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BC-Business News Digest

AP photo.

â¿¿ MUSIC-ITUNES â¿¿ The answer to the trivia question will be: "Monkey Drums (Goskel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch." That's the 25-billionth song purchased on iTunes.

â¿¿ AUSTRALIA-GOOGLE â¿¿ Australia's highest court threw out a ruling against Google that had found the Internet giant guilty of breaching trade law by hosting deceptive advertisements.

â¿¿ SKOREA-SAMSUNG-BATTERY FIRE â¿¿ South Korean fire officials say a man suffered burns after the battery from a Samsung smartphone caught fire in his trouser pocket.

INTERNATIONAL:

EU-BUDGET

STRASBOURG, France â¿¿ Many European Union leaders will push for a tough austerity budget at their summit this week, but the EU parliament insists it will reject a deal which curtails spending on growth and employment. By Raf Casert.

AP photos

CHINA-INCOME GAP

BEIJING â¿¿ China's government has issued a sweeping pledge to narrow the politically volatile gulf between its rich and poor with measures including requiring state companies to turn over more profits to pay for social programs. The pledge promised more spending on health, education and job training but gave few details and no sign of how Beijing will enforce changes that might hurt state industry and other politically influential factions. By Business Writer Joe McDonald.

GERMANY-BANKS

BERLIN â¿¿ Germany wants to punish bankers who take excessive risks and require some banks to separate retail activity from riskier proprietary trading. By Frank Jordans.

AP photo

With:

â¿¿ GERMANY-ECONOMY â¿¿ German factory orders increase in December, aided by large gain from other euro countries.

â¿¿ IRELAND-FINANCIAL CRISIS â¿¿ The Irish government says an agreement with the European Central Bank is imminent to reduce the annual cost of the country's colossal bank bailout, an issue that could help to reduce Ireland's deficits and ease its escape from international aid.

â¿¿ SPAIN-IBERIA STRIKE â¿¿ Labor unions representing most workers in Spain's Iberia airline have called 15 days of strikes to protest the company's plans to lay off 4,500 workers.

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