BC-Business News Digest
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All times EDT.
—Adds: BANK OF AMERICA-SETTLEMENT, JUSTICE-TOBACCO, IRS-UNPAID TAXES, HUMANA CHALLENGE-SPONSORSHIP, FORBES LIST, TV-PRICIEST ADS, ARGENTINA-DEFAULT, LONGEST AIRLINE ROUTE
—Updates: FINANCIAL MARKETS, MICROSOFT-WINDOWS FUTURE
SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft offers a glimpse at what's coming in Windows as its new CEO tries to steer the company in a new, mobile-centric direction and restore faith in its flagship operating system. By Brandon Bailey. SENT: 820 words, photo.
CHECKING ACCOUNT FEES
LOS ANGELES— The penalty for using an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank went up 5 percent over the past year. The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM climbed to a new high of $4.35 per transaction, according to a survey by Bankrate.com. Overdraft fees also surged, rising on average over the past 12 months to $32.74. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 600 words.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether Internet providers should be allowed to cut deals with online services like Netflix, Amazon or YouTube to move their content faster. It's a topic that has attracted record-setting public attention. The agency received 3.7 million comments on the subject, with much of the public accusing the FCC of handing the Internet over to the highest bidders. Some questions and answers about the concept of "net neutrality." By Anne Flaherty. SENT: 870 words, photo.
INDIA-TEA PLANTATION DEATHS
BUNDAPANI, India — When the Bundapani tea estate closed last year, workers who had been scraping by on about $1.50 a day were left with nothing. No health care, no food rations. By the time government heard about it two months later, some of the workers were dead. "I have become like a beggar," said Ramesh Mahali, a 59-year-old who struggles to stand, and whose family is wasting away from malnutrition and tuberculosis. About 70 workers have died at the tea plantation and four others that closed recently, and more than 16,000 people have been left in extreme poverty. The deprivation underlines the failures of an industry that has changed little in India since colonial times. By Patrick Reevell. SENT: 1,470 words, photos. Abridged version also SENT: 790 words.
DALLAS — As their plane climbed away from Belize City, American Airlines captain Brian Will and his co-pilot were ready to detour several hundred miles to avoid a wall of bad weather. But using a new radar system, they dodged between storms on the Dallas-bound flight. Advances in radar are helping pilots avoid storms that can injure and upset passengers and even damage planes. By David Koenig. SENT: 750 words, photos, video.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
NEW YORK — Concerns over high stock prices and global politics continue to plague markets as major stock indexes end with slight losses in another day of choppy trading. Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a major world financial center, add to the host of political concerns on investors' minds. By Matthew Craft. SENT: 800 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — Americans boost spending by a healthy amount in August, offering welcome evidence that the economy is on solid footing heading into the final quarter of the year. Consumer spending in August rose 0.5 percent from the previous month after showing no gain in July, the Commerce Department reported. About half of the increase was driven by auto sales. It was the best result since spending also expanded 0.5 percent in June. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 710 words, photo.
PENDING HOME SALES
WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans sign contracts to buy homes in August, suggesting that real estate sales will remain sluggish over the next few months. The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 1 percent over the past month to 104.7. Higher prices and weak wage growth has limited buying, as the index is 2.2 percent below its level from a year ago. By Josh Boak. SENT: 480 words, photo.
—IRS-UNPAID TAXES — The IRS failed to take all required steps for collecting unpaid taxes from people it can't locate in over half the cases that investigators studied, according to a federal report. SENT: 350 words.
— RECESSION-BABIES — When the economy tanks, women have fewer babies. But what happens in the following years, when conditions improve? A massive new study suggests that for some U.S. women, living through a recession can mean they will never have children. By Malcolm Ritter. SENT: 670 words.
LAS VEGAS — Gambling officials say the industry paid out a jackpot-worthy $38 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2013. It's the first time the American Gaming Association has added tribal casinos and casino game makers into the mix for its annual study of the industry's impact in the U.S. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report's tax revenue figures before its release Tuesday. By Kimberly Pierceall. SENT: 560 words.
— TAJ MAHAL-ICAHN — Billionaire Carl Icahn is considering spending $100 million to save Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal casino from closing. But that proposal is contingent on big givebacks from the union, steep tax breaks from Atlantic City, and $25 million in funds from a New Jersey agency. SENT: 690 words.
DETROIT — A U.S. safety agency is looking into a car owner's allegations that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes, reviving a problem that appeared to be in the automaker's past. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 700 words, photo.
— TOYOTA-PICKUP RECALL — Toyota says it is recalling 690,000 Tacoma pickup trucks because the rear leaf springs could break, puncture the gas tank and cause a fire. SENT: 120 words.
— FORD-OUTLOOK — Ford shares tumble after the automaker said it will fall short of its full-year profit goals. SENT: 300 words.
— GENERAL MOTORS-IGNITION SWITCH DEATHS — At least 23 people have died and 16 people have been seriously injured in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches. SENT: 460 words.
NEW YORK — Macy's plans to hire about 86,000 seasonal holiday workers nationwide to bolster its stores, call centers and distribution hubs, a 3.6 percent increase from last year. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 400 words.
RETHINKING POT-POLITICAL MONEY
DENVER — The entrepreneurs of the young U.S. marijuana industry are taking another step into the mainstream, becoming political donors who use some of their profits to support cannabis-friendly candidates and ballot questions that could bring legal pot to more states. The political activity includes swanky fundraisers at Four Seasons hotels and art auctions at law firms. And members of Congress who once politely returned the industry's contribution checks are now keeping them. By Kristen Wyatt. SENT: 900 words, photos.
SUPREME COURT-MARITIME WORKER
EWELL, Md. — William Smith Dize's life revolved around water. The boat captain worked the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, and when he wasn't operating a boat, he was working on them and around the dock. But when Dize got sick and sued his employer in 2008, claiming a boat maintenance project led to a deadly respiratory illness, he quickly found himself navigating stormy waters. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 570 words, photos.
— JOB TRAINING — Vice President Joe Biden announces almost a half-billion dollars of grants to community colleges working with employers on job training. SENT: 130 words.
— ENCANA-ATHLON ENERGY — Oil and natural gas company Encana is buying Athlon Energy Inc. for $5.93 billion, giving it a strong position in the Permian Basin in Texas. SENT: 260 words.
— BRITAIN-LLOYDS — Lloyds Banking Group dismisses eight members of staff following a scandal linked to the manipulation of a key global interest rate. SENT: 140 words.
— GERMANY-LUFTHANSA — A union representing pilots at Germany's Lufthansa says it is calling for another targeted strike after contract talks broke down last week. SENT: 150 words.
— GERMAN-NESTLE-BABY FOOD — Swiss-based food and drink company Nestle SA says it is selling its Alete and Milasan baby food brands in Germany to an investor consortium for an undisclosed sum. SENT: 100 words.
— EINSTEIN NOAH-ACQUISITION — The owner of Einstein Bros. Bagels and other, similar chains is being acquired by investment group JAB Holding for about $364.5 million. SENT: 170 words.
— LOOM BANDS — Cheong Choon Ng was trying to make rubber-band bracelets with his daughters four years ago when he realized his fingers were too big to manipulate the bands. So, the automotive crash-test engineer set about creating a tool that would help him do the job — the Rainbow Loom. SENT: 270 words, photo, video.
— CHICAGO-AIRPORTS-GROUND STOP-FAA — The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing security practices and how it deals with unexpected incidents throughout its air traffic control facilities following last week's fire at a Chicago-area air traffic facility. SENT: 290 words.
— JUSTICE-TOBACCO — The nation's largest tobacco companies are challenging court-ordered advertisements requiring the cigarette makers to say they lied about the dangers of smoking. SENT: 370 words.
— BANK OF AMERICA-SETTLEMENT — The Securities and Exchange Commission says Bank of America will pay $7.65 million to settle allegations that it overstated how much capital it had on its books.
— HUMANA CHALLENGE-SPONSORSHIP — Humana is dropping out as title sponsor of the PGA Tour's former Bob Hope Classic after the January tournament at PGA West and La Quinta Country Club. SENT: 180 words.
— LONGEST AIRLINE ROUTE — Qantas is putting the world's biggest passenger plane on the world's longest airline route. SENT: 140 words.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
BANGKOK — Lenovo Group receives U.S. and European approval to complete its acquisition of IBM Corp.'s low-end server business and plans to use it to grow faster outside its personal computer business, Lenovo's chairman said. By Joe McDonald. Sent. 300 words; photo planned.
DIGITAL LIFE-A CLOSER LOOK-STREAMING-BOX GAMING
ATLANTA — As gaming consoles such as Xbox One and Sony's PS4 diversify into social media and non-gaming apps, it seems only fair that streaming media boxes initially designed purely to deliver video content should return the favor. Amazon's Kindle Fire TV and the Roku 3 both offer dozens of games. The offerings are a mixed bag thus far, ranging from solid to silly. By Ron Harris. SENT: 850 word, photos.
NEW YORK — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates topped Forbes' latest list of the 400 richest Americans for the 21st straight year. The list is largely unchanged for 2014 and showed the rich getting richer. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 214 words.
— FORBES-LIST-GLANCE — SENT: 60 words.
— TIBCO-SALE — Tibco Software Inc. says it is selling itself to a private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for about $3.98 billion. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, will take the software company private. SENT: 240 words.
— TV-PRICIEST ADS — Pro football pays the bills in prime-time television. SENT: 280 words.
BRUSSELS — Acknowledging strong public skepticism in Europe over free trade talks with the U.S., the European Union's incoming trade chief calls for a "fresh start" and more transparency in the negotiations. By Juergen Baetz. SENT: 620 words.
— NEW ZEALAND-CURRENCY FALLS — The New Zealand dollar sinks after the central bank disclosed it conducted its biggest sell-off of the currency in seven years to lower an exchange rate that is squeezing exporters. SENT: 380 words.
— POLAND-US-TRADE — Even as the U.S. and European Union seek a major free trade deal, Poland and the U.S. should intensify their commercial ties in areas ranging from construction to energy security, U.S. Secretary for Commerce Penny Pritzker says. SENT: 300 words.
— ARGENTINA-DEFAULT — A New York judge has found Argentina in contempt of court for its open defiance of his orders regarding U.S. hedge funds that hold Argentina bonds. SENT: 140 words.
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Let the sun shine In
SolarCity's model of installing solar panels on rooftops for little or no money down has appealed to both homeowners and investors. Installations have jumped and the stock has quintupled since a 2012 IPO. Now the company is getting into the riskier business of making the panels itself. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
Dave & Buster's IPO
The restaurant and arcade chain, Dave & Buster's Entertainment, sets the price for its expected initial public stock offering. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.