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BEIJING China's central bank unexpectedly slashed interest rates on Friday to re-energize the world's No. 2 economy, joining other major economies in trying to stimulate growth. The president of the European Central Bank said Friday he was prepared to do more. And Japan delayed a tax increase earlier this week after the country slipped back into recession. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 680 words.



NEW YORK U.S. financial markets rise in afternoon trading as investors cheer a surprise interest rate cut in China and a hint of further stimulus for Europe from the head of the region's central bank. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 420 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.



FRANKFURT, Germany Japan's return to recession has renewed questions about the effectiveness of buying government bonds to stimulate an economy and how far such a program would help in Europe. Here's a look at the potential impact of such stimulus in the 18-country eurozone as the European Central Bank considers using it as well. By Pan Pylas and David McHugh. SENT: 980 words, photo.


EUROPE-STIMULUS-WHAT IS IT? It's the stimulus measure called quantitative easing, or often simply, "printing money." Here's how it works. SENT: 250 words, photo.


NEW YORK The flurry of corporate mergers lately may or may not pay off for shareholders, but one thing is for sure: The bosses who are selling will do just fine. CEOs of selling companies in the 10 biggest deals this year are set to make an estimated $432 million in "golden parachute" payments, according to a study by pay-tracking firm Equilar at the request of The Associated Press. By Bernard Condon. SENT: 910 words, photos.


NEW YORK Even casual viewers of online video will appreciate the ability to watch it on a big-screen TV set. For about $100, you can get a great streaming TV device to do just that. Or for a third of that, you can get a fairly good one. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 760 words, photos.


AEREO-BANKRUPTCY Online streaming service Aereo says it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court was too difficult to overcome. SENT: 310 words, photo.


WASHINGTON The White House says President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions would boost the economy by expanding the U.S. labor force and increasing worker productivity. But Obama's plan didn't satisfy the tech sector, which has lobbied hard to increase the number of visas for skilled tech workers and entrepreneurs. By Jim Kuhnhenn and Brandon Bailey. SENT: 330 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: 350 words by 2 p.m.


ORLANDO, Fla. Your local fun zone, amusement center and theme park is facing an existential challenge these days. They need to lure you, the American guest, off your sofa with your high resolution, interactive video games and into their world of fun real life fun. By Tamara Lush. SENT: 720 words, photos, video.



WASHINGTON Unemployment rates fell in 34 U.S. states in October, a sign that steady hiring this year has been broadly dispersed through most of the country. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 320 words.

RUSSIA-SAUDI ARABIA Russia's foreign minister says there should be no move to cut global energy production, even as the country's economy takes a hit from falling oil prices. SENT: 310 words, photos.

EUROPE-ECONOMY European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says the eurozone's chief monetary authority is willing to "step up the pressure" and increase its efforts to stimulate the struggling economy. SENT: 430 words, photos.



BISMARCK, N.D. The new leader of North Dakota's oil-rich Three Affiliated Tribes is pledging to speed negotiations on a proposed pipeline through tribal land that would curb the wasteful burning of natural gas in the state by more than 10 percent. By James MacPherson. SENT: 580 words, photo.

JAPAN-US-AIR BAGS Japan's transport ministry says it has ordered air bag maker Takata to conduct an internal investigation after cases of its air bags exploding triggered safety concerns in the U.S. and other countries. SENT: 300 words.

DOW CHEMICAL-THIRD POINT Dow Chemical Co. says it will add four new members to its board of directors after pressure from hedge fund activist Daniel Loeb's Third Point. SENT: 230 words.

SPORTS-BETTING A ruling could come on whether New Jersey horse tracks and casinos can start accepting bets on sports in defiance of the nation's major sports leagues and the federal government. SENT: 280 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated from ruling, timing uncertain, then 500 words by 6 p.m.

LEXUS RECALL Toyota is recalling nearly 423,000 Lexus luxury brand cars in the U.S. to fix fuel leaks that can cause fires. The recalls affect the 2006 to 2011 GS, 2007 to 2010 LS and the 2006 to 2011 IS models. SENT: 200 words, photo.

FRANCE-HSBC HSBC bank is placed under formal investigation in France over services it offered to clients required to pay taxes in France, just days after the private banking branch was charged in Belgium with organized fiscal fraud. SENT: 220 words.

GULF PLATFORM-EXPLOSION An explosion on an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico kills one person and injures three. SENT: 230 words.

MOHEGAN SUN-CEO Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, says he plans to retire next year, but will stay on in a transition. SENT: 130 words.

HOUSE-HEALTH LAW LAWSUIT House Republicans have sued the Obama administration over steps President Barack Obama took to put his health law into place. SENT: 580 words.

SAGE GROUSE-ENERGY A government study with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says the breeding grounds of a struggling bird species need a 3-mile or larger buffer from oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects. SENT: 520 words.

ETHANOL IN GASOLINE The Obama administration is delaying a decision on whether to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply. SENT: 550 words.

GLASS IN HAMBURGER A former McDonald's worker acquitted of charges he placed shards of glass into a police officer's Big Mac nearly a decade ago has won a $437,000 settlement from the city after arguing the officer fabricated the story to win money by suing the fast food restaurant. SENT: 640 words.

FORD PICKUP-FUEL ECONOMY Ford says its new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup will get up to 26 mpg on the highway, making it the most fuel efficient gas-powered full-size pickup. SENT: 420 words.



LONDON Artillery booms. A trench comes into view. Soldiers huddle into overcoats for warmth. The scene is the unlikely backdrop for a holiday commercial that has many Britons reaching for hankies and others demanding it be pulled from the air. The 3-minute, 40-second mini-movie from the Sainsbury's grocery chain has sparked debate on whether it is appropriate for corporations to use sensitive national history for commercial use. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 960 words, photos.


MALAYSIA-FUEL SUBSIDIES Malaysia's government says it will completely withdraw fuel subsidies from next month following the plunge in global oil prices. SENT: 300 words.

NETHERLANDS-GOLD The Dutch Central Bank says it has recently shipped 122.5 tons of gold worth around 4 billion euros ($5 billion) from safekeeping in New York back to its headquarters in Amsterdam. SENT: 120 words.

GREECE-BUDGET Greece's government submits its 2015 budget to Parliament, predicting the economy will emerge from recession with growth of 2.9 percent next year. SENT: 270 words, photos.

SERBIA-UKRAINIAN BILLIONAIRE Serbia will revoke the citizenship it granted to Ukrainian businessman Sergei Kurchenko, who is on a European Union sanctions list and wanted in his country on embezzlement charges, officials said Friday. SENT: 240 words.



Stocks can keep climbing next year, tacking even more onto their phenomenal run of the last five-plus years. Just don't expect the gains to be as big -- or to come with as little heartburn -- as before. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m.

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Time to buy?

Digital downloads and streaming video have led to the demise of physical music stories and video-rental shops. But analysts are split on whether the video game retailer GameStop is likely to meet the same fate. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Hertz appoints CEO

Shares of Hertz Global rose sharply Friday after the company announced the appointment of a new CEO. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.