Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:



HONG KONG — Since China took control of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997, the city's billionaires have played a leading role in hewing the Asian financial center to Beijing's priorities. So too have a dwindling band of fishermen and farmers. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 950 words, photos.


ATHENS, Greece — Greece's radical left-led government survives another revolt by rebels in the early hours, passing reforms that should pave the way for the imminent start of bailout discussions with European creditors. The reforms to the judiciary and banking systems were the final hurdle the country had to clear before talks can start over a third bailout worth around 85 billion euros ($93 billion). By Nicholas Paphitis and Menelaos Hadjicostis. SENT: 800 words, photos.



ATHENS, Greece — Empty storefronts are again a feature of Greece's towns and cities as recession and austerity return. By Derek Gatopoulos. SENT: 700 words, photos.


NEW YORK — Google's new service for organizing and backing up images blends some of the best of what Apple and Yahoo have rolled out in recent months. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 870 words, photos.



WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid plunges last week to the lowest level in nearly 42 years, evidence that employers are holding onto their staffs and likely hiring at a steady pace. Yet the drop also reflects seasonal volatility in the data. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 490 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy posted another solid increase in June, providing further hope that the economy will gain momentum in the second half of this year. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 11 a.m.


WASHINGTON — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, retreating from highs for the year and amplifying the incentive for prospective home buyers. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 300 words by 11 a.m.


NEW YORK — U.S. stocks drift mostly lower in early trading as investors review the latest batch of corporate earnings news. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.


WASHINGTON — Despite a recent slowdown, the Chinese feel better about their economy than people in any other country. The Pew Research Center reports that a world-beating 90 percent of Chinese call their economy "good" and 84 percent expect things to be better in 12 months. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

— ITALY-FERRARI-PUBLIC OFFERING — Ferrari's parent company files an initial public offering to list shares of the luxury sports car brand on the New York Stock Exchange. SENT: 130 words, photo.



OAK BROOK, Ill. — A dropoff in customers at its U.S. restaurants contributes to a 13 percent decline in McDonald's second-quarter profit. By Candice Choi. SENT: 400 words, photo.


United and Southwest report financial results for the second quarter. Incorporates EARNS-SOUTHWEST AIRLINES and EARNS-UNITED CONTINENTAL. UPCOMING.


DETROIT — Big profits from trucks and SUVs helped General Motors overcome a sales slowdown in China, economic problems in Venezuela and payments to ignition switch crash victims as the automaker's second-quarter net income rose sixfold to nearly $1.12 billion. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 520 words, photo.

— EARNS-3M — Some lower expenses help 3M post a higher profit in the second quarter, but foreign currency translation pressures its revenue. SENT: 200 words.

— EARNS-UNION PACIFIC — Union Pacific's second-quarter profit declined 7 percent as the railroad hauled 6 percent less freight overall and coal volumes plummeted 26 percent. By Josh Funk. SENT: 330 words.

— SKOREA-EARNS-HYUNDAI MOTOR — Hyundai Motor Co. said its second quarter earnings sank 24 percent due to a sales drop in China and weakness in other markets due to falling currencies. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— GERMANY-EARNS-DAIMLER — German automaker Daimler's net profit rises 8 percent in the second quarter, boosted by strong sales at its core Mercedes-Benz brand. SENT: 210 words, photos.

— SWITZERLAND-EARNS-CREDIT SUISSE — Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG says second quarter net income was a strong 1.051 billion Swiss francs ($1.096 billion) after a large loss in the same quarter last year when it was fined in a U.S. tax case. SENT: 140 words.

SWITZERLAND-EARNS-ROCHE— Drug maker Roche Holding AG says its first-half profit was weighed down by the surging Swiss franc and one-time effects, while solid sales of cancer treatments helped push revenue higher. SENT: 130 words.



NEW YORK — Wal-Mart purchases the remaining stake in Chinese online retailer Yihaodian as it looks to expand its presence in the country and take advantage of the shift to online shopping. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 400 words.

— HARLEY-DAVIDSON RECALL — Harley-Davidson is recalling more than 185,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because the saddlebags can come loose and fall off, increasing the risk of a crash. SENT: 140 words.

— EUROPE-US MOVIE STUDIOS — The European Union launches an antitrust case against six major U.S. movie studios, including Disney and Warner Bros., and British satellite broadcaster Sky for restricting access across the 28-country bloc. By Raf Casert. SENT: 450 words, photos.



NEW YORK — Despite a slowdown in subscriber growth, the Internet is still propelling Comcast. The country's largest cable company added 180,000 Internet customers in the April-June quarter, bringing its total Internet subscribers to 22.6 million. By Tali Arbel. SENT: 410 words, photo. Incorporates EARNS-COMCAST.

— BRITAIN-FINANCIAL TIMES — Pearson PLC, the owner of the Financial Times, confirms it is in "advanced discussions" about the potential sale of the newspaper. SENT: 190 words, photo.



VIENNA — Less than 10 days after signing its nuclear deal, Iran formally opens its doors to European Union companies, eager to do business — and dozens of firms answered the call. SENT: 560 words, photos.

— SPAIN-UNEMPLOYMENT — Spain's unemployment rate drops to 22.4 percent in the second quarter, welcome news for the governing Popular Party as it prepares for upcoming general elections. SENT: 230 words.

— SKOREA-ECONOMY — South Korea's quarterly growth slowed to the lowest in more than two years as a severe drought hit agriculture and an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome sapped consumption. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 250 words, photos.

— PORTUGAL-ELECTION — Portugal will elect a new government on Oct. 4, with voters choosing whether to stick with austerity policies or get more money in their pockets. SENT: 330 words, photo.