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BC-Business News Digest

Business News at 5:40 p.m.

The supervisor is Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

If you have questions about transmission of financial market listings, please call 800-3AP-STOX.

A selection of top photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos.

NEW THIS DIGEST:

â¿¿ Adds: AIG-TREASURY SALE, HSBC-BANK CASE, FISCAL CLIFF-MARKETS

â¿¿ Updates: OBAMA-ENGINE PLANT, WALL STREET

TOP STORIES

HEALTH OVERHAUL-NEW FEE

WASHINGTON â¿¿ Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It's a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Barack Obama's health overhaul. The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest company health plans, and much of that is likely to be passed on to employees. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.

AP photos

With:

â¿¿HEALTH OVERHAUL-NEW FEE-GLANCE â¿¿ List of new taxes and fees imposed under the new health care law.

EUROPE FINANCIAL CRISIS:

FRANKFURT â¿¿ Until last weekend, Europe seemed headed for a quiet Christmas and New Year's. Then Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti unexpectedly announced he would resign, pulling the plug on a government that had boosted confidence in the country's ability to manage its debts. The prospect of a return to a shaky government and shakier finances has suddenly put new strains on the leaders of the euro countries and their efforts to bottle up the region's debt and economic crisis. By David McHugh.

AP photos.

With:

â¿¿ITALY-POLITICS â¿¿ Seeking to calm jittery markets, Italian Premier Mario Monti said there will be "no decision-making vacuum".

â¿¿ SPAIN-FINANCIAL CRISIS â¿¿ The rate for Spain's benchmark 10-year bond rises on uncertainty after Italy's prime minister says he plans to resign.

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