AP Business NewsBrief at 8:17 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Facebook getting ready to change News FeedNEW YORK (AP) _ Amid chatter of "Facebook fatigue," real or imagined, the world's biggest social networking company is getting ready to unveil a new version of News Feed, the flow of status updates, photos and advertisements its users see on the site. Facebook Inc. is hosting an event at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters on Thursday to show off "a new look for News Feed." The company offered no other details on what the changes will be in an invitation sent to journalists and bloggers. It will be Facebook's second staged event at its headquarters since the company's May initial public offering. The company unveiled a search feature at the first one in January.
Facebook exec's new book urges women to 'lean in'NEW YORK (AP) _ For a book that has yet to be released, Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" _ part feminist manifesto, part how-to career guide _ has got a lot of people talking. In the weeks leading up to the book's March 11 release, pundits and press hounds have been debating its merits. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd called Sandberg a "PowerPoint Pied Piper in Prada ankle boots," and countless bloggers have suggested that Facebook's chief operating officer is the wrong person to lead a women's movement.
AP Interview: Toyota chief stresses safe growthTOKYO (AP) _ After four tumultuous years bookended by an unprecedented recall crisis and a return to the top of the global auto industry, Akio Toyoda is refashioning Toyota Motor Corp. into a leaner company that's more imbued with the venture spirit of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, his grandfather. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Toyota's president said he is putting new auto plants on hold for three years and reshaping the automaker's structure to give more autonomy to regional divisions and foreign executives.
Icahn proposes alternative to Dell buyoutBillionaire investor Carl Icahn is proposing an alternative to the $24.4 billion plan to sell slumping PC maker Dell to a group led by founder Michael Dell, saying it substantially undervalues the company. Icahn says he favors paying a one-time dividend totaling $9 per share in a move that would allow shareholders to keep their stake in the company.
Markets remain buoyed by Dow's new recordLONDON (AP) _ Markets steadied Thursday as three of the world's top central banks opted against loosening monetary policy further. The decisions by the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to not ease policy at their latest meetings had been mostly anticipated, but it encouraged investors to pause for breath in a week that's seen the Dow Jones industrial average close at all-time highs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
France calls on Europe to ease off austerityBRUSSELS (AP) _ France has called on fellow European nations to ease off on painful austerity policies to give the economy some breathing space and avoid social upheaval. Continuing a strict course of spending cuts and tax increases would only "nourish a social crisis that leads to populism," French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici warned Thursday.
Futures head higher; markets point to new heightsNEW YORK (AP) _ U.S. stock futures are heading higher for the third straight day with a raft of economic indicators on tap, ranging from jobs and consumer debt, to productivity and international trade. Dow Jones industrial futures are up 20 points to 14,285. The broader S&P futures have added 1.3 points to 1,540.40. Nasdaq futures are up 4 points to 2,792.25.
ECB leaves key rate at record low of 0.75 percentFRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The European Central Bank has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75 percent, holding off on further stimulus even though Europe's economy remains stuck in a recession. The decision came at a meeting of the bank's 23-member governing council at its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
Tsunami-hit towns still barren as rebuilding lagsRIKUZENTAKATA, Japan (AP) _ Like tens of thousands of people who lost everything in the tsunami that pulverized Japan's northeastern coast two years ago, 83-year-old Hide Sato is living in one-room temporary housing, and longing for a home of her own. Chances are she will be waiting at least a few more years. The dozens of temporary housing camps built for tsunami survivors were meant to be used for just two years. Now, officials are saying it could be six to 10 years before all are resettled.
Efforts to avoid gov't shutdown move to SenateWASHINGTON (AP) _ Efforts to stave off a late March government shutdown shifted to the Senate after House Republicans swiftly passed legislation to keep federal agencies running, while also easing some of the effects of $85 billion in budget cuts. The House legislation, approved Wednesday on a bipartisan vote, is the first step toward averting a possible fiscal showdown this month. If another budget crisis can be avoided, it could clear the way for lawmakers and President Barack Obama to restart talks on a longer-term deficit reduction plan.
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