Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:


FEDERAL RESERVE-YELLEN Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen tells Congress that economic conditions are falling into place for policymakers to raise interest rates when they meet in two weeks as long as there are no major shocks that undermine her confidence. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 10:30 a.m.

EUROPE-ECONOMY The European Central Bank cuts one of its key interest rates and promises to unveil more stimulus measures in an attempt to boost lending and help the growth in the 19-country eurozone economy. By David McHugh. SENT: 670 words, photo. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

With: EUROPE-ECONOMY-LATEST Rolling updates on the news conference, market reaction, analysis.

SMALLBIZ-SMALLTALK With the start of the holiday shopping season behind them and the big final push still to come, small retailers have to get creative to bring customers in. The post-Black Friday weekend lull is a particular challenge for small and independent stores because they usually can't afford to offer deep discounts like the national chain stores. By Joyce Rosenberg. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 2 p.m.

CLIMATE COUNTDOWN-CAPTURING CARBON The Kemper County power plant was supposed to be up and running by now, showing the world how to burn coal without spewing climate-warming carbon pollution into the air. Instead, the coal plant towering over pine trees and pastures in rural Mississippi is looking like another monument to the unfulfilled promise of carbon capture technology. By Karl Ritter and Jeff Amy. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video.

HONG KONG-NO SPACE TO DIE In Hong Kong, the afterlife can be just as expensive as being alive. Limited land to build on and soaring property prices mean the city is fast running out of space to store the dead. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 960 words, photos.


WASHINGTON The European Central Bank is cutting interest rates. The Federal Reserve is about to raise them. The conflicting steps reflect a U.S. job market that will likely confirm Friday that it's regained its health and a European economy that's still sputtering. As Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifies to Congress Thursday, what are economic policymakers trying to achieve? By Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 850 words by 3 p.m.



WASHINGTON Is the U.S. job market finally healthy enough to boost long-stagnant pay? Friday's jobs report will show whether recent modest pay gains are continuing -- and will likely provide the final evidence for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month. By Christopher S. Rugaber. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m.

ECONOMY-SERVICES A private survey says U.S. services firms grew last month at the weakest pace since May. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 10:45 a.m.

FACTORY ORDERS U.S. factory orders rebounded in October after two prior monthly declines, helped by rising demand for aircraft, computers and machinery. By Josh Boak. SENT: 140 words: UPCOMING: 350 words by 10:45 a.m.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS More people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but the levels remain near historic lows that point toward a healthy job markets. By Josh Boak. SENT: 330 words.

MORTGAGE RATES Freddie Mac reports on average U.S. mortgage rates. Last week, the nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage slipped to 3.95 percent from 3.97 percent a week earlier. By Marcy Gordon. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m. 300 words by 10:45 a.m.

FINANCIAL MARKETS U.S. stocks open modestly higher as several companies report solid earnings. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

OPEC MEETING Cheap oil that could get even cheaper: That's the challenge OPEC ministers face as they try to cut their losses at a time when supply is outstripping demand. By George Jahn. SENT: 700 words, photos.


OF MUTUAL INTEREST-TAX BITE Never mind that this year has largely been a dud for stocks. A tax bill is still coming for many mutual-fund investors. More than a dozen funds have already said they expect to pass along distributions in coming weeks that could be more than 30 percent of their total assets. UPCOMING: 800 words by 5 p.m.

ON THE MONEY-ONLINE PET HELP When Fido or Fluffy appear ill, pet owners wonder whether to rush to an emergency clinic. But there's a new way to decide whether a pricey, time-consuming trip to a pet ER is warranted, thanks to technology created for humans: telemedicine, which connects doctors with patients via smartphones and tablets. By Linda Johnson. UPCOMING: 760 words by 10:30 a.m., photos.


JAPAN-TOYOTA-ROBOTS Toyota Motor Corp. is harboring big ambitions to become a significant player in the growing market for robots that help the elderly and other people get around in everyday life. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 550 words, photos.

NIGERIA-MTN FINE MTN says Nigeria is slashing its massive fine by more than a third to $3.4 billion, and the CEO of the embattled Nigerian subsidiary of Africa's largest telecommunications giant is resigning. By Michelle Faul. SENT: 280 words.

JAPAN-JX HOLDINGS-TAKEOVER JX Holdings Inc., Japan's largest oil refiner and wholesaler, plans to take over smaller rival TonenGeneral Sekiyu, forming a behemoth with combined sales of 14 trillion yen ($113 billion). SENT: 230 words.

EUROPE-MCDONALD'S TAX The European Union is investigating allegations that fast food giant McDonald's received a sweet tax deal from Luxembourg, at a time the EU is trying to come down hard on preferential treatment for multinationals. By Raf Casert. SENT: 500 words.

BRITAIN-BEER MERGER Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev is considering the sale of premium brands Peroni and Grolsch to meet regulatory concerns ahead of its purchase of SABMiller. SENT: 140 words.

CYPRUS-GAS Cyprus says French energy company Total has renewed its license to search for oil and gas in waters off the eastern Mediterranean island nation's southern coast for another two years. SENT: 130 words.

NRG ENERGY-CEO RESIGNS NRG Energy announced the resignation of long-time CEO David Crane. SENT: 130 words.


MOBILE VS TV TIME The use of Internet-ready devices like smartphones has seriously cut into American's TV-watching time, new Nielsen data shows, belying the common view that mobile devices merely serve as "second screens" while people are plopped in front of the set. AP Exclusive by Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 360 words.

GOOGLE-CLEANER ENERGY Google is nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy feeding its massive data centers that enable more than 1 billion people to search for information, watch video clips and communicate virtually anytime they want. By Michael Liedtke. SENT: 400 words.

NOKIA-HERE MAPS Nokia says it has received all regulatory approvals for the 2.8 billion euro ($3.1 billion) sale of its mapping unit to a consortium of German carmakers, Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG, and expects to close it ahead of schedule on Friday.


ASIA-ECONOMY China's economy will grow slightly faster than expected this year at 6.9 percent and its shift to fostering services and private consumption is helping to support regional growth, the Asian Development Bank says. By Teresa Cerojano. SENT: 450 words.

BANK OF CHINA-COUNTERFEITS The Bank of China is appealing a decision by a New York court to fine it $50,000 a day for withholding information about counterfeiters' bank accounts in China. By Erika Kinetz. SENT: 670 words.

GREECE-STRIKE Public and private sector workers walked off the job Thursday in Greece's second 24-hour general strike in a month against new austerity measures. SENT: 330 words, photos.