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Global concerns tug stocks lower...Merkel on Greek debt...Cheated investors recouping losses



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NEW YORK (AP) — Concerns about the world economy are tugging U.S. stock indexes lower this afternoon. The latest trade data from China show the country's imports fell nearly 20 percent in January, compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, worries are mounting over Greece's standoff with its creditors. However, energy stocks are higher as the price of oil continues to rebound.

WASHINGTON (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) says Greece's new government must come up with a sustainable proposal to pay its debt in order to stay part of the eurozone. Speaking at a joint news conference with President Barack Obama at the White House, Merkel says Germany wants Greece to stay, but Athens must adhere to basic rules of the bailout it received. Greece's new left-wing government has pledged to seek forgiveness of its bailout debt.

NEW YORK (AP) — More than half of the allowable claims made by investors cheated in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme have now been paid in full. Trustee Irving Picard says about $355 million was distributed last week. He says everyone with a claim of less than $976,000 has been fully paid. Investors lost about $20 billion over several decades. So far, Picard's office has recovered over $10.5 billion through settlements with feeder funds. Madoff serving a 150-year prison sentence in North Carolina after pleading guilty to fraud.

NEW YORK (AP) —Sling TV has made its formal debut. Dish Network's $20-a-month package online television package has added AMC to a lineup of 11 other channels that include ESPN, CNN and the Disney Channel. It also has a $5-a-month add-on package for sports fans, with the SEC Network, Universal Sports and additional ESPN channels. Before today's launch, Sling TV was available on an invitation basis.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Energy companies developing offshore wind projects off the New England coast have another concern to deal with in addition to ensuring they are not harming the fish, birds and sea creatures. The Narragansett Indian tribe lived in areas that now lie under water, and the tribe is working with researchers at the University of Rhode Island to locate sunken ceremonial sites and burial grounds. Deepwater Wind says it has hired marine archaeologists to scan the area around its planned Block Island wind farm.

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The Associated Press

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