BUSINESS

BC-Business News Digest

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Here are AP Business News' latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST.

New & Developing:

—Adds: J&J-MYELOMA DRUG, LIBERTY GLOBAL-CABLE&WIRELESS, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INVESTMENTS, DAILY FANTASY SPORTS-COURT

TOP STORIES:

ENCRYPTION WARS — The deadly attacks in Paris have reopened the dormant debate over whether — and how — tech companies should let the government snoop into the data scrambling that shields everyday commerce and daily digital life alike. By Bree Fowler and Michael Liedtke. SENT: 640 words.

MARRIOTT-STARWOOD HOTELS — Hotel behemoth Marriott International is becoming even larger, taking over rival chain Starwood in a $12.2 billion deal that will catapult it to become the world's largest hotelier by a wide margin. By Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 860 words, photos.

With:

— TEST OF LOYALTY PROGRAMS — Somewhere between their Westin Heavenly Beds and the room's rainfall shower system, Starwood hotel loyalists were struck with a new reality: their beloved loyalty program would soon be gobbled up by Marriott's less generous reward system. By Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 500 words, photo.

— MARRIOTT STARWOOD HOTELS-HOTELS-GLANCE — Marriott's buyout of Starwood will cement that company's position as the world's largest hotelier. Here's a look at what that combined company will look like, along with a snapshot of some of its competitors: SENT: 580 words, photos.

CLIMATE COUNTDOWN-COAL'S FUTURE — Demand for coal is leveling off, but it will remain a key energy source for decades, no matter how many billions of dollars of investment go into cleaner energy like wind and solar. Too much of the world depends on it now for heating and power generation for us to suddenly live without it. By Louise Watt. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

GIANT FIGHTING ROBOTS — Megabots Inc., an Oakland, California-based startup, has built a 15-foot mechanical gladiator called the Mark II and challenged a Japanese firm to an international battle for robot supremacy. By Terence Chea. SENT: 630 words, photos, video.

SELF-DRIVING CARS — Hustling to bring cars that drive themselves to a road near you, Google finds itself somewhere that has frustrated many before: Waiting for help from the department of motor vehicles. By Justin Pritchard. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks mount a broad rally, snapping a three-day losing streak as investors move past concerns that the terrorist attacks in Paris could spell big trouble for the global economy. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 780 words, photos.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INVESTMENTS — Investor Warren Buffett's company sold some of its Goldman Sachs and Wal-Mart shares during the third quarter, and made several smaller changes to its stock portfolio. SENT: 430 words.

EMPIRE STATE-SURVEY — Factory activity in New York state contracts for the fourth straight month in November, as a strong dollar and slow overseas growth continue to drag down manufacturers. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 290 words.

INDUSTRY:

MCDONALD'S VALUE MENU — McDonald's hopes it has a catchy, new deal that will be as hugely popular as its Dollar Menu. The "McPick 2" menu will let customers pick two of the following items for $2: a McDouble, a McChicken, small fries and mozzarella sticks. By Candice Choi. SENT: 530 words.

J&J-MYELOMA DRUG — A Johnson & Johnson drug wins Food and Drug Administration approval for treating the incurable blood cancer multiple myeloma in patients who've failed prior therapies and have few options left. By Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 450 words.

MINE EXPLOSION-TRIAL — Defense attorneys for ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship rest their case without calling any witnesses, a strategy in a criminal trial that experts say is rare, aggressive and risky. By Jonathan Mattise. SENT: 650 words, photo.

JPMORGAN-TAX INCENTIVES — A state economic development panel unanimously approves a request from banking giant JPMorgan Chase for more than $10 million in taxpayer-funded grants. By Randall Chase. SENT: 330 words.

DAILY FANTASY SPORTS-COURT — DraftKings, FanDuel ask court to block daily fantasy sports shutdown by New York attorney general. SENT: 130 words. Will be expanded.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

LIBERTY GLOBAL-CABLE&WIRELESS — International cable TV company Liberty Global says it is acquiring Cable & Wireless Communications, a London-based telecommunications company with operations in the Caribbean, for stock and a special dividend worth $5.3 billion. SENT: 250 words.

PANDORA-RDIO — Pandora says it is acquiring technology, intellectual property and potentially employees from Rdio and will add new features to its Internet music streaming service by late next year. SENT: 100 words. Will be expanded.

NIGERIA-SOUTH AFRICA-MTN — Nigeria's telecommunications regulator says it is extending its Monday deadline for MTN Nigeria to pay a $5.2 billion fine but indicated it will not lower the amount for a company it accuses of routinely flouting regulations. By Michelle Faul. SENT: 450 words, photos.

MEDIA GENERAL-NEXTAR — Television company Media General rejects a nearly $1.9 billion buyout offer from Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. but will engage in talks. SENT: 370 words.

SINGAPORE-SOLAR APPLE — Apple will open its first retail store in Singapore, which will also be Southeast Asia's first to be powered solely by solar energy, officials say. By Annabelle Liang. SENT: 300 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

APEC — Tensions with China and the Paris attacks could upstage trade issues at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, being held under extra-heavy security in the Philippine capital this week. By Jim Gomez. SENT: 900 words, photos.

EUROPE-ECONOMY — Official figures show that inflation in the 19-country eurozone was 0.1 percent in the year to October, slightly higher than the initial estimate of no change. SENT: 120 words.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

CENTERPIECE — Pandora, the Internet radio giant, spooked markets last month when it trimmed its fourth-quarter outlook, but hit pause on the hopeless bleak despair. Pandora says its adagio is temporary. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT — Retailer Urban Outfitters is expanding into the world of casual dining with plans to acquire nearly all of The Vetri Family group of restaurants, which includes the Pizzeria Vetri chain. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.

HOW TO REACH US:

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) Expanded AP content: http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Stan Choe (800-845-8450, ext. 1807). For technical support: Todd Balog (816-654-1096).