Businesses and investors pressing for green policy
NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of corporations, insurance companies and pension funds are calling on world leaders gathering for a U.N. summit on climate change this week to attack the problem by making it more costly for businesses and ordinary people to pollute.
The idea, long advocated by policymakers, economists and environmental activists, is that the world can't hope to slow the heating of the planet until its cost is incorporated into the everyday activities that contribute to it, such as using gas- or coal-generated electricity, driving a car, shipping a package or flying around the globe.
Business leaders representing trillions of dollars in revenue and retirement savings say they worry that global warming threatens the long-term value of their investments, and they want world leaders to adopt policies that would provide a financial incentive to people to clean up their act.
Affluence eludes poor crowding into Asian cities
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Down a concrete path, between rail tracks that buzz with each approaching train and a river choked by plastic and raw sewage, Asih Binti Arif cradles her baby and reflects on dreams gone dark.
Five years ago, Arif and her husband left impoverished Madura Island, joining the stream of migrants from across the vast Indonesian archipelago seeking a better life in its capital.
Across the developing world, migration from country to city has long been a potential path out of poverty. Less and less is that true for Arif and millions of others in Asia, where the wealth gap is growing in many of the most densely populated cities in human history.
Tesco suspends execs over inflated profit report
LONDON (AP) — Tesco, the world's second-largest supermarket chain after Walmart, has suspended four executives and launched an accounting investigation after admitting that its half-year profit was overstated by 250 million pounds ($407 million).
The scandal deepens the financial woes for the British company, which on Monday had to issue its third profit warning in two years as it struggles to compete with low-cost rivals. The announcements shocked investors, with shares plunging 11.6 percent to 203 pence at market close Monday. The problems have driven the company's stock down 46 percent in the past year.
The investigation, prompted by information from a whistleblower, comes less than a month after the new chief executive, Dave Lewis, was brought in to turn around the company's business.
Investors fret Yahoo's future, stock dips
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo may be losing some appeal on Wall Street now that U.S. investors can buy directly into Alibaba.
Yahoo's stock fell Monday as investors grappled with uncertainty about CEO Marissa Mayer's efforts to turn around the struggling Silicon Valley company. The sell-off came even though Yahoo reaped more than $9 billion last week from selling some of its stake in Alibaba, as the Chinese e-commerce company held a record-setting initial public offering of stock.
Yahoo has promised to return at least half of the after-tax proceeds to shareholders — likely through stock buybacks.
But some investors aren't waiting, now that they're able to buy Alibaba shares directly, according to Brian Wieser, an Internet stocks analyst at Pivotal Research.
German Merck to buy St. Louis-based Sigma-Aldrich
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German drug company Merck says it has agreed to buy St. Louis-based chemical firm Sigma-Aldrich Corp. for $17 billion in a deal Merck says will strengthen its business in chemicals and laboratory equipment.
Darmstadt-based Merck KGaA said Monday it is paying $140 per share in cash for all of Sigma-Aldrich's shares — a premium of 37 percent over Friday's closing price of $102.37.
Sigma-Aldrich has over 9,000 employees in 40 countries and supplies chemicals and laboratory equipment to government and commercial facilities. It said its board of directors has unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close next year, subject to regulators' approval.
German employers struggle to find apprentices
BERLIN (AP) — It's lunchtime at Tauro and the restaurant staff are bustling to keep up with orders for marinated pork ribs, spinach-filled crepes and chicken breast with ricotta and pine kernels.
The 800-seat eatery caters to Berlin's affluent Prenzlauer Berg district and when the evening crush starts owner Gerd Spitzer needs all hands on deck — including the apprentices he's relieved to have found after receiving no suitable applicants last year.
Getting them was no easy task. After announcing vacancies through government job centers, he placed ads in papers and websites, but to almost no avail.
Spitzer, an energetic man in his 50s, is among a growing number of entrepreneurs in Germany resorting to such drastic measures because each year fewer young people sign up for apprenticeships, typically three-year programs for 16-year-olds who want to learn a trade rather than go on to higher education.
US existing home sales fall in August
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought homes in August, as investors retreated from real estate and first-time buyers remained scarce.
Sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. That snaps a four-month streak of gains. August sales are down from a July rate of 5.14 million, a figure that was revised slightly downward.
Much of the decline came from the exodus of investors, who had been buying properties in the aftermath of the housing bust and recession. Investors accounted for just 12 percent of August purchases, compared to 17 percent a year earlier.
Overall, the pace of home sales has dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year.
The August figures show that real estate recovery has depended largely on investors and all-cash sales, instead of families looking to purchasing a house.
GM expert says 21 deaths eligible for compensation
DETROIT (AP) — The death toll from crashes involving General Motors small cars with faulty ignition switches is at least 21.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by the company to compensate victims, said Monday in an Internet posting that he received 143 death claims as of Friday, and 21 of those have been deemed eligible for payments.
A spokeswoman said the rest of the claims are under review and not all will be eligible. The death toll rose from a week ago, when Feinberg had determined 19 claims would get payments.
The website also said that Feinberg received 532 injury claims as of Friday. Of those, 16 are eligible for compensation thus far. The others are still being reviewed.
The defective switches can unexpectedly move to the "accessory" or "off" positions, shutting down the engine and knocking out power steering and brakes. With engines shut off, people can lose control of their cars and crash. If that happens, the air bags won't inflate.
Siemens to acquire Dresser-Rand for $7.6 billion
HOUSTON (AP) — German electronics and engineering company Siemens AG has reached a deal to acquire oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand for $7.6 billion.
Under the deal announced early Monday in Germany, Siemens will pay $83 per common share of Dresser-Rand Group Inc., $3.09 more than the company's closing share price on Friday. Dresser Rand's market capitalization is $6.12 billion. The deal includes assumption of debt.
Dresser-Rand's board of directors unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders, and Siemens expects to close the deal by summer, according to a statement from the company.
Siemens said in a statement that Dresser-Rand's portfolio of compressors, steam and gas turbines and engines complements Siemens' existing offerings mainly in the growing global oil and gas and power generation businesses.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 107.06 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,172.68. The S&P 500 index slipped 16.11, or 0.8 percent, to 1,994.29. The Nasdaq composite fell 52.10 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,527.69.
Benchmark U.S. oil fell 89 cents to $91.52 a barrel. Analyst say U.S. oil could test the $90 mark sometime this week. Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oils that are imported by U.S. refiners, dropped $1.42 to $96.97 in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 2.7 cents to $2.585 a gallon. Heating oil dropped 3 cents to $2.687 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1.3 cents to $3.85 per 1,000 cubic feet.