BC-Business News Preview


Among the stories for Wednesday from The Associated Press:

Removes: WALL STREET-TWITTER TUMBLE (will move later)



Boeing says it will begin delivering 787s again in early May. The 787 has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries. Federal authorities have approved Boeing's redesigned battery system. The company also says its net income rose 20 percent in the first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations, despite its troubles with the plane. By Joshua Freed.

AP photo.


DEARBORN, Mich. â¿¿ Ford says net income rose 15 percent in the first quarter to $1.6 billion as record North American profits overcame weakness in Europe and South America.

AP photo.


LONDON â¿¿ Recession may just be a word. But in Britain it may become a habit â¿¿ and a dangerous one at that. Official figures on first quarter economic growth, to be released Thursday, could show the country is back in recession, and tension is building. Experts warn that confirmation of another recession would create a wave of negative media attention that would scare consumers away from spending, feeding into a vicious cycle that has the economy flat-lining. By Danica Kirka


SAVAR, Bangladesh â¿¿ An eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed near Bangladesh's capital, killing at least 70 people and trapping many more in the rubble. The collapse stirred memories of a fatal fire at a garment factory in November that killed 112 people and raised an outcry about safety in the nation's garment industry.


NEW YORK â¿¿ When Apple launched its iTunes music store a decade ago amid the ashes of Napster, the music industry â¿¿ reeling from the effects of online piracy â¿¿ was anxious to see how the new music service would shake out. As iTunes, now music's biggest retailer, celebrates its 10-year mark Sunday, it faces renewed scrutiny on how it will continue to dominate in the next decade â¿¿ or whether it can. With competition from subscription services like Spotify and other services like Amazon.com, Netflix, Hulu and others, iTunes will likely need to reinvent itself to remain at the top of the digital entertainment perch. By Entertainment Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody.

AP photo



WASHINGTON â¿¿ Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell sharply last month, dragged lower by a steep drop in volatile commercial aircraft demand. But orders that reflect business investment plans rose slightly.


OLYMPIA, Wash. â¿¿ In a move that would capitalize on provisions under President Barack Obama's health care law but could cost the federal government millions of dollars, Washington state lawmakers have found a creative way to pass a large chunk of their health care expenses along to Washington, D.C. â¿¿ and analysts say others are likely to follow suit.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ After dozens of attempts to overturn the new health care law, House Republicans took a different tack, promoting legislation that would come to the rescue of a prominent program in the new law at the expense of another vital element of the law. The House bill, named the "Helping Sick Americans Now Act," would prop up a faltering program that helps people with pre-existing conditions get insurance, doing so by taking money away from the 2010 law's main prevention fund. By Jim Abrams.

â¿¿ $100 BILL â¿¿ The Federal Reserve says it will begin circulating a redesigned $100 bill this fall, more than two years after its initial target.

â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-MINIMUM WAGE â¿¿ Small business owners support raising the federal minimum wage because they believe it will help the economy and, in turn, enable small companies to hire more workers.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Stocks were little changed on Wall Street as investors considered mixed earnings results from several major U.S. companies.

â¿¿ OIL PRICES â¿¿ Crude prices are rising to near $90 a barrel as a string of positive corporate earnings and an improved U.S. housing report pointed to higher oil demand and drew investors back to the market.



TOKYO â¿¿ Toyota held onto its status as the world's top-selling automaker in the first quarter of this year, although the three-way race with General Motors and Volkswagen is proving tight, as its sales fall in China and Japan. Toyota Motor Corp. reported it sold 2.43 million vehicles during the January-March period, outpacing U.S. automaker General Motors Co. at 2.36 million vehicles and Volkswagen AG of Germany at 2.27 million vehicles. By Yuri Kageyama.

â¿¿ FISKER AUTOMOTIVE â¿¿ Newly released documents show that the Obama administration was warned as early as 2010 that electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. was not meeting milestones set up for a half-billion-dollar government loan â¿¿ nearly a year before U.S. officials froze the loan after questions were raised about the company's statements.

â¿¿ GERMANY-EARNS-DAIMLER â¿¿ Automaker Daimler AG says profits sagged 60 percent in the first quarter, hurt by weak demand for cars in recession-hit Europe.

â¿¿ GERMANY-EARNS-VOLKSWAGEN â¿¿ Volkswagen AG says its first-quarter profit was down 38 percent compared with a year earlier as sagging demand in Europe pushed revenue slightly lower.

â¿¿ FRANCE-PEUGEOT-CITROEN-SALES â¿¿ PSA Peugeot Citroen said crumbling automobile markets across Europe lay behind a steep drop in its first quarter sales.



INDIANAPOLIS â¿¿ WellPoint says its first-quarter earnings rose about 3 percent, as the nation's second largest health insurer saw a revenue gain from an acquisition. It also raised its 2013 net income forecast.

â¿¿ SWITZERLAND-EARNS-NOVARTIS â¿¿ Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG has reported a 6.7 percent increase in profit for the first quarter, boosted by new products and emerging markets.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-EARNS-GLAXO â¿¿ Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has reported a 26 percent drop in profits in the first quarter compared to a year ago, as it restructures its manufacturing and research and development divisions.



CINCINNATI â¿¿ Procter & Gamble says its net income rose 6 percent in the fiscal third quarter, as the company cut costs, but revenue fell short of analyst expectations.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-EARNS-BARCLAYS â¿¿ Barclays PLC has reported a return to profit in the first quarter, as it tries to restructure and get past recent scandals.

â¿¿ SWITZERLAND-EARNS-CREDIT SUISSE â¿¿ Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group has reported first quarter profits of 1.3 billion Swiss francs ($1.37 billion), a sharp rebound from the same period a year ago.

â¿¿ NETHERLANDS-EARNS-HEINEKEN â¿¿ Heineken NV says its sales and profits rose in the first quarter, due to recent acquisitions. The Dutch brewer blamed austerity policies for weak European markets, and said growth in revenues for the full year would not be quite as strong as it hoped. It has not set any specific target.


â¿¿ GEORGIA-PACIFIC-BUCKEYE TECHNOLOGIESâ¿¿ Georgia-Pacific is buying Buckeye Technologies Inc., boosting its product lineup, for about $1.46 billion.

â¿¿ JONES GROUP-CLOSURES â¿¿ Jones Group, a clothing, shoes and accessories maker that owns chains including Nine West and Easy Spirit, says it's closing 170 U.S. stores and slashing jobs as part of a plan to improve profitability.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-LLOYDS â¿¿ Lloyds Banking Banking Group says a mulitmillion pound deal to sell hundreds of branches to Co-operative Group has unraveled. The bank, which is 40 percent owned by taxpayers, said it will now pursue a stock market flotation for the branches.

â¿¿ SWITZERLAND-BASELWORLD â¿¿ The world's biggest trade fair for watches opens this week, a spectacle of luxury items and highly-crafted gadgetry competing in a time of austerity and smartphones.

â¿¿ INDIA-JET-ETIHAD â¿¿ India's Jet Airways approved the sale of a 24 percent stake to Etihad Airways for $379 million, the first foreign investment in an Indian airline since the South Asian country eased restrictions on aviation deals last year.

â¿¿ ISRAEL-F-35 â¿¿ Israel Aerospace Industries says it has signed a long-term contract with U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin to produce wings for the F-35 next-generation fighter jet. â¿¿


PENNSDALE, Pa. â¿¿ The land of scrapple and chipped ham is starting to get a taste for jambalaya and boudin. Thanks to an influx of Southerners filling jobs in north-central Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry, a region not often placed on many culinary maps is finding itself flush with the foodways found below the Mason-Dixon line, arguably the source of some of the nation's richest culinary traditions. Suddenly, convenience stores stock sweet tea, barbecue is a hot seller, and the almost Norman Rockwell-quaint Country Store in Pennsdale even makes its own boudin, a pork sausage popular in Louisiana. By Genaro C. Armas.

AP photos.



WASHINGTON â¿¿ Online privacy rules are changing. The question now is how much you'll care. America's tech industry is finalizing voluntary disclosure standards on the sensitive information being sucked from your smartphone like your location, surfing habits and contacts. Senate Democrats are pushing for a clearer opt-out button for all online tracking. And Microsoft is offering a new browser that encourages people to block the technology that enables tracking.



BEIJING â¿¿ The top U.S. military officer says that he has called on China to be more transparent about cyberattacks and boost collaboration with the U.S. to tackle a common threat to their economies.

AP photo.

â¿¿ CHINA-FOREIGN BUSINESS-INTERNET â¿¿ An American business group has called on China to improve its Internet security, ease controls on Web use by businesses and open its online industries wider to foreign participation.

â¿¿ T-MOBILE USA-METROPCSâ¿¿ MetroPCS Communications Inc., the country's fifth-largest cellphone carrier, says its shareholders have approved the company's takeover by No. 4 T-Mobile USA.


NEW YORK â¿¿ I've seen Android phones get better and more powerful over the years, as Google and phone manufacturers pack devices with more and more features. There comes a time, though, when less is more. I'm afraid we've reached that time.


â¿¿ SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 DELAYS â¿¿ Sprint is delaying shipments of Samsung's latest flagship phone, citing "unexpected inventory challenges.


NEW YORK â¿¿ The BlackBerry has finally caught up to the world of touch-screen smartphones. It took time â¿¿ six years, from the launch of the first iPhone â¿¿ and it may be too late to save the company that makes it. But the BlackBerry deserves to be taken seriously again.

â¿¿ JAPAN-EARNS-NINTENDO â¿¿ Nintendo Co. returned to profit for the fiscal year ended March 31 as a lift from the weak yen offset sales struggles caused by software delays for its latest home console Wii U. .

â¿¿ SKOREA-EARNS-LG-ELECTRONICS â¿¿ LG Electronics Inc. said its first quarter earnings shrank to less than one tenth of the year-earlier quarter as its TV business languished, masking a recovery in mobile phone sales.

â¿¿ SKOREA-EARNS-SK HYNIX â¿¿ South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. reported its third consecutive quarterly profit as prices for PC memory chips rose.

â¿¿ SWEDEN-EARNS-ERICSSON â¿¿ Wireless equipment maker Ericsson says a 2 percent gain in sales in the first quarter was not enough to prevent an 86 percent slump in net profit as it booked costs connected with downsizing its Swedish operations.


Coming soon to a theater near you: China's Communist Party. From demanding changes in plot lines that denigrate the Chinese leadership, to dampening lurid depictions of sex and violence, Beijing is having increasing success in pressuring Hollywood into deleting movie content Beijing finds objectionable. It's even getting American studios to sanction alternative versions of films specially tailored for Chinese audiences, like "Iron Man 3," which debuts in theaters around the world later this week. The Chinese version features local heartthrob Fan Bingbing, absent from the version showing abroad, and lengthy clips of Chinese scenery that local audiences love. By Peter Enav.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Since directing "Garden State," Zach Braff has continually prepared music in an iTunes playlist titled, "For Next Movie." Nine years and hundreds of saved songs later, Braff hopes he's finally making his follow-up to "Garden State" â¿¿ if his fans can help.

â¿¿BRITAIN-TRUMP ADS â¿¿ Britain's Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that Donald Trump's anti-wind farm advert should be withdrawn in its current form.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-PHONE HACKING â¿¿ British prosecutors say that a senior editor at Rupert Murdoch's tabloid The Sun is being charged with conspiring to pay 23,000 pounds (roughly $35,000) in bribes in return for tips about the royal family.

â¿¿ AUSTRALIA-HACKING ARREST â¿¿ Australian police have arrested a man they say is affiliated with international hacking collective Lulz Security on a charge of attacking and defacing a government website.



FRANKFURT, Germany â¿¿ Evidence that Europe's economic downturn is affecting its strongest member, Germany, is convincing many experts that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates from the current record low. After a survey showed a slowdown in German's key manufacturing sector, an index of business optimism also came in surprisingly weak. The Ifo index fell to 104.4 points in April from 106.7 in March, more than the modest dip foreseen by market analysts to 106.2. By David McHugh.

AP photos


â¿¿ GERMANY-ECONOMY â¿¿ A key measure of German business optimism fell in April, suggesting Europe's biggest economy might not be rebounding as expected. The Ifo institute says its index fell to 104.4 points from 106.7 in March. Market analysts had expected a more modest decline to 106.2. By David McHugh.

â¿¿ AUSTRALIA-CHINA â¿¿ Australia's central bank said it will invest up to 5 percent of its foreign currency reserves in Chinese government bonds as economic and business ties between the two countries deepen.

â¿¿ FRANCE-ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE LABOR â¿¿ The French government will not vote for a law that would give amnesty to workers who ransacked company offices or threatened their bosses during labor disputes.

â¿¿ HONG KONG-QUAKE AID SKEPTICS â¿¿ Hong Kong lawmakers fiercely opposed a plan to donate money to a Chinese provincial government for earthquake victims, underlining widespread public concerns about mainland corruption.

â¿¿ INDIA-INVESTMENT FRAUDâ¿¿ An Indian businessman who allegedly duped hundreds of thousands of small depositors in eastern India after promising them huge returns on their investments has been arrested.

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

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