Top Headlines - part 66

Japan: Fukushima Nuclear Clean-Up To Span 40 Years

Japan: Fukushima Nuclear Clean-Up To Span 40 Years

WORLD

  • Japan sets 40-year roadmap to clean up the wrecked Fukushima
  • Fukushima plan will use robots and other new technologies to navigate hazardous waste
  • Tepco shares drop as a result of potential ramifications stemming from debt it has incurred

The Japanese government has released a 40-year plan that local officials feel is highly ambitious to clean up and decommission the Fukushima nuclear plant.

After being hit by both a debilitating tsunami and earthquake earlier this year, Fukushima was rendered out of commission and injured nearly 160,000 victims. However, Japan’s detailed 40-year plan should eventually return the surrounding area back to normal.

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Investment Firm Pays $20 Million For Sun-Times Media

Investment Firm Pays $20 Million For Sun-Times Media

BUSINESS

  • Deal includes over 40 websites, the Sun-Times and other newspapers
  • Paper to focus on digital strategy, charging readers subscription fee
  • Michel Ferro to serve as chairman, Timothy P. Knight as chief executive

In a deal is worth around $20 million, investment group Wrapports has acquired Sun-Times Media Holdings, which runs top daily and weekly newspapers including Chicago’s second-leading newspaper the Sun-Times and over 40 websites.

Second only to The Tribune, the Sun-Times has a circulation of almost 390,000. Sun-Times Media had filed for bankruptcy when James C. Tyree, then chief executive of Mesirow Financial Holdings, and other investors bought it in 2009 by for around $25 million. Since then,  Sun-Times CEO Jeremy Halbreich turned the outfit around, steering it away from bankruptcy by cutting costs, partly by way of staff cuts and outsourcing the paper’s printing to Tribune’s Freedom Center.

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Google Pledges Top Tablet For 2012

Google Pledges Top Tablet For 2012

BUSINESS

  • Google to release highest quality Android tablet in first half of 2012
  • CEO promises “brutal competition” for Apple
  • Android daily activation rate tops 700,000

Google will release a new tablet PC of “the highest quality” in 2012 that it believes will challenge the dominance of Apple’s iPad.

The internet search giant plans to have its new tablet on store shelves within the first half of 2012, according to an interview with executive chairman Eric Schmidt published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

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Does Google's Android System Infringe On British Telecom Patents?

Does Google's Android System Infringe On British Telecom Patents?

BUSINESS

  • British Telecomm suing Google in the US over Android mobile operating system
  • Case could result in Google paying royalties
  • Other companies also suing Google for infringement

The world’s oldest telecommunications company British Telecommunications is suing Google for patent infringements. The lawsuit was filed in the United States Court District for the district of Delaware.

In the 23-page lawsuit, British Telecomm says Google infringed on six of its patents, all of which are being used as part of the Android smartphone operating system. A company spokesman told the British newspaper The Guardian: “The patents in question relate to technologies that underpin location-based services, navigation and guidance information and personalized access to services and content.”

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Airlines To Pay Carbon Emissions Fee in EU Starting January 1

Airlines To Pay Carbon Emissions Fee in EU Starting January 1

BUSINESS

  • Airlines to rack up $12 billion in fees for 700 emissions permits by 2020
  • EU court rejects US airlines case against emissions fee
  • EU may withhold close to 1.5 billion permits to rectify over-supply

The European Court of Justice has backed a move to charge airlines a carbon emissions tax, to take effect on January 1, 2012.

US and Canadian airlines oppose the move, contending that the fee is in breach of the Open Skies Agreement, which clears airlines to fly from the EU to the US. Chinese carriers are arguing that it will mean they could have to pay out almost $125 million.

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GM Calls Game Over For Saab By Blocking Buyout Bid From Chinese

GM Calls Game Over For Saab By Blocking Buyout Bid From Chinese

FINANCE

  • GM blocks sale of Saab to Chinese over concern for intellectural property
  • Saab says filing bankruptcy best bet for its creditors
  • Saab valued at $3.8 million

Unable to solidify deals that would have saved Saab, the Swedish automaker has now filed for bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy filing comes after many attempts to keep the company afloat. In September, Saab, which is owned by Swedish Automobile, filed for protection from creditors. On Dec. 7, the administrator in charge of reorganizing the company filed to end reorganization, saying the automaker did not have the funds needed to continue.

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End of the Road For AT&T's $39 Billion Bid To Buy T-Mobile

End of the Road For AT&T's $39 Billion Bid To Buy T-Mobile

BUSINESS

  • Merger would have given combined companies 75% market share
  • Deutsche Telekom to receive $6 million breakup fee from AT&T
  • Sprint and Dish Network emerge in speculation over possible T-Mobile suitors

AT&T scrapped its $39 billion takeover bid for T-Mobile due to blocks thrown up by President Barack Obama’s administration preventing the company from creating the largest cellphone service provider in the US.

Both companies lose out as the deal fails to go ahead. AT&T will no longer be able to clear up its network and speed up service for cellular data coverage on devices heavily used in business, such as smartphones and iPhones, through T-Mobile’s cellular airwaves. Meanwhile, T-Mobile, which is trailing behind the three other national operators in the US - AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless - has less promising prospects in absence of the deal.

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Bi-Lo Buys Winn-Dixie Chain For $560 Million

Bi-Lo Buys Winn-Dixie Chain For $560 Million

BUSINESS

  • Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie merger will total 700 stores and 63,000 employees
  • Bi-Lo purchased all remaining Winn-Dixie shares at $9.50, 75% higher than its Friday close price
  • No stores or distribution centers are expected to close as a result of the merger

Supermarket operator Bi-Lo LLC has agreed to purchase food retailer chain Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. for $560 million, which will render the Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie private.

When the merger goes through, the new grocery chain will have roughly 700 stores throughout the Southeast with approximately 63,000 employees, making it the ninth-largest supermarket chain in the US. The deal is expected to close in the next two to four months pending Winn-Dixie’s shareholder approval.

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'Reel' Story: Tourism Theme Parks Get Inspired By Hit Films

'Reel' Story: Tourism Theme Parks Get Inspired By Hit Films

BUSINESS

  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter sees tourist success at Universal in Orlando
  • Walt Disney looking to open Avatar theme park in 2013
  • Chinese theme park based on martial arts expected to feature film favorites such as Bruce Lee

Theme park followers can look forward to next month when details of new additions may be revealed as Universal Studios Hollywood film studio marks its 100th birthday. Company executives say the yearlong campaign will include news of “theme park activities,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Past theme park watchers certainly know of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opened in Orlando, Florida, this year to create what some call “frenzied excitement among muggles worldwide.”

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US States Throwing The Dice: Is Gambling a Good Business Bet?

US States Throwing The Dice: Is Gambling a Good Business Bet?

BUSINESS

  • Cash-strapped states launch legalized gambling venues to balance their budgets
  • State-sponsored gambling raises moral and financial questions
  • Cost-benefit analysis needed to help states determine whether gambling is a good business venture but unlikely to be made available

Every US state except Hawaii and Utah has some form of legalized gambling to raise revenue, but cash-strapped states are increasingly betting that more slot machines and blackjack tables will be good bets to meet future funding needs.

“Since the national economy started its nosedive in the summer of 2008, governors and state lawmakers across the country have been pushing new and expanded gambling measures to boost revenue, either for general state coffers or particular accounts, like education funding," reports the Patriot Ledger newspaper in Boston.

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