BC-APFN-Business News Preview
Among the stories Wednesday from The Associated Press:
Insurers can no longer reject customers with expensive medical conditions thanks to the health care overhaul. But there's still wiggle room for them to discourage the sickest and costliest patients from enrolling. Insurers can exclude well-known cancer hospitals or certain individual specialists who treat pricey conditions from their plan provider networks. They can dissuade HIV patients from signing up for coverage by making them pay a heavy portion of the bill for prescriptions. They also might simply wait for competitors to jump into a market first and take all the risky patients who were hungry for coverage. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 1,300 words, photo.
TWITCH-VIDEO GAMES AS SPECTATOR SPORT
NEW YORK — For decades, kids have gathered in living rooms to marvel at how others master video games like "Street Fighter II" and "Super Mario Bros." But today there's Twitch, the online network that attracts millions of visitors each month, mostly to watch others play video games. The young, mostly male viewers have made Twitch.tv a top source of global Internet traffic. Amazon is paying nearly $1 billion for Twitch because it sees opportunity in the service through its loyal fan base and revenue streams from ads and channel subscriptions. Here's a look at the gaming culture that gave rise to Twitch. By Barbara Ortutay and Ken Sweet. SENT: 830 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Women still have a hard time getting small business loans and Sen. Maria Cantwell is determined to close the gap. The chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, introduced legislation in July that would make it easier for women-owned companies to get loans and government contracts. The Washington state Democrat sees lending to small businesses as key to job creation because loans give companies the means to expand. SENT: 770 words, photos.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office says the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5 percent this year — hurt by a poor first-quarter performance. This new assessment is considerably more pessimistic than the Obama administration's. Last month, the administration predicted that the economy would grow 2.6 percent this year. By Andrew Taylor. SENT: 500 words.
NEW YORK — Financial markets in the U.S. drift lower in early trading, a day after the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed above 2,000 points for the first time. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 150 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.
— CHINA-EARNS-CHINA TELECOM — China Telecom Ltd., one of the country's three main state-owned carriers, says its profit rose 11.8 percent in the first half of the year as its Internet and mobile data businesses grew. SENT: 210 words.
— CHINA-EARNS-AIR CHINA — Air China says its six-month profit fell by more than half as the weakening yuan raised financing costs and other expenses. SENT: 240 words.
CORPORATE INVERSIONS-10 THINGS TO KNOW
WASHINGTON — Burger King plans to become the latest U.S. company to shift its legal address out of the country by merging with a foreign company. Ten things to know about corporate inversions. By Stephen Ohlemacher. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.
— MEDTRONIC-EUROPE — U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a better tax deal. SENT: 440 words.
— TIME WARNER CABLE-OUTAGES — Time Warner Cable says service was largely restored after a problem that occurred during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours. SENT: 290 words, photo.
— SUZUKI-RECALL-SPIDERS — Spiders have forced Suzuki to recall more than 19,000 midsize cars. The automaker says spider webs can clog a fuel vapor vent hose in some 2010 to 2013 Kizashi cars, cutting off air flow. If that happens, it can cause the gas tank to deform, causing cracks, fuel leaks and possible fires. SENT: 190 words.
— BEHIND-THE-WHEEL-HYUNDAI SANTA FE — The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe mid-size sport utility vehicle stands out from the crowd for its attractive styling, comfortable ride, value pricing, surprising standard features and warranty. SENT: 950 words, photo, box.
— NEW ZEALAND-CHINA-INFANT FORMULA — New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is forming a partnership with China's Beingmate to help meet growing demand for infant formula in the world's most populous nation. Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, said it plans to take a stake of up to 20 percent in Beingmate, an infant food company based in Hangzhou, as part of a $500 million production venture. SENT: 330 words.
DUBLIN — Europe's largest budget airline, Ryanair, is now offering cheap business-class tickets, a sign of the new frugality among the region's governments and companies as the economic recovery stalls. The Dublin-based company — long Europe's fastest-growing carrier with a sell-it-cheap, stack-'em-high philosophy — says more than a quarter of its passengers already are business travelers. It hopes to capture three-fourths of all work travel between Britain and Ireland, its two biggest markets. The move reflects not just the airline's desire to leverage its huge presence in Europe, but also that there is a growing interest for low-cost solutions from companies that are still wary about the economy. By Shawn Pogatchnik. SENT: 470 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words by noon.
HONG KONG — Malaysia is preparing to unveil the latest overhaul of its beleaguered state-owned airline, which is reeling from twin disasters months apart that killed hundreds of passengers. Analysts expect Khazanah to slash jobs, drop money losing routes to Europe and China, and replace top management. A substantial revamp has long been on the cards for Malaysia Airlines, which was struggling with chronic financial problems even before it was hit by the double disasters this year. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 510 words, photo.
— FRANCE-EBOLA — France's government is asking Air France to suspend flights to the largest city in Sierra Leone in response to the Ebola epidemic in the region that has killed more than 1,400 people. SENT: 130 words.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
MESA, Ariz. — Inside a nondescript garage-like workshop nestled between restaurants, a flower shop and jewelry stores along Main Street, ideas are taking shape. At HeatSync Labs, the tables are littered with computer chips, pens, pads and tools while the room is abuzz with the chatter of would-be inventors hoping to change the world — or just make cool things. They are part of a growing global movement of so-called hackerspaces. By Emaun Kashfi. SENT: 670 words, photos, video.
TOKYO — At a humble Tokyo laboratory, Godzilla, including the 1954 black-and-white original, is stomping back with a digital makeover that delivers four times the image quality of high definition. The effort with "4K" technology is carefully removing scratches and discoloration from the films and also unearthing hidden information on the reel-to-reel. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— GERMANY-ECONOMY — A closely-watched survey shows economic expectations among German consumers have "completely collapsed" over concerns about the conflicts in Iraq, Israel and Ukraine. SENT: 150 words.
— BRITAIN-SCOTLAND — A group of 130 business leaders in Scotland have signed an open letter arguing that the case for independence from Britain has not been made. SENT: 120 words, photo.
— JAPAN-STEM CELL RESEARCH — The Japanese laboratory that retracted a paper reporting a potentially major breakthrough in stem cell research says its researchers have not managed to replicate the results. Riken also announced plans for an organizational overhaul to prevent any further problems, changing its director and reducing the number of researchers by half. SENT: 300 words, photo.
— FRANCE-LAGARDE-CORRUPTION — Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, is placed under official investigation for negligence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as France's finance minister. SENT: 450 words.