BC-APFN-US--Business Features Digest, APFN

The business news enterprise package planned through Oct. 1. For comments or questions, call 212-621-1680. For questions about photos, call ext. 1900. For questions about graphics, call ext. 7636. Repeats of stories are available from http://apexchange.com or the Service Desk, 1-800-838-4616.



NEW YORK â¿¿ The government shuts down. The economy unravels. Stocks plunge. That may be Wall Street's worst fear, but history shows it's overblown. There have been 17 federal government shutdowns since 1976. These have ranged in length from one to 21 days. None have caused a catastrophic meltdown of the stock market. Some analysts are cautiously suggesting that the recent slump in stock prices offers investors a buying opportunity. By Markets Writer Steve Rothwell.

Eds: Sent Friday for use anytime through Monday, unless a budget deal is reached. 800 words.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ Republicans pulling on the budget thread can't neatly unravel President Barack Obama's health care law. A partial government shutdown next week would leave the major parts of the law in place and rolling along, and health care markets for the uninsured would open as scheduled on Tuesday. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.

Eds: Sent Thursday for use through Monday or until a budget deal is reached. 770 words

AP photos.


Some malls around the world have been scrambling to add security guards to look for suspicious people following a deadly attack on a shopping center in Nairobi over the weekend. But for other malls, it's been business as usual. The mixed reactions by malls across the globe isn't unusual in an industry whose security efforts vary from unarmed guards in most shopping centers in the U.S., to metal detectors and bag searches in places like Israel, to main entrances that resemble airport security lines in India. By Anne D'Innocenzio.

Eds: Sent Wednesday for use anytime. 1,050 words.

AP photos.


LAS VEGAS â¿¿ Slot machine manufacturers are rolling out a raft of games inspired by the penny arcade, hoping to attract middle-aged gamblers with a dose of nostalgia and the promise of finally cashing in on all those hours spent in front of a screen. By Hannah Dreier.

Eds: Sent Friday for use anytime, 800 words

AP photos.


REYKJAVIK, Iceland â¿¿Iceland is turning to Hollywood for much needed revenue and jobs â¿¿ as well as a touch of glamour â¿¿ as it struggles to recover from a nationwide banking and currency collapse. This remote North Atlantic island's vast and unforgiving landscape has served as a stand-in for other planets, the Himalayas and even HBO's Game of Thrones' snow-filled fantasy world in recent productions. The country's unique environment, along with generous tax incentives, continues to attract some of the biggest Hollywood filmmakers and television producers. By Jenna Gottlieb.

Eds: Sent Friday for use anytime. 600 words

AP photos.


SAO PAULO â¿¿ It carried hippies through the 1960s, hauled surfers in search of killer waves during endless summers and serves as a workhorse across the developing world, but the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen van is ending. Brazil is the last place in the world still producing the iconic vehicle but VW says production will end Dec. 31. By Stan Lehman and Bradley Brooks.

Eds: Sent Monday for use anytime. 830 words.

AP photos.


BEMUS POINT, N.Y. â¿¿ Increasingly popular bathroom wipes â¿¿ pre-moistened towelettes that are often advertised as flushable â¿¿ are being blamed for creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation, costing some municipalities millions of dollars as they dispatch crews to unclog pipes and pumps and replace and upgrade machinery. The problem got so bad in Bemus Point that sewer officials set up traps to figure out which households the wipes were coming from. They mailed letters and then pleaded in person for residents to stop flushing them. By Carolyn Thompson.

Eds: Sent Monday for use anytime. 860 words.

AP photos, glance.


â¿¿ WIPE-WOES-WHAT-NOT-TO-FLUSH â¿¿ Wipes, paper towels among items clogging sewers.

Eds: Sent Monday for use anytime. 150 words.

AP photos.


SEATTLE â¿¿ In the fleeting moments I had with Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet, I noticed one major thing: It lost a lot of weight. The engineers at Amazon managed to slim down their flagship tablet in every dimension. Add to that the company's claim that the processor is three times as fast as last year's Kindle Fire HD, and Amazon.com Inc. seems to have an attractive holiday gift option on its hands. By Ryan Nakashima.

Eds: Sent Wednesday for use anytime. 1,070 words

AP photos, video.


â¿¿ DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-NEW KINDLES-SMALL TABLETS. A look at 7-inch Kindle and its rivals.

â¿¿ DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-NEW KINDLES-LARGE TABLETS. A look at 8.9-inch Kindle and its rivals.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Is Microsoft's new Surface a tablet or a laptop? I'm not quite sure, but it certainly is a lot easier to type on than an iPad. It almost seems unfair to categorize the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 as tablets. By Bree Fowler.

Eds: Sent Tuesday for use anytime. 770 words.

AP photos.


LOS ANGELES â¿¿ Now that iTunes Radio has shipped to millions of iPhone and iPad owners, does that mean you should delete Pandora from your mobile device? Not so fast. The new feature, which comes with new iPhones and the free iOS 7 update, lacks some of the mojo that has helped Pandora become the leader in Internet radio. By Ryan Nakashima.

Eds: Sent Monday for use anytime. 990 words.

AP photo.



Index investing continues to pay off. The latest returns show that low-cost mutual funds are producing better results than many funds with highly paid managers. A look at the latest performance data, plus news of other recent findings across the mutual fund industry. By Stan Choe.

Eds: Will be sent Friday for use anytime. 800 words by 5 p.m.

AP photos.


Student loan forgiveness programs, which allow borrowers to erase their remaining college debt after several years of payments, remain underutilized. Two organizations, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recently released guides to increase awareness. Here is what you need to know. By Joseph Pisani.

Eds: Will be sent Thursday by 5 p.m. for use anytime. 600-700 words.


NEW YORK â¿¿ One of the most critical dates in the timeline for the Affordable Care Act is approaching: Oct. 1. Many small business owners may not realize the steps they are required to take before and after that day â¿¿ for example, that they need to start giving their workers information about the law. They also need to make some strategic decisions about the coverage they'll offer. A look at three things small business owners need to do now regarding the health care law. By Joyce M. Rosenberg.

Eds: Sent Wednesday for use anytime. 850 words

AP photo.

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

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