AP photosWith: â¿¿ FISCAL CLIFF-OBAMA â¿¿ White House economists warn that the threat of a tax hike next year could hurt consumer confidence â¿¿ and spending â¿¿ during the crucial holiday shopping season. â¿¿ WARREN BUFFETT-TAXESâ¿¿ Billionaire Warren Buffett is again calling for higher taxes on the "ultra-rich" and he's urging Congress to compromise on spending cuts and tax increases. SUPERSTORM-LOWER MANHATTAN NEW YORK â¿¿ The hum of massive mobile generators, boilers and pumps emerges blocks from Manhattan's Financial District and turns into a steady din south of Wall Street â¿¿ the now-familiar sound of an area laboring to recover from Superstorm Sandy. "There were waves on Wall Street, and it all ended up here," says a building engineer who rode out the storm. Far away from other more spectacularly damaged areas, some of the high-rises that are home to investment banks, large law firms and luxury apartments have bounced back quickly. But others buildings remain eerily dark and vacant. By Tom Hays. AP photos WALL STREET NEW YORK â¿¿ Stocks are falling, pulled down by old worries about the debt crisis in Europe and a political standoff over taxes and spending in the U.S. AP photos â¿¿ OIL PRICES â¿¿ The price of oil dips to below $88 per barrel. TWELVE DAYS COST PITTSBURGH â¿¿ If your Christmas shopping list includes seven swans, six geese, and five golden rings, expect some sticker shock this year. Prices for all those gifts have spiked this year, so purchasing every item mentioned in the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" now costs $107,300. That's a 6.1 percent spike over last year. By Kevin Begos. AP photos. With: â¿¿ TWELVE DAYS-COST-GLANCE â¿¿ Cost of "12 Days of Christmas" items. CLIMATE TALKS DOHA, Qatar â¿¿ The U.S. defends its track record on fighting climate change at U.N. talks, saying it's making "enormous" efforts to slow global warming and help the poor nations most affected by it. Other countries have accused Washington of hampering the climate talks ever since the Bush administration abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty limiting emissions of heat-trapping gases by industrialized countries. As negotiators meet for a two-week session in oil and gas-rich Qatar, U.S. delegate Jonathan Pershing suggests that America deserves more credit. By Karl Ritter.
AP photosINDUSTRY INSIDER TRADING ARREST NEW YORK â¿¿ A former hedge fund portfolio manager charged in one of the biggest insider trading cases in history is due in a New York federal court Monday after an investigation that touched on the activities of one of the nation's wealthiest financiers, Steven Cohen. AP photos CONOCOPHILLIPS-ASSET SALE HOUSTON â¿¿ ConocoPhillips is selling a minority interest in drilling sites off the coast of Kazakhstan for about $5 billion as it continues to downsize. â¿¿ BRITAIN-UBS â¿¿ Britain's financial regulator fines Swiss bank UBS $48 million for failures which allowed a rogue trader to lose $2.3 billion. â¿¿ ONEX-ACQUISITION â¿¿ Canadian private equity firm Onex is buying U.S. insurance broker USI for $2.3B from a Goldman Sachs fund. â¿¿ ITALY-FIAT INDUSTRIAL â¿¿ The Italian heavy-duty vehicles company Fiat Industrial reaches a merger agreement with its U.S. subsidiary, the farm machine maker CNH. TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA MCGRAW-HILL-APOLLO NEW YORK â¿¿ McGraw-Hill is selling its education business to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion. DUBAI-INTERNET CONFERENCE DUBAI, United Arab Emirates â¿¿ An upcoming U.N. gathering that will seek agreements on Internet oversight is raising alarms from a broad coalition of critics â¿¿ including the U.S., Google and rights groups â¿¿ concerned that changes could lead to greater efforts to censor Web content and stifle innovation in cyberspace. Tucked into more than 1,300 proposals are potential hot-button items that opponents believe could be used by in places such as Iran and China to justify their crackdowns on bloggers and other restrictions. AP photo â¿¿ SKOREA-SAMSUNG-CHINA LABOR â¿¿ Samsung says its audit of Chinese suppliers found illegal labor practices such as excessive overtime. INTERNATIONAL EUROPE-FINANCIAL CRISIS BRUSSELS â¿¿ Finance ministers from the 17 EU countries that use the euro are trying to hammer out a deal that will prevent the imminent bankruptcy of Greece. The ministers, meeting Monday in Brussels, have for weeks failed to agree on a strategy that will allow them to release nearly $57 billion for the cash-strapped country. By Don Melvin.
AP photosCHINA-WEN FAMILY FORTUNE HONG KONG â¿¿ A New York Times investigation showing that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's family made a fortune from investing in Ping An Insurance after it lobbied him to waive rules requiring a breakup draws a denial from the insurer on Monday. By Business Writer Kelvin Chan. â¿¿ GERMANY-ECONOMY â¿¿ Survey shows German consumers slightly less confident amid eurozone crisis woes. â¿¿ FRANCE-STEEL SPAT â¿¿ France's new government minister for industrial recovery says he wants international steel giant ArcelorMittal out of the country, accusing the company of "lies." â¿¿ NETHERLANDS-ING â¿¿ ING says it has repaid the Dutch state â¿¬1.1 billion. ING still owes a final â¿¬1.2 billion, plus interest, from its â¿¬10 billion bailout in 2008. â¿¿ IRAN-ECONOMY â¿¿ Iran is planning to build new oil storage facilities so it can store more of the fuel it is having a hard time selling due to Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.