BC-Business News Digest

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SAN FRANCISCO — Software engineers wearing jeans and flip flops test the latest smartphone apps. Walls and windows double as whiteboards where ideas are jotted down. And a mini basketball net is in the center of it all. At first glance, this workplace resembles any Silicon Valley startup. There's just one exception: Target's trademark red bulls-eye at the entrance. Target Corp. is among a growing number of old-line retailers opening tech offices in Silicon Valley. The goal? To replicate the nimbleness of the startup culture so they can stay on top of new technology. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 980 words, photos, video.


HONG KONG — They gather in California churches, in Hong Kong shopping malls, at prayer vigils in Bahrain and on hastily launched Facebook pages. Philippine overseas workers, cut off from home after a super-typhoon killed thousands, are coming together to pray, swap information and launch aid drives. Sending $21.4 billion back home last year alone, Filipino overseas workers are a major part of their country's economy with their remittances equaling nearly 10 percent of gross domestic product. By Kay Johnson and Kelvin Chan. SENT: 980 words, photos.


NEW YORK — As Sony and Microsoft once again spar this holiday season over who has the brawnier game console and more enticing online features, hardcore gamers are all but certain to fall for the shiny, powerful new consoles. But what's less clear is how the gadgets will compete for the attention of people who now look to their tablets, smartphones and other devices for entertainment. The PlayStation 4 goes on sale Friday and the Xbox One will be released next week. By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 880 words, photos, video. Moved previously.


President Obama said Thursday that his administration would no longer require insurance companies to jettison current plans that fall short of minimum coverage standards under the health care overhaul. But a number of obstacles could keep insurers from continuing old policies they had already planned to scrap. Here's a Q&A answering all of your questions. By Tom Murphy. UPCOMING: 600 words by 3 p.m.


BEIJING — China's leaders pledge to open state-dominated industries wider to private competition and ease limits on foreign investment in e-commerce and other businesses in a sweeping reform plan aimed at rejuvenating a slowing economy. The changes promised in a report issued following a closely watched Communist Party conference could be China's most significant economic overhaul in at least two decades. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.


— CHINA POLITICS — China will loosen its decades-old one-child policy and abolish a much-criticized labor camp system. SENT: 890 words, photos.


— INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION — U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production. Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities. SENT: 400 words, photos.

— WHOLESALE INVENTORIES — U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in September for the third straight month, an indication that they expect more demand from businesses and consumers. Wholesale stockpiles rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. That follows an increase of 0.8 percent in the previous month. August's increase was the highest in seven months. SENT: 300 words, photos.

—POSTAL PROBLEMS — The U.S. Postal Service lost $5 billion over the past year, and postal officials are urging Congress to pass legislation to help the beleaguered agency solve its financial woes. SENT: 460 words.


NEW YORK — Stocks are edging higher on Wall Street, pushing major indexes further into record territory. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

— OIL PRICES — The price of oil rises above $94 a barrel after incoming Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen indicated that economic stimulus will remain in place pending further improvement in the U.S. economy. SENT: 250 words. UPCOMING: 450 words by 3:30 p.m.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A top Volkswagen labor official says a pending decision about union representation for workers at the automaker's lone U.S. plant will have no bearing on whether the company will decide to add the production of another vehicle there. The world's third-largest automaker, which is mulling whether to make a new SUV in Mexico or Tennessee, shocked Southern union foes by engaging in talks with the United Auto Workers about creating a German-style "works council" at the Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. By Erik Schelzig. SENT: 610 words, photo.

— GENERAL MOTORS-MALIBU RECALL — General Motors is recalling nearly 60,000 Chevy Malibu midsize cars to fix power seat wiring that can catch fire and window defrosters that may not work. SENT: 260 words.


WASHINGTON — First, President Barack Obama had his say on reversing millions of insurance cancellations issued under the health care program known by his name. Now House Republicans are taking their turn. Neither maneuver is likely to be the last, with insurance companies and state commissioners alike warning that premiums will rise if changes are made this close to the new year. By David Espo. SENT: 910 words, photos, audio, video.



WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, trying to rescue his much-criticized health care program, is set to discuss strategy with health insurance CEOs. The White House meeting scheduled for Friday comes after Obama announced a substantial change to the law. By Julie Pace. SENT: 150 words, photo. UPCOMING: xxx words by xx.

— SPAIN-JPMORGAN-TRADING-LOSS-PROBE — A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. trader wanted by the United States for allegedly falsifying bank records to cover up $6 billion in trading losses tells Spain's National Court he will challenge extradition. A court spokesman said Friday that Javier Martin-Artajo, 49, opposes the petition because he is Spanish. SENT: 140 words.

— AMERICAN AIRLINES-NASDAQ — American Airlines says it will list its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "AAL" after completing a merger with US Airways and becoming the world's biggest airline. SENT: 480 words.

— JOS A BANK-MEN'S WEARHOUSE — Jos. A. Bank withdraws its $2.3 billion offer to buy rival Men's Wearhouse. Jos. A. Bank made an unsolicited offer of $48 per share for Men's Wearhouse Inc. in September. Men's Wearhouse rejected the bid in October, calling it "opportunistic" and "inadequate." SENT: 300 words.



Short reviews for a selection of new games designed for the machine. By Lou Kesten. SENT: 600 words, photo.

— BRITAIN-LONDON DOMAIN — The British capital has won approval to use the .london domain, making it one of a growing number of major cities which claim their own chunk of the World Wide Web. SENT: 120 words.


— EUROPE-FINANCIAL-CRISIS — European Union finance ministers vowed to make sure the region's banks have restructuring plans ready in case they flunk a key review of their finances. SENT: 370 words, photos.

— EUROPE-BUDGETS — European Union officials have cautioned Spain and Italy that their budget plans risk breaching EU rules aimed at keeping deficits and debt under control. SENT: 380 words, photos.

— JAPAN-CLIMATE CHANGE — Japan has drastically scaled back its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, possibly complicating efforts to forge a global climate change pact. SENT: 780 words, photos.

— PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-ECONOMY — The Philippine government said damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan may reduce economic growth this year to less than 7 percent. SENT: 450 words.

— HONG KONG-ECONOMY — Hong Kong's economy lost some steam in the third quarter on weak global demand for exports from the trade-reliant Asian financial center. SENT: 140 words.

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On fire

The next "Hunger Games" movie to be released next weekend could reignite the already hot Lions Gate Entertainment. The stock has doubled this year after rising 97 percent in 2012. Although highly anticipated, it's another heroine-led action thriller waiting in the wings called "Divergent" that may determine whether the flames fan higher or cool off. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Jos A Bank drops Wearhouse bid

After several attempts at trying to make a deal, Jos. A. Bank withdrew its $2.3 billion offer to buy rival Men's Wearhouse. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.