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Net shorts on U.S. longer-dated bonds hit 11-week low -JPMorgan

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NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - The margin of investors who said they had fewer longer-dated Treasuries than their benchmarks over those who held more than their benchmarks fell to an 11-week low, JPMorgan Chase & Co's latest client survey showed on Wednesday. Investors had ramped up holdings of longer-dated government debt at year-end following the most dramatic overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years and on expectations that inflation would remain muted and the Federal Reserve would rais [Source]

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BRIEF-Intel Says Firmware For Exploits Issued To 90 pct Of Intel CPUs Introduced In Past 5 Years‍​

* FIRMWARE UPDATES AND INITIAL PERFORMANCE DATA FOR DATA CENTER SYSTEMS‍​

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UPDATE 6-Apple plans new U.S. campus, to pay $38 bln in foreign cash taxes

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Apple Inc will open a new campus as part of a five-year, $30 billion U.S. investment plan and will make about $38 billion in one-time tax payments on its overseas cash, one of the largest corporate spending plans announced since the passage of a tax cut signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Brazil's JBS sells Five Rivers feedlots in U.S. for $200 mln

BRASILIA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, has agreed to sell its Five Rivers cattle feedlots in the United States to affiliates of Pinnacle Asset Management LP for about $200 million, the company said in a securities filing on Wednesday. The acquirer of JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding LLC will sign long term contracts to supply cattle to JBS' meatpacking units in the United States, the filing added. JBS said the proceeds will be used to reduce its debt. (Reporting by An

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks near record highs after Wall St surge, dollar edges back

* MSCI Asia-Pacific index hits record high, Nikkei at 26-yr peak

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BRIEF-Delta says 600 Mainline, Delta Connection Regional Flights Cancelled Today due to Winter Storm

* DELTA- DUE TO WINTER STORM AFFECTING AIRPORTS ALONG GULF COAST AND SOUTHEAST, 600 MAINLINE, DELTA CONNECTION REGIONAL FLIGHTS CANCELLED SYSTEM-WIDE TODAY‍​- TWEET Further company coverage:

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U.S. investors' love affair with bonds unshaken by rising yields

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. fund investors stampeded into bonds and world stocks during the latest week, ignoring warning signs about stretched prices, according to the Investment Company Institute...

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Toshiba sees $3.7 bln balance sheet improvement from Westinghouse deal

TOKYO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp said on Thursday it would sell its claims in bankrupt nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co to a group led by the Baupost Group - a move that would contribute to an improvement of about 410 billion yen ($3.68 billion) in its balance sheet.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rise on foreign inflows, news events

SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa equities index registered strong gains on Wednesday, breaching the 81,000-point mark for the first time amid strong inflows of foreign capital and industry-related news that lifted some major stocks.

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Cboe gets nod to challenge NYSE, Nasdaq for closing stock orders

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved a proposal from No. 2 U.S. stock exchange operator Cboe Global Markets Inc to compete for end-of-day orders for stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc.

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BRIEF-Granite REIT Signs Agreements To Sell Ten Properties For About $400 Mln

* GRANITE REIT UNLOCKS VALUE WITH SALE OF $400 MILLION OF PROPERTIES INCLUDING THREE SPECIAL PURPOSE PROPERTIES

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BRIEF-Walter Investment Management Says Prepackaged Chapter 11 Plan Approved By Court

* WALTER INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CORP. PREPACKAGED CHAPTER 11 PLAN APPROVED BY COURT

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Florida man gets prison for trading on tip about Gilead deal

Jan 17 (Reuters) - A Florida man was sentenced on Wednesday to one year in prison for engaging in insider trading based on a tip he received from an ex-Morgan Stanley broker about Gilead Sciences Inc's planned $11.2 billion purchase of Pharmasset Inc in 2011, prosecutors said.

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BRIEF-Cantel Medical Corp Chairman Charles Diker Reports Sale Of 10,000 Shares

* CANTEL MEDICAL CORP CHAIRMAN CHARLES DIKER REPORTS OPEN MARKET SALE OF 10,000 SHARES OF CO'S COMMON STOCK ON JAN 16 AT $110.96 PER SHARE - SEC FILING Source text : ( http://bit.ly/2Bbo21u ) Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Woodside Petroleum expects FY output to grow by up to 6.6 pct

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Woodside Petroleum said on Thursday it expects 2018 annual production to grow by up to 6.6 percent, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices in the first quarter should reflect higher oil prices from the final quarter of last year.

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Starboard to nominate nine candidates to Mellanox board

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP has started a proxy fight on Wednesday for control of Mellanox Technologies Ltd, calling the Israeli chipmaker deeply undervalued.

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BRIEF-Deutsche Boerse Says ‍Bank Markazi Filed Complaint Against Co's Unit Clearstream​

* ‍BANK MARKAZI FILED COMPLAINT AGAINST DEUTSCHE BÖRSE AG SUBSIDIARY CLEARSTREAM​

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U.S. court invalidates patent on J&J cancer drug Zytiga

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A U.S. administrative court on Wednesday invalidated a Johnson & Johnson patent on its blockbuster prostate cancer drug Zytiga, bringing rivals closer to selling generic versions.

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U.S. carmakers have a remedy for slower sales: pickups and more pickups

DETROIT, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Overall U.S. new vehicle sales could fall for the second year in a row in 2018, but Detroit's automakers are betting they can sell more high-margin pickup trucks and sport utilities to prop up profits.

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Major U.S. railroads warn Trump against derailing NAFTA

LOMBARD, Ill., Jan 17 (Reuters) - Major U.S. railroads on Wednesday warned President Donald Trump of the potential financial and political consequences of scrapping the North American Free Trade Agreement and urged U.S., Mexican, and Canadian officials to find ways to modernize the accord.

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UPDATE 2-Kinder Morgan further delays Canada Trans Mountain oil pipeline

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Canada said on Wednesday that the start-up of its Canadian Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion would be delayed by three months to December 2020, marking the latest setback to a project facing fierce local opposition.

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UPDATE 1-Chile's Corfo, SQM strike deal in lithium dispute

SANTIAGO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Chilean development agency Corfo said on Wednesday that it had struck a deal with lithium company SQM , ending a long dispute over royalties in Chile's Salar de Atacama, home to one of the world's richest lithium deposits.

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Exclusive: Exercise? I get more than people think, Trump says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Do not expect U.S. President Donald Trump to hit the gym, despite his doctor's orders.

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BRIEF-Apolo Acquisition - TSXV Has Conditionally Accepted Proposed Qualifying Transaction With CryptoGlobal

* APOLO ACQUISITION CORP. ANNOUNCES CONDITIONAL APPROVAL AND FILING OF FILING STATEMENT FOR ITS QUALIFYING TRANSACTION

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UPDATE 1-Husky ordered to halt SeaRose operation after iceberg close call

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Canadian regulators on Wednesday ordered Husky Energy to suspend operations on its 27,000-barrel-per-day SeaRose floating production vessel off the coast of eastern Canada after an iceberg came too close to the facility in March 2017.

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BRIEF-Sanchez Energy ‍Expects 2018 Production To Average Between 88,000 BOE/D And 92,000 BOE/D​

* SANCHEZ ENERGY ANNOUNCES 2018 CAPITAL BUDGET, PRODUCTION, AND FINANCIAL GUIDANCE

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BRIEF-Hyatt Hotels Enters Amendment To Second Amended And Restated Credit Agreement

* HYATT HOTELS SAYS ON JAN 10, CO ENTERED INTO A FIRST AMENDMENT TO SECOND AMENDED AND RESTATED CREDIT AGREEMENT - SEC FILING

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UPDATE 1-Verizon says new U.S. tax law to increase 4th-qtr earnings

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc said on Wednesday the tax overhaul bill signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump late last year will result in a one-time reduction in net deferred income tax liabilities of about $16.8 billion.

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BRIEF-Jabil Issues $500 Mln Aggregate Principal Amount Of Co's 3.95% Senior Notes Due 2028

* JABIL SAYS ISSUED $500 MILLION AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF CO'S 3.950% SENIOR NOTES DUE 2028 - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2mIgs9D) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Safeguard Scientifics Approves Change In Strategy Resulting In Termination Of Certain Employees

* SAFEGUARD SCIENTIFICS SAYS ON JAN 16, BOARD APPROVED A CHANGE IN COMPANY'S STRATEGY - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-Canopy Growth Corp Announces $175 Million Bought Deal Financing

* CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION ANNOUNCES $175 MILLION BOUGHT DEAL FINANCING

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BRIEF-Antero Midstream Forecasts 2018 Net Income Of $435 Mln To $480 Mln

* ANTERO MIDSTREAM AND AMGP HOST ANALYST DAY, ANNOUNCE 2018 GUIDANCE AND LONG-TERM TARGETS AND PROVIDE 2017 UPDATE

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BRIEF-Frontier Communications Launches Amendments To Credit Agreements With JPMorgan Chase‍​

* FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP - ON JAN 17, CO LAUNCHED AMENDMENTS TO CREDIT AGREEMENTS WITH JPMORGAN CHASE BANK N.A., AND COBANK ACB‍​

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BRIEF-FDA Approves Addition Of Overall Survival Data To Kyprolis Label

* FDA APPROVES ADDITION OF OVERALL SURVIVAL DATA TO KYPROLIS® (CARFILZOMIB) LABEL

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BRIEF-GSV Capital Announces Expiration Of Tender Offer For Outstanding Notes

* GSV CAPITAL CORP. ANNOUNCES EXPIRATION AND FINAL RESULTS OF TENDER OFFER FOR ITS OUTSTANDING 5.25% CONVERTIBLE SENIOR NOTES DUE 2018 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-MRC Global Renews PVF Distribution Framework Agreement With DCP Midstream

* MRC GLOBAL RENEWS PVF DISTRIBUTION FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WITH DCP MIDSTREAM, LP Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS-Dow ends above 26,000 on earnings optimism

* Boeing shares jump after announcing JV to make aircraft seats

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BRIEF-Kinder Morgan Canada Qtrly Basic And Diluted Earnings Per Restricted Voting Share $0.11

* KINDER MORGAN CANADA LIMITED DECLARES DIVIDENDS AND ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER OF 2017

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends up as banks lead rally after rate hike

TORONTO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended higher on Wednesday, with financial stocks leading a broad but shallow rally as the Bank of Canada hiked rates, offsetting losses among gold miners as the price of the precious metal slipped.

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BRIEF-Boston Private Financial Q4 Loss Per Share $0.24

* BOSTON PRIVATE FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 2017 RESULTS; RAISES DIVIDEND TO $0.12 PER SHARE

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Alcoa reports bigger quarterly loss

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Aluminum producer Alcoa Corp reported a bigger quarterly loss on Wednesday, hurt by the closure and divestiture of some smelting assets.

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BRIEF-Itron Prices Offering Of Additional $100 Mln 5.000% Senior Notes Due 2026

* ITRON, INC. PRICES OFFERING OF ADDITIONAL $100 MILLION OF 5.000% SENIOR NOTES DUE 2026

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BRIEF-The First Bancorp Qtrly Earnings Per Share $0.47

* FIRST BANCORP INC - QTRLY NET INTEREST INCOME $12.2 MILLION VERSUS $10.7 MILLION

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UPDATE 1-Home Capital faces C$4 million lawsuit from short seller Cohodes

TORONTO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Home Capital Group Inc, Canada's biggest alternative lender, said on Wednesday it had received a statement of claim from short seller Marc Cohodes, who is seeking C$4 million ($3.2 million) in damages.

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MOVES-Stifel hires two financial advisers from Ameriprise Financial

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Stifel Financial Corp said on Wednesday financial advisers Tom Hankins and Jay Lauzon have joined its broker-dealer unit, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co Inc's private client group in Flint, Michigan.

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Chile's Corfo, SQM strike deal in lithium dispute

SANTIAGO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Chilean development agency Corfo said on Wednesday that it had struck a deal with lithium company SQM, putting an end to a long-running dispute over royalties in Chile's Salar de Atacama, home to one of the world's richest lithium deposits.

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UPDATE 2-Twitter may notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during 2016 election

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Twitter may notify users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service, a company executive told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Broadcom Says FTC Review Immaterial To Business, No Impact On Qualcomm Proposal

* BROADCOM LTD SAYS "FTC REVIEW IS IMMATERIAL TO OUR BUSINESS, DOES NOT RELATE TO WIRELESS AND HAS NO IMPACT ON OUR PROPOSAL TO ACQUIRE QUALCOMM" Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Phillips 66 Partners Announces 5 Pct Raise In Quarterly Cash Distribution

* PHILLIPS 66 PARTNERS ANNOUNCES 5 PERCENT INCREASE IN QUARTERLY CASH DISTRIBUTION

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BRIEF-Union Bankshares Reports Q4 EPS of $0.43

* UNION BANKSHARES ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017 EARNINGS AND QUARTERLY DIVIDEND PAYMENT

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UPDATE 4-Bank of America takes tax hit, vows longer-term boost

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's quarterly profit was nearly chopped in half by tax-related charges but the lender's management promised the new U.S. tax system would eventually benefit shareholders.

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Top Canadian banks raise prime rates after central bank rate hike

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Major Canadian banks on Wednesday raised their prime lending rates, a benchmark for a wide range of consumer and commercial loans, after the country's central bank raised interest rates for the third time in seven months.

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REFILE-Shari Redstone explores adding new CBS directors - WSJ

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Shari Redstone has discussed adding new directors to the board of CBS Corp as she renews her push to merge the company with Viacom Inc, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

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BRIEF-BMO Bank Of Montreal Increases CDN$ Prime Lending Rate To 3.45 Per Cent

* BMO BANK OF MONTREAL INCREASES CDN$ PRIME LENDING RATE TO 3.45 PER CENT

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Key U.S. Senate committee advances Azar nomination for HHS secretary

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A key Senate committee on Wednesday voted to advance the nomination of Alex Azar, a former drug industry executive and lobbyist whom President Donald Trump has tapped to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services.

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BRIEF-Finish Line Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend Of $0.115 Per Share

* FINISH LINE - ‍BOARD DECLARED QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND OF $0.115 PER SHARE OF OUTSTANDING COMMON STOCK​

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BRIEF-TD Canada Trust Announces Change To Prime Lending Rate

* TORONTO-DOMINION BANK - ‍TD CANADA TRUST INCREASED PRIME LENDING RATE BY 25 BASIS POINTS TO 3.45 PER CENT, EFFECTIVE JAN 18, 2018​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Facebook widens probe into alleged Russian meddling in Brexit

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it would conduct a new, comprehensive search of its records for possible propaganda that Russian operatives may have spread during the run-up to Britain's 2016 referendum on EU membership.

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BRIEF-Darwin Deason Delivers Public Letter To The Xerox Board

* DEASON DELIVERS PUBLIC LETTER TO THE XEROX BOARD OF DIRECTORS; FILES 13D

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GLOBAL MARKETS-World shares advance as dollar loses steam

* Tech shares lead Wall St higher but Goldman, Bank of America lag

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CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-Kazakhstan to purchase Boeing planes, build new GE locomotives

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Tuesday the country has reached agreements with several U.S. companies worth $7.5 billion, including contracts to supply passenger planes and locomotives to the Central Asian country.

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BRIEF-Roaring Blue Lion Capital To Continue Discussing Ideas For Changes To HomeStreet Inc's Board

* ROARING BLUE LION CAPITAL MANAGEMENT SAYS WILL CONTINUE TO DISCUSS IDEAS THAT MAY RESULT IN CHANGES TO HOMESTREET'S BOARD, AMONG OTHERS

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UPDATE 1-Wells Fargo's chief risk officer to retire

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co said on Wednesday Chief Risk Officer Mike Loughlin will retire, and a successor will be appointed in the next few months.

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REFILE-Dealmaking Ferrero tycoon breaks decades of family tradition

MILAN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - For almost 70 years, family-owned chocolate group Ferrero shunned acquisitions, relying completely on its ability to grow on its own and dream up new products. Those days are gone.

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MOVES-Union Bank adds executives in San Francisco office

Jan 17 (Reuters) - MUFG Union Bank N.A., a unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, appointed Ann Hamilton as a fiduciary management executive, and Peter Bogardus as a private wealth adviser.

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Wells Fargo's chief risk officer to retire

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co said on Wednesday that Mike Loughlin, its chief risk officer, will retire, and a successor will be appointed in the next few months.

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FTC probing Broadcom for antitrust practices - WSJ

Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating whether chipmaker Broadcom Ltd engaged in anticompetitive tactics in negotiations with customers, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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BRIEF-Google Says Starting In July Page Speed Will Be Ranking Factor For Mobile Searches - Blog‍​

* GOOGLE SAYS STARTING IN JULY 2018, PAGE SPEED WILL BE A RANKING FACTOR FOR MOBILE SEARCHES - BLOG‍​ Source text : http://bit.ly/2riZ7JF Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Barclays to cut up to 100 senior jobs at its investment bank - source

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain's Barclays is axing up to 100 jobs at its investment bank, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, following another set of disappointing results from the division in the third quarter.

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UPDATE 1-Apple to pay $38 bln in U.S. taxes on foreign cash, open new campus

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Apple Inc will make about $38 billion in U.S. tax payments on its $252.3 billion in overseas cash in accordance with the tax law passed late last month, the company said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Sprint Says ‍Appointed Michel Combes As New Director - SEC Filing​

* SPRINT - ‍APPOINTED CFO MICHEL COMBES AS A NEW DIRECTOR - SEC FILING​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2BbFLWO) Further company coverage:

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REFILE-UPDATE 1-Twitter may notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during 2016 election

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Twitter may notify users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service, a company executive told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday.

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Goldman co-COO's ex-assistant charged with stealing $1.2 mln of wine

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A former personal assistant to Goldman Sachs Group Inc Co-Chief Operating Officer David Solomon has been charged with stealing hundreds of bottles of wine worth more than $1.2 million from his former boss.

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RPT-Banks expected to share tiny proportion of mammoth Saudi Aramco IPO

* Bankers jostling for mandates for league table credit, prestige

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UPDATE 3-Rolls-Royce shares jump as commercial marine business goes on block

* Defence shipping moves to defence, civil nuclear to power systems

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Twitter may notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during 2016 election

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Twitter may notify users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service, a company executive told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Sherritt Announces Pricing Of $115 Million Unit Offering

* SHERRITT INTERNATIONAL CORP - ‍PRICING AND INCREASE IN SIZE OF ITS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED UNIT OFFERING OF $100 MILLION TO $115 MILLION​

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Oil producers want new hearing on impact of Magellan proposal

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producers WPX Energy and Chevron have asked a U.S. regulator for a new hearing on the broad industry impact of Magellan Midstream Partners' request to launch a marketing arm, signaling concerns about the effect it could have on shipping oil in the United States.

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UPDATE 1-Retailer Carrefour again lowers 2017 profit forecast ahead of strategy plan

* Q4 sales 23.328 bln euros, slightly above forecasts (Adds details and background)

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UPDATE 4-After Carillion, Interserve shares hit by report that Britain is "worried" about firm

* Interserve says govt updated on progress with lenders (Adds detail, PM May, closing price)

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Canada creates watchdog to oversee companies' conduct abroad

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Canada said on Wednesday it is creating an independent watchdog to monitor and investigate human rights abuses by its companies operating abroad, describing it as the first initiative of its kind in the world.

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UPDATE 3-France abandons plan for new airport, squatters ordered out

* Anti-airport protesters told to clear out (Adds detail on potential Vinci compensation)

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BRIEF-Cannabis Wheaton Announces International Supply Agreement With Aphria

* CANNABIS WHEATON ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL SUPPLY AGREEMENT WITH APHRIA

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BRIEF-CLAL Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd Reports 5.04 pct Passive Stake In Ormat Technologies As Of Jan. 7, 2018

* CLAL INSURANCE ENTERPRISES HOLDINGS LTD REPORTS 5.04 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN ORMAT TECHNOLOGIES INC AS OF JANUARY 7, 2018 - SEC FILING‍​ Source text - (http://bit.ly/2mCQZye)

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UPDATE 1-Supply disruptions could boost copper prices -Chile's Cochilco

SANTIAGO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Chile's state copper commission, Cochilco, on Wednesday raised its estimated 2018 average price for the metal to $3.06 per pound from its previous forecast of $2.95 per pound, pointing to the potential for global supply disruptions in the coming year.

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Goldman investors rattled by latest plunge in bond trading

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Wednesday reported a sharp drop in trading revenue that renewed questions about its ability to revive a moribund profit driver or find business to replace it, sending shares down 3 percent.

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UPDATE 3-Goldman investors rattled by latest plunge in bond trading

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Wednesday reported a sharp drop in trading revenue that renewed questions about its ability to revive a moribund profit driver or find business to replace it, sending shares down 3 percent.

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BRIEF-Verizon, NBA Expand Multi-Platform Content & Technology Partnership With New Innovation Component

* VERIZON AND NBA EXPAND MULTI-PLATFORM CONTENT AND TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP WITH NEW INNOVATION COMPONENT

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US STOCKS-Tech, industrials lead Wall Street higher, banks drop

* Indexes up: Dow 0.44 pct, S&P 0.31 pct, Nasdaq 0.34 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

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Verizon renews NBA deal as it seeks to be go-to screen for sports

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Verizon Communications has renewed its deal with the National Basketball Association for two years, allowing users to live-stream games on its Yahoo platform and mobile devices and access out-of market live games.

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UPDATE 1-Ivory Coast awards Tullow two new oil and gas blocks

ABIDJAN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast awarded Tullow Oil two new oil and gas blocks on Wednesday, including one along the maritime boundary with Ghana, government spokesman Bruno Kone said.

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Brazil's Caixa replaces suspended executives

SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian state lender Caixa Economica Federal has announced replacements for four vice presidents that stepped down amid a corruption probe, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 2-ArcelorMittal-Votorantim tie-up will need more asset sales -report

SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's antitrust watchdog Cade will press steelmakers ArcelorMittal SA and Votorantim Siderurgia SA for more asset sales before approving their merger, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.

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UPDATE 1-Mazda vows to stay independent despite deeper ties with Toyota

DETROIT, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Mazda Motor Corp on Wednesday said that while it is deepening its development and production partnership with Toyota Motor Corp , the small automaker would remain a company independent from its much bigger rival.

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UPDATE 1-SandRidge to meet with investor Icahn to quell rising tensions

HOUSTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - SandRidge Energy Inc plans to meet with activist investor Carl Icahn on Wednesday over his demands for a board shake-up and other governance changes, part of a bid by the U.S. shale oil producer to quell tensions with its largest shareholder and most outspoken critic.

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BRIEF-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says optimistic DACA "will get solved"‍​

* CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG SAYS OPTIMISTIC DACA "WILL GET SOLVED"‍​

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Mazda vows to stay independent despite deeper ties with Toyota

DETROIT, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Mazda Motor Corp on Wednesday said that while it is deepening its development and production partnership with Toyota Motor Corp , the small automaker would remain a company independent from its much bigger rival.

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India will need at least $125 bln to fund renewables dream: govt official

NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - India will need at least $125 billion to fund its ambitious plan to increase the share of renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022, a top government official told Reuters, underlining the immense financing challenge ahead.

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UPDATE 3-BofA takes one-time tax hit, vows longer term boost

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's quarterly profit nearly halved due to tax-related charges, though net income excluding that hit topped estimates and management promised the new U.S. tax system would eventually benefit shareholders.

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BRIEF-OSI Systems Receives $21 Million Order For Rtt Hold Baggage Screening Systems

* OSI SYSTEMS RECEIVES $21 MILLION ORDER FOR RTT® HOLD BAGGAGE SCREENING SYSTEMS

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BRIEF-Booz Allen Awarded a 5-Yr, $165 Mln Contract to Support USCYBERCOM

* THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AWARDS BOOZ ALLEN A 5 YEAR, $165M CONTRACT TO SUPPORT USCYBERCOM

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rise on foreign inflows, one-time news events

SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa equities index registered strong gains on Wednesday, breaching the 80,000-point mark for the second time, amid strong inflows of foreign capital and industry-related news that lifted some major stocks. In the first nine sessions of 2018, the Bovespa registered 3.584 billion reais ($1.11 billion) in inflows, well above the 2.2 billion reais registered in the same period last year. Analysts and investors say this trend is continuing,

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UPDATE 3-Nigerian militants threaten oil sector attacks within days

* Group says government talks failed to yield results (Adds pix)

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UPDATE 2-Qatar Airways says offered 25 pct stake by U.S. startup airline

* CEO concerned about Airbus management changes (Adds details, comments, background)

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MOVES-Debt collector Arrow Global names Dave Sutherland as COO

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Debt purchaser and manager Arrow Global Group PLC said on Wednesday it hired Dave Sutherland for the newly created role of chief operating officer.

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UPDATE 2-France abandons plan for new airport in western France

* Anti-airport protesters told to clear out (Writes through, adds protests' comment, Mayor of Nantes)

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as gold miners weigh, financials and pot stocks rise

TORONTO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened flat on Wednesday, with falls among gold miners offset by gains for financial stocks and marijuana producers.

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BRIEF-Scythian Biosciences Increases Size Of Its Previously Announced C$10 Mln "Bought Deal" Offering To C$12.5 Mln

* SCYTHIAN BIOSCIENCES CORP. ANNOUNCES INCREASE TO BOUGHT DEAL FINANCING WITH SERRUYA PRIVATE EQUITY AND THE DELAVACO GROUP AS OTHER STRATEGIC INVESTORS

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BRIEF-Citadel Securities Reports A 5.6 Pct Passive Stake In Roku As Of Jan 9

* CITADEL SECURITIES LLC REPORTS A 5.6 PCT PASSIVE STAKE IN ROKU INC AS OF JAN 9 - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2DiyTfZ) Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall St opens higher as tech stocks gain

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes opened higher on Wednesday, led by gains in technology stocks including Microsoft and IBM.

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UPDATE 2-Rolls-Royce shares jump as commercial marine unit goes on block

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain's Rolls-Royce is considering the sale of its commercial marine business, which has been hit by weak demand in offshore oil and gas markets, as part of a restructuring of the company into three core units.

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UPDATE 2-Boeing to make aircraft seats with car supplier Adient to cut delays

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Boeing is moving into making aircraft seats to try to reduce costly delays to deliveries by plane manufacturers, forming a joint venture with car seating leader Adient.

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BRIEF-Intrexon Prices Public Offering Of Common Stock

* SAYS PUBLIC OFFERING OF 6 MILLION SHARES PRICED AT $12.50PER SHARE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 2-Nigerian militants threaten oil sector attacks within days

* Group says government talks failed to yield results (Adds details, quotes, bullet points)

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BRIEF-Genocea Biosciences, Inc. Announces Pricing Of $55 Mln Concurrent Public Offerings

* GENOCEA BIOSCIENCES, INC. ANNOUNCES PRICING OF $55 MILLION CONCURRENT PUBLIC OFFERINGS

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BRIEF-Dentsply Sirona Says ‍CEO Appointment Donald Casey Jr. Will Be Paid An Annual Base Salary Of $925,000​

* DENTSPLY SIRONA SAYS ‍CEO APPOINTMENT DONALD M. CASEY JR. WILL BE PAID AN ANNUAL BASE SALARY OF $925,000​ - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2mHy2KG) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Freshii Inc Says Has Released An Open Letter To Subway

* FRESHII INC SAYS HAS RELEASED AN OPEN LETTER TO SUBWAY (DOCTOR'S ASSOCIATES INC)

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BRIEF-Itron Announces Proposed Offering Of Additional $100 Mln Of 5.000% Senior Notes Due 2026

* ITRON, INC. ANNOUNCES PROPOSED OFFERING OF ADDITIONAL $100 MILLION OF 5.000% SENIOR NOTES DUE 2026

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UPDATE 1-Vale could be 'natural' owner for Samarco, in talks with BHP -director

SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's Vale is in talks with Anglo American BHP Billiton Plc on options for their joint venture Samarco, and it may be easier for Vale to resolve that miner's problems as sole owner, a director of the Brazilian mining company said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Points International 2017 Gross Profit And Adjusted EBITDA Expected To Be Near High End Of Prior Guidance

* POINTS INTERNATIONAL LTD. REPORTS STRONG PRELIMINARY FULL YEAR 2017 FINANCIAL RESULTS

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BRIEF-Franklin Templeton Investments Announces Agreement To Acquire Edinburgh Partners

* FRANKLIN TEMPLETON INVESTMENTS ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE EDINBURGH PARTNERS

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UPDATE 2-S.African regulator pursues criminal complaints against SAP, KPMG, McKinsey

* State prosecutor says to serve McKinsey court order (Adds McKinsey comment, KPMG local chairman appointment)

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BRIEF-Astronova Announces Appointment Of David Smith As CFO

* ASTRONOVA ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF DAVID S. SMITH AS CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

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BRIEF-Hemispherx Enters Sale/Leaseback Agreement For NJ Development And Production Facility

* HEMISPHERX ENTERS INTO SALE/LEASEBACK AGREEMENT FOR NJ DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION FACILITY

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BRIEF-AdvanSix Reports Reduced Production Rates At Its Manufacturing Facilities

* ADVANSIX REPORTS REDUCED PRODUCTION RATES AT ITS MANUFACTURING FACILITIES

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BRIEF-U.S. Bancorp Reports Q4 Earnings Per Share Of $0.97

* Q4 EARNINGS PER SHARE VIEW $0.87 -- THOMSON REUTERS I/B/E/S

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BRIEF-Corcept Therapeutics, Dohmen Entered Into Settlement Agreement And Mutual Release Of Any And All Claims That May Have Existed Between Parties

* CORCEPT THERAPEUTICS - CO, DOHMEN ENTERED INTO SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND MUTUAL RELEASE OF ANY AND ALL CLAIMS THAT MAY HAVE EXISTED BETWEEN PARTIES

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Futures higher as investors weigh bank earnings

(Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street on Wednesday as investors assessed earnings of Bank of America and U.S. Bancorp.

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UPDATE 1-Tiffany's Americas holiday same-store sales up 6 pct, raises FY forecasts

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Tiffany & Co said on Wednesday its same-store sales in the Americas rose 6 percent in the holiday months of November and December, helping the upscale jeweler raise its 2017 full-year forecast for sales and earnings.

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US STOCKS-Futures higher as investors weigh bank earnings

Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street on Wednesday as investors assessed earnings of Bank of America and U.S. Bancorp.

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UPDATE 1-Slovenian banks reduce bad loans to 4.4 pct of total loans

LJUBLJANA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Slovenian banks reduced loans on which repayment was delayed by 90 days or more to 1.5 billion euros ($1.83 billion) in November, representing 4.4 percent of all loans, down from 4.6 percent the previous month, the central bank said on Wednesday.

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Vale could be a 'natural' owner for Samarco; in talks with BHP -director

SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Miner Vale SA is in talks with BHP Billiton Plc on options for their Brazilian joint venture Samarco, and Vale could be a 'natural' owner of the project, a director of the Brazilian mining company said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 3-After Carillion, Interserve shares hit by report that Britain is "worried" about firm

* Interserve says govt updated on progress with lenders (Adds analyst reaction, details on shares)

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Keep going to work, Britain's May tells public service employees at Carillion

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May urged workers employed by failed services and construction company Carillion for public service contracts to keep going to work confident that they will be paid.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-World shares pull back from record highs, set for second fall of 2018

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - World shares pulled back from record highs on Wednesday, set for only their second day of losses in 2018 as lower commodity prices and a string of downbeat updates from companies dampened the mood in global markets.

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Russia awarded rights to Stolichnaya vodka brand in Benelux

AMSTERDAM, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Russia's state-owned Sojuzplodoimport won a Dutch appeals court ruling on Tuesday giving it the rights to the Stolichnaya vodka brand in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux) and stripping them from SPI Group's Spirits International.

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Greece gets interest for new offshore oil and gas tenders: licensing body

ATHENS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Tenders for offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation west and south of Greece have attracted "strong interest" from companies exploring in the Mediterranean, the head of Greece's oil and gas resources management company said on Wednesday.

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MOVES-Julius Baer names new head of U.K businesses

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Swiss private banking group Julius Baer on Wednesday said it appointed Calum Brewster as head of U.K. regional offices, based in Edinburgh.

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BRIEF-Kirkland Lake Gold Targets Higher Production, Improved Unit Costs In 2018 Guidance

* KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD TARGETS HIGHER PRODUCTION, IMPROVED UNIT COSTS IN 2018 GUIDANCE, ANNOUNCES NEW SHAFT PROJECT FOR MACASSA

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BRIEF-Fortuna Reports 2017 Production Of 11.9 Million Silver Equivalent Ounces And Issues Guidance For 2018

* FORTUNA REPORTS 2017 PRODUCTION OF 11.9 MILLION SILVER EQUIVALENT OUNCES AND ISSUES GUIDANCE FOR 2018

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BRIEF-Premier Gold Mines Sees 2018 Gold Production Of Between 85,000 To 95,000 Ounces

* PREMIER REPORTS PRODUCTION RESULTS FOR 2017 AND GUIDANCE FOR 2018

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BRIEF-Orbotech Says Sees Q4 Revenue About $256 Million

* ORBOTECH ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL YEAR 2017 RESULTS; UPDATES 2018 GUIDANCE WITH SPECIFIC REVENUE OUTLOOK FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2018

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BRIEF-Jaguar Mining In 2018 Expects Gold Production Of About 90,000-105,000 Ounces

* JAGUAR MINING REPORTS Q4 AND FULL YEAR 2017 PRODUCTION AND PROVIDES 2018 OUTLOOK

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BRIEF-Carlyle Group Says Wanlin Liu Has Joined The Carlyle Asia Private Equity Team As Managing Director

* THE CARLYLE GROUP SAYS WANLIN LIU HAS JOINED THE CARLYLE ASIA PRIVATE EQUITY TEAM AS MANAGING DIRECTOR

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Carlyle considering IPO to exit Turkey's Penti - sources

ISTANBUL, Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of its minority holding in Turkish lingerie and swimsuit retailer Penti, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Dollar, commodities weigh on stocks, Turkey's lira jitters

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A stronger dollar and weaker commodity prices knocked emerging stocks off their near-decade highs and weighed on currencies, with Turkey's lira on track for its worst week since early November on flaring geopolitical tensions.

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UPDATE 2-After Carillion, Interserve shares hit by report that UK is monitoring firm

* Ministers "very worried" about Interserve - FT cites official

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Brazil commission to negotiate transfer of rights with Petrobras

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government on Wednesday created a commission to negotiate the terms of a so-called "transfer of rights" program with state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras).

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BRIEF-Varun Beverages Approves Buying Franchisee Rights For Pepsico India's Sub-Territory In Bihar

* SAYS APPROVED TO BUY FRANCHISEE RIGHTS FOR PEPSICO INDIA'S PREVIOUSLY FRANCHISED SUB-TERRITORY IN STATE OF BIHAR Source text -http://bit.ly/2FJ3Bwm Further company coverage:

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Britain needs to give companies more time to save Carillion-linked jobs- union

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The British government needs to allow more time for firms to take on workers whose jobs are threatened by the collapse of outsourcer Carillion, the head of one of Britain's biggest trade unions said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 1-S.African regulator pursuing criminal complaints against SAP, KPMG, McKinsey

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 17 (Reuters) - South Africa's companies registry office is pursuing criminal complaints against SAP , KPMG and McKinsey on suspicion that business they conducted with friends of President Jacob Zuma broke the companies act, it said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-SA's Competition Tribunal says Bank Forex Hearing Delayed

* BANK FOREX HEARING DELAYED AFTER COMMISSION NOTIFIED ITS INTENTION TO JOIN NEW APPLICANTS‍​

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks pull back from record highs, set for second day of losses in new year

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - World shares pulled back from record highs on Wednesday, set for only their second day of losses in the new year as lower commodity prices and a string of downbeat updates from companies dampened the mood in global markets.

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ArcelorMittal-Votorantim tie-up will require more asset sales -report

SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's antitrust watchdog Cade will press steelmakers ArcelorMittal SA and Votorantim Siderurgia SA for more asset sales before approving their merger, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.

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Interserve says keeping UK government updated on progress of discussions with lenders

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - British construction and services firm Interserve said it was keeping government up-to-date on discussions with lenders on longer-term funding.

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UPDATE 1-Zalando says to spend to build market share this year

BERLIN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - German online fashion retailer Zalando said it would push ahead with a strategy of investing to gain market share in 2018 rather than seek to improve profitability even as it reported a recovery in fourth-quarter operating earnings.

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BRIEF-GE announces appointment of Peter Stracar as CEO of European region

* GE SAYS APPOINTMENT OF PETER STRACAR AS PRESIDENT & CEO OF GE’S EUROPEAN REGION

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EU ombudsman urges ECB's Draghi to leave G30 club of financiers

FRANKFURT, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's President Mario Draghi should give up his membership of the Group of 30 talking shop of financiers, as it risked hurting public confidence in the ECB's independence, the European Union's ombudsman said on Wednesday.

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After FT's Interserve report, Britain says none of its suppliers are comparable to Carillion

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain said that it does not believe any of its suppliers are in a comparable position to failed outsourcer Carillion after the Financial Times reported that the government was monitoring peer Interserve due to concern over its finances.

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BRIEF-PESI To Cooperate With Italy's ENEA

* SAID ON TUESDAY THAT PERMA FIX ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC. (PESI) SIGNS A COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH ITALIAN NATIONAL AGENCY FOR NEW TECHNOLOGIES, ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (ENEA)

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UPDATE 1-Interserve shares fall 14 percent after FT reports that UK is monitoring firm

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Shares in British construction and services firm Interserve dropped 14 percent after the Financial Times reported that ministers are "very worried" and have set up a team of officials to monitor the company.

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Russian assets give up gains as oil heads lower

MOSCOW, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble and stock indexes stepped further away from recent multi-month peaks on Wednesday as prices for oil, Russia's key exports, inched lower.

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Melrose offers to buy Britain's GKN for $10.2 bln

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Turnaround specialists Melrose on Wednesday made a firm offer to buy GKN for 430.1 pence per share or 7.4 billion pounds ($10.18 billion) after meeting its shareholders, adding pressure on the British engineering company to accept the deal.

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BRIEF-Orchard Therapeutics appoints Frank Thomas as CFO

* ORCHARD THERAPEUTICS APPOINTS FRANK THOMAS AS CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER​

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BRIEF-Cott says UK's CMA accepts phase 1 remedy in sale of beverage manufacturing business to Refresco

* ‍COTT- UK COMPETITION AND MARKETS AUTHORITY ACCEPTS PHASE 1 REMEDY IN PRINCIPLE IN SALE OF ITS TRADITIONAL BEVERAGE MANUFACTURING BUSINESS TO REFRESCO​

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France plans to accelerate wind power projects

* GRAPHIC-Europe's wind power capacity: http://tmsnrt.rs/2zPjhiw

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UPDATE 1-UK's Cineworld 2017 revenue grows as Star Wars, Dunkirk shine

Jan 17 (Reuters) - British cinema operator Cineworld Group , which is buying U.S. peer Regal Entertainment for $3.6 billion, said total 2017 revenue grew 11.6 percent on strong box office takings for titles such as "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Dunkirk".

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British government monitoring Interserve after Carillion collapse - FT

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - British ministers are "very worried" about contractor Interserve and have set up a team of officials to monitor the company, following the collapse of competitor Carillion, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Ant Financial To Take 20 Pct Stake In OpenRice

* SAY THEY FORM FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT FURTHER GROWTH OF HONG KONG'S DINING INDUSTRY

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BRIEF-HP announces commercial availability of its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing solution in India​

* HP INC ANNOUNCED COMMERCIAL AVAILABILITY OF ITS MULTI JET FUSION 3D PRINTING SOLUTION IN INDIA​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UK cinema chain Cineworld's 2017 revenue grows as Star Wars, Dunkirk shine

Jan 17 (Reuters) - British cinema operator Cineworld Group , which is buying U.S. peer Regal Entertainment for $3.6 billion, said total 2017 revenue grew 11.6 percent on strong box office takings for titles such as "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Dunkirk".

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BRIEF-Cineworld ‍Fully Underwritten Rights Issue Raising Proceeds Of 1.7 Bln STG - bookrunner

* ‍FULLY UNDERWRITTEN RIGHTS ISSUE RAISING PROCEEDS OF £1.7 BILLION IN CONNECTION WITH PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF REGAL ENTERTAINMENT

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Zalando says to pursue ‍focus on growth in 2018​

BERLIN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - German online fashion retailer Zalando said it would push ahead with its strategy of investing to gain market share in 2018 as it reported preliminary fourth-quarter sales growth and operating profit in line with analyst expectations.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares retreat as commodities ease, bitcoin pummelled

* Resource shares lead losses in Asia as oil dips on profit-taking

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BRIEF-South African competition tribunal approves Maseve Mine sale transaction

* SOUTH AFRICAN COMPETITION TRIBUNAL APPROVES MASEVE MINE SALE TRANSACTION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Novartis's Kymriah wins speedy reviews in U.S., Europe

ZURICH, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Novartis has been granted fast-track reviews of its cell therapy Kymriah for blood cancers in the United States and Europe, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday, as it seeks to expand the pool of patients eligible for the costly treatment.

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UPDATE 1-Chip tool maker ASML Q4 beats expectations, sees strong 2018

AMSTERDAM, Jan 17 (Reuters) - ASML, the Dutch supplier of equipment to key chip makers, reported a better-than-expected net profit for the fourth quarter as several customers asked for early delivery of products amid a booming semiconductor industry.

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Nikkei falls as mining, oil stocks slip, bitcoin-related shares tumble

TOKYO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average dropped on Wednesday as mining, oil and shipping stocks lost ground, while bitcoin-related stocks tumbled after the cryptocurrency's value extended its sharp decline on worries over tighter regulation.

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Chip tool maker ASML Q4 beats expectations, sees strong 2018

AMSTERDAM, Jan 17 (Reuters) - ASML, the Dutch supplier of equipment to key chip makers, reported a better-than-expected net profit for the fourth quarter as several customers asked for early delivery of products amid a booming semiconductor industry.

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SandRidge to meet with investor Icahn to quell rising tensions

HOUSTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - SandRidge Energy Inc is expected to meet with activist investor Carl Icahn on Wednesday over his demands for a board shake-up and other governance changes, part of a bid by the U.S. shale oil producer to quell tensions with its largest shareholder and most outspoken critic.

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BRIEF-‍Wattpad raises $51 mln in new funding

* ‍WATTPAD ANNOUNCES USD $51 MILLION (CAD $61.25 MILLION) IN NEW FUNDING​

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PRESS DIGEST- Wall Street Journal - Jan 17

Jan 17 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

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Wal-Mart launches program to safely dispose of unused opioids

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Wednesday said it will provide customers filling prescriptions for opioids with a packet of powder that will help them dispose of leftover medication in order to help curb misuse and abuse.

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Microsoft tops Thomson Reuters top 100 global tech leaders list

Jan 17 (Reuters - Thomson Reuters Corp on Wednesday published its debut "Top 100 Global Technology Leaders" list with Microsoft Corp in the no. 1 spot, followed by chipmaker Intel Corp and network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc.

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BRIEF-Harvest One appoints Nick Maltchev as interim COO

* HARVEST ONE ANNOUNCES FILING OF PRELIMINARY SHORT FORM PROSPECTUS IN CONNECTION WITH $35 MILLION BOUGHT DEAL FINANCING AND APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM COO

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BRIEF-AzurRx Biopharma receives $2 mln in proceeds from exercise of warrants

* AZURRX BIOPHARMA RECEIVES $2 MILLION IN PROCEEDS FROM EXERCISE OF WARRANTS

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Bitcoin falls more than 7 percent as regulation worries mount

TOKYO (Reuters) - The price of bitcoin extended its sharp tumble of the past 24 hours, dropping more than seven percent on the Bitstamp exchange on Wednesday, spooked by worries regulators may try to clamp down on the highly-volatile trading in the digital currency.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares dip as commodities ease, bitcoin licks wounds

* Resource shares lead losses in Asia as oil dips on profit-taking

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METALS-Shanghai aluminium prices slip as ingot flows improve

BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices extended declines into a second day on Wednesday as improving weather conditions smoothed the flow of ingots from China's remote northwestern Xinjiang region to the east of the country. FUNDAMENTALS * SHANGHAI ALUMINIUM: The most-traded March contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) was down 1.6 pct at 14,655 yuan ($2,280.93) a tonne at 0224 GMT, having earlier touched its lowest since Dec. 20 at 14,560 yuan a tonne.

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MIDEAST - Factors to watch - January 17

DUBAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch for their accuracy.

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BRIEF-ARHT Media increases size of private placement financing to $5 mln

* ARHT MEDIA ANNOUNCES UPSIZING OF PRIVATE PLACEMENT FINANCING

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Nikkei drops; mining, oil and shipping stocks lose ground, Bitcoin shares tumble

TOKYO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average dropped on Wednesday morning as mining, oil and shipping stocks lost ground, while Bitcoin-related stocks tumbled after the cryptocurrency's value slid on worries about tighter regulations.

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UPDATE 1-Top Walmart executive to be appointed International CEO - source

Jan 16 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc Chief Operating Officer Judith McKenna will take up the role of chief executive of its international unit, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

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MOVES-Former cybersecurity exec DeWalt joins M&A firm

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Dave DeWalt, the former CEO of FireEye Inc, is joining the relaunched cyber security M&A advisory firm Momentum Cyber as chairman, the company said on Wednesday.

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PRECIOUS-Gold edges up as dollar index slumps to 3-yr lows

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Wednesday towards four-month highs hit early in the week, as the U.S. dollar slumped to three-year lows against a basket of currencies. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,341.96 an ounce by 0123 GMT. It touched its strongest since Sept. 8 at $1,344.44 on Monday. * Spot gold edged down for the first time in five sessions on Tuesday, easing 0.1 percent. * U.S. gold futures were up 0.4 percent at $

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GRAINS-Wheat edges higher, lingers near more than 1-month low

SYDNEY, Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged higher for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday, though prices continued to linger near more than one-month lows as ample global supplies continued to weigh. FUNDAMENTALS * The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.1 percent at $4.16-3/4 a bushel by 0124 GMT, having closed down 1 percent on Tuesday when prices hit a low of $4.13-3/4 a bushel - the lowest since December 13, 2017. *

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REFILE-U.S. faces oversupply of antibiotic-free chicken -Sanderson Farms

CHICAGO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Supplies of chicken raised without antibiotics are outstripping demand, a major U.S. poultry producer said on Tuesday, a sign of overproduction that could eat into processors' profits.

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UPDATE 1-U.S. lawmaker asks Intel, others for briefing on chip flaws

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - A Democratic U.S. lawmaker asked Intel Corp and two other microchip makers on Tuesday to provide a briefing on the recently detected Spectre and Meltdown security flaws that could allow hackers to steal information from most computers and devices.

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BRIEF-ADTRAN Q4 LOSS PER SHARE $0.23

* ADTRAN, INC. REPORTS EARNINGS FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER 2017 AND DECLARES QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND

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BRIEF-Westwater Resources Provides Business Update

* ‍CONFIRM RECEIPT OF $1.5 MILLION FROM LARAMIDE RESOURCES, LTD​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Sony Names ‍Jim Ryan Deputy President Of Sony Interactive Entertainment​

* SONY INTERACTIVE- ‍JIM RYAN NAMED NEW DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: