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Associated Press

Posted on September 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 4 at 11:00 AM

Editors:

Among the stories for Wednesday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

G-20-GLOBAL ECONOMY

WASHINGTON — Something unfamiliar will be in the background as leaders of the Group of 20 major economies hold a summit in Russia starting Thursday: economic growth throughout the developed world. And something will be missing: Fear of a renewed financial crisis. Yet worries are rising about emerging nations, which have helped drive the global economy in recent years: The result is a more divided world than the leaders faced at previous summits. By Christopher S. Rugaber.

DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-SAMSUNG'S HUGE PHONE

LOS ANGELES — Please turn off all electronic devices, the flight crew instructs as we approach Los Angeles. With a small phone, I might have gotten away with ignoring safety regulations. Samsung's new Galaxy Mega phone, with a screen measuring 6.3 inches, was too conspicuous for that. By Anick Jesdanun.

AUTO SALES

DETROIT — Chrysler says its U.S. sales rose 12 percent last month for its best August in six years. The company predicts that total U.S. sales will run at an annual rate of 16.1 million. That could make August the auto industry's best month since May of 2007, before the Great Recession. By Tom Krisher.

AP photos planned.

TRENDY HOTEL LOBBIES

Large, traditional hotels are spending billions in renovations to try to mimic the style and financial success of luxury and boutique hotels, which have always drawn free-spending crowds to their lobbies. Companies like Marriott, Starwood and Hyatt are betting that more vibrant lobbies will leave guests — especially younger ones — with a better feeling about their stay, even if their room is bland. Hotel owners say the investments are beginning to pay off, not just in alcohol sales, but in their ability to charge higher room rates. By Scott Mayerowitz.

AP photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

TRADE GAP

WASHINGTON —The U.S. trade deficit widens sharply in July from a four-year low in June, as companies export fewer goods and import a record number of foreign-made autos. The larger trade deficit could dampen economic growth in the current July-September quarter. By Martin Crutsinger.

BEIGE BOOK

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book, its anecdotal snapshot of business conditions around the nation, covering July through mid-August. The previous Beige Book showed "modest to moderate" economic growth in 11 of the Fed's districts. The 12th district, Dallas, reported strong growth. Housing construction and home prices improved, and consumer spending increased in most districts. By Martin Crutsinger. Eds: Report due at 2 p.m. With breakouts on the 12 Fed regions and a glance showing how the data is compiled and distributed.

WALL STREET

NEW YORK — Stocks are mixed in early trading as the White House presses its case for military action in Syria.

— OIL PRICES — The price of oil hovers near $108 a barrel on Wednesday after President Barack Obama secured the support of key U.S. politicians for a retaliatory strike against Syria.

INDUSTRY:

— IRELAND-RYANAIR — Shares in Ryanair have suffered their biggest drop in four years after the budget airline issued a rare profit warning over weaker-than-expected autumn ticket sales.

— JAPAN-TOYOTA RECALL — Toyota is recalling 200,000 vehicles worldwide for a hybrid-system problem and another 169,000 vehicles for an engine bolt defect. By Yuri Kageyama.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

— SOFTWARE PIRACY-SENTENCE — A federal judge sentences a former electronics engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for his role in a software piracy scheme. By Randall Chase. Developing from 10 a.m. sentencing hearing.

INTERNATIONAL:

GLOBAL-COMPETITIVENESS

GENEVA — The United States' competitiveness among global economies is rising again after four years of decline, though northern European countries continue to dominate the rankings published annually by the World Economic Forum. In its latest survey, released Wednesday, the Forum ranked the U.S. — the world's largest economy — in fifth place for overall competitiveness, up from seventh last year. By John Heilprin.

With:

— GLOBAL-COMPETITIVENESS-GLANCE — As a look at the world's top — and bottom — 10 countries in term of competitiveness.

EUROPE-SHADOW-BANKING

BRUSSELS — The European Union is trying to strengthen oversight of "shadow banking," a sector of the financial system that holds trillions of dollars in assets but is not bound by the same rules as banks. The EU Commission says investment vehicles such as money-market funds or hedge funds active on credit markets are welcome because they provide extra sources of financing for the economy, but they can also pose threats to long-term financial stability. By Juergen Baetz.

— AFGHAN-BANK THEFT — Afghan authorities are scrambling to track down a bank employee they believe fled with $1.1 million.

— AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY — Australia's economy grew in the second quarter but not strongly enough to prevent unemployment rising as a mining boom fades.

— CHINA-BANK OF AMERICA-CCB — Bank of America sold a $1.47 billion stake in China Construction Bank, the latest foreign institution to shed its investment in a Chinese lender after initial optimism about the potentially lucrative market wore off.

— VENEZUELA-POWER OUTAGES — Venezuela's main power distribution network failed Tuesday, depriving 70 percent of the country of electricity and creating traffic chaos in much of Caracas.

— SOUTH AFRICA-MINERS' STRIKE — Tens of thousands of South African gold miners are striking for higher wages in the latest blow to a once-robust industry.

— IRAQ-OIL — Iraq has awarded oil drilling deals worth a combined $348 million to two Chinese firms and Swiss-based oilfield services company Weatherford.

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