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Ahead of the Bell: US Home Sales

Mar 21, 2012

By The Associated Press, Associated Press

The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes likely increased in February to the highest level in two years.

Economists forecast that sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.6 million last month, according to a FactSet ...

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UK to cut top income tax rate to 45 pct

Mar 21, 2012

By PAN PYLAS and ROBERT BARR, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Britain's finance minister has cut the rate of income tax for the country's wealthiest citizens but imposed a raft of measures to prevent tax avoidance and a hefty new charge on expensive property sales in an attempt to spread the burden ...

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Kuwait Airways resumes flights after strike halted

Mar 21, 2012

By HUSSAIN AL-QATARI, Associated Press

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Kuwait Airways planes were back in the skies after workers called off a strike that had grounded the fleet since the weekend, the carrier said Wednesday.

The airline resumed business Tuesday evening and operations are now back to normal,

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Stocks recover as US hopes offset China worries

Mar 21, 2012

By PAN PYLAS, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Markets recovered their poise Wednesday as optimism over the pace of the U.S. economic recovery helped offset lingering concerns over the Chinese economy.

Over the past few weeks, stocks have been buoyant as U.S. economic figures were upbeat and ...

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Greek state budget deficit shrinks

Mar 21, 2012

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece is already managing to beat some of its deficit-reduction targets, as figures released Wednesday show that its central budget deficit for the first two months of 2012 had shrunk by more than half compared with the same period last year.

The state budget deficit — the ...

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Zuiker to debut 'Cybergeddon' movie on Yahoo

Mar 21, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker is making a movie destined for the small screen.

The creator of the hit CBS television show plans to debut the as-yet-unfinished feature, "Cybergeddon," on Yahoo in installments this fall. His latest foray into online storytelling follows his ...

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Trading in Game Group shares suspended

Mar 21, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Game Group, the troubled retailer of electronic games and player platforms, suspended trading in its shares Wednesday after key suppliers withdrew support from the company, which has suffered from stiff competition from online retailers, such as Amazon.

Game Group shares closed at ...

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Group calls for protection for UAE museum workers

Mar 21, 2012

By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged Emirati development companies and Western cultural institutions building branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim in the United Arab Emirates to do more to curtail abuses of Asian migrant ...

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Charges filed against Chevron execs in Brazil

Mar 21, 2012

By STAN LEHMAN, Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against 17 Chevron and Transocean company executives on Wednesday for an oil leak in the Atlantic, a move deemed outrageous by those targeted but applauded by environmentalists.

Prosecutors accused the ...

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GOP Medicare plan borrows from and repeals Obama's

Mar 21, 2012

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Republican budget would repeal President Barack Obama's health care overhaul but put future retirees in a version of Medicare that strangely resembles one of the key cogs in that same plan.

Sound contradictory?

Rep. Paul Ryan,

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Report: Just $47B from Buffett rule tax on rich

Mar 20, 2012

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill designed to enact President Barack Obama's plan for a "Buffett rule" tax on the wealthy would rake in just $47 billion over the next 11 years, according to an estimate by Congress' official tax analysts obtained by The Associated Press.

That ...

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US govt sets new tariffs on China solar panels

Mar 20, 2012

By MARCY GORDON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department is imposing new import fees on solar panels made in China, finding that the Chinese government is improperly giving subsidies to manufacturers of the panels there.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday it has found on a ...

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3 online date sites agree to screen for predators

Mar 20, 2012

By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three online dating giants agreed to screen for sex offenders and take other safety steps after a woman was assaulted on a date, the California attorney general's office announced Tuesday.

Match.com, eHarmony and Spark Networks signed a joint ...

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Some farmers planting spring wheat in warm weather

Mar 20, 2012

By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Bergeron started sowing wheat on his farm in northwestern Minnesota on St. Patrick's Day. One week earlier, he was towing two of his daughters on a sled behind his snowmobile.

Bergeron and his business partner Jon Ross are among at ...

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Oracle bounces back in 3Q on new software sales

Mar 20, 2012

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sales of new software licenses at Oracle accelerated in the latest quarter, easing concerns about customers defecting to less expensive alternatives on the Internet.

The improvement announced Tuesday follows through on the business ...

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Judge tosses investors' suit against Transocean

Mar 20, 2012

By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge in New York on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit from investors who alleged top executives of Transocean Ltd. misled shareholders about safety problems in the months leading up to a catastrophic oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

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FDA panel backs Glaxo drug for rare cancer

Mar 20, 2012

By MATTHEW PERRONE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of cancer experts rejected an experimental Merck drug for a rare form of cancer on Tuesday while recommending approval of a GlaxoSmithKline treatment for the same disease. Neither drug appears to help patients live longer, but ...

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Reports: HP to combine printer, PC divisions

Mar 20, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. is combining its printing and PC units to save money, according to published reports.

The technology blog AllThingsD first reported the restructuring plan Tuesday citing anonymous sources. HP would not comment.

The move comes at a time when sales of printers ...

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Feds charge another ex-Carter's exec with fraud

Mar 20, 2012

By GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Another high-ranking executive of kids' clothing maker Carter's Inc. is facing fraud charges after federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged the former president of the Atlanta-based company with cooking the firm's books.

Joseph Pacifico, 62, was ...

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US gives exemption on Iran sanctions to 11 nations

Mar 20, 2012

By DONNA CASSATA and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Tuesday exempted 10 European Union countries and Japan from U.S. economic sanctions because they have significantly reduced their purchases of petroleum from Iran.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham ...

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