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Associated Press

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Editors:

Among the stories for Monday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

GM-FORD-TRANSMISSIONS

DETROIT — General Motors and Ford are putting aside their longstanding rivalry to work together to develop a new generation of fuel-efficient automatic transmissions. The companies will jointly design nine- and 10-speed transmissions that will go into many of their new cars and trucks. By Tom Krisher.

AP photo.

DISH NETWORK-SPRINT

NEW YORK — Dish Network is offering to buy Sprint Nextel Corp. in a cash-and-stock deal it values at $25.5 billion, saying its bid is superior to that of Japanese phone company SoftBank. By Peter Svensson.

AP photo.

EARNS-CITIGROUP

NEW YORK — Citigroup says it beat analysts' estimates for first-quarter earnings and revenue thanks to strength in its investment banking business. The bank also released funds it had set aside for bad loans. By Christina Rexrode.

AP photo.

OBAMA'S IOUS

WASHINGTON — Presidential campaigns are long in the making, quick to be forgotten. But one part of them lives on for years: the victor's promises.

AP photos.

With

— US--OBAMA'S IOUS-ECONOMY — PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama's pledges on debt, growth and manufacturing face mixed prospects.

— GOP DONORS-IMMIGRATION— A growing network of Republican fundraisers wants to see the millions of immigrants living unlawfully in the United States granted a path toward legal status.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

BUILDER SENTIMENT

U.S. homebuilders are concerned that limited land and rising costs for building materials and labor will slow sales in the short term. Still, their outlook for sales over the next six months climbed to the highest level in more than six years — suggesting the obstacles could be temporary. By Alex Veiga.

— FOREIGN HOLDINGS — Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in February, indicating that international investors remain confident in U.S. debt despite budget wrangling in Washington.

— SWEDEN-MILITARY SPENDING — Western cuts bring down global military spending in 2012, but outlays surge in Russia, China.

WALL STREET

NEW YORK — Big merger and acquisition announcements are unable to lift U.S. stock markets at the open, following drops in world equity and commodities markets.

— OIL PRICES — The price of oil sank to its lowest level since mid-December as a slowdown in China's growth added to doubts about the strength of the world economy.

HEALTH:

THERMO FISHER-LIFE TECHNOLOGIES-ACQUISITION

Thermo Fisher Scientific will spend $13.6 billion to buy genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies in a cash deal that will create a giant company serving research and specialty diagnostics. By Tom Murphy.

COMPOUNDING PHARMACIES-SAFETY

WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators say pharmacy boards in nearly all 50 states lack the information and expertise to oversee specialty pharmacies like the one that triggered a deadly meningitis outbreak last year.

— ABBOTT LABORATORIES-RECALL — Abbott Labs recalls blood glucose meters over inaccurate memory for dangerously high readings 1500.

— SUPREME COURT-PATENTING GENES — DNA may be the building block of life, but can something taken from it also be the building block of a multimillion-dollar medical monopoly?

INDUSTRY:

JC PENNEY-FINANCING

NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. says it has drawn $850 million from its $1.85 billion revolving credit line, the latest sign that the flailing department store chain is in a cash crunch after a turnaround plan resulted in disastrous results.

— NATIONAL FINANCIAL-MADISON DEARBORN — National Financial agrees to sell itself to private equity firm Madison Dearborn for about $1.01 billion.

— LIBERTY GLOBAL-VIRGIN MEDIA-TAKEOVER — The European Union's antitrust body has cleared the 17.2 billion euros ($22.6 billion) takeover of Britain's Virgin Media by U.S. cable TV operator Liberty Global.

— CUBS-WRIGLEY — City, Chicago Cubs push $500 million pact to renovate Wrigley, including 1st big video screen 2010.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

EUROPE-GOOGLE

BRUSSELS — A spokesman for the European Union's antitrust body says Google has submitted proposals to address concerns that it is dominating the online search and advertising markets. The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc's executive arm, is investigating whether Google Inc. unfairly favors its own services in its Internet search results.

CYBERCRIMES-LOCAL POLICE

WASHINGTON — If a purse with $900 is stolen, the victim probably would call the police. If a computer hacker steals $900 from that same person's bank account, what then? Call the police? Could they even help? By Eileen Sullivan.

AP photos.

DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-ORGANIZING TAXES

NEW YORK — If you're like me, you waited until the final days of the tax season to file your returns. And if you're like me, you're thinking there ought to be ways to keep your finances organized throughout the year to avoid the mad scramble as April 15 approaches. As I procrastinated on doing my taxes, I found several Web services that can help make tax season smoother next year. By Anick Jesdanun.

AP photo planned.

INTERNATIONAL:

CHINA-ECONOMY

BEIJING — China's economic growth slowed unexpectedly in the first three months of the year, fueling concern about the strength of its shaky recovery. The world's second-largest economy grew by 7.7 percent over a year earlier, down from the previous quarter's 7.9 percent. By Joe McDonald.

Also:

—CHINA-ICELAND — Iceland became the first European nation to have a free trade deal with China in an agreement that is also an important development in China's drive to expand its influence in the Arctic.

GREECE-FINANCIAL CRISIS

ATHENS, Greece — Greece clears a key hurdle in its drive to receive its next batch of bailout loans after international debt inspectors say they've reached an agreement over the country's economic reforms, including the firing of thousands of civil servants. By Elena Becatoros.

— INDIA-INFLATION — Inflation in India declined to a three-year low in March, possibly allowing the central bank to keep cutting interest rates to help revive a sputtering economy.

— INDONESIA-PLANE-CRASH — A Lion Air jet that slammed into the sea as it tried to land on the Indonesian resort island of Bali over the weekend remains stuck in shallow water and must be cut into pieces for removal, vividly underlining the challenges facing the budget airline as it races to expand in Asia.

— SPAIN-SWITZERLAND-HSBC — Spain's National Court has begun an extradition hearing for a former HSBC employee wanted in Switzerland for allegedly stealing and handing over confidential information related to thousands of customers with private Swiss accounts. By Jorge Sainz.

— BRITAIN-LEHMAN — The administrators of the European arm of Lehman Brothers have told creditors that they may be repaid in full.

—FRANCE-TAX SCANDAL — French government reacts to tax scandal by forcing cabinet into full financial disclosure.

— FRANCE-EADS — The parent company of European jet maker Airbus says it is in talks to buy back almost half a billion euros worth of its own stock from the French government.

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