BC-APFN-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Among the stories Friday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

ECONOMY-THE NEW JOB MARKET

WASHINGTON — Even with steady hiring and a falling unemployment rate, the U.S. job market is not what it used to be. Wage growth is tepid, part-time work remains stubbornly high, and fewer Americans are working or looking for work. Yet this is what a nearly healthy U.S. job market looks like. By Christopher S. Rugaber and Josh Boak. SENT: 960 words, photos.

DEAL FRENZY

NEW YORK — Deal makers from New York to London had a busy first half of the year. Companies announced mergers and acquisitions worth $2.3 trillion, the second-best half-year on record — and the rush to merge was driven by low borrowing costs and steady but unspectacular economic growth. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 780 words, photos, graphic.

GREECE-BAILOUT

ATHENS, Greece — The brief but intense campaign in Greece's critical bailout referendum ends, with simultaneous rallies in Athens for "Yes" and "No" supporters in what an opinion poll shows will be a very close race. By Elena Becatoros. SENT: 910 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

With:

GREECE-RESILIENT VILLAGES

KARITAINA, Greece — Ilias Mathes has protection against bank closures, capital controls and the slashing of his pension: 10 goats, some hens and a vegetable patch. By Gregory Katz. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

And:

— GREECE-BAILOUT-THE LATEST

AETNA-HUMANA

HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna will spend $37 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 700 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

With:

— HEALTH INSURERS-Q&A — As big health insurers gobble each other up to get bigger, what's going to happen to what you pay for health care? By Tom Murphy. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2 p.m.

AIRLINE ANTITRUST INVESTIGATION

As the Justice Department launches an investigation into possible collusion in the airline industry, experts say the government faces the burden of proving that the carriers were deliberately signaling business decisions to each other. By Eric Tucker and Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 900 words, photo.

FOOD EXPO-5 THINGS

NEW YORK — Broccoli bites, wine ice cream and maple water — these were some of the alternate-universe foods on display at the Fancy Food Show this week. Here's a look at five potential foods of the future exhibitors were showing. By Candice Choi. SENT: 750 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

LONDON — World stock markets mostly drift lower ahead of Greece's weekend austerity referendum, while U.S. markets are closed for the 4th of July holiday. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 450 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 5 p.m.

INDUSTRY:

NEW BALANCE-MILITARY

BOSTON — An executive with shoemaker New Balance says the U.S. military has been intentionally slow to deliver on its promise to outfit recruits in American-made sneakers. By Philip Marcelo. SENT: 970 words, photos.

MALAYSIA-MISSING PLANE

CANBERRA, Australia — Amid rising frustrations over the expensive, so-far fruitless search for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, experts are questioning the competence of the company in charge, including whether crews may have passed over the sunken wreckage without even noticing. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 1,170 words, photos.

— ELIOT NESS-STOCK — Relatives of Eliot Ness, the "Untouchable" Treasury agent who took on Al Capone, are suing a company he later headed up to cash in on a long-lost stock certificate they claim could be worth more than $1 million. UPCOMING: 800 words by noon, photos.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

SEATTLE-BOOMTOWN

SEATTLE — Seattle, notorious for boom-and-bust cycles, is booming once again. But residents fret over whether Seattle has become a traffic-snarled city for the rich with soaring rental rates, overly dependent on the company behind it all: Amazon. By Gene Johnson. SENT: 930 words, photos.

HACKING INVESTIGATION

HOUSTON — The federal hacking investigation of the St. Louis Cardinals could take longer if high-level executives are implicated in the breach of the Houston Astros' database, according to legal experts. By Juan A. Lozano and Jim Vertuno. SENT: 670 words, photos.

— FRANCE-UBER — Uber suspends its low-cost ride-hailing service in France in hopes of defusing an escalating legal dispute and sometimes-violent tensions with traditional French taxi drivers. SENT: 340 words, photo.

INTERNATIONAL:

— MALAYSIA-NAJIB — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak denies news reports that nearly $700 million was funneled from an indebted state investment fund into his personal accounts. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 370 words, photos.