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Top Amazon executive to take 2-year post with Italian prime minister

ROME, Feb 10- A top executive at Amazon.com, Diego Piacentini, is taking a two-year leave of absence to lead Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's digital technology office, the company said on Wednesday. "Come to Italy and we can talk about innovation!" Only some 36 percent of Italian households are covered by so-called next-generation-access networks,...
Source: Reuters
UPDATE 1-Growth, migration worries put EU deficit rules to new test

*France, Italy, Spain, Portugal at odds with EU commitments. BRUSSELS, Feb 4- Almost half of euro zone countries are facing a clash over EU deficit reduction rules unless they change policies, European Commission forecasts showed, posing a challenge to EU laws that set limits on spending to protect the value of the euro. Governments also argue that they need to spend...
Source: Reuters | By: Jan Strupczewski
UPDATE 1-World food prices start 2016 at near seven-year low

ROME, Feb 4- World food prices fell to near a seven-year low in January, weighed down by declines for agricultural commodities, particularly sugar, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged...
Source: Reuters | By: Isla Binnie
European shares end lower on disappointing U.S data, weak earnings

*Pan-European index down almost 10 pct this year. MILAN/ LONDON, Feb 3- European shares fell sharply on Wednesday as disappointing economic data from the United States further undermined sentiment already hurt by weak earnings updates. "Sentiment has weakened materially and is being undermined by mounting worries over global economic growth spanning from...
Source: Reuters | By: Danilo Masoni and Sudip Kar-Gupta
European shares hurt by weak earnings, disappointing U.S. data

LONDON/ MILAN, Feb 3- European shares fell on Wednesday as weak earnings from some leading companies weighed on markets, although Syngenta surged after ChemChina agreed a bid for the Swiss seeds and pesticides group. Markets extended losses after a report in the United States said the service sector in the world's largest economy slowed more than expected in...
Source: Reuters | By: Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni
Lufthansa, Iberia defeat U.S. passenger appeals over flight delays

Tuesday's decision by Judge Richard Posner of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the hurdles that passengers can face in holding carriers liable for travel snags, including when foreign laws or code-sharing arrangements are involved. In the first case, the appeals court said Deutsche Lufthansa AG owed nothing to a California man who arrived in...
Source: Reuters | By: Jonathan Stempel
UPDATE 2-Rouhani invites U.S. firms to invest in changing Iranian economy

DUBAI, Feb 2- Iran has no problem with U.S. companies investing in its economy and creating joint ventures, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, and he called for foreign investment and diversification away from oil. The president said the lifting of sanctions last month under a nuclear deal with world powers would see foreign investment turn Iran into an...
Source: Reuters | By: Sam Wilkin
UPDATE 2-Argentina reaches cash deal with Italian creditors over defaulted debt

BUENOS AIRES/ ROME, Feb 2- Argentina has reached a deal to pay $1.35 billion in cash to a group of Italian creditors who hold unpaid sovereign debt stemming from the South American country's record default in 2002, the investors said on Tuesday. The deal, which is subject to approval in Argentina's Congress, represents a payment of 150 percent on the $900 million...
Source: Reuters | By: Richard Lough and Stefano Bernabei
Why we should worry about Libya...again

A global coalition is meeting to focus on Islamic State's strengthening presence in Libya and how to prevent it seizing more parts of the country.
Source: CNBC.com | By: Holly Ellyatt
CNBC update: Groundhog sees no shadow  

Bill Cosby arrived at a Pennsylvania courthouse where his lawyers will try to get a judge to drop sexual assault charges against him; Secretary of State John Kerry is attending an anti-ISIS coalition meeting in Rome; and groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, reports CNBC's Sue Herera.
Source: CNBC.com