AP Business NewsBrief at 6:44 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) White House: cell phone unlocking should be legalNEW YORK (AP) _ An Obama administration adviser says the White House believes smartphone and tablet users should be allowed to unlock their phones and use the devices on the network of their choosing. In a blog post entitled "It's time to legalize cell phone unlocking," R. David Edelman, White House adviser on Internet, innovation and privacy, responded to a petition about the issue by saying the administration feels consumers should be allowed to unlock their phones without civil or criminal penalties, especially if the phones were purchased secondhand or as gifts.
Middle East is new global travel crossroadsDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ It's 1 a.m. and the sprawling airport in this desert city is bustling. Enough languages fill the air to make a United Nations translator's head spin. Thousands of fliers arrive every hour from China, Australia, India and nearly everywhere else on the planet. Few venture outside the terminal, which spans the length of 24 football fields. They come instead to catch connecting flights to somewhere else.
Stocks grind higher, pushing Dow toward recordNEW YORK (AP) _ Investors brushed off early jitters about a potential slowdown in China and pushed the Dow to its highest close of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38.16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 14,127.82. The index is a fraction of a percentage point away from its record close of 14,164, reached on Oct. 9, 2007.
Asian firm buys site of stalled Vegas Strip casinoLAS VEGAS (AP) _ Panda habitats, tea gardens and red pagodas have never been part of the visual vocabulary of the Las Vegas Strip. But Sin City is about to get all three and much more as a Malaysian conglomerate prepares to build the first new mega-casino to come to town since the recession wiped out a slew of projects in 2008. The Genting Group announced Monday that it will break ground in 2014 on the 87-acre site where the partially built Echelon project has sat for nearly five years, put on indefinite hold by Boyd Gaming Corp.
Buffett: Stocks are good buy; ketchup is foreverWarren Buffet says stocks are a good investment, long-term government bonds are a dumb one, and ketchup is forever. The billionaire investor covered a range of topics in a CNBC interview on Monday, including his purchase of ketchup maker Heinz, the "meat ax" of automatic budget cuts, and what's going to happen when the Federal Reserve stops pumping money into the economy.
JC Penney could wind up with empty shelvesNEW YORK (AP) _ J.C. Penney, which is struggling with big losses and steep sales declines, could face another challenge: empty shelves. New York State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing told Penney's attorneys on Monday that the chain took a risk by ordering towels, cookware and other products from the company that home diva Martha Stewart founded. In fact, Oing said he could force Penney to stop the products from heading to the shelves this spring even as they come off the docks.
Forbes: Slim world's richest for 4th year in a rowNEW YORK (AP) _ Mexico's Carlos Slim remains the world's richest man for the fourth year in a row, according to Forbes, while Warren Buffett dropped out of the top three for the first time since 2000. And Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg saw his ranking drop 31 spots as his net worth declined by $4.2 billion.
Republicans unveil government funding measureWASHINGTON (AP) _ Republicans controlling the House moved Monday to ease a crunch in Pentagon readiness while limiting the pain felt by such agencies as the FBI and the Border Patrol from the across-the-board spending cuts that are just starting to take effect. The effort is part of a huge spending measure that would fund day-to-day federal operations through September _ and head off a potential government shutdown later this month.
Cyprus OKs audit of anti-money-laundering policiesBRUSSELS (AP) _ European finance ministers on Monday pushed cash-strapped Cyprus into accepting an independent audit probing whether the country's financial institutions comply with international rules aimed at combatting money-laundering, officials said. Cyprus, the euro region's third-smallest economy, urgently needs money from its European partners to prop up its ailing banks and keep its government afloat after getting caught up in Greece's debt crisis.
Hess, under pressure, to exit retail businessNEW YORK (AP) _ Hess is getting out of the gas station business and ridding itself of its energy trading and marketing businesses, as it shifts its focus further into exploration and production. The company will also nominate a slate of six independent directors to its board, replacing six that already hold seats.
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