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Showing posts from June 19, 2013

Justin Bieber hits photographer in Los Angeles car scrape

Teen pop star Justin Bieber struck a photographer with his Ferrari sports car while driving away from a comedy club in Los Angeles on Monday night, but the accident was not considered a hit-and-run, police said. _0"> Video taken outside the Laugh Factory comedy club showed Bieber behind the wheel of his white Ferrari, surrounded by photographers as he was pulling away.   Celebrity website TMZ said Bieber motioned the photographers to clear out of the way but apparently pinned one between his Ferrari and a parked car as he pulled out. He then drove away. "It was not a hit-and-run," Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Bruce Borihanh said on Tuesday. "The investigation is ongoing." He said the photographer's injuries were not life-threatening. A representative for Bieber declined to comment. Bieber is under investigation in a separate driving incident in May after his neighbors complained that he had been speeding through his gated Los Angeles-a

Crystal, Goodman head back to school in 'Monsters University'

One-eyed green monster Mike Wazowski and his giant blue, furry friend James P. "Sully" Sullivan go back in time as "scaring" students in "Monsters University," as Walt Disney Co.'s Pixar Animation Studios pins its hopes for a blockbuster on the coming-of-age story. "Monsters University," a prequel to 2001 animated film "Monsters, Inc.," will be released on Friday in U.S. theaters, and director Dan Scanlon told Reuters one of the main challenges was to keep the film fresh and surprising for audiences.   "You're dealing with the fact that everybody knows how the movie is going to end," Scanlon said about plotting Pixar's first prequel, particularly for a film that grossed more than $560 million at the worldwide box office. A college setting seemed ideal for best friends Mike, voiced by Billy Crystal, and Sully, voiced by John Goodman, Scanlon said, to "explore serious emotional relationship stuff" and

Angelina Jolie stunt double sues News Corp over hacking

A stunt double for Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie has sued News Corp over allegations its British newspapers hacked her phone, the first lawsuit in the United States against the company since the scandal broke two years ago. The lawsuit, filed on June 13 by professional stunt double Eunice Huthart, said reporters from News Corp's tabloids The Sun and the defunct News of the World, hacked her mobile phone while she was working for Jolie on location in Los Angeles.   The allegations include stories that ran in the tabloids about Jolie's budding relationship with actor Brad Pitt - when only a tight circle of people had knowledge of it - while they were filming the movie "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." A spokesman for News Corp declined to comment on the lawsuit. Huthart's lawsuit said the hacking occurred in 2004 and 2005 while she was in the United States and Britain and resulted in lost voice messages that she never received. It said the London police have a fi

Kanye West wins over critics with 'daring' new album 'Yeezus'

Rapper Kanye West pushes the boundaries of hip hop with his latest album "Yeezus," using aggressive electro-dance music beats to channel his anger and win over critics, who have called the record "daring" and "ambitious." "Yeezus," the 36-year-old rapper's seventh solo studio album, has also sped to the top of the iTunes digital music chart upon its release on Tuesday, led by the single "Black Skinhead." The album's release coincides with the birth of West and reality star girlfriend Kim Kardashian's first child together, a baby girl born over the weekend. But on the album the famously ironic and self-referential West avoids mentioning Kardashian and their high-profile romance, which has been heavily tracked by paparazzi and the Kardashian clan's plethora of reality shows on the E! Network. Instead, he lets his anger out against critics, the public and "haters" on tracks such as "I Am a God," &q

Teen country singer Bradbery captures 'The Voice' season crown

Pitch-perfect teen country singer Danielle Bradbery won TV singing contest "The Voice" on Tuesday, scoring a contract with Universal Music Group and a $100,000 cash prize. Bradbery, who was coached by fellow country singer Blake Shelton, covered her mouth and began to cry when named the winner, hugging runner-up Michelle Chamuel. "I'm so thankful," the 16-year-old Texan said. "I'm sorry, I'm speechless." Bradbery, who said she had never had a singing lesson before the show, rode Sara Evans' country hit "Born to Fly" and Carrie Underwood's "All-American Girl" to victory, becoming the youngest winner of the NBC singing competition in its fourth season. She topped pop-rock singer Chamuel, who was coached by R&B singer Usher, and third-place finishers the Swon Brothers, country-rock singers Colton and Zach Swon, who were also coached by Shelton. It was the third consecutive win for Shelton, a mainstay atop the

A Minute With: Gemma Arterton on choosing roles, new challenges

British actress Gemma Arterton does not need to worry about typecasting with roles ranging from a fairy tale character and literary heroines to MI6 agent Strawberry Fields in the 2008 James Bond film "Quantum of Solace." In "Unfinished Song," a comedy-drama that opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, Arterton, 27, stars as Elizabeth, a music teacher in a boys' school. She also directs a choir for seniors, which includes Marion, played by Vanessa Redgrave, and forges a special friendship with her cantankerous retired husband, played by Terence Stamp. The following week Arterton will be seen in U.S. theaters as a sexy vampire in Neil Jordan's film "Byzantium." Arterton spoke to Reuters about her choice of characters, sharing the big screen with Redgrave and Stamp, and her first French-speaking role in the upcoming film "Gemma Bovery." Q: You have some interesting films coming out. Two are opening in the space of a week. How did you manage

Tales of triumph over terror win top children's UK book awards

The stories of a dyslexic hero and a little girl who overcomes her family's fear of a stray dog won two of Britain's most coveted children's literature prizes on Wednesday. _0"> "Maggot Moon" by Sally Gardner outshone Booker prize-winner Roddy Doyle to win the Carnegie medal for a book starring dyslexic hero Standish, who takes on a sinister dictatorship while friends and family disappear.   Levi Pinfold won the Kate Greenaway award for his illustrations in "Black Dog" in which a little girl named Small Hope shows her family that there is nothing to be afraid of in the arrival of a seemingly fearsome stray dog. Both prizes are awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the leading professional body for librarians and information specialists. Once-branded an "unteachable" student, Gardner said that her own dyslexia was a "gift", but that the current British government's intent

Daniel Radcliffe proves acting skills in London stage role

British actor Daniel Radcliffe won plaudits this week for a new stage role as a bullied Irish cripple that takes him a critical step further away from his days as boy wizard Harry Potter. In his third foray onto the stage in six years, Radcliffe adopts an Irish accent to play Billy, the bullied 17-year-old title character in "The Cripple of Inishmaan", a politically incorrect black comedy by Martin McDonagh. Billy, orphaned in mysterious circumstances, is being raised by two surrogate aunts and longs to escape from his life on the Aran Islands in the mid-1930s and the mockery he endures for his physical deformities and daydreaming while watching cows. When a film crew arrives on a neighboring island to cast for a Hollywood movie, Billy manages to persuade a boatman for a lift to the auditions and gets sent to the United States for a screen test. But his dreams do not pan out as expected. This was 23-year-old Radcliffe's third time on stage as he builds a career outs

British ballet dancer David Wall dies of cancer aged 67

British ballet dancer David Wall, known for becoming the youngest male principal at the Royal Ballet at the age of 21, has died of cancer aged 67 at his home in London. _0"> Director of the Royal Ballet, Kevin O'Hare, paid tribute to Wall who died on Tuesday, describing him as a "truly exceptional artist" and one of the company's greatest dance actors. He said Wall would be remembered for playing the role of the manipulative Lescaut in "Manon" that was created for him in 1974 as well as taking on the most challenging male role in the company's repetoire, Prince Rudolf in "Mayerling", in 1978.   The dancer, who was awarded with a CBE for his services to ballet, was a regular partner with British ballerina Margot Fonteyn in the 1970s. He retired from ballet in 1984 and joined the Royal Academy of Dance as director before becoming a ballet master at English National Ballet in 1995. "David was a wonderful role model for all youn

AIRSHOW-Ryanair says could move into trans-Atlantic flights

Ryanair, Europe's biggest budget airline, could start selling low-cost trans-Atlantic flights if it secures enough twin-aisle aircraft and gains access to cities in both Europe and the United States, its chief executive said on Wednesday. "This will be a unique opportunity to bust open the trans-Atlantic services. Trans-Atlantic fares should start at $10 or 10 euros," said Michael O'Leary at the Paris Airshow.   Any move into the competitive trans-Atlantic market would see the Irish short-haul carrier follow in the footsteps of Laker Airways, which began low-fare flights from London to New York in the late 1970s but went bankrupt in 1982. Long-haul budget flights have become popular in Asia in recent years with Malaysia's AirAsia X , Australia's Jetstar and its Singapore-based affiliate Jetstar Asia, and Singapore Airlines subsidiary Scoot starting operations. O'Leary said a long-haul business would have to be run separately to succeed, allowing mana

VimpelCom drops bid to acquire Canada's Wind Mobile

VimpelCom Ltd has withdrawn its bid to acquire control of upstart Canadian wireless company Wind Mobile, a majority-owned affiliate of the company said on Wednesday. _0"> Orascom Telecom, an Egyptian company that initially bankrolled Wind Mobile's operations in Canada and was later bought by Vimpelcom, said it withdrew the bid after a review process and discussions with the Canadian government.  

New Issue-Bacardi prices 650 mln euro 2023 bond

Following are terms and conditions _0"> of a bond priced on Wednesday. Borrower Bacardi Ltd Guarantor Bacardi-Martini B.V., Bacardi Corp, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc Issue Amount 650 million euro   Maturity Date July 03, 2023 Coupon 2.75 pct Reoffer price 99.862 Spread 95 basis points Underlying govt bond Over Mid-swaps, equivalent to 122bp over the 1.5 pct May 2023 DBR Payment Date July 03, 2013 Lead Manager(s) Lloyds, Musi, Santander GBM & Societe Generale CIB Ratings Baa1 (Moody's) _0"> Listing Ireland _1"> Full fees Undisclosed _2"> Denoms (K) 100-1 _3"> Governing Law New York _4"> _5"> Security details and RIC, when available, will be _6"> on _7"> Customers can right-click on the code for _8"> p

UPDATE 2-FedEx posts higher-than expected profit, will cut more capacity

FedEx Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, sending its shares higher, but the world's biggest air-freight company said it was cutting more capacity between the United States and Asia. The company, considered an economic bellwether because of the massive volume of goods it moves around the world, is still trying to adjust to increasing demand for cheaper ground transport rather than pricier but faster air shipping. In particular, the express unit, FedEx's biggest source of revenue, has suffered as more cost-conscious international customers opt to use container ships instead of costly overnight shipment by air. International priority shipment volumes fell 2 percent during the quarter, while international export revenue per package fell 2 percent as rates dropped. The company said earlier this month that it would permanently retire or will speed up the retirement of 86 aircraft and more than 300 engines as it modernizes its fleet. It is also inc

Romania to buy second-hand F-16 fighter jets

Romania's leftist government has approved a plan to buy second-hand F-16 fighter jets from Portugal to bring its air force up to NATO standards, it said on Wednesday. _0"> The European Union member joined NATO in 2004 and has been Washington's military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan . It is in the process of phasing out its outdated Soviet-made MiG-21s. The defence ministry will buy 12 jets from Portugal and pay a little over 600 million euros, including maintenance, in installments until 2017.   Romania shelved a multi-billion euro plan to buy fighter jets in 2009 as its economy plunged into deep recession and the global financial crisis forced it to resort to international aid.

UPDATE 1-Swiss lower house committee rejects U.S. tax deal again

Swiss lawmakers dealt a death blow on Wednesday to a draft law which aimed to protect the country's banks from criminal charges in the United States for helping wealthy Americans evade tax.   The Swiss government has warned that the bill's failure could prompt impatient U.S. prosecutors to indict banks, though it could still use an executive order to allow them to hand over data to try to avoid criminal charges. The bill, which lawmakers from both the centre-left and right opposed for widely differing reasons, was designed to let banks sidestep Swiss secrecy laws by disclosing their U.S. dealings so they could avoid prosecution. With or without the law, they will still seek out of court settlements with U.S. authorities that could cost the industry as much as $10 billion. Parliament's lower house voted 123 to 63 against debating the legislation, effectively killing the law, even though the upper house had confirmed its support earlier in the day. Switzerland's bank

AIRSHOW-Singapore Airlines orders 30 more Airbus A350s

Singapore Airlines has placed a firm order for 30 Airbus A350-900 aircraft worth $8.6 billion at list prices, with options for 20 more of the jetliners. _0"> The airline could convert the options into larger A350-1000s under the terms of the deal, Airbus said at the Paris Airshow on Wednesday. The carrier now has 70 firm orders for the A350, Airbus added.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares flat, dollar steady before Fed decision

Equities were flat while major currencies and commodities traded within recent ranges on Wednesday as investors awaited a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve that they hope will shed light on its next move.   The Fed is expected to leave policy ultra-loose following the central bank's meeting that ends later on Wednesday but may hint it will start scaling back its bond buying later this year if the U.S. labor market continues to improve. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's comment last month that the U.S. central bank could begin to curtail bond purchases at one of its "next few meetings" put up a speed bump for the equity rally and pushed bond yields higher. U.S. stocks opened slightly lower, while European shares were flat. The MSCI world equity index, tracking shares in 45 countries, was little changed, adding 0.04 percent, while Tokyo's Nikkei index jumped 1.8 percent and U.S. Treasuries prices rose. "The early morning action is not surprising given the

UK watchdog bans internal, external auditor links

A British watchdog has banned accountants from asking customers' internal auditors directly for help in checking the books in a bid to bolster their independence. The Financial Reporting Council, which polices accountants and auditors, said on Wednesday the ban creates a clearer division of responsibility between internal and external audit. Internal auditors are employees of a company and one of its "three lines of defence", the other two being the compliance and risk officers. External auditors are from outside the company and check on the financial reports of listed companies. Some use internal auditors directly on their teams, which the FRC has raised as a clear conflict of interest. "Prohibiting direct assistance supports stakeholders' expectations that external auditors should be free from threats to their independence," FRC board member Nick Land said in a statement. The ban, which goes beyond current international auditing standards, will appl

AIRSHOW-UPDATE 1-Qatar interested in Eurofighter, Rafale jets

Qatar is likely to launch an international tender to renew its fleet of ageing fighter jets soon and is interested in France's Rafale, a French official said, while sources said it was also looking at the BAE Systems-backed Eurofighter Typhoon. Qatar said in 2011 it wanted to replace its fleet of 12 Mirage fighter jets, possibly buying 24 to 36 units. Qatari officials were in Britain evaluating the Eurofighter Typhoon with the Royal Air force last month, said sources familiar with the matter who did not wish to identified as the discussions are private.   "They have had a look at it," said one source. The Eurofighter is also made by European aerospace company EADS and Italian weapons maker Finmeccanica. A Eurofighter team will be going to Doha in the next few weeks for flight trials, said a third source, adding the Qataris were in the process of making comparisons and flight evaluations. Separately on Wednesday, a French official talked up prospects for the Rafale

Jefferies quits as wholesale gilt market maker, moves into retail

Jefferies International Limited has resigned as a wholesale gilt-edged market maker with effect from close of business on Wednesday, Britain's Debt Management Office said. _0"> The DMO has endorsed a separate application from Jefferies to become a retail GEMM in both conventional and index-linked gilts from Thursday, it added. Jefferies International is a unit of investment bank Jefferies Group LLC, which is now part of investment group Leucadia National Corp..  

Chile's Pinera eyes pension fund reform to boost returns

Chilean president Sebastian Pinera is seeking to reform the Andean country's private pension funds to boost competitiveness and increase pensions for workers, he told a local radio station on Wednesday. _0"> The conservative Pinera, whose four-year term ends next March, declined to give further details, adding that the proposal would be unveiled soon. "This seeks to improve the system, (provide) greater competitiveness, lower costs, lower commissions, (give) better returns on investment, but also (seeks to) increase the contribution rate and create more incentives so people who want and can remain in the workforce to do so," Pinera told radio Cooperativa.   The pension funds, Chile's biggest institutional investors, have been crucial in developing the country's local stock market. But many Chileans say they do not receive decent pensions in return for hefty, largely mandatory contributions to the funds. Pensions, as well as education reform and impro

UPDATE 1-Vodafone may trump Liberty with $10 bln cash bid for Kabel -sources

Vodafone is discussing a 7.6 billion euros ($10 billion) cash bid with Germany's No. 1 cable operator Kabel Deutschland and is confident its offer and absence of antitrust issues put it in a better position than rival Liberty Global, two sources familiar with its thinking said on Wednesday. Liberty Global, which owns Unity Media, Germany's No. 2 cable operator, made an 85-euro-a-share offer on Tuesday, two people familiar with the matter said, just days after sources said Vodafone had offered 81-82 euros a share or 7.2 billion euros in cash. Vodafone is now mulling an offer of about 85-86 euros a share, or at least 7.5 billion euros, a separate source close to the company told Reuters on Wednesday.   Vodafone and Kabel Deutschland declined to comment. The British mobile operator had considered raising its initial offer before Liberty Global joined the bidding race, one source close to the matter said last week. Vodafone wants Kabel so that it can offer more competitive, c

Swiss parliament rejects U.S. tax deal

The Swiss lower house of parliament dealt a final death blow on Wednesday to a draft law aimed at protecting the country's banks from criminal charges in the United States for helping wealthy Americans to evade tax. _0"> The Swiss government has warned that the bill's failure could prompt impatient U.S. prosecutors to indict banks, although it could still invoke an executive order to allow them to hand over data to try to avert charges. The bill was aimed at allowing banks to sidestep Swiss secrecy laws by disclosing their U.S. dealings in a bid to help them strike deals that are nevertheless expected to include fines that could cost the industry as much as $10 billion.   Lawmakers from both the lower and upper houses of parliament agreed a statement saying they supported a solution to the long-running tax dispute and called on the government to allow banks to cooperate under existing laws.

NRC fines TVA for violation at Tennessee Watts Bar 2 reactor

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said Wednesday it proposed a $70,000 penalty against Tennessee Valley Authority for violations related to the use of commercial grade components during the construction of the Watts Bar 2 nuclear reactor. _0"> Watts Bar is located near Spring City, Tennessee about 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee. The NRC said in a release it requires certain components in a nuclear plant to meet strict nuclear quality assurance standards.   Companies can use commercial grade components so long as they put those components through a so-called dedication process that the NRC said provides reasonable assurance the parts are equivalent to nuclear grade items. This assurance is achieved through documented inspections, tests or analyses, the NRC said. The NRC said its inspectors in late 2012 and early this year identified three violations related to the commercial grade dedication program at the 1,150-megawatt (MW) Watts Bar 2. T

AIRSHOW-WRAPUP 2-Orders top $100 bln as Ryanair gives Boeing a boost

Orders at the Paris Airshow surpassed $100 billion on Wednesday, as planemakers Boeing and Airbus cashed in on demand for fuel-efficient jets and growth in both budget carriers and emerging markets. Ryanair, Europe's biggest low-cost airline, finalised an order for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft worth around $15.6 billion at list prices on day three of the aerospace industry's showcase event, the largest single order ever placed by a European airline with the U.S. group.   Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said he was also working on an order for 200 or more of Boeing's next-generation 737 MAX planes that could be concluded this year, potentially worth around $20 billion at list prices. Not to be overshadowed, Airbus sealed a long-awaited order for 25 of its lightweight, wide-body A350 planes from Air France-KLM worth $7.2 billion at list prices, as previously reported by Reuters. It also firmed up a deal worth $8.6 billion for 30 more A350-900s from Singapore

UPDATE 2-Tesla recalls some Model S cars due to seat-mount defect

Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc will recall 1,228 of its 2013 Model S cars manufactured between May 10 and June 8 due to a defect in the mounting bracket of the rear seat. The fix will cost Tesla about $150,000 during the second quarter, company spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks said. Tesla will inspect and reinforce the bracket in all the cars built during this time period. This is the first recall for the Model S, blemishing a clean public record for the electric sedan that received a rare, near-perfect score from influential Consumer Reports magazine. The U.S. automaker twice recalled its first model, the two-door Roadster sports car. In a statement posted on Tesla's website, Chief Executive Elon Musk said the Model S defect emerged after the factory made body side alignment changes that weakened the bracket.   A worker at the plant's assembly line in California noticed the defect and reported it to managers, Tesla told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

UPDATE 1-Commerzbank to cut around 5,200 jobs

Germany's second-largest lender Commerzbank said on Wednesday it will cut 5,200 jobs, about 12 percent of its 45,000 full-time staff, adding to job-shedding by banks across Europe. Banks including Lloyds, state-owned Dutch bank ABN AMRO and HSBC have been cutting jobs this year as tougher regulation after the global financial crisis and weak investment returns squeeze profit margins.   Commerzbank, 17 percent state-owned since a bailout during the crisis, posted a net loss of 94 million euros ($126 million) in the first three months of this year and booked a 493 million euro restructuring charge linked to 4,000-6,000 job losses. Around 3,900 jobs will be eliminated at the core bank in Germany , including 1,800 cuts at the retail bank. These are part of a 2 billion euro overhaul announced in November, which includes a revamp of retail business in Germany. The German operations employ about 41,000 staff. Because around 1,000 jobs will be created at Commerzbank's Mittelstand

UPDATE 2-Men's Wearhouse ousts founder Zimmer

Apparel retailer Men's Wearhouse Inc fired Executive Chairman George Zimmer, the face of the company he founded 40 years ago, sending its shares down as much as 6 percent. Men's Wearhouse, in a terse statement on Wednesday, gave no reason for his dismissal but Zimmer accused the board of trying to silence him for expressing concerns about the direction of the company he started in Texas in 1973.   "Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the boardroom that has, in part, contributed to our success, the board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns...", he said in a statement after the company announced his surprise ouster. Zimmer did not provide any details about his concerns. Men's Wearhouse also said it had postponed its annual shareholder meeting scheduled for Wednesday in order to renominate existing directors without Zimmer. "The board expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with t

UPDATE 1-Petrobras, Sinopec in talks to build $20 bln refinery

Petróleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-run oil company, and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp are in talks to build a $20 billion, 300,000-barrels-a-day refinery in the South American country, according to a securities filing on Wednesday. Petrobras said in the filing that the non-binding accord with Sinopec, as China Petroleum is known, allows both companies to study the feasibility of the project in the northeastern state of Maranhão. The talks could lead to the creation of a joint venture. The refinery, known as Premium I, is one of four that Petrobras hopes to open by 2017 in an effort to boost refinery capacity 50 percent to 3 million barrels a day by 2020. The project, initially budgeted at $20 billion, is expected to have initial output of 300,000 barrels per day, doubling to 600,000 bpd in 2020. Petrobras has been facing soaring costs and losses in its refining division due to government controls on gasoline prices. Also, it is trying to develop giant, new offshore oil

REFILE-UPDATE 1-U.S. fines ABN AMRO unit $1 million for violations

The top U.S. derivatives regulator fined ABN AMRO Clearing Chicago LLC $1 million for a raft of breaches in the handling of customer accounts over a period of three years. The Dutch bank's futures trading unit had failed to properly segregate client funds by placing them in separate accounts on four occasions, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Wednesday. The unit also failed to meet minimum capital requirements, maintain accurate books and records, or supervise its employees, said the CFTC, which oversees both futures and swaps markets. "Each of these violations was a result of ABN AMRO's insufficient controls, reflecting a lack of supervision over ... accounts," the CFTC said in its order. The breaches of the rules occurred over a three-year period between March 2009 through at least January 2012.   Lax protection of customer funds contributed to the collapse of futures brokerage MF Global in October 2011, which left clients short of $1.6

Riverstone raises $7.7 billion for energy fund

Riverstone Holdings LLC has secured $7.7 billion from investors for its latest fund, the first the energy-focused private equity firm has raised since ending a collaboration with peer Carlyle Group LP. _0"> Riverstone said the fund, called Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund V, will focus on building energy and power businesses around the world. The firm had originally targeted raising $6 billion for the fund, which has already invested $2.3 billion in 19 companies. New York-based Riverstone and Washington-based Carlyle launched six funds together beginning in 2000 that were focused on buyouts in the energy and power sectors, accumulating about $15 billion in assets under management. But the two private equity firms decided to go it alone in 2011.   Riverstone, which was founded in 2000, has committed about $22.3 billion to 99 investments in the midstream, exploration and production, oilfield services, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry. Its founder, D

European shares close slightly lower ahead of Fed

European shares ended slightly lower on Wednesday in thin trading volumes, as investors eagerly awaited clues from the U.S. Federal Reserve about whether or not it will soon start to wind down its stimulus measures. _0"> The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally closed 0.2 percent lower, at 1,180.73 points, after spending the session in a tight range. Investors avoided increasing their exposure to equities ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's decision on the quantitative easing programme, and ahead of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's press conference, both due after European markets' closing bell.   The Fed will likely say that it will keep buying bonds at a monthly pace of $85 billion, while keeping its options open to trim the programme later in the year if the U.S. labour market continues to pick up. "Stocks have sharply dropped since late May, with the market now pricing in a cut of $20 billion in September or October on the a