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Associated Press

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Business News at 10 p.m.

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NEW THIS DIGEST:

Adds:

Updates: OIL PRICES

TOP STORIES:

HEALTH OVERHAUL DELAY — In a major concession to business groups, the Obama administration Tuesday unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until after the 2014 elections, in a central requirement of the new health care law that many companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.

OIL PRICES — Oil is above $100 a barrel for the first time since September, as traders worried about disruptions to Mideast supplies after embattled Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi vowed not to resign.

AUTO SALES

DETROIT — Three years ago, U.S. car buyers started trickling back into showrooms after sitting out the worst of the recession. Now, that trickle is more like a flood. Increasingly confident buyers pushed auto sales back to pre-recession levels in the first six months of this year, and the outlook for the rest of 2013 is just as strong. By Dee-Ann Durbin.

AP photos.

With

—AUTO SALES -TOP SELLERS — Top-selling vehicles in the US in June.

GLOBAL SURVEILLANCE

LONDON — The saga of Edward Snowden and the NSA makes one thing clear: The United States' central role in developing the Internet and hosting its most powerful players has made it the global leader in the surveillance game. Other countries, from dictatorships to democracies, are also avid snoopers. But Silicon Valley has made America a surveillance superpower, allowing its spies access to massive mountains of data being collected by the world's leading communications, social media, and online storage companies. By Raphael Satter.

AP photo.

AIRLINE PASSENGERS-GUNS

WASHINGTON — Several times every day, at airports across the country, passengers try to walk through security with loaded guns in their carry-on bags, purses or pockets, even in a boot. And, nearly a dozen years after 9/11, it's happening a lot more often. In the first six months of this year, TSA screeners found 894 guns on passengers or in their bags, a 30 percent increase over the same period last year. By Joan Lowy.

AP photos, interactive, graphic.

FOOD-CRAFT BEER CANS

RICHMOND, Va. — Nearly 80 years ago Richmond revolutionized the beer world. For it was in this Southern city in 1935 that canned beer — complete with how-to instructions — was first sold. Now, craft brewers have rediscovered cans, realizing they weren't just retro-cool, but with a few tweaks might even be able to kick bottles in the can. Technology once again is transforming how Americans drink their beer. By Michael Felberbaum.

AP photos.

DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-NEW GOOGLE PHONES

NEW YORK — Two new Android phones will look and sound familiar to those who have been paying attention to phones. That's because these two devices are replicas of Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's One, except they lack most of the bells and whistles added to the original models. And that's a good thing. By Anick Jesdanun.

AP photos

EU-US-TRADE TALKS

BRUSSELS — The European Union says free trade negotiations with the United States will kick off as planned next week, despite widespread concerns over the alleged eavesdropping of EU diplomats.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FED-BANK CAPITAL

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve approves higher requirements for the amount of capital reserves banks must hold to cushion against unexpected losses. The change is aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. By Martin Crutsinger.

HOME PRICES

WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices jumped 12.2 percent in May from a year ago, the most in seven years. Real estate data provider CoreLogic says home prices rose from a year ago in 48 states, and all but three of the 100 largest cities report price gains. The increases suggest the housing recovery is strengthening. By Christopher S. Rugaber.

AP photo.

FACTORY ORDERS

WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories rose in May, helped by a third straight month of stronger business investment. The gain suggests manufacturing is picking up after a weak start to the year. The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 2.1 percent last month, mostly because of a big jump in volatile commercial aircraft demand. By Christopher S. Rugaber.

— STUDENT LOANS — Interest rates on new college student loans double, but Congress could restore low rates later. AP photos, graphic.

— METRO UNEMPLOYMENT — Unemployment rates rose in two-thirds of U.S. cities in May, as steady hiring encouraged more of those out of work to look for jobs.

— EURO VERSUS DOLLAR — International use of the euro slipped last year because of the debt crisis in Europe, while the U.S. dollar held its own as the world's leading currency for reserves held by central banks.

— OHIO TEA PARTY-IRS — Tea party activists in Ohio want to turn an enemy — the Internal Revenue Service — into an ally as they fight continued efforts to expand Medicaid.

— HEALTH OVERHAUL-VERMONT— State officials on Tuesday were defending the law setting up the new Vermont health care exchange against charges from critics — including a U.S. House committee — that it violates the spirit, and perhaps the letter, of the federal Affordable Care Act.

BUDGET CUTS COURTS

SEATTLE — As a result of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, federal public defender offices have recently been told they must reduce spending by 14 percent for fiscal year 2014, on top of the roughly 9 percent suffered this year. The result, the lawyers say, will be drastic layoffs for public defenders, expensive case delays and costly appeals — all for nothing, as pricier private attorneys are expected to step in to fill the void at government expense. By Gene Johnson.

AP photos planned.

WALL STREET

NEW YORK — The stock market ended slightly lower Tuesday after reports of intensifying political turmoil in Egypt offset good news about the U.S. economy.

AP photo

HEALTHCARE:

HOSPITALS-MEDICARE BILLING SETTLEMENT

ST. LOUIS — Fifty-five hospitals in 21 states have agreed to pay $34 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that they used more expensive inpatient procedures rather than outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger payments from Medicare.

HEALTH INSUTRANCE-UNITEDHEALTHCARE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A second health insurer notified state regulators that it will stop selling individual policies in California. UnitedHealthcare announced it will no longer offer individual insurance plans after the end of the year. It will focus instead on its core business of group plans for large and small employers.

— ASIA-AIDS — Doctors Without Borders warns that rising intellectual property rights are blocking the generic production of newer drugs to treat HIV and are keeping them out of reach for developing countries.

— FRESENIUS DRUG-RECALL — Fresenius is recalling four lots of an injectable drug used to treat Parkinson's disease after finding particles of glass in some vials of the medication.

INDUSTRY:

GULF OIL SPILL-SETTLEMENT

NEW ORLEANS — Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was appointed to investigate alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped run BP's multibillion-dollar settlement fund. By Michael Kunzelman.

WHOLE FOODS-NO SPANISH

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A civil rights group filed complaints against Whole Foods Market with a New Mexico agency for allegedly discriminating against Spanish-speaking employees at an Albuquerque store.

AIRLINE MERGER-LAWSUIT

DALLAS — Opponents of the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways filed a lawsuit to block the deal, claiming it would hurt consumers by driving up airfares. The suit was filed in federal district court in San Francisco by antitrust lawyer Joseph Alioto, on behalf of nearly 40 consumers.

TIFFANY-JEWELRY THEFT

NEW YORK — Federal authorities in New York City say a former executive with Tiffany & Co. stole a little blue box bounty from the jeweler's midtown Manhattan headquarters and resold it for more than $1.3 million.

OIL PIPELINE-COUNTY OFFICIALS

LINCOLN, Neb. — Frustrated with state and federal officials, opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline are turning their attention to low-level county commissions and zoning boards in a new attempt to slow a transcontinental project that has become a focal point of the environmental movement's battle against climate change. By Grant Schulte.

AP photos.

HORSE SLAUGHTER

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Animal protection groups are suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to try to block the revival of domestic horse slaughter at commercial processing plants.

—HSBC BANK CASE — A federal judge approved a deal that will allow HSBC to pay a record $1.9 billion penalty to settle accusations the British Bank helped Mexican drug traffickers, Iran, Libya and others under U.S. suspicion or sanction move money around the world.

— EUROPEAN BANK RATINGS — Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered the long-term counterparty credit ratings of Barclays Bank PLC, Credit Suisse AG and Deutsche Bank AG to "A'' from "A-plus".

—BOOBIES ROCK — The Colorado attorney general says the man behind Boobies Rock and Say No 2 Cancer misled donors and customers around the country into thinking more of their money was going to breast cancer charities.

—BART STRIKE — As San Francisco Bay Area commuters crammed onto ferries and sat in rush hour traffic, rail workers and transit officials resumed contract talks to end a two-day strike that has caused chaotic commutes and, according to businesses, is costing the region millions of dollars.

— TYCO CONVICTIONS — A court in New York rejects a request for a new parole hearing by former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who became the face of corporate greed after his 2005 conviction in a $100 million fraud scheme.

— BARRY DILLER-FINE — The Federal Trade Commission fines billionaire Barry Diller $480,000 over purchases of Coca-Cola voting shares.

— AMERICAN REALTY CAPITAL-ACQUISITION — Real estate investment trust American Realty Capital Properties is buying American Realty Capital Trust IV in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $3.1 billion.

— GM-HONDA-FUEL CELLS — General Motors and Honda are joining forces to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

— EU-GENERAL ELECTRIC-AVIO — The European Commission approves General Electric's $4.3 billion purchase of the aviation parts division of Italy's Avio after GE said it won't hold back Avio's participation in Eurojet, a European jet fighter project.

—TOXIC TOWN — California officials are recommending allowing a major expansion of the largest hazardous waste dump in the western United States, even though some residents blame the dump for birth defects.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

FRANCE-APPLE

PARIS — French competition authorities have confirmed that investigators raided Apple stores across France last week as part of an ongoing probe.

NYC WEB DOMAIN

NEW YORK — New York City likes to think of itself as a domain like no other, and now it's close to being able to boast as much on the web. The city has gotten a key approval for a ".nyc" suffix online, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced. That would mean web addresses could end in ".nyc" instead of such common suffixes as ".com" or ".org."

—TV-FOX NEWS-KELLY— Fox News Channel said Tuesday that Megyn Kelly will soon move into prime time, and the palace intrigue about who — if anyone — she will displace on cable news' most popular and stable lineup begins.

— NIELSENS— The CBS drama "Under the Dome" has the potential to be a game-changer for network television.

— GROUPON EX-CEO-MUSIC — Groupon's quirky former CEO, Andrew Mason, has been working hard on a new album, "Hardly Workin,'" since he was ousted from the troubled online deals company in February.

— SPRINT-PHONE TAXES — A New York judge has refused to dismiss the state attorney general's lawsuit claiming back sales taxes and triple damages from Sprint.

— SYRACUSE-FINE INVESTIGATION — Attorneys for former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine say he's dropping his defamation lawsuit against ESPN.

INTERNATIONAL:

GREECE FINANCIAL CRISIS

A Greek minister in charge of reforming the country's bloated public sector said he will need several months to overcome delays in a staff restructuring program demanded by rescue creditors.

PORTUGAL-FINANCIAL CRISIS

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal's prime minister defied calls to resign Tuesday after his coalition government was rocked by a second Cabinet resignation in as many days over tough budget cuts that have sharply reduced living standards in one of the poorest countries that uses the euro. By Barry Hatton.

AP photos.

— SPAIN-FINANCIAL CRISIS — Spain's jobless figure drops by 127,000, the fourth monthly drop in a row, to 4.76 million.

— GERMANY-GREECE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected talk of a new debt writedown for struggling Greece and insisted the country is making good progress.

BRITAIN-ECONOMY

LONDON — The British Chambers of Commerce says confidence among businesses in the UK is rising amid signs that the economy is making progress. The quarterly economic survey of some 7,400 businesses says that most of the key balances improved from the previous quarter. The number of companies reporting export deliveries rose to a balance of 36 percent, the highest level since the survey began in 1989.

—EU-HUNGARY — Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban clashes with his critics in the European Union's parliament over his government's perceived democratic failings.

— US-MYANMAR-NKOREA — The United States imposed sanctions on a Myanmar general who it says violated a U.N. Security Council ban on buying military goods from North Korea despite Myanmar's assurances it has severed such ties.

— ETHIOPIA-NILE — The book, a history of Hoover Dam, fell from the dashboard as Simegnew Bekele drove through the rugged mountains where the engineer is leading construction work on Ethiopia's massive Nile River dam. Despite the concerns of Nile-dependent Egypt, Ethiopia —whose economy suffers frequent power failures —has vowed to proceed with the dam that would become the biggest hydro-electric power station in Africa.

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CENTERPIECE

Cloudy skies

The Federal Reserve has been the center of attention for weeks, but investors will soon shift their focus to corporate earnings. Second-quarter earnings season will get its traditional kickoff on Monday when Alcoa reports results after the market closes. Corporate America continues to lower investor expectations; nearly 80 percent of the companies that have issued guidance for the second quarter have offered a negative outlook.

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

Capital One to buy back $1B in stock

Capital One Financial is joining the list of companies buying back common stock. The credit card issuer said Tuesday that it will buy back up to $1 billion of its stock after completing the sale of its Best Buy private label and co-branded credit card accounts.

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