BC-Business News Digest
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— Adds: DISNEY LAYOFFS
— Updates: CELLPHONES-PLANES-FCC
NEW YORK — A day after setting off an uproar among travelers opposed to the idea of in-flight phone calls, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Chairman backtracks, saying he personally isn't in favor of calls on planes, but that there is technically no reason to prohibit them. SENT: 210 words. UPCOMING: 430 words by 6 pm.
— CELLPHONES-PLANES-TRAVELERS — Airline passengers have already been stripped of their legroom, hot meals and personal space. Now, they might also lose their silence. By Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 619 words, photos.
The leader of Tesla Motors is confident that his Model S electric car is safe and will be cleared by federal investigators looking into two recent fires. CEO Elon Musk says the fires are extreme cases that happened after the cars hit road debris at high speeds. Musk says in an interview with The Associated Press that he doesn't expect a recall, and his engineers are not working on any changes to the cars, which sell for $70,000 or more. By Tom Krisher. UPCOMING: 250 words by 6:00 p.m., 400 words by 6:30 p.m., photos.
LOS ANGELES —Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates donned a cool leather jacket when he first introduced the Xbox onstage in 2000. More than a decade later, the game console is still the hippest brand in Microsoft's portfolio. But as the company begins selling the first new Xbox in eight years, some critics say the unit should be spun off. They argue it's a money-loser that distracts management from focusing on cloud computing and other profitable segments. Here are the pros and cons of spinning off Xbox. By Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 800 words, photos, video.
DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-XBOX ONE-GAMES
Gadget junkies love a new machine. This week is the Xbox One's turn in the spotlight. It's a fun machine to mess around with, whether you're experimenting with the voice and motion controls of its Kinect camera or using apps like YouTube and Netflix to feed Internet video to your big-screen HDTV. But most early adopters want to know what games they can play. The Xbox One launches with a selection of 22 games. By Lou Kesten. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— XBOXING THE NFL — Microsoft, which entered a five-year, $400 million deal with the NFL in May, launches Xbox One, which will provide fans with pretty much everything but snacks as they watch the action. SENT 700 words.
JAPAN-EXPLOITING FOREIGN WORKERS
YORII, Japan — When Chinese textile worker Wang Ming Zhi heard he could more than triple his income with a three-year stint working in Japan as an apprentice, he eagerly paid a broker $7,300 in fees and deposit money. But when he joined 150,000 other interns from poor Asian countries working in Japan, Wang was in for a series of shocks. Faced with a shrinking workforce and tight restrictions on immigration, Japanese employers are relying on foreign interns under a government-backed program. Critics say it is abused by employers seeking cheap labor. By Malcolm Foster. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
LONDON — He was chairman of a bank, but had no apparent banking experience. He was a Methodist minister, but got busted for allegedly buying cocaine and downloading porn at work. The spectacular downfall of Paul Flowers, the former head of Britain's Co-operative Bank, was a tale made for the tabloids. By Sylvia Hui. SENT: 600 words, photo.
NEW YORK — Don't bet your shirt on a repeat performance. That's the message from some of the nation's biggest investment firms as the Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 16,000 for the first time and the Standard & Poor's 500 index is on the cusp of its best year in a decade with a gain of 25.9 percent. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 920 words, photo.
NEW YORK — The stock market vaults past another milestone, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index closing above 1,800 for the first time, capping seven straight weeks of gains. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 790 words, photos.
— WALL STREET-WINNERS & LOSERS — A list of the three biggest gainers and the three biggest decliners so far in 2013.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
WASHINGTON — U.S. job openings and overall hiring both rose to five-year highs in September, signaling improvement in the job market. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 400 words, photo.
— STATE UNEMPLOYMENT — Unemployment fell in 28 U.S. states last month, and employers added jobs in 34 states. The gains suggest recent improvements in the job market have occurred in most regions of the country. SENT: 130 words.
WASHINGTON — Eager to draw contrasts with Republicans, the White House is pushing its economic agenda as it attempts to give Democrats something to talk about other than the troubled health care rollout. By Jim Kuhnhenn. SENT: 530 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — A combination of software fixes, design changes, added hardware and new wiggle room should provide the right combination to finally deliver a workable website, says White House troubleshooter Jeffrey Zients. The added leeway comes in the form of an extra eight days this year for consumers to sign up and still get insurance by Jan. 1. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 815 words.
— BRITAIN-BANK OF AMERICA-INTERN DEATH — A young intern who worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch died of an epileptic seizure that may have been triggered by fatigue, a British coroner says. SENT 300 words.
— OIL PRICES — The price of oil slips to just under $95 but still finishes the week with a gain of $1 a barrel. SENT: 400 words.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — When the Dairy Queen opened in Anchorage in 2006, people stood in a line that stretched for two blocks just to get an ice cream cone, and drive-thru traffic backed up just as long. For years, Alaska was off the radar of the big national restaurant chains. It was too costly and the logistics too daunting to run a restaurant in the state. Now, restaurants are rushing in. By Mark Thiessen. SENT: 580 words, photo.
DENVER — There's money to be made in legal weed. But you better have a strong stomach for risk. That's the message Colorado's nascent pot industry is taking from federal marijuana raids in Colorado this week. Thursday's raids underscored how state legalization doesn't remove risk from an industry that violates federal drug law. By Kristen Wyatt. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— AIRLINE MERGER-CONGRESS — Four key members of Congress say that all airlines — not just low-fare carriers — should be able to bid on gates and landing rights that American Airlines and US Airways will give up after their merger. SENT: 635 words.
— CHINA-OIL PIPE EXPLOSION — Leaked oil from a ruptured pipeline in an eastern Chinese port city explodes, killing at least 35 people, injuring 166 and contaminating the sea in one the country's worst industrial accidents of the year, authorities said. SENT: 480 words, photos.
— SCHOOL SHOOTING-GUN LOBBY — The gun industry's national trade and lobbying organization considered moving its offices from Newtown, Conn., after last year's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation says in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. SENT: 900 words, photo.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
— DISNEY LAYOFFS — Disney subsidiary Pixar is laying off up to 5 percent of its 1,200 employees after it pushed back the release of "The Good Dinosaur" to November 2015 from next May. SENT: 140 words.
— BRITAIN-SURVEILLANCE — The scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web says a growing tide of surveillance is threatening democracy's future. SENT: 430 words.
— ASTROS-COMCAST-EX-OWNER-LAWSUIT — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has filed a lawsuit against the former owner and two media companies, alleging they misrepresented the value of a regional television network that broadcasts team games, fraudulently boosting the $615 million price he ended up paying for the team. Sent: 100 words. UPCOMING: Updates after Astros news conference set for 2 p.m.
MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov throws his weight behind nuclear talks with Iran, flying to Geneva to join senior negotiators struggling to seal a deal that would see Tehran start to roll back its atomic activities in exchange for sanctions relief. By Jamey Keaten and John Heilprin. SENT: 750 words, photos.
KIEV, Ukraine — Opposition lawmakers on Friday booed Ukraine's prime minister, whose government shelved a landmark deal with the European Union, while turning toward Moscow. Ukraine's Cabinet on Thursday suspended preparations for signing a free trade and a political association agreement with the EU at next week's summit, and the opposition has called on Ukrainians to turn up for a massive anti-government rally to protest the decision. By Maria Danilova. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— RUSSIA-GREENPEACE —Russian judges have granted bail for 29 of the 30 people arrested following an anti-oil drilling protest by Greenpeace in Arctic waters two months ago. SENT: 280 words, photos.
— EUROPE-BUDGETS — Finance ministers from the 17 nations that use the euro currency are meeting for their first time to critique each other's spending plans for next year. SENT: 330 words.
— GERMANY-ECONOMY — A key measure of German business confidence rebounded in November after a surprise decline the month before, indicating optimism remains in Europe's biggest economy despite a sputtering recovery on the continent. SENT: 140 words.
— GERMANY-GREECE — Greece's prime minister says his country won't ask for a new loan or seek to change the aid program agreed with the international lenders. SENT: 270 words, photos.
MONEY & MARKETS:
The next generation
Video gamers are well aware that Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One have hit the market it time for the holidays. But what might that mean for shares of GameStop, the world's largest video game retailer. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
Nike increases dividend
Nike announces that it will increase its quarterly dividend by 14 percent. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.