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BC-US--Business News Digest, US

Business News at 5:30 p.m.

The supervisor is Dorothea Degen (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.

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All times EDT.

NEW THIS DIGEST:

Adds: TRAIN CARS DERAIL; AUTO SHOW-HOT WHEELS-Z/28 CAMARO

Updates: OIL PRICES; AMERICAN AIRLINES-BANKRUPTCY; WALL STREET

TOP STORIES:

AMERICAN AIRLINES-BANKRUPTCY

The $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways wins bankruptcy court approval, clearing the way for the two carriers to form the world's biggest airline, with 6,700 daily flights and annual revenue of roughly $40 billion. The judge didn't approve a $20 million severance package for outgoing American CEO Tom Horton. By Scott Mayerowitz.

AP photo.

SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK

NEW YORK â¿¿ Two months after a severe flu season forced millions of workers to stay home, paid sick time is becoming an issue for small business owners. In March, the Portland and Philadelphia city councils approved sick leave laws, and two Democratic lawmakers reintroduced a bill in Congress that would make paid sick leave a federal requirement. There's a great divide over the issue â¿¿ on one side are owners who oppose it because of the financial and administrative burdens of having to pay workers when they stay home. But others believe it's a morale booster and it encourages workers to stay home instead of coming to work and infecting everyone around them. By Joyce M. Rosenberg.

With:

â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-SICK LEAVE LAWS â¿¿ A look at paid sick leave laws across the country.

CYPRUS-FINANCIAL CRISIS

NICOSIA, Cyprus â¿¿ Cypriot authorities are preparing limits on how much money depositors can take out of their accounts a day before banks are set to reopen. A banking official said Wednesday â¿¿ on condition of anonymity because the measures have yet to be officially announced â¿¿ that they include restrictions on large-scale money transfers from the country's two largest lenders to avoid a run. By Menelaos Hadjicostis.

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