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TOP STORIES:

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.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

PENDING HOME SALES

WASHINGTON ⿿ The National Association of Realtors reports on a measure of the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in February. In January, pending home sales rose to the highest level in more than 2½ years. The gains show buyers are growing more confident in the housing recovery. By Martin Crustinger.

Eds: Report due at 10 a.m.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

NOLAN BUSHNELL-FINDING THE NEXT STEVE JOBS

SAN FRANCISCO â¿¿ Nolan Bushnell never appeared in Apple's "think different" ads, even though the company was riffing on an iconoclastic philosophy that he embraced while running video game pioneer Atari in the early 1970s. Atari's refusal to be corralled by the status quo was one reason Jobs started working for Bushnell in 1974 as an unkempt, contemptuous 19-year-old in 1974. In a new book, Bushnell writes about the unorthodox thinking that fosters the breakthroughs that became Jobs' hallmark as the co-founder and CEO of Apple. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke.

AP photos.

DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-TABLET-PC HYBRIDS

LOS ANGELES â¿¿ Since Windows 8's debut in October, there have been a range of hot-looking devices that try to combine elements of tablets and traditional PCs. These hybrids seem as if they would be great both for relaxing with an e-book and for writing stories when I occasionally need to snap back into work mode. But trying out three tablet-PC hybrids running Windows 8 has convinced me that the good old laptop still reigns for creating documents quickly and accurately. By Ryan Nakashima.

AP photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

CYPRUS FINANCIAL CRISIS

Updates on preparations to get Cyprus banks open by Thursday.

With:

CYPRUS-WHAT NEXT

FRANKFURT, Germany â¿¿ Cyprus' bailout has renewed fears about the shaking banking system in Europe and its impact on the region's debt crisis. Here's a look at what are the weakest spots in the financial system and where the risks lurk. By David McHugh.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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