US economy barely grew in Q4, but rebound likely
2013-02-28 21:53:03 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — The weakest quarter for the U.S. economy in nearly two years may end up being a temporary lull. Economists think growth has begun to pick up on the strength of a sustained housing recovery and a better job market.
The economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.1 percent from October from December, a government report...
Wary of crises, Americans tune out budget cut talk
2013-02-27 09:25:07 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is pulling out all the stops to warn just what could happen if automatic budget cuts kick in. Americans are reacting with a collective yawn.
They know the shtick: Obama raises the alarm, Democrats and Republicans accuse each other of holding a deal hostage, there's a lot of yelling on c...
Obama warns of risks over budget cut uncertainty
2013-02-26 07:42:41 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday said looming automatic spending cuts are already affecting the economy, while a top administration official warned that the nation's borders would be less secure if billions of dollars are yanked from the budget Friday.
"The uncertainty is already having an effect," Obama said...
High-stakes trial begins for 2010 Gulf oil spill
2013-02-25 17:49:09 UTC
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A high-stakes trial started Monday to assign blame and help figure out exactly how much more BP and other companies should pay for the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
Attorney Jim Roy, who represents individuals and businesses hurt by the spill, said BP executives applied "huge financial pressure" on it...
McCain: Obama should have Camp David budget summit
2013-02-24 15:33:02 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain says President Barack Obama should invite lawmakers to Camp David or the White House to hammer out a last-minute deal to avert deep budget cuts set to start taking effect at week's end.
The Arizona Republican says Obama should be talking with lawmakers instead of demonizing them over the looming ...
Moody's downgrades UK's government bond rating to Aa1 from Aaa; outlook is now stable
2013-02-23 07:52:27 UTC
London - Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the domestic- and foreign-currency government bond ratings of the United Kingdom by one notch to Aa1 from Aaa. The outlook on the ratings is now stable.
The key interrelated drivers of today's action are:
1. The continuing weakness in the UK's medium-term growth outlook, w...
Is Mandiant a 'digital Blackwater'?
2013-02-21 09:21:50 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — When Kevin Mandia, a retired military cybercrime investigator, decided to expose China as a primary threat to U.S. computer networks, he didn't have to consult with American diplomats in Beijing or declassify tactics to safely reveal government secrets.
He pulled together a 76-page report based on seven yea...
Sony shows PlayStation 4 capabilities, but no box
2013-02-21 09:17:50 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Sony showed off what the PlayStation 4 can do, but not what it will look like.
The Japanese electronics giant talked about its upcoming game console for the first time and said it will go on sale this holiday season.
But Sony didn't reveal the device itself. Presenters played games that were projected on s...
Insurer Allianz doubles net profit in 2012
2013-02-21 07:49:02 UTC
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Insurance company Allianz SE says net profit almost doubled last year as losses on Greek bonds no longer weighed down its results.
The Munich-based company said Thursday its basic insurance business also improved, suffering lower losses on natural catastrophes and enjoying higher premium revenue in German...
World stocks up as takeover talk in US drives Dow
2013-02-20 11:50:45 UTC
BANGKOK (AP) — World stock markets picked up steam Wednesday, driven higher by reports that another big corporate takeover might be in the works in the U.S.
A report that major office supply retailers Office Depot and OfficeMax are in talks to combine their businesses sent the Dow Jones industrial average to a near-record hi...
High-stakes fight over soybeans at high court
2013-02-19 14:31:35 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vernon Hugh Bowman seems comfortable with the old way of doing things, right down to the rotary-dial telephone he said he was using in a conference call with reporters.
But the 75-year-old Indiana farmer figured out a way to benefit from a high-technology product — soybeans that are resistant to weed-killer...
Monitors criticize Belgium on Zimbabwe diamonds
2013-02-15 19:06:05 UTC
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A world monitoring group on conflict diamonds said Wednesday it wants restrictions on the sale of Zimbabwe diamonds tightened after calls to relax them by diamond companies in Belgium.
Belgium has argued the controls hurt revenue filtering down to ordinary Zimbabweans. But Global Witness insisted in a...
US Airways lands $11 billion merger with American
2013-02-15 07:40:45 UTC
DALLAS (AP) — US Airways CEO Doug Parker has landed the big merger he sought for years. Now the soon-to-be CEO of the new American Airlines has to make it work.
The new airline needs to repaint hundreds of planes. Frequent flier programs have to be combined. American's on-time performance must improve. And the airline needs to...
Buffett's Heinz buy puts spotlight on big deals
2013-02-15 05:56:22 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Warren Buffett and a fellow billionaire are teaming up to snap up the Heinz ketchup company, marking the food industry's biggest ever deal and yet another sign that the lifeless merger market is finally picking up.
H.J. Heinz announced Thursday a $23.3 deal to be purchased by Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G ...
German economic growth drops in 4Q of 2012
2013-02-14 08:50:17 UTC
BERLIN (AP) — Official statistics show German gross domestic product shrank by a larger-than-expected 0.6 percent in the final quarter in 2012 as the European financial crisis took its toll on the continent's largest economy.
The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday said the 0.6 percent fourth quarter drop over the previous quar...
American Lobbyists Are Writing Europe's New Data Protection Laws
2013-02-13 07:22:13 UTC
American Lobbyists Are Writing Europe's New Data Protection Laws
The American government and various corporate entities have mounted an unprecedented lobbying campaign against reform of Europe’s data protection laws and, as a new site using openly-available data demonstrates how much influence their lobbying has, a coalition of priv...
Finger-pointing trumps problem-solving on budget
2013-02-12 22:28:59 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just about everyone in official Washington is in agreement that big across-the-board spending cuts at the Pentagon and throughout domestic federal programs on March 1 are a bad idea.
So far, however, the warring factions in the nation's capital seem more interested in finger-pointing than problem-solving.
Senate Democrats craft bill to avert budget cuts
2013-02-11 17:41:04 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Democrats have prepared a plan to slice the Pentagon's budget by $3 billion a year in an attempt to avoid far steeper cuts that defense hawks warn would cripple the military.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hopes to stage a vote on the measure before $85 billion in automatic budget cuts start...
Source: AMR, US Airways delay meeting on merger
2013-02-11 07:31:09 UTC
DALLAS (AP) — The boards of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways have pushed back meetings to consider final plans for their merger, Associated Press sources say.
A source close to the matter said Sunday that the AMR board wants to meet in person, and that the US Airways board would only meet after the AMR board...
Flights resume at NYC airports after snowstorm
2013-02-09 20:56:02 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — New York's airports dug out from under nearly a foot of snow and allowed some flights to land Saturday morning, while Boston's Logan Airport remained closed.
The first inbound passenger flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport landed at 9:30 a.m., according to the Port Authority of New York & New Jers...
NY attorney general looks at ratings agencies
2013-02-08 19:38:59 UTC
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has begun examining the nation's biggest credit rating agencies' compliance with agreements reached by his predecessor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that ended an investigation into mortgage-backed securities.
The mid-2008 agreements, imposing no financial penalties, requir...
China's January trade boosted by Lunar New Year
2013-02-08 06:34:41 UTC
BEIJING (AP) — China's trade growth surged in January but much of the increase was driven by the traditional Lunar New Year holiday.
Exports soared 25 percent over a year earlier, up from the previous month's 14.1 percent, as companies rushed to fill orders before shutting down for a holiday break of up to two weeks, data s...
In wealthy Hong Kong, poorest live in metal cages
2013-02-08 05:37:13 UTC
HONG KONG (AP) — For many of the richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia's wealthiest cities, home is a mansion with an expansive view from the heights of Victoria Peak. For some of the poorest, like Leung Cho-yin, home is a metal cage.
The 67-year-old former butcher pays 1,300 Hong Kong dollars ($167) a month for one of abou...
US sues S&P over pre-crisis mortgage ratings
2013-02-05 18:02:40 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government says Standard & Poor's knowingly inflated its ratings on risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.
The credit rating agency gave high marks to mortgage-backed securities because it wanted to earn more business from the banks that issued the investments, the ...
Report: US job market looks surprisingly strong
2013-02-02 19:01:37 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. job market is proving surprisingly strong and raising hopes that the economy will be resilient enough this year to withstand a budget standoff in Washington and potentially deep cuts in federal spending.
Employers added 157,000 jobs last month, and hiring turned out to be healthier than previously ...