Google to be part of new holding company, 'Alphabet'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Google, which has been expanding far beyond its original business of Internet search advertising, is changing its operating structure by creating a new holding company called Alphabet.

The company says its new structure will give more independence to many of its wide-ranging and ambitious projects.

Under the plan announced Monday, Alphabet will be comprised of the core Google business including Internet search, mapping and YouTube along with newer businesses that will be managed separately, such as Google Fiber, Nest and the investment arm Google Ventures.


AP EXCLUSIVE: US air controller study shows chronic fatigue

WASHINGTON (AP) Air traffic controllers' work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering the safety of the country's air traffic system, according to a study the U.S. government has kept secret for nearly four years.

Federal Aviation Administration officials have declined to furnish a copy of the report despite repeated requests and a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press. However, the AP was able to obtain a draft of the final report dated Dec. 1, 2011.


Berkshire Hathaway buying Precision Castparts for about $32B

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Warren Buffett's biggest acquisition yet a $32.36 billion buyout of Precision Castparts will further change the complexion of Berkshire Hathaway and increase the conglomerate's reliance on industrial companies.

The deal announced Monday to acquire the aerospace and industrial company adds to a string of manufacturing acquisitions Berkshire completed in recent years outside of the insurance industry that fueled its growth.

The Omaha-based conglomerate already owned an eclectic mix of more than 80 subsidiaries.


Tech Tips: Are you better off keeping Verizon contract plan?

NEW YORK (AP) Verizon is doing the unthinkable: Starting Thursday, the nation's largest wireless company will eliminate two-year service contracts, along with the practice of offering discounted phones at prices of $100 or $200.

Although this has already been an option with major phone carriers, Verizon joins T-Mobile in dropping contracts and discounted phones entirely for new customers. Under the new system, people will buy phones outright, with the option of paying the full retail price in monthly, interest-free installments.

This will be better in the long run. Although it's nice to get a $650 phone for $200 with a contract, you pay for it in higher monthly fees for voice, text and data services.


Diet Pepsi gets rid of aspartame, but will customers return?

NEW YORK (AP) A revamped Diet Pepsi without aspartame is popping up on store shelves. So will people start flocking back to the soda?

PepsiCo says its new Diet Pepsi should be available nationally this week. In response to customer feedback, the company said earlier this year that it would replace the aspartame in the drink with another artificial sweetener that has less baggage.

The rollout will test the theory that the sweetener is to blame for fleeing customers, or if other issues might be at play. Other diet sodas that still have aspartame include Diet Coke, Diet Dr Pepper and Fanta Zero.


Japan to restart 1st reactor under new rules since crisis

TOKYO (AP) A power plant operator said it will restart a reactor in southern Japan on Tuesday, the first restart under new safety requirements following the Fukushima disaster and a milestone for the nation's return to nuclear power.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Monday that it will restart the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant Tuesday morning.


Novavax: Early study indicates its vaccine effective vs. RSV

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) Early research in older adults found an experimental vaccine prevented nearly two-thirds of serious cases of a common, seasonal respiratory virus that annually kills thousands of vulnerable people babies and senior citizens.

If further testing by vaccine developer Novavax goes well, in a few years the biotech company's genetically engineered shot could become the first vaccine approved against respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.


Parent of Columbia House files for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) The company that once offered to sell you eight CDs for 1 cent has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after almost 20 years of falling sales.

The parent of the Columbia House music and DVD clubs said Monday it plans to sell its Columbia House DVD Club business, which sells recorded movies and TV series directly to consumers, through a bankruptcy auction.

The reasons for the bankruptcy read like a history of the changes that have swept through the entertainment industry and retail over the last two decades.


Drones getting in way of US emergency responders

SAN DIEGO (AP) Drones have become a serious nuisance for firefighting pilots and other first responders, fueling calls for more oversight and self-policing in the skies.

The U.S. Forest Service has tallied 13 wildfires in which suspected drones interfered with firefighting aircraft this year 11 since late June up from four fires last year and only scattered incidents before. Last month, the sighting of five drones in a wildfire that closed Interstate 15 in Southern California and destroyed numerous vehicles grounded crews for 20 minutes as flames spread.

Firefighting agencies have introduced public service announcements to warn drone hobbyists, while lawmakers are seeking stiffer penalties for interfering.


After Netflix, Adobe extends parental leave policy

NEW YORK (AP) Adobe is the latest tech company to extend its paid parental leave policy after Netflix said it would offer corporate employees up to a year of paid leave to care for new babies.

Adobe Systems Inc. said Monday that it will offer parents who are the primary caregivers 16 weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. That's in addition to 10 weeks of paid medical leave following childbirth, so a new mother could take a total of 26 weeks off up from the current nine weeks.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 241.79 points, or 1.4 percent, to 17,615.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 26.61 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,104.18. The Nasdaq composite climbed 58.25 points, or 1.2 percent, to 5,101.80.

U.S. crude rose $1.09 to close at $44.96 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose $1.80 to close at $50.41 in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 7.1 cents to close at $1.694 a gallon. Heating oil rose 4.85 cents to close at $1.592 a gallon. Natural gas rose 4.4 cents to close at $2.842 per 1,000 cubic feet.