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WASHINGTON â¿¿ The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion annually for the financially struggling agency. The move accentuates one of the agency's strong points â¿¿ package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet services. By Pauline Jelinek.

AP photos, video.


â¿¿ POSTAL CUTS-GLANCE â¿¿ Details of Postal Service's planned cuts in Saturday mail service



SAN FRANCISCO â¿¿ Netflix won't miss Saturday mail delivery, even though the weekend service helped keep the company's DVD-by-mail subscribers happy. The U.S. Postal Service's upcoming shift from six to five days of home delivery may even make Netflix Inc. slightly more profitable by lowering the costs for sending out its familiar red envelopes and reducing the number of DVDs that subscribers can watch for a monthly fee that remains the same, no matter how many discs get checked out. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke.

AP photo.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Riding a U.S. housing recovery and a booming stock market, Boise Cascade, a maker of plywood and other building materials, jumps 24 percent in its market debut. It's the latest big first-day gain for an IPO, boding well for other companies that want to raise money by going public. By Business Writer Alex Veiga.

AP photos.


PAWTUCKET, R.I. â¿¿ Scottie dog has a new nemesis in Monopoly after fans voted in an online contest to add a cat token to the property trading game, replacing the iron. It's the first time in more than four decades that toy maker Hasbro has unveiled a new game token. By Rodrique Ngowi.

AP photos.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Cruise watchers looking back at the industry's past year say the Concordia disaster affected everything from prices to safety drills to first-time cruisers, but bookings appear to be picking up as the 2013 cruise booking season gets under way. By Travel Editor Beth J. Harpaz.

AP photo.


LONDON â¿¿ U.S. and U.K. authorities have fined the Royal Bank of Scotland more than $610 million for its role in the manipulation of a key global interest rate. RBS, the third major bank caught up in the international LIBOR scandal, pledged to make the rate-riggers and their managers fit the bill. LIBOR provides the basis for trillions of dollars in contracts around the world, including mortgages, bonds and consumer loans. By Danica Kirka.

AP photos.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Women small business owners: Shame on you! That's the message from Barbara Kasoff to women who run small companies and whine and complain about government policies being unfair. A business owner herself, Kasoff founded Women Impacting Public Policy, a lobbying group for women business owners in 2001. Since then, she's been taking on members of Congress and government agencies and says that women in business for themselves need to get educated about the issues and speak up. By Business Writer Joyce M. Rosenberg.


â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-KASOFF-BIO BOX â¿¿ A few details about Barbara Kasoff.



NEW YORK â¿¿ Stocks end flat on Wall Street as the latest round of earnings reports failed to give investors an impetus to push the market's recent rally forward. By Business Writer Steve Rothwell.

AP photos.

â¿¿ OIL PRICES â¿¿ The price of oil recoups steep morning losses after a government report shows U.S. crude supplies grew a bit less than expected last week.

â¿¿ GEITHNER-FOREIGN RELATIONS â¿¿ Timothy Geithner is joining the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, his first public move since stepping down as Treasury Secretary last month.

â¿¿ OBAMA-INTERIOR â¿¿ President Barack Obama has picked the head of outdoor gear company REI, Sally Jewell, as secretary of Interior.



WASHINGTON â¿¿ The use of lithium ion batteries to power aircraft systems isn't necessarily unsafe despite a battery fire in one Boeing 787 Dreamliner and smoke in another, but manufacturers need to build in reliable safeguards, the nation's top aviation safety investigator says. By Joan Lowy.

AP photo.


â¿¿ UNITED AIRLINES-787S â¿¿ United Airlines is taking the troubled Boeing 787 out of its flying plans for the rest of this month.



LOS ANGELES â¿¿ Visa says its profit jumped 25 percent in the last three months of 2012 as consumers racked up more credit card debt and used their debit cards more often. By Business Writer Alex Veiga.

â¿¿ LUXEMBOURG-EARNS-ARCELORMITTAL â¿¿ ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, posts a nearly $4 billion fourth-quarter loss on charges related to its ailing European business and a drop in the value of its assets.

â¿¿ EARNS-RALPH LAUREN â¿¿ Ralph Lauren Corp. says profit rose 27 percent in its latest quarter as the designer clothing company's affluent customers spent generously during the winter holidays and trends improved in Europe. AP photo.


â¿¿ FAKE CANCER DRUG-FDA â¿¿ The Food and Drug Administration is warning U.S. doctors about another counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin, the third case involving the best-selling Roche drug in the past year.


CVS Caremark's fourth-quarter earnings rise 6 percent, as new customers and Medicare prescription drug plans help its pharmacy benefits management business, while revenue from the chain's established drugstores grows. By Business Writer Tom Murphy.

AP photo.

â¿¿ ELAN-BIOGEN COLLABORATION â¿¿ Biogen Idec will take over full ownership of the multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri from its partner, Irish drugmaker Elan, for a $3.25 billion payment and royalties on future sales.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-EARNS-GLAXOSMITHKLINE â¿¿ U.K. pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is looking to cut costs further this year as it reports a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit on problems in Europe.



BLOOMSBURG, Pa. â¿¿ Every time my husband and I drive the 677 miles from New York to my parents' house in Michigan, we dread the long stretch of Interstate 80 through the hills of rural Pennsylvania. It's beautiful, but lonely, without a lot of places to stop. On this trip, with a little help from Google and Apple, I was determined to stay caffeinated and maybe find somewhere else to eat besides McDonald's and truck stops. By Bree Fowler.

AP photos.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Media conglomerate News Corp. says earnings for the last three months of 2012 grew, helped by higher revenue at its pay TV networks and gains from larger stakes in businesses abroad. By Barbara Ortutay

AP photo.



ENGLEWOOD, Colo. â¿¿ Liberty Global Inc., the cable TV operator controlled by media mogul John Malone, is buying U.K.-based Virgin Media Inc. in a $16 billion deal that steps up the rivalry between Malone and fellow billionaire Rupert Murdoch. By Business Writer Bree Fowler.

AP photo.

â¿¿ WALL STREET JOURNAL-HACKING â¿¿ Rupert Murdoch: Chinese are still hacking The Wall Street Journal.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Time Warner says net income grew 51 percent in the last three months of 2012 even as revenue was largely unchanged. Rising fees from cable and satellite companies and higher ad revenue at the TV networks offset revenue declines at its movie studio and magazine businesses. By Anick Jesdanun.

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.



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


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.


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


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.

â¿¿ EU-THREATENED FISH â¿¿ EU parliament pushes for end of overfishing in landmark vote; talks with European Union nations ahead.

â¿¿ SKOREA-FLIGHT ATTENDANTS-TROUSERS â¿¿ South Korean man suffers second-degree burns from a Samsung smartphone battery fire.

â¿¿ HONG KONG-FENG SHUI FORTUNES â¿¿ Year of the snake promises less tumult for investors than past, Hong Kong brokerage says. AP photos



Low mortgage rates have made buying a home more affordable, making homes-turned-rentals an attractive option for investors looking for a better return on their money. Here are eight tips on becoming a landlord or investor in rental property. By Business Writer Alex Veiga.


BOSTON â¿¿ The newfound confidence that investors showed at the start of the year held up through the end of January, boosting cash flows into stock mutual funds to the highest levels in years. By one measure, funds attracted cash at the fastest pace since 1996. If the trend holds up, 2013 would be the first year since 2006 that deposits into stock funds have exceeded withdrawals. By Personal Finance Writer Mark Jewell.


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What's eating Apple?

Apple stock has fallen steadily from its September high of $705.07. In January it was the worst performing stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, losing nearly 15 percent. Last month, the tech giant also momentarily lost its position as the world's most valuable company to Exxon Mobil. So what gives? A look how Apple's revenue breakdown has shifted since 2007.


Time Warner earnings up

Rising fees from cable and satellite companies helped drive Time Warner's net income up 51 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

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