BC-US--Business Features Digest, US

The business news enterprise package planned through April 24. Comments or questions should be directed to Joseph Pisani at 212-621-1975. Questions about photos should be directed to Chris Hatch at ext. 7626. For questions about graphics, call ext. 7636. Repeats of stories are available from http://apexchange.com or the Service Desk, 1-800-838-4616.

Eds: Adds APPLE-IPAD MINI RUMORS, sent Thursday for use any time; GULF OIL SPILL-SICK FISH, sent Thursday for use any time; OF MUTUAL INTEREST-TAX TIPS, sent Thursday; CLARK-SEACREST, sent Thursday for use any time.

APPLE-IPAD MINI RUMORS

NEW YORK â¿¿ Apple generates more gossip than the Kardashians. There's a constantly spinning mill of rumors about Apple products, most of which turn out to be untrue. What's unusual this week is that the hearsay has revived talk of a smaller iPad model, an idea company founder Steve Jobs derided in a public rant a year before he died. But Apple has at least one reason to entertain the idea of a smaller, and presumably cheaper, iPad. It might smother Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire. By Technology Writer Peter Svensson.

Eds: Sent Thursday for use any time.

AP Photos.

GULF OIL SPILL-SICK FISH

BARATARIA BAY, La. â¿¿ Open sores. Parasitic infections. Chewed-up fins. Gashes. Mysterious black streaks. Two years after the explosion that touched off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, scientists are starting to suspect that fish in the Gulf of Mexico are suffering the effects of petroleum and other pollutants. The evidence is far from conclusive. But if those ominous suspicions prove correct, it could mean the damage to the broader Gulf ecosystem from the BP disaster is still unfolding and the picture may not be as rosy as it seemed just a year ago. By Cain Burdeau.

Eds: Sent Thursday for use any time.

AP Photos.

BUFFETT RULE Q&A

WASHINGTON â¿¿ President Barack Obama's proposal to impose a "Buffett rule" tax on the rich is generating enormous political wattage, but the plan itself would directly affect only a tiny fraction of Americans. By Alan Fram.

Eds: Sent Monday for use any time.

AP Photo.

HOLLYWOOD-CHINA

LOS ANGELES â¿¿ There's a new breach in China's great cultural wall and Hollywood is cautiously moving in. Disney's announcement Monday that it will make "Iron Man 3" in partnership with a Chinese company is the latest sign that movie studios are warming to China's new openness. The Chinese government wants Hollywood to spread its moviemaking know-how by way of joint ventures with Chinese studios. In exchange, Beijing promises to allow a greater number of U.S. films into the country. By Ryan Nakashima.

Eds: Sent Monday for use any time.

CLARK-SEACREST

LOS ANGELES â¿¿ As a kid, Ryan Seacrest idolized Dick Clark. As an adult, he modeled his career after the entertainment giant and later helped him carry on with America's New Year's Eve after a stroke took its toll. Now, it's just Seacrest â¿¿ uncannily in the Dick Clark mold â¿¿ who is left to carry on the youthful vitality and innovative spirit that Clark used to so effectively meld music and media. By Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen.

Eds: Sent Thursday for use any time.

AP Photos.

FOOD-LADIES OF LAGER

A brew and a bro â¿¿ they're the classic pairing, right? Not necessarily. These days not only do plenty of women enjoy beer, they make it, too. By Michelle Locke.

Eds: Sent Tuesday for use any time.

AP Photo.

COLUMNS:

SMALL TALK

Don't be misled by reports that inflation is tame. For small business owners, it's a threat â¿¿ to their profits and their expansion plans. In the 12 months that ended in March, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.7 percent. If you subtract food and gas, as some economists do, what's left is called "core" inflation. It rose 2.3 percent, close to the 2 percent that the Federal Reserve is looking for. But the prices that small businesses pay for energy, raw materials, supplies and services have been going up much more sharply. Raw cotton has gone up nearly 14 percent in the past year. Eggs are up 8 percent. Jet fuel is up 8 percent. And those prices are expected to keep rising. By Joyce Rosenberg.

Eds: Sent Wednesday for use any time.

OF MUTUAL INTEREST-TAX TIPS

BOSTON â¿¿ Take a breather, but make it short. With another tax-filing season behind, it's time for savvy investors to review any tax mistakes made last year. It's crucial to avoid repeating them because taxes on investment income could rise sharply in January unless Congress acts to extend currently low rates. We'll offer tax tips from Duncan Richardson of Eaton Vance, an investment company that specializes in tax strategies for mutual fund investors. By Personal Finance Writer Mark Jewell.

Eds: Sent Thursday for use any time.

AP Photo.

DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-BASEBALL ON THE GO

ATLANTA â¿¿ Baseball is back, which means die-hard fans like me are hungry for updates and highlights when we're not near our televisions or computers. For the past six years, I've satisfied my appetite with Major League Baseball's evolving offerings. What used to be a glitch-filled, clunky desktop-based system is now a robust experience that includes sleek, high-performing apps for iPhones, iPads, Android platforms and other devices. This year's version of the software, MLB At Bat 2012, is the best yet. By Greg Bluestein.

Eds: Sent Wednesday for use any time.

The AP.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform