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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Judge approves American-US Airways merger

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ American Airlines won bankruptcy court approval Wednesday to combine with US Airways and form the world's biggest airline.

The combined airline will have 6,700 daily flights and annual revenue of roughly $40 billion. The new American Airlines will fly slightly more passengers than United, the current No. 1. It will be run by Doug Parker, the CEO of US Airways Group Inc., who began pursuing a merger shortly after American filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011.

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Small business squabbles over paid sick time laws

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Two months after a severe flu season forced millions of workers to stay home, paid sick time is becoming an issue for many small business owners.

City councils in Portland, Ore., and Philadelphia earlier this month approved laws requiring employers to give their workers paid sick leave. And two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill in Congress that would make paid sick leave a federal requirement.

There's a great divide among business owners over the issue. On one side are opponents who say paid sick time creates financial and administrative burdens for businesses that are struggling with a still recovering economy and uncertainty about health care costs and federal budget cuts. Others argue that it makes for a happier workplace and encourages employees to stay home instead of coming to work and infecting everyone around them.

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Cyprus: cash withdrawals capped at 300 euros

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) â¿¿ Banks in Cyprus are to open for the first time in more than a week on Thursday, operating for six hours, but restrictions will be in place on financial transactions to prevent people from draining their accounts.

Among the capital controls, cash withdrawals will be limited to 300 euros ($383) per person each day. No checks will be cashed, although people will be able to deposit them in their accounts. The controls will be in place for four days.

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