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— Updates: TRANSPORTATION BLUES, YELLEN-BANKS, EPA-EMISSIONS, OIL PRICES, WALL STREET, TOBACCCO PAYMENTS, GENERAL MOTORS-SALES, EARNS-YAHOO, EARNS-CSX, EARNS-INTEL
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says recent initiatives by the Fed and other regulators to help banks make it through periods of financial stress are important, but they may still need to be strengthened. Yellen believes current rules governing how much capital banks must hold in case of losses do not address all threats. She said that the Federal Reserve staff is actively considering what additional measures may be needed. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 730 words, photo.
— EUROPE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — The European Parliament completes the biggest overhaul of the bloc's financial system since the introduction of the euro currency, passing laws to minimize the risk and cost posed by failing banks. SENT: 570 words.
PAP SMEAR DEBATE-FDA
WASHINGTON — A high-tech screening tool for cervical cancer faces pushback from more than a dozen patient groups, who warn that the genetic test could displace a simpler, cheaper and more established mainstay of women's health: the Pap smear. The new test comes from Roche and uses DNA to detect the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which that causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. While such technology has been available for years, Roche now wants the FDA to approve its test as a first-choice option for cervical cancer screening, bypassing the decades-old Pap smear. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 880 words.
DETROIT — As General Motors executives show off their newest cars and trucks in New York this week, analysts are watching for signs that consumer are reluctant to buy the ones sitting on dealers' lots. Many expect GM's sales to take a hit from the company's mishandled recall of small cars, though it's unclear when and how severe. Any decline would hurt the automaker's market share and potentially its credit rating. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 800 words, Photos.
NEW YORK — Coca-Cola, the world's biggest beverage maker, says that the volume of soda it sold globally fell for first time in 15 years. The drop was offset by stronger sales of some of its noncarbonated drinks that include Minute Maid, Powerade and Dasani bottled water, and overall volume rose 2 percent. But the decline is significant for Coca-Cola: It comes as Coca-Cola increasingly relies on non-carbonated beverages to boost sales as sodas continue to face pressure, both at home and abroad. By Candice Choi. SENT: 700 words, photo.
NEW L.A. NEWSPAPER
LOS ANGELES — Aaron Kushner believes he can push a print newspaper in a digital world. The former greeting card executive is trying to turn The Orange County Register into a media giant in southern California, largely driven by paper and ink. The unconventional effort gets another jolt Wednesday when Freedom Communications Inc., the company Kushner bought with other investors two years ago, launches the Los Angeles Register. The daily newspaper will be available at 7,500 locations around L.A. — at every newsstand and vending box where the 132-year-old Los Angeles Times is found. It's the first direct challenge on the Times' home market since the Herald-Examiner folded in November 1989. By Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 770 words, photos.
CHIANG MAI, Thailand — The bucolic, once laid-back campus of one of Thailand's top universities is under a security clampdown. Not against a terrorist threat, but against Chinese tourists. With their economy surging, mainland Chinese have become the world's most common world traveler, with more than 100 million expected to go abroad this year. In 2012, they overtook the Americans and Germans as the top international spenders, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. By Denis D. Gray. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
Stocks reverse a steep midday slump, mounting a late-afternoon comeback for the second time in two days. The rebound comes as many investors appear to brush off earlier concerns over a homebuilding industry survey and simmering tensions in the Ukraine in order to do some bargain-hunting. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 700 words. UPCOMING: 770 words by 5:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Lower U.S. gasoline prices keeps consumer inflation in check last month, helping offset higher costs for food and clothing. The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in March, after scant 0.1 percent increases the previous two months. By Josh Boak. SENT: 380 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — The National Association of Home Builders reports on sentiment among U.S. builders. Last month, their confidence edged up, reflecting higher demand for new homes as the traditional spring home-selling season ramps up. But the outlook for sales of single-family homes dimmed slightly as builders grapple with a shortage of skilled workers, ready-to-build land and rising materials costs. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 360 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities increase their holdings in February to another record high. The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings rose 0.8 percent to $5.89 trillion, up from $5.84 trillion in January. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 130 words.
— OIL PRICES — The price of oil falls ahead of talks aimed at defusing tensions over Ukraine and the latest report on U.S. oil supplies. Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery slid 30 cents to close at $103.75 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the Nymex contract rose 31 cents. SENT: 310 words.
COLUMBUS/DAYTON, Ohio — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is trying to drum up public support for a new transportation bill at a time when Congress is unwilling to raise the federal gas tax but is unable to come up with a different source of funding for transportation programs. The federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to go broke in August. States are going their own way to finance projects such as the Pickaway East West Connector Road in Columbus, while a city such as Dayton is counting on federal help for a big project. By Joan Lowy. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
— AARON'S-PROGRESSIVE FINANCE — Furniture leasing company Aaron's is buying online rent-to-own finance company Progressive Finance Holdings for $700 million in cash, in a bid to turn around its business even as it cut its first-quarter outlook. SENT: 390 words.
— ITALY-STRATEGIC COMPANIES — Investors signal concern at a change of leadership at the scandal-plagued Finmeccanica defense contractor as part of sweeping management changes announced by Italian Premier Matteo Renzi at four strategic state-backed firms. SENT: 560 words.
— CHINA-SHOE FACTORY STRIKE — Workers at a Chinese factory owned by Yue Yuen, the world's largest maker of athletic footwear for brands such as Nike and Adidas, are striking in a dispute over benefits. SENT: 330 words.
— FILM-CHINA-LEGENDARY — China's state-owned film distributor is making its first investment in Hollywood movies by taking a stake in two Legendary Entertainment productions. SENT: 310 words, photo.
— EPA-EMISSIONS — A federal appeals court has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. SENT: 520 words.
— TOBACCCO PAYMENTS — The nation's top cigarette makers say they have made about $6 billion in annual payments as part of a longstanding settlement in which some companies are paying states for smoking-related health care costs. SENT: 430 words.
— EARNS-JOHNSON & JOHNSON — Johnson & Johnson's first-quarter profit rose 8 percent because of restrained costs and a big jump in prescription drug sales. SENT: 490 words, photo.
— EARNS-NESTLE — Food company Nestle SA says sales rose 4.2 percent in the first quarter compared with a year ago despite deflationary pressures in Europe. SENT: 200 words.
— EARNS-INTEL — Intel Corp. says its first-quarter earnings declined, but revenue grew as it saw improvements in its PC business and solid demand for tablet processors. SENT: 340 words, photo.
— EARNS-CSX — Harsh weather slowed CSX railroad and contributed to a 14 percent drop in first-quarter profit, even as freight volume grew modestly. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 300 words by 6 p.m.
— EARNS-YAHOO —Yahoo's listless advertising sales showed signs of life in the first quarter to overshadow a 20 percent drop in earnings. SENT: 13O words, photo. UPCOMING: 400 words by 6 p.m.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-WINDOWS PHONE UPDATE
NEW YORK — Microsoft's new Windows system for smartphones addresses many of the shortcomings in previous versions. There's a new voice assistant and a central hub for checking notifications. Tools simplify connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, save battery life and block non-emergency calls overnight. The new features are great, but a major frustration remains: There aren't as many apps for it compared with iPhones and Android phones. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 820 words, photos.
NEW YORK — The Criterion Collection and Hulu extend their deal to keep the video platform as the exclusive streaming home of Criterion's vast library of art house films. By Jake Coyle. SENT: 500 words, photo.
— ZEBRA-MOTOROLA — Zebra Technologies is spending more than $3 billion to buy the enterprise business of Motorola Solutions in a considerable expansion that is both technological and geographical. SENT: 300 words.
— TWITTER-GNIP — Twitter says it has bought its data partner Gnip, which provides analysis of the more than 500 million tweets its users share each day — to advertisers, academic institutions, politicians and other customers. SENT: 120 words.
BERLIN — German utility company RWE AG says it has started supplying gas to Ukraine, which faces delivery cutoff from its main source Russia. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 500 words, photo.
— GERMANY-ECONOMY — A key German measure of investor confidence in the economy slipped in April as the conflict in Ukraine created uncertainty about the future. SENT: 220 words.
— GREECE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — Greece's borrowing costs in a short-term debt sale tumble, days after the country returned to the international bond markets. SENT: 150 words.
— JAPAN-WHALING — Hundreds of pro-whaling Japanese officials, lawmakers and lobby group members have vowed to continue whale hunts despite a world court ruling that halted the country's Antarctic whaling program. SENT: 150 words, photos.
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DSW to expand in Canada
DSW is taking a step across the border. The footwear and accessories retailer will spend about $62 million to establish an operating base in Canada by acquiring a 44 percent stake in Town Shoes. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
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