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WASHINGTON â¿¿The Senate drags massively profitable Apple Inc. into the debate over the U.S. tax code, grilling CEO Tim Cook over Irish subsidiaries that he said have nothing to do with reducing the company's U.S. taxes. The spotlight on Apple's tax strategy comes at a time of fevered debate in Washington over whether and how to raise revenues to help reduce the federal deficit. Many Democrats complain that the government is missing out on billions of dollars because companies are stashing profits abroad and avoiding taxes. Republicans want to cut the corporate tax rate of 35 percent to encourage companies to bring back overseas profits to invest at home. By Marcy Gordon and Peter Svensson.

AP photo.


TAMPA, Fla. â¿¿ Shareholders at JPMorgan Chase vote to let Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO, keep both his jobs. At the bank's annual meeting, just 32 percent of shareholders voted for a non-binding measure that would have advised the bank to split the roles. That's less than the 40 percent vote that a similar proposal received last year. Shareholder groups lobbying for the split gained momentum from a surprise $6 billion trading loss last year, which tarnished the reputation of both JPMorgan and Dimon. By Christina Rexrode.

AP photos.


â¿¿ JPMORGAN DIRECTORS-GLANCE â¿¿ A look at how shareholders voted.


REDMOND, Wash. â¿¿ Microsoft unveils its next-generation home console, dubbed the Xbox One, nearly eight years after debuting the Xbox 360. For the past two years, Microsoft has led the gaming industry in console sales with the Xbox 360. In recent years, Microsoft expanded the console's scope beyond just games, offering streaming media apps and the Kinect sensor. By Derrik J. Lang.

AP photos, AP video.


PARIS â¿¿The French economy is in slow-motion free fall. Unemployment is 11 percent and rising. Corporate profit margins are at a 30-year low. And Europe's second-largest economy can't compete globally because workers get paid too much to make products that cost too little. Analysts dismiss President Francois Hollande's plan to revive the French economy because it favors a top-down approach to innovation and does too little to change rules that favor workers over employers. Meanwhile, the man Hollande charged with attracting businesses to invest in France is gaining a reputation for doing the opposite. By Sarah Dilorenzo.

AP photos



PARIS â¿¿ Here's how the struggling French economy stacks up compared to Germany's and Britain's.


SAN JOSE, Calif. â¿¿ A high-tech startup is wading into the gun control debate with a wireless controller that would allow gun owners to know when their weapon is being moved â¿¿ and disable it remotely. The technology comes at a time when lawmakers around the U.S. are considering contentious smart gun laws that would require new guns to include high-tech devices that limit who can fire them. By Martha Mendoza.



WASHINGTONâ¿¿ Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew tells a Senate committee that the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups was "unacceptable and inexcusable" and he has directed the agency's acting director to hold people accountable. By Martin Crutsinger.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ The Senate votes to keep a $400 million annual cut â¿¿ or roughly a half of 1 percent â¿¿ to the food stamp program in a farm bill it is considering this week. By Mary Clare Jalonick.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ Leading senators working to resolve a key issue on immigration legislation have agreed to a compromise covering expansion of a high-tech visa program, officials said Tuesday, resolving one of two major hurdles to committee passage of the landmark bill. By David Espo and Erica Werner.

AP photos.

â¿¿ IMMIGRANT WORKERS â¿¿ Dozens of Indian guest workers are suing an Alabama-based marine and fabrication company, claiming it financially exploited them and forced them to live in squalid conditions after bringing them to work at Gulf Coast shipyards after Hurricane Katrina.


LOS ANGELES â¿¿ Americans got better about paying their credit card debt on time in the first three months of the year, a period when many borrowers use income tax returns to tackle their holiday season debt. By Alex Veiga.

â¿¿ ENERGY SECRETARY â¿¿ Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says he will put on hold about 20 applications to export liquefied natural gas until he reviews studies by the Energy Department and others on what impact the exports would have on domestic natural gas supplies and prices.

â¿¿ CORN PLANTING â¿¿ U.S. farmers who could only watch helplessly this spring as storm after storm left their fields a muddy mess took to their tractors en masse last week and planted a record amount of corn acreage, even in areas where conditions are still far from perfect.

â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-LENDING TO VETERANS â¿¿ The Small Business Administration says it has lined up pledges from more than 120 banks to increase lending to veterans. The agency said it's starting a program, the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, aimed at increasing lending to veteran-owned businesses by 5 percent a year for the next five years.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Reassuring comments from a Federal Reserve official and better earnings from two big retailers help push the stock market higher.

â¿¿ OIL PRICES â¿¿ The price of oil falls to close at $96.16 a barrel as investors await the Federal Reserve's latest views on the U.S. economy on Wednesday.



ATLANTA â¿¿ Even though the weather was poor, Home Depot posted an 18 percent increase in its net income for the first quarter, thanks to the ongoing housing recovery. By Michelle Chapman and Mae Anderson.

AP photo.

EARNS-BEST BUY â¿¿ Best Buy Co. reports a loss in its fiscal first quarter as it sold its stake in Best Buy Europe and works on a turnaround plan that includes cutting costs and closing some stores. By Mae Anderson.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-EARNS-BURBERRY â¿¿ British luxury brand Burberry says that the end of a perfume licensing deal depressed its bottom line, dragging net profit down 3 percent for the year ending on March 31. But the company reported an 8 percent rise in revenue and said it was pivoting toward emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.

â¿¿BRITAIN-EARNS-VODAFONE â¿¿ U.K.-based mobile telecoms company Vodafone has reported a 1.9 increase in annual profits despite a slowdown in much of its European operations.


â¿¿ UNITED TECHNOLOGIES-OUTLOOK â¿¿ The chief executive of aerospace giant United Technologies Corp. is optimistic about an improving economy and airline industry. CEO Louis Chenevert tells analysts that airline profitability looks better for 2013 than in recent years.

â¿¿ GENERAL MOTORS-NEW JOBS â¿¿ General Motors says it will invest $44.5 million at a Lansing, Mich., factory, creating 200 new jobs.

â¿¿ HERBALIFE-AUDITOR â¿¿ Herbalife Ltd. says it has hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to be its new auditor. The nutrition company's previous auditor KPMG resigned last month after insider trading allegations against a rogue executive of the accounting firm.



WASHINGTON â¿¿ Twitter is booming as a social media service for teenagers, who complain about too many adults and too much drama on Facebook, according to a new study about online behavior. It says teens also are sharing more personal information about themselves but also trying to protect their online reputations.


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. â¿¿ Wireless company Sprint Nextel Corp. says it can now let Dish Network Corp. see its books and talk with Dish to see whether its competing offer to buy Sprint is better than its current deal with Japan's SoftBank.

â¿¿ ESPN-LAYOFFS â¿¿ ESPN says that it is cutting its workforce. The company would not say how many jobs are being eliminated, but they include unfilled positions.

â¿¿ GERMANY-SAP â¿¿ German software giant SAP AG says it plans to recruit hundreds of staff with autism to make full use of their talents to process information.



NEW DELHI â¿¿ Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Indian business leaders that developing stronger economic ties between their two nations would have huge benefits for both sides. Li spoke after holding meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which the two leaders played down a recent border dispute and stressed the aim of forging deeper cooperation.

AP photos.


BEIJING â¿¿ Authorities are investigating rice mills in southern China following tests that found almost half of the staple grain in one of the country's largest cities was contaminated with a toxic metal.

â¿¿ THAILAND-SIX-LEGGED LIVESTOCK â¿¿ Researchers say Thailand is showing the world how to respond to the global food crisis: by raising bugs for eating. The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization released a study and handbook on what they call 'six-legged livestock' â¿¿ edible bugs and worms that can help meet global food demand that is expected to grow 60 percent by 2050.

â¿¿ GERMANY-ECONOMY â¿¿ Germany's central bank says the country's economy will improve "markedly" in the second quarter â¿¿ a development that could boost the struggling eurozone. The Bundesbank says the eurozone's largest economy should expand more robustly after a weak first three months of the year.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-ECONOMY â¿¿ Official figures show that consumer price inflation in Britain eased in April, largely on the back of lower fuel prices and airfares. The Office for National Statistics said that the annual rate fell to 2.4 percent in April, a bigger-than-anticipated fall.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-G4S CHIEF RETIRES â¿¿ The chief executive of security firm G4S is to retire after a tumultuous year that saw the company fail to fulfill its Olympic contract.

â¿¿ CUBA-APPLIANCES â¿¿ Cuba has authorized individual imports of appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators and microwave ovens, lifting a ban imposed in 2005 amid a wave of energy shortages and blackouts.


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Dividend hunter: Out of the box

International Paper, which makes everything from paper cups and cardboard to office paper, has shed more than $11 billion worth of timberland and other noncore businesses in recent years.  Its moves are part of a wave of consolidation that has concentrated 75 percent of the market with International Paper and a handful of rivals. Investors piled into the sector, driving up shares in International Paper, but throughout, the company has increased its dividend substantially -- something that management recently hinted it would continue to do.


Rough waters

Carnival's dominance of the cruise ship market has allowed it to sail, seemingly smoothly, through one high-profile breakdown on the high seas after another. But now Carnival cut its outlook for the year as it is forced to lower ticket prices to win back customers, and investors are now jumping ship.

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