BC-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:



WASHINGTON — After a bleak start to the year, the U.S. economy grew at a brisk annual rate of 4.2 percent in the April-June quarter, the government says, slightly faster than it had first estimated. The upward revision supported expectations that the second half of 2014 will prove far stronger than the first half. The Commerce Department's second estimate of growth for last quarter followed its initial estimate of 4 percent. The upward revision reflected stronger business investment than first thought. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 660 words, photo.


PARIS — Facing pitiful poll numbers, Francois Hollande has cast his lot: The French president who once decried global finance and vowed a 75-percent tax on millionaires has quashed dissent from his Socialist government's left flank and appointed a well-heeled former investment banker as his new point man on the economy. Several left-leaning critics were sent packing in a Cabinet shakeup that sent a message to international investors, European allies and millions of citizens: France is willing to embrace more free market policies and often unpopular reforms to tackle double-digit unemployment and zero economic growth. By Jamey Keaten and Sylvie Corbet. SENT: 780 words, photos.


SEOUL, South Korea — Are dogs for petting or eating? The two views have coexisted uneasily in South Korea's recent history, feeding a controversy that is most bitter in the summer. On the hottest days of the year, many South Koreans queue for a bowl of dog stew, believing it gives them strength. Animal rights activists protest nearby, urging them not to devour man's best friend. Waning sales led to the closure this month of a famous dog soup restaurant in Seoul that was frequented by South Korean presidents. Hundreds of such establishments remain but complaints from butchers of dwindling demand show one view of dogs is gaining more traction among young South Koreans. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 860 words, photos.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The change made by the Kansas City Chiefs a few years ago was subtle — one word, really — yet it ushered a pronounced change in the way the franchise viewed its most important fans. Season-ticket holders became known as "season-ticket members." And by offering those members exclusive gifts and experiences, the Chiefs have rebuilt their season-ticket rolls at a time when many franchises are having a hard time filling stadiums. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 940 words.



WASHINGTON — Americans are more anxious about the economy now than they were right after the Great Recession ended despite stock market gains, falling unemployment and growth moving closer to full health. Seventy-one percent of Americans say they think the recession exerted a permanent drag on the economy, according to a survey by Rutgers University. By Josh Boak. SENT: 600 words.


WASHINGTON — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits slips 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, a low level that signals employers are cutting few jobs and hiring is likely to remain strong. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 380 words, photo, glance.


WASHINGTON — More Americans sign contracts to buy homes in July, a sign that buying has improved as mortgage rates have slipped, the number of listings has risen and the rate of price increases has slowed. By Josh Boak. SENT: 380 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — U.S. banks' earnings rise 5.2 percent in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, as banks reduced their expenses and lending marked its fastest pace since 2007. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 10:45 a.m.


NEW YORK — Stocks open lower as concern over worsening tensions in Ukraine overshadowed a U.S. government report showing the nation's economy grew at a brisk pace in the April-June quarter. SENT: 290 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.


— AUSTRALIA-EARNS-QANTAS — Qantas Airways posted a record 2.8 billion Australian dollar ($2.6 billion) loss, reflecting a profit-draining battle with its smaller rival Virgin Australia and aircraft write downs. But the airline's shares surged 7 percent on confirmation it would separate its domestic and troubled international businesses. SENT: 290 words.

— CHINA-EARNS-PETROCHINA — State-owned PetroChina, East Asia's biggest oil producer, says its profit in the first half rose 4 percent as sales of gasoline and natural gas increased. SENT: 110 words.

— DUBAI-EARNS-DP WORLD — Dubai-based port operator DP World says its profit rose 26 percent in the first half of the year as it was able to process more cargo thanks to new capacity and a pick-up in global trade. SENT: 350 words.



TORONTO — Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they've warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain's coffee and Timbits — or doughnut holes to Americans. So news this week that Burger King will buy Tim Hortons served as a bittersweet reminder of how beloved the homegrown chain is in Canada. In a bid to quell any concerns that its distinctly Canadian brand could be watered down, the company went out of its way to assure Canadians that the red and brown coffee and doughnut shop won't change. By Rob Gillies. SENT: 740 words, photos.


TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Hours after reaching an agreement to buy the company, the restored chief of the New England's Market Basket supermarket chain celebrated with workers in a rally at headquarters Thursday, saying he loved them and appreciated their efforts in helping him regain control. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— GERMANY-PILOTS STRIKE — German airline pilots say they'll go on strike after negotiations between the country's biggest airline Lufthansa and the union representing pilots collapsed over a long-running dispute regarding wages and early retirement benefits. SENT: 250 words, photo.

— BP REFINERY-EXPLOSION — An explosion at BP oil refinery in northwestern Indiana along Lake Michigan rattles nearby homes and sparks a fire that was later extinguished, but it didn't cause any major injuries or halt production at the facility. SENT: 350 words.

— FARM BILL-DAIRY — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says dairy farmers can begin signing up Sept. 2 for a new program that replaces old subsidies. SENT: 130 words.


— MYANMAR-SOLAR ENERGY — A U.S investment fund has signed a $480 million deal to build two solar energy plants in central Myanmar, one of the largest investments by an American firm since the easing of U.S. sanctions. SENT: 220 words.

— SPAIN-TELEFONICA-BRAZIL — Spain's telecommunications company Telefonica has raised its offer to buy Brazilian operator Global Village Telecom, or GVT, from French media conglomerate Vivendi to 7.45 billion euros ($9.82 billion) from 6.7 billion euros previously. Telefonica S.A. said in a statement Thursday the offer includes 4.66 billion in cash and 12 percent of the share capital in the new company. SENT: 130 words



NEW DELHI — India's state-owned banks are conducting a massive campaign to open millions of accounts for poor Indians who are off the financial grid and vulnerable to black market money lenders. By Katy Daigle. SENT: 390 words, photos.

— GERMANY-ECONOMY — Germany's Federal Labor Office says the country's jobless rate ticked up slightly to 6.7 percent in August as 30,000 more people joined the ranks of the unemployed. SENT: 130 words

— BRITAIN-SCOTLAND — Some 200 business leaders have offered support for the idea of Scottish independence from Britain, hitting back after a similar letter from other companies argued there are too many uncertainties surrounding the Sept. 18 vote. SENT: 140 words

— HONG-KONG-MEDIA BOSS RAIDED — Hong Kong anti-corruption police search the homes of a media magnate who is an outspoken critic of Beijing and a pro-democracy legislator after receiving a complaint alleging that lawmakers had taken bribes. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 400 words.

— PHILIPPINES-ECONOMY — The Philippine economy expands 6.4 percent in the second quarter and tied with Malaysia as the second fastest growing in Asia during the period, bouncing back from typhoon and earthquake disasters. SENT: 360 words.