Top Headlines - part 71

EU Seeks Overhaul of Data Protection Rules

EU Seeks Overhaul of Data Protection Rules

WORLD

  • EC vice president calls for makeover of 16-year-old EU privacy laws
  • Policy makers say overhaul would help boost European competitiveness
  • Restrictive rules cost companies around $3.1 billion per year

European Union policy makers have put forward a proposition to harmonize privacy data protection laws to allow internet companies and other businesses deal with one protection authority, and one set of laws.

Viviane Reding, European Commission vice president and justice chief, said the new measures would allow companies to do business across the 27-nation bloc providing their privacy policies met the requirements of the member state where their headquarters are based.

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Yahoo: Potential $25 Billion Bid From Bain and Blackstone

Yahoo: Potential $25 Billion Bid From Bain and Blackstone

BUSINESS

  • Bid would include Japan’s and global e-commerce leader Alibaba
  • Silver Lake-led bid for minority share values Yahoo at less than $21 billion
  • Alibaba motivated to buy back 40% stake from Yahoo

Investment firms Bain Capital and Blackstone Group are set to outbid Microsoft and other contenders for Yahoo at $25 billion. The bid would include Japan’s Softbank and China’s online trade and retail company Alibaba Group.

Yahoo had originally intended to sell 20% of the company, but the bid would be for the entire company rather than a minority stake.

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Boeing Settles On Provisional Agreement With Machinists Union

Boeing Settles On Provisional Agreement With Machinists Union

BUSINESS

  • Deal means 2% wage increase and better pensions but higher health payments
  • Workers would receive $5,000 ratification bonus and 2% to 4% incentive bonus
  • Workers to cast ratification votes on December 7 to secure 4-year extension

Under a provisional deal between Boeing and its Machinists union, workers agreed to discontinue a complaint concerning Boeing’s move to open a $750 million non-union factory in South Carolina to be able to continue work on the airline’s updated 737 in the Puget Sound region.

Machinist union members in Kansas, Oregon and Washington will cast their ratification votes on December 7 over the possibility of extending the Machinists’ collective deal for four years. If validated, Boeing, plagued by strikes, would benefit from a break in labor contention, while the workers would benefit from job security.

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American Airlines Latest US Carrier to Face Chapter 11

American Airlines Latest US Carrier to Face Chapter 11

FINANCE

  • AMR lost $12 billion since 2001; analysts predict another $1 billion loss before end 2011
  • AA debt is at $30 billion, while assets are $25 billion
  • AA spends $800 million more in labor expenses than its competitors

American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corp., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a unanimous vote by its board members.

Worldwide, the airline industry has lost more than $20 billion in the past 10 years. American Airlines, founded in 1934, was once the world’s largest carrier, but is now the third largest in the US.

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Will China Lend More Money By Adapting Its Monetary Policy?

Will China Lend More Money By Adapting Its Monetary Policy?

ECONOMY

  • Central bank lowers banking reserve, promotes capital flow
  • Global stocks improve as Chinese stocks fall
  • China's real estate market, manufacturing sector drops

China is reducing its banking reserve requirements for the first time since 2008. According to the central bank's website, the reserve ratios will be cut by 50 basis points on December 5, leading to an increase of 350 billion yuan ($55 billion) to their money supply.

Bloomberg News speculates that the shift in China's monetary policy might signal that the government believes that the world's second-largest economy may be entering a deeper slowdown.

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Oil: EU May Follow US in Tighter Iran Sanctions

Oil: EU May Follow US in Tighter Iran Sanctions

WORLD

  • UK, Canada support latest US sanctions
  • EU considers bloc-wide embargo on Iranian crude oil
  • Crude rises $1.58 to hit $99.79 per barrel in New York

Iran’s simmering tensions with the West are likely to pose new obstacles for the oil-exporting nation, as major importers fall in line with the United States in tightening financial sanctions.

On November 21, Iran’s banking sector was hit by new US restrictions following a report earlier in the month from the International Atomic Energy Agency that it was continuing to pursue a nuclear weapons development program. The United Kingdom and Canada backed the US move, implementing measures that make it increasingly complicated to finance transactions for Iranian crude oil.

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Toyota Aims For 40,000 Prius Hybrid Sales in Japan, 60,000 WorldWide

Toyota Aims For 40,000 Prius Hybrid Sales in Japan, 60,000 WorldWide

BUSINESS

  • Prius PHV to start at $40,000 on Japanese market, $32,000 in the US
  • US Prius Plug-in promises 85 miles per gallon, set for March 2012 launch
  • BMW may provide diesel engines for Toyota passenger vehicles

Toyota has opened its order books for its plug-in Prius hybrid, aiming for between 35,000 and 40,000 yearly unit sales in Japan and 60,000 worldwide.

Toyota’s Prius PHV is likely to attract eco-friendly consumers in the market for a green driving solution. The car, set for delivery in Japan at the end of January 2012, will be sold at a starting price of just over $40,000, which will be reduced by over $5,000 by green vehicle subsidies. The car will start selling at $32,000 on the US market and at just under $50,000 on the EU market.

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IPO For Facebook Targets $100 Billion

IPO For Facebook Targets $100 Billion

FINANCE

  • IPO to raise $10 billion at value of $100 billion
  • 2011 first-half revenues double 2010 figures
  • Will soon exceed 500-shareholder limit, be obliged to publish financial results

Facebook is preparing an initial public offering in the second quarter of 2012, according to the latest reports. The public offering is expected to raise $10 billion, with the company setting its sights on a $100 billion total for the deal, sources close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

Such a deal would eclipse other recent IPOs in the social media sector, such as those from LinkedIn, Pandora or Groupon, and would be twice the valuation of IT company Hewlett-Packard.

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Will The US Approve Bill To Cut Airline Baggage Fees?

Will The US Approve Bill To Cut Airline Baggage Fees?

WORLD

  • Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieubill launches bill to reduce airline baggage fees
  • Over 70% of airline passengers frustrated by excessive carry-on bags
  • Baggage fees said to slow down airport screening process

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu has introduced a bill to the US Senate, seeking approval to reduce airline baggage fees in the United States. The new legislation would ensure passengers are permitted to travel with one checked piece of luggage and a carry-on bag for no additional charge.

The bill also states that passengers should be notified of any luggage restrictions and additional fees prior to arriving at airport check-in.

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Retail Record: US Sees $11.5 Billion Surge in Black Friday Sales

Retail Record: US Sees $11.5 Billion Surge in Black Friday Sales

WORLD

  • Black Friday attracts record 86 million shoppers making $11.5 billion in purchases
  • Cyber Monday online sales jump 25% to exceed $815 million
  • Internet sales outpace in-store sales, with 10% purchasing from mobile devices

In total, US retail sales for the Thanksgiving weekend are up over 15% from last year, reaching almost $52.5 billion. Almost 30 million shoppers went online and into stores on Thanksgiving Day.

The day following Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, more than 86 million customers went shopping, representing an over 6.5% year-on-year rise. Black Friday saw retailers rake in just under $11.5 billion in purchases, a record for the day.

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