stores Inc's operations in Brazil, according to a report in Brazil's O Globo newspaper on Sunday.

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UPDATE 1-Wall St Week Ahead-Where Netflix goes, Big Tech may follow

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's quarterly results on Monday may offer an advanced preview of whether Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and other heavyweights behind much of the U.S. stock market's record-breaking rally can keep delivering.

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Wall St Week Ahead-Where Netflix goes, Big Tech may follow, despite U.S. government shutdown

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's quarterly results on Monday may offer a preview of whether Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and other heavyweights behind much of the U.S. stock market's record-breaking rally can keep delivering.

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German SPD backs coalition talks, leader vows tough approach

BONN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) voted on Sunday to begin formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, moving Europe's economic powerhouse closer to a stable government after months of political deadlock.

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German SPD votes for coalition talks with Merkel

BONN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) voted on Sunday to begin formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, moving Europe's economic powerhouse one step closer to a stable government after months of political deadlock.

Politics and Government nytimes.com

Angela Merkel Inches Closer to Germany Coalition Government

The Social Democrats will enter formal talks with the chancellor’s Christian Democrats, but the party’s grass roots would have to approve a final deal.

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German SPD votes to pursue coalition talks with Merkel

BONN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) voted on Sunday to begin formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, moving Europe's economic powerhouse one step closer to a stable government after months of political uncertainty.

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After overnight battle at Kabul Intercontinental, casualties still not known

KABUL (Reuters) - Gunmen in army uniforms who stormed Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday and battled Afghan Special Forces for 13 hours overnight caused heavy casualties among hotel guests and staff, with the total number of dead and wounded still not known.

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German SPD leader urges party to back coalition talks with Merkel

BONN (Reuters) - Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz appealed to his divided party on Sunday to back formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, a move that would bring Germany a step closer to a stable government.

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British PM May says will stop companies abusing pension schemes

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would clamp down on bosses who try to "line their own pockets" while not protecting workers' pensions, after the collapse of outsourcer Carillion with a 900-million-pound hole in its pension scheme.

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German SPD leader implores party to back coalition talks with Merkel

BONN (Reuters) - Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz made an impassioned appeal to his party on Sunday to give the go-ahead for formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, a move that would bring Germany a step closer to a stable government.

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Gunmen attack Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) - Gunmen dressed in army uniforms who stormed Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel battled Afghan Special Forces for 13 hours in an overnight siege that caused heavy casualties among hotel guests, officials and witnesses said on Sunday.

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Merkel, Macron to deepen Franco-German cooperation, strengthen EU

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday they wanted to deepen Franco-German cooperation and give the European Union a fresh push towards closer integration.

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Germany faces risks, higher costs without focus on green finance: report

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany faces growing risks and high costs if it does not revamp its financial system to focus more on climate change and sustainability, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund and finance groups including Deutsche Boerse .

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At least five dead in attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel

KABUL (Reuters) - Gunmen dressed in army uniforms who stormed Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel battled Afghan Special Forces for 13 hours in an overnight siege that left at least five people dead, officials and witnesses said on Sunday.

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Europe readies riposte to Trump's "America First" push in Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 21 (Reuters) - European leaders will be out in force at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to defend multilateralism before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his "America First" message.

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Kabul Intercontinental Hotel siege ends, all gunmen killed: government

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan Special Forces ended an overnight siege at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday, killing the last surviving attacker, said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.

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REFILE-SoFi in talks with top Twitter exec about CEO position-WSJ

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Social Finance Inc (SoFi) is in discussions with Anthony Noto, a top Twitter Inc executive, to become the online lender's chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing sources.

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U.S. Army helicopter crash in California kills 2 soldiers -official

Jan 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter crashed early Saturday morning in California, killing two soldiers, a spokesman for the Army said.

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SoFi in talks with top Twitter exec about CEO position-WSJ

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Social Finance Inc (SoFi) is in discussions with Anthony Noto, a top Twitter Inc executive, to become the online lender's chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing sources.

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Germany's SPD to vote on coalition talks with Merkel's conservatives

BONN (Reuters) - Germany's center-left Social Democrats (SPD) will decide on Sunday whether to start formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, a move which would bring Europe's economic powerhouse one step closer to a stable government.

Afghanistan War (2001- ) nytimes.com

In Kabul, Gunmen Storm Intercontinental Hotel

Two or three armed insurgents, amid an explosion and fire, entered the largest hotel in the Afghanistan capital, according to government officials.

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Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, take hostages, deaths reported

KABUL (Reuters) - A group of as many as four gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday night, seizing hostages and exchanging gunfire with security forces as the building caught fire and residents and staff fled.

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Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, take hostages

KABUL (Reuters) - A group of as many as four gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday night, seizing hostages and exchanging fire with security forces as the building caught fire and residents and staff fled.

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Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel

KABUL (Reuters) - A group of as many as four gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul and were exchanging fire with security forces on Saturday as residents and staff fled.

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UPDATE 3- South Africa's ANC to force Zuma to quit as president -reports

* Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza named Eskom's chair (Adds new details on Eskom board, Ramaphosa quote)

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Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel: Afghan official

KABUL (Reuters) - A group of three or four gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday and were exchanging fire with security forces, an interior ministry spokesman said.

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UPDATE 6-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge-source

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, according to a person familiar with the approach, which could set up a bidding war with Swiss-based rival Glencore Plc.

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Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel - Afghan official

KABUL, Jan 20 (Reuters) - A group of three or four gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday and were exchanging fire with security forces, an interior ministry spokesman said.

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South Africa names Jabu Mabuza as Eskom chairman in board shake-up 

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 20 (Reuters) - South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a new board at state-owned power utility Eskom and named Telkom's chairman Jabu Mabuza as its new chairman, the country's presidency said on Saturday.

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Germany weighs new sanctions against Iran: report

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is lobbying among European allies to agree new sanctions against Iran in an attempt to prevent U.S. President Donald Trump from terminating an international deal curbing Tehran's nuclear program, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.

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German SPD leaders upbeat as biggest branch backs coalition talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - Senior members of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) said on Saturday they were confident the party would approve the start of formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives at a special congress.

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India's ONGC to buy majority stake in refiner HPCL for $5.78 bln

NEW DELHI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - India's biggest explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has agreed to buy the government's majority stake in state-refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp for 369 billion rupees ($5.78 billion), ONGC said on Saturday.

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Alpine Skiing: Germany's Dressen snatches surprise Kitzbuehel win

KITZBUEHEL, Austria (Reuters) - Germany's Thomas Dressen tamed the dangerous Streif course to snatch a surprise victory in the men's downhill on Saturday and beat specialist Beat Feuz and Aksel Lund Svindal.

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Schaeffler CEO says splitting company would be unwise -paper

FRANKFURT, Jan 20 (Reuters) - German car parts maker Schaeffler sees no merit in splitting the company, contrasting with peers such as Continental, Delphi or Autoliv, which have spun off units or are considering doing so.

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UPDATE 1-Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during U.S. elections

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc, which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service.

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UPDATE 5-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge -WSJ

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grains merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, a move that could set up a battle for Bunge with Swiss-based rival Glencore Plc.

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BRIEF-Blackstone / GSO Senior Floating Rate Term Fund Announces Preliminary Filing For Rights Offering

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Blackstone / GSO Senior Floating Rate Term Fund:

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 4-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge -WSJ

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grains merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, a move that could set up a battle for Bunge with Switzerland-based rival Glencore Plc.

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CORRECTED-Archer Daniels has made takeover approach to Bunge - WSJ

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland Co made a takeover approach to rival Bunge Ltd , the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. http://on.wsj.com/2mSY8L0

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Vista Equity explores options for PowerSchool, PeopleAdmin-sources

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners Management LLC is exploring options for two software companies it owns, PowerSchool and PeopleAdmin, that could involve combining them in a deal worth between $2 billion to $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

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BRIEF-Core Gold Provides Update

* CORE GOLD PROVIDES UPDATE ON ELIPE S.A RESTORATION TO CORPORATE GOOD STANDING AND INVESTA BANK S.A. $15,000,000 DEBT FACILITY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Alaska oil producers focus on efficiencies, not $70 oil

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The rebound in the price of crude oil in recent months that has helped producers will be temporary, and the industry must prepare for competition from energy sources elsewhere, the head of the Alaska operations of BP Plc said at an industry conference on Friday.

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UPDATE 3-Facebook to prioritize 'trustworthy' news based on surveys

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will prioritize "trustworthy" news in its feed of social media posts, using member surveys to identify high-quality outlets and fight sensationalism and misinformation, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Willis Lease Says It Gave All Non-Executive Employees One-Time Bonus Of $1,000

* WILLIS LEASE FINANCE GIVES EMPLOYEE BONUS DRIVEN BY NEW TAX LAWS

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UPDATE 1-Ohio again asks U.S. regulators to stop drilling on Rover natgas pipe

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Ohio environmental regulators on Friday asked federal energy regulators to order Energy Transfer Partners LP to cease drilling operations on the Rover natural gas pipeline under the Tuscarawas River over concern about the potential for a spill.

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UPDATE 4-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge -WSJ

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grains merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, a move that could set up a battle for Bunge with London-based rival Glencore Plc.

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Rent-A-Center, Vintage Capital sign standstill deal amid buyout talks

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Buyout firm Vintage Capital Management LLC has agreed not to raise its stake in its acquisition target Rent-A-Center Inc or seek to gain control of its board as they talk about a potential deal, the furniture retailer said on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-New Jersey governor calls for audit of state's tax incentive program

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - New Jersey's new governor, Phil Murphy, signed an executive order on Friday calling for an evaluation of the state's corporate tax break programs by the comptroller's office before year-end.

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U.S government shutdown would increase Pentagon's weapons costs

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - A U.S. government shutdown will stall new defense department contracts and ultimately increase the costs of weapons, creating even more budgetary headaches as lawmakers grapple with a government funding crisis.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks hold near all-time highs; Argentina stocks fall

(Updates prices) By Bruno Federowski BRASILIA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks hovered near all-time highs on Friday as optimism over the country's economic prospects sustained demand for local assets, while hopes of a tie-up with Boeing Co boosted shares of Embraer SA . The benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.32 percent, hitting an intraday record of 81,429. The bourse was supported by blue chips such as lenders Banco Bradesco SA and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA. Emerging mark

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UPDATE 1-Weaker dollar adds to optimism over U.S. earnings

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The dollar's drop to three-year lows this week after prolonged weakness in 2017 is expected to further boost profits at big U.S. companies when investor optimism is already high over corporate tax cuts.

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Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during U.S. elections

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc, which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service.

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UPDATE 1-Dixons Carphone CEO James quits for job at Boots

LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Dixons Carphone has quit Britain's largest electricals and mobile phone retailer to run the Boots chain in the country, Dixons said on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-Parent company of 7-Eleven agrees to divest some U.S. stores in Sunoco deal

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd , the Tokyo-based parent company of the 7-Eleven network of stores, agreed to sell and divest some of its stores in its proposed $3.3 billion acquisition of 1,100 Sunoco LP outlets, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Friday.

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Germany, Denmark move closer to Euro handball semis

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Holders Germany took a stride toward the European handball championship semi-finals with a rugged 22-19 win over the Czech Republic while Olympic champions Denmark followed in their footsteps after a 31-28 victory against Slovenia on Friday.

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BRIEF-Value Line ‍Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend Of $0.18/SHR

* VALUE LINE ‍ANNOUNCES QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND OF $0.18 PER COMMON SHARE , A SPECIAL DIVIDEND OF $0.20 PER SHARE AND REAFFIRMS SHARE BUYBACK PROGRAM​ Source text - http://bit.ly/2DUq0Xn Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Wintrust Raises Minium Wage Due To Tax Reform Legislation​

* WINTRUST FINANCIAL - DUE TO TAX REFORM LEGISLATION, CO TO RAISE MINIMUM WAGE PAID TO ELIGIBLE NON-COMMISSIONED HOURLY EMPLOYEES TO $15 PER HOUR​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Helios And Matheson Analytics Says Co And Moviepass Entered Into Amendment No. 1 To Voting Agreement

* HELIOS AND MATHESON ANALYTICS - ON JAN 16, CO AND MOVIEPASS INC ENTERED INTO AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO VOTING AGREEMENT-SEC FILING

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BRIEF-Activision Blizzard Expands Size Of Board To Ten Members​

* ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SAYS ON JAN 12 BOARD ELECTED A NEW MEMBER, EXPANDING SIZE OF BOARD TO TEN MEMBERS​ - SEC FILING Source text -http://bit.ly/2FYMXcv Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 2-U.S. approves possible sale of F-35 jets to Belgium for $6.5 bln

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Friday said it has approved the possible sale of 34 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 jets to Belgium for $6.53 billion, a potential new customer for the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor's most important product.

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BRIEF-South Jersey Industries To Postpone Investor Day Presentation

* SOUTH JERSEY INDUSTRIES: SJI TO POSTPONE INVESTOR DAY PRESENTATION

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UPDATE 1-McDonald's 'joint employment' trial delayed amid settlement talks

Jan 19 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp and a U.S. labor board are in talks to settle a case claiming the fast food company is liable for purported labor law violations by its franchisees, leading a judge on Friday to pause a trial that began in 2015.

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BRIEF-Viacom CEO Robert Bakish's 2017 Total Compensation Was $20.3 Mln

* VIACOM INC - CEO ROBERT M. BAKISH 'S 2017 TOTAL COMPENSATION WAS $20.3 MILLION - SEC FILING‍​

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BRIEF-Whirlpool ‍Estimates One-Time, Non-Cash Charge Of About $425 Mln In Q4

* WHIRLPOOL - ‍ESTIMATES WILL RECORD U.S. GAAP ONE-TIME, NON-CASH CHARGE OF ABOUT $425 MILLION TO TAX EXPENSE IN Q4 DUE TO TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2rli3aR) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Vintage Capital, Rent-A-Center Enter Into Confidentiality And Non-Disclosure Agreement

* VINTAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT - ON JAN 17, VINTAGE CAPITAL AND RENT-A-CENTER ENTERED INTO CONFIDENTIALITY AND NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

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UPDATE 7-Oil prices fall as rally falters on growing U.S. output concerns

* U.S. crude output expected to break through 10 mln bpd -IEA

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BRIEF-ModusLink Global Solutions Adopts Tax Benefits Preservation Plan

* MODUSLINK GLOBAL SOLUTIONS ADOPTS TAX BENEFITS PRESERVATION PLAN

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BRIEF-Lennar Announces Commencement Of Exchange Offers

* LENNAR ANNOUNCES COMMENCEMENT OF EXCHANGE OFFERS AND CONSENT SOLICITATIONS FOR CALATLANTIC NOTES

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BRIEF-Horizon Bancorp Files For Potential Mixed ‍​Shelf Offering Of Up To $60 Mln

* HORIZON BANCORP - FILES FOR POTENTIAL MIXED ‍​SHELF OFFERING OF UP TO $60 MILLION - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2DlbKpa) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Scotts Miracle-Gro Adopts Resolution to Reduce Board Size From 11 To 10 Members​

* SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO- ON JAN. 19, BOARD ADOPTED RESOLUTION PURSUANT TO CODE OF REGULATIONS OF CO TO REDUCE SIZE OF BOARD FROM 11 TO 10 MEMBERS​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2rolu0s) Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Archer Daniels has made takeover approach to Bunge - WSJ

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland Co made a takeover approach to rival Bunge Ltd , the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. http://on.wsj.com/2mSY8L0

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BRIEF-‍Dixons Carphone says Alex Baldock To Succeed Sebastian James As CEO

* ‍DIXONS CARPHONE PLC ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF ALEX BALDOCK AS GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE FROM APRIL 2018​

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BRIEF-Core Molding And Subsidiary Entered Into Amended And Restated Credit Agreement - SEC Filing​

* CORE MOLDING TECHNOLOGIES INC - ‍ON JANUARY 16, 2018, COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY ENTERED INTO AN AMENDED AND RESTATED CREDIT AGREEMENT - SEC FILING​

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UPDATE 1-Facebook to prioritize 'trustworthy' news sources

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will begin to prioritize "trustworthy" news outlets on its stream of social media posts as it works to combat "sensationalism" and "misinformation," Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Hugoton Royalty Trust Declares No January Cash Distribution

* HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST DECLARES NO JANUARY CASH DISTRIBUTION AND GIVES NOTICE OF TENTATIVE XTO SETTLEMENT AMOUNT

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UPDATE 5-Schlumberger profit beats, sees stronger year for oil sector

HOUSTON Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger on Friday posted a fourth quarter loss on charges but beat Wall Street forecasts and gave an upbeat outlook, predicting its international operations would grow in 2018 for the first time in four years.

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BRIEF-J Crew Group says ‍On Jan. 16, Board Appointed Seth Farbman To Board Of Co

* J CREW GROUP INC - ‍ON JAN, 16, , BOARD OF CO APPOINTED SETH FARBMAN TO BOARD OF COMPANY, WHICH INCREASED SIZE OF BOARD TO TEN MEMBERS - SEC FILING​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Canadian cannabis firm Aurora in talks to buy both CanniMed and Newstrike -sources

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis Inc is in talks with rivals CanniMed Therapeutics Inc and Newstrike Resources Ltd to acquire both companies in a friendly deal, people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Friday.

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Ohio again asks U.S. regulators to stop drilling on Rover natgas pipe

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Ohio environmental regulators on Friday asked federal energy regulators to order Energy Transfer Partners LP to cease drilling operations on the Rover natural gas pipeline under the Tuscarawas River over concern about the potential for a spill.

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UPDATE 1-Delta Air to tighten rules for onboard service animals

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines is tightening the requirements for passengers traveling with onboard service and emotional support animals, the carrier said on Friday, following a sharp uptick in pet-related safety issues in recent years.

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US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq hit records, Dow muted as govt shutdown looms

* Dow up 0.03 pct, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct (Updates to late afternoon, changes byline, adds dateline NEW YORK)

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Weaker dollar adds to optimism over U.S. earnings

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The dollar's drop to three-year lows this week after prolonged weakness in 2017 is expected to further boost profits at big U.S. companies when investor optimism is already high over corporate tax cuts.

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BRIEF-Verint Systems Says Reaffirming Non-GAAP Outlook For Year Ending Jan 31

* VERINT SYSTEMS - INTEND TO REAFFIRM, AND HEREBY REAFFIRMING, NON-GAAP OUTLOOK FOR YEAR ENDING JAN 31, 2018 ON CALL WITH EXISTING, POTENTIAL LENDERS Source text: (http://bit.ly/2DRS6Ct) Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 806 749 1136)

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BRIEF-Exxonmobil To Change Presentation Of Some Line Items‍​ In Upcoming Earnings

* EXXONMOBIL - WISHES TO NOTIFY INVESTORS THAT UPCOMING EARNINGS REPORT WILL REFLECT A CHANGE IN THE FORM OF PRESENTATION OF CERTAIN LINE ITEMS‍​

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BRIEF-Southern Company Sets Regular Quarterly Dividend Of $0.58/Shr

* SOUTHERN CO ANNOUNCES ‍REGULAR QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF 58 CENTS PER SHARE ON COMPANY'S COMMON STOCK​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for 2nd week in three -Baker Hughes

(Adds Permian rigs and production) By Scott DiSavino Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. energy companies this week cut oil rigs for the second time in three weeks even though crude prices traded near their highest level since 2014. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Jan. 19, bringing the total count down to 747, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The U.S. rig count, an early indicat

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BRIEF-Kroger Declares Quarterly Dividend of 12.5¢ Per Share

* KROGER CO - ‍DECLARED A QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF 12.5¢ PER SHARE TO BE PAID ON MARCH 1, 2018​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-South Jersey Industries Issues Medium Term Notes Of $50 Million

* SOUTH JERSEY INDUSTRIES INC - ‍ON JANUARY 16, 2018, CO ISSUED AN AGGREGATE OF $50 MILLION AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF MEDIUM TERM NOTES - SEC FILING​

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Synchrony Financial reports results for the quarter ended December 31 - summary

Jan 19 (Reuters) - * Synchrony Financial posted quarterly adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share. The mean expectation of 20 analysts for the quarter ended December 31 was for earnings of 63 cents per share. * Revenue rose 7.94 percent to $3.92 billion from a year ago; analysts expected $3.96 billion. * Synchrony Financial's Reported EPS for the quarter was 49 cents. * The mean earnings estimate of analysts had risen by about 9.4 percent in the last three months. * In the last 30 days twelve

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BRIEF-The City of Vancouver Partners With Shaw Communications To Expand Public’S Access To Free Wi-Fi

* CITY PARTNERS WITH SHAW TO EXPAND PUBLIC’S ACCESS TO FREE WI-FI Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Kansas City Southern reports results for the quarter ended December 31 - summary

Jan 19 (Reuters) - * Kansas City Southern posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $1.38 per share. The mean expectation of 18 analysts for the quarter ended December 31 was for earnings of $1.37 per share. * Revenue rose 10.34 percent to $660.40 million from a year ago; analysts expected $656.28 million. * Kansas City Southern's Reported EPS for the quarter was $5.33. * The mean earnings estimate of analysts had risen by about 0.6 percent in the last three months. * In the last 30 days six analys

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Biotest sheds U.S. business to allay U.S. concerns of Chinese takeover

FRANKFURT, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Biotest said on Friday that it has sold its U.S. operations, allaying national security concerns by U.S. authorities and paving the way for the German company's sale to a Chinese investor.

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BRIEF-Visionstate Announces Increase To Private Placement

* VISIONSTATE CORP - ‍PRIVATE PLACEMENT WILL NOW CONSIST OF UP TO 20 MILLION UNITS AT A PRICE OF $0.05 PER UNIT​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Regions Financial Corp reports results for the quarter ended December 31 - summary

Jan 19 (Reuters) - * Regions Financial Corp posted quarterly adjusted earnings of 36 cents per share. The mean expectation of 27 analysts for the quarter ended December 31 was for earnings of 26 cents per share. * Revenue rose 11.91 percent to $1.49 billion from a year ago; analysts expected $1.44 billion. * Regions Financial Corp's Reported EPS for the quarter was 27 cents. * The mean earnings estimate of analysts had risen by about 0.1 percent in the last three months. * In the last 30 days s

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BRIEF-Citizens First Corp Reports Q4 EPS $0.37

* ORATION ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR END 2017 RESULTS, DECLARES QUARTERLY COMMON DIVIDEND

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MOVES-Stifel hires Greg Greenberg from Wells Fargo Advisors

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Stifel Financial Corp said Greg Greenberg has joined its broker-dealer unit, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co Inc's private client group in Overland Park, Kansas.

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UK Takeover Panel extends deadline for IWG bidding

Jan 19 (Reuters) - The UK's Takeover Panel has extended the deadline for a consortium of companies to make an offer for British office firm IWG Plc until 1700 GMT on Feb. 2.

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BRIEF-Kawasaki Heavy Industries Appears Likely To Receive Orders To Build Cars For New York City's Subways - Nikkei

* KAWASAKI HEAVY INDUSTRIES APPEARS LIKELY TO RECEIVE ORDERS TO BUILD ABOUT 1,600 CARS FOR NEW YORK CITY'S SUBWAYS - NIKKEI

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Arkansas restricts controversial Monsanto, BASF farm chemical

CHICAGO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - In a blow to manufacturers Monsanto Co and BASF SE, Arkansas state lawmakers voted on Friday to bar sprayings of a controversial weed killer after mid-April to protect farmers from potential crop damage.

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Vegetarian's lawsuit over beef tallow at Buffalo Wild Wings is dismissed

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit by a New York vegetarian who accused Buffalo Wild Wings Inc of failing to disclose that it cooked french fries and other "non-meat" items in beef fat.

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Brazil refined oil products output dipped in 2017 -ANP

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian production of refined oil products slid 4.5 percent last year to 665.721 million barrels compared with 2016, oil regulator ANP said on Friday, as output of both diesel and gasoline dipped.

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BRIEF-Tahoe Clarifies On Reports Regarding Shahuindo Mine

* TAHOE RESOURCES - ‍AGENCY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL IS CONDUCTING A NORMAL COURSE INVESTIGATION TO VERIFY THERE IS NO CONTAMINATION​

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BRIEF-Stadium Capital Management LLC Reports 5.9 Percent Passive Stake In Civitas Solutions

* STADIUM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC REPORTS 5.9 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN CIVITAS SOLUTIONS INC AS OF JAN 9 - SEC FILING Source text : http://bit.ly/2rq0Z3D Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS-S&P lifted by consumer stocks, IBM weighs on Dow

* Dow off 0.21 pct, S&P up 0.16 pct, Nasdaq up 0.34 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

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BRIEF-National Access Cannabis Announces Private Placement Financing

* NATIONAL ACCESS CANNABIS ANNOUNCES PRIVATE PLACEMENT FINANCING

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UPDATE 4-Schlumberger profit beats, predicts strong 2018 for shale

HOUSTON Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger on Friday posted a fourth quarter loss on charges but beat Wall Street forecasts and offered an upbeat outlook that included the first growth in its struggling international operations in four years.

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BRIEF-American National Bankshares Announces Stock Repurchase Plan Of Up To 300,000 Shares

* AMERICAN NATIONAL BANKSHARES INC. ANNOUNCES A STOCK REPURCHASE PLAN

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BRIEF-Allied Motion Acquires Equipment Steering Business From Maval Industries

* ALLIED MOTION ACQUIRES ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT STEERING BUSINESS FROM MAVAL INDUSTRIES

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BRIEF-Peat Resources Signs Agreement To Acquire Belair African Metals Sarl

* PEAT RESOURCES LIMITED SIGNS DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE BELAIR AFRICAN METALS SARL

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Possible U.S. shutdown won't affect U.S.'s AAA-rating - Fitch

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings said on Friday its top AAA debt rating for the United States would not be directly impacted by a possible federal shutdown, which will begin on Saturday if lawmakers fail to clinch a deal to fund the government.

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UPDATE 3-NAFTA future clouds Kansas City Southern earnings beat

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Kansas City Southern, a U.S. railroad with extensive operations in Mexico, sought to ease investor fears on Friday over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, touting forecasts of solid freight volumes and a stronger economy in 2018.

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BRIEF-Airbus in talks with British Airways on new A380s sale - Bloomberg

* AIRBUS IS IN TALKS WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS ON NEW A380S SALE - BLOOMBERG CITING SOURCES Source: https://bloom.bg/2DrF9SX Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS-Gains in consumer stocks prop up S&P, Nasdaq

* Dow off 0.15 pct, S&P 0.09 pct, Nasdaq 0.12 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

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UPDATE 3-Schlumberger profit beats, predicts strong 2018 for shale

HOUSTON Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger on Friday posted a large fourth quarter loss on charges but beat Wall Street forecasts and offered an upbeat outlook that included the first growth in its struggling international operations in four years.

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UPDATE 3-Lowe's nominates directors after 'constructive' talks with D.E. Shaw

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc said it has nominated two independent board members and plans to add a third following "constructive" talks with hedge fund D.E. Shaw Group, which has taken an activist stake, sending shares up 3 percent on Friday.

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BRIEF-Bank Of Commerce Holdings Reports Quarterly EPS $0.00

* BANK OF COMMERCE HOLDINGS - QTRLY NET INTEREST INCOME $10.9 MILLION VERSUS $9.4 MILLION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Equities climb amid shutdown threat, Treasury yields hit 3-year high

* Worries over possible U.S. government shutdown weigh on dollar

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BRIEF-Betteru Education Announces Private Placement

* BETTERU EDUCATION - ANNOUNCE A NON-BROKERED PRIVATE PLACEMENT TO RAISE UP TO MAXIMUM OF $1 MILLION OR 2.2 MILLION UNITS AT DEEMED PRICE OF $0.46 PER UNIT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 3-Sterling falls after weak retail sales numbers dent optimism

* Sterling has in January hit several post-Brexit vote highs (Adds details, updates prices)

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BRIEF-Cinedigm Announces Strategic Alliance With Starrise Media

* CINEDIGM ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH LEADING CHINESE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY STARRISE MEDIA TO RELEASE FILMS IN CHINA AND NORTH AMERICA

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UPDATE 2-NAFTA future clouds Kansas City Southern earnings beat

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Kansas City Southern, a U.S. railroad with extensive operations in Mexico, sought to ease investor fears on Friday over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, touting forecasts of solid freight volumes and a stronger economy in 2018.

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Brazil´s Caixa approves new rules to improve governance- statement

SAO PAULO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The board of directors of Brazilian state-owned bank Caixa Econômica Federal approved on Friday rules to improve the bank’s governance, the company said in a statement.

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UPDATE 1-Former Catalan leader says he can rule from abroad, Madrid says no

MADRID, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The sacked former leader of Catalonia said on Friday he could be re-elected as the region's president and rule remotely from his self-imposed exile in Brussels, but the Spanish government said it would not let that happen.

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Baltic index falls, capesizes post biggest weekly drop in 2 years

Jan 19 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Friday and continued to linger around five month lows as the capesize segment recorded its biggest weekly percentage decline in two years.

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises, led by bank and railroad shares

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, led by gains for the heavyweight financials group and industrial shares, while energy stocks were weighed by lower oil prices.

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BRIEF-National Fuel Gas Co Says CEO Ronald Tanski's FY 2017 Total Compensation Was $7.6 Mln

* NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO SAYS CEO RONALD TANSKI'S FY 2017 TOTAL COMPENSATION WAS $7.6 MILLION VERSUS $7.1 MILLION IN FY 2016 - SEC FILING Source text : http://bit.ly/2rq1TwQ Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Alibaba Pictures Group Says Shanghai TPP Enters Advertising Services Framework Agreements

* SHANGHAI TPP ENTERS ADVERTISING SERVICES FRAMEWORK AGREEMENTS WITH UNITS OF ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (bangalore.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com)

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Regions, SunTrust top profit estimates on higher interest rates

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Regions Financial Corp and SunTrust Banks Inc reported quarterly earnings on Friday that topped Wall Street expectations, benefiting from higher interest rates amid sluggish lending.

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BRIEF-Elliott Believes Qualcomm Can Deliver Value To Shareholders At Prices For NXP Higher Than $135/Share

* ELLIOTT BELIEVES QUALCOMM CAN DELIVER VALUE TO ITS SHAREHOLDERS AT PRICES FOR NXP HIGHER THAN $135 PER SHARE

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UPDATE 2-Social media companies accelerate removals of online hate speech -EU

* Improvement means legislation less likely -EU commissioner (Adds Google comment)

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US STOCKS-Amazon, Nike drive Wall Street higher

* Indexes up: Dow 0.05 pct, S&P 0.28 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct (Updates to open)

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Slowly, Germany begins to ponder life after Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - She has not faced a credible challenge to her rule as German chancellor for more than 12 years. Now, members of Angela Merkel's conservatives are starting to look ahead to potential alternatives to lead their party and country.

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BRIEF-Swedish Patent And Market Court Dismisses Allegations Towards Nasdaq

* JUDGEMENT FROM THE SWEDISH PATENT AND MARKET COURT - NASDAQ DISMISSED OF ALL ALLEGATIONS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Gdynia Newsroom)

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En route to Davos, Macron makes Versailles the place to be

PARIS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron will host dozens of the world's most powerful business executives at the gilded Palace of Versailles to pitch France Inc before the global elite's annual gathering at Davos.

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as broad-based gains offset losses for energy

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Friday as broad-based gains offset losses for the energy group after oil prices fell.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks hold near all-time highs; Embraer jumps

By Bruno Federowski BRASILIA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks hovered near all-time highs on Friday as optimism over the nation's economic prospects sustained demand for local assets, while hopes of a tie-up with Boeing Co boosted shares of Embraer SA . The benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.2 percent, supported by blue chips such as Vale SA and lenders Banco Bradesco SA and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA . Emerging markets kicked off the year with a rally as several reports show

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US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall St opens higher as investors shrug off shutdown fears

Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, putting the major indexes on track for three straight weeks of gains as hopes of a strong earnings season overshadowed fears of a potential U.S. government shutdown.

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BRIEF-Orexigen Therapeutics Says ‍Expect Annualized Savings Associated With Feb 2018 Reduction In Sales Force Of About $30 Mln​

* OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS SAYS ‍EXPECT ANNUALIZED SAVINGS ASSOCIATED WITH FEB 2018 REDUCTION IN SALES FORCE OF ABOUT $30 MILLION​ - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2Bg6XUc) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Penn Virginia Announces Retirement Of Executive Chairman And Appointment Of New Members Of The Board Of Directors

* PENN VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT OF EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND APPOINTMENT OF NEW MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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BRIEF-Suntrust Says Scott Case Will Succeed Anil Cheriyan As CIO And Begin Role Effective February 5, 2018​

* SUNTRUST ANNOUNCES CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER RETIREMENT, APPOINTMENT

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Amazon hikes price for its Prime service by 18 percent

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Friday raised the monthly fee for Amazon Prime, its fast-shipping and video-streaming service, to $12.99 from $10.99.

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BRIEF-Schlumberger says to fund 2018 activity growth without raising capex from 2017 levels

* SCHLUMBERGER SAYS RETURN TO GROWTH IN INTERNATIONAL MARKET WILL REPRESENT "SIGNIFICANT BOOST TO OUR EARNINGS POWER" - CONF CALL

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German election would further harm SPD, Schulz warns

BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of Germany's Social Democrats on Friday urged members of his center-left party to endorse coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives or risk facing new elections that could further damage the party.

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UPDATE 1-Foreigners maintain large-scale purchases of Canada securities

OTTAWA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Foreign investment in Canadian securities, particularly bonds, remained strong in November and was on track to hit an annual record, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

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Elliott says chipmaker NXP worth more than $135 per share

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Elliott Management Corp said on Friday NXP Semiconductors NV is worth much more than its previous assessment of $135 per share and Qualcomm Inc's $110 offer to buy the chipmaker.

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UPDATE 1-Commodity volumes lift Kansas City Southern quarterly profit, beats on revenue

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Kansas City Southern, a regional U.S. railroad with extensive operations in Mexico, reported a higher quarterly net profit on Friday, driven by revenue growth in 2017 in all six of the commodities it hauls and changes in U.S. tax law. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company posted fourth-quarter net income of $552 million, or $5.33 per diluted share, up from $130 million, or $1.21 per diluted share a year earlier.

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BRIEF-Leading Edge Materials To Commence Trading On Nasdaq First North Stockholm

* LEADING EDGE MATERIALS TO COMMENCE TRADING ON NASDAQ FIRST NORTH STOCKHOLM

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BRIEF-Tekmodo Enters Into Non-Binding Letter Agreement To Sell Subsidiaries

* TEKMODO ENTERS INTO NON-BINDING LETTER AGREEMENT TO SELL SUBSIDIARIES

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BRIEF-Nuuvera And Aphria Finalize Offtake Agreement For Extra 60,000 Kgs Of Cannabis Production

* NUUVERA AND APHRIA FINALIZE OFFTAKE AGREEMENT FOR EXTRA 60,000 KGS OF CANNABIS PRODUCTION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Moviepasstm Unveils Strategy To Invest In Film At The Sundance Film Festival With The Launch Of Moviepass Ventures

* MOVIEPASSTM UNVEILS STRATEGY TO INVEST IN FILM AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL WITH THE LAUNCH OF MOVIEPASS VENTURES Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Pavmed Announces Pricing Of Firm Commitment Common Stock Offering

* PAVMED ANNOUNCES PRICING OF FIRM COMMITMENT COMMON STOCK OFFERING

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UPDATE 1-Lincoln Financial to buy Liberty Life Assurance Co for $3.3 bln

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Lincoln Financial Group said on Friday it would buy fellow insurer Liberty Life Assurance Co of Boston for about $3.3 billion from Liberty Mutual to boost its presence in the group benefits market.

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BRIEF-Nordson Corp Says CEO Michael Hilton's FY 2017 Total Compensation Was $6.75 Mln Vs $6.43 Mln In FY 2016

* NORDSON CORP SAYS CEO MICHAEL HILTON'S FY 2017 TOTAL COMPENSATION WAS $6.75 MILLION VERSUS $6.43 MILLION IN FY 2016 - SEC FILING Source text (http://bit.ly/2rkvHuJ) Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Schlumberger Q4 profit beats, makes Venezuela write-down

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as the oilfield services provider benefited from higher oil prices, while also taking $2.7 billion in charges for restructuring and investment in Venezuela.

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BRIEF-Protective Enters Agreement To Reinsure Liberty Life, Annuity Business

* PROTECTIVE ENTERS AGREEMENT TO REINSURE LIBERTY LIFE AND ANNUITY BUSINESS