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Panama's Noriega fights U.S. extradition to France
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

MIAMI (Reuters) - The fate of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was placed in the hands of a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday, as he fought another round to avoid extradition on money laundering charges in France. Seeking to overturn three previous U.S. court rulings, Noriega's attorney Jon May told a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his status as a "p ...

Nortel seeks bankruptcy protection, shares plunge
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Wojtek Dabrowski TORONTO (Reuters) - Nortel Networks Corp, North America's biggest telephone equipment maker, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, hoping to save a once high-flying business whose decade-long decline has accelerated with the global economic crisis. The filing marks a crucial stage in the slow deterioration of one Canada's most prominent companies. Nortel, a stock mar ...

Hamas talks on ceasefire, Gaza dead top 1,000
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas officials were negotiating a ceasefire on Wednesday as Israeli forces kept up the pressure on the Islamists in the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian death toll rose above 1,000 after 19 days of air and ground attacks. Intensive talks took place in Cairo on an Egyptian truce proposal, but sticking points remained. A senior Beirut-based Hamas ...

Senate panel delays Geithner hearing
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Finance Committee said on Wednesday it would hold a confirmation hearing for U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on January 21 after a panel member objected to a previously planned hearing on Friday. A spokeswoman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement that the hearing would proceed on Friday as originally planned if  ...

Chrysler rules out sale of individual brands
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda said on Wednesday that the No. 3 U.S. automaker would not sell an individual brand like Jeep, but would pursue deals to sell off tooling for models going out of production, or even licensing production of current models. LaSorda, who was speaking to reporters on a conference call, was responding to a Reuters report from Tuesday that ...

Madoff to be in court as U.S. again seeks to jail him
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Accused swindler Bernard Madoff will be back in court on Wednesday as U.S. prosecutors again try to persuade a judge to end his house arrest at his luxury apartment and toss him in jail. A hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Manhattan federal court. Madoff, a 70-year-old veteran money manager who authorities say has confessed to running a $50 billion scam that  ...

Retail sales dive as holiday spending slumps
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Sales at retailers fell at a steeper-than-expected rate in December, government data showed on Wednesday, as a deteriorating economic environment forced consumers to cut back on spending during the key holiday period. The Commerce Department said total retail sales fell 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted $343.2 billion last month following a revised 2.1 percent drop  ...

EU premiers plead with Ukraine and Russia for gas
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Dmitry Zhdannikov and Ron Popeski MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine faced another day of sparring over gas supplies on Wednesday and two European Union states, cut off for a freezing week by the row, launched missions to plead for Russian gas flow to be restored. European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso called the crisis "unacceptable and incredible" and warned the E ...

Citi breakup in sight after Morgan Stanley deal
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Dan Wilchins and Joseph A. Giannone NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc agreed to merge its Smith Barney brokerage with Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit on Tuesday, and is expected to make further asset sales to raise capital and to isolate toxic assets from the rest of the bank. Citigroup, once the world's largest bank, may announce plans on January 22 to formally shed the  ...

Chrysler in asset sale talks, but Renault denies
14 Jan 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

PARIS/DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler is in talks to sell key assets to Renault-Nissan and auto supplier Magna according to people with knowledge of the discussions, though the French automaker on Wednesday denied such talks were under way. Chrysler is under pressure to restructure after taking $4 billion in U.S. government loans. Renault and Japan's Nissan, in which the French firm own ...

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