AP Business NewsBrief at 8:25 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Savings account seizure plan draws fury in CyprusNICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ A plan to seize up to 10 percent of savings accounts in Cyprus to help pay for a (EURO)15.8 billion ($20.4 billion) financial bailout was met with fury Monday, and the government shut down banks until later this week while lawmakers wrangled over how to keep the island nation from bankruptcy. Though the euro and stock prices of European banks fell, global financial markets largely remained calm, and there was little sense that bank account holders elsewhere across the continent faced similar risk.
Stocks falter following Cyprus's bailout planNEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks closed lower on Wall Street as investors worried that a controversial proposal to seize money from depositors in Cyprus could set off another bout of anxiety over Europe's shared currency. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62.05 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,452.06 Monday. It had plunged as much as 110 points in the early going, briefly turned positive in the afternoon then fell back again in the last hour of trading.
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello leavingNEW YORK (AP) _ Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. said Monday that its CEO, John Riccitiello, will step down on March 30. The company has named Larry Probst as executive chairman while it searches for Riccitiello's replacement. Probst has been chairman since 1994 and served as CEO from 1991 to 2007, when Riccitiello took over.
Jobless rates rise in January in half of US statesWASHINGTON (AP) _ Unemployment rates increased in half of U.S. states in January from December, as employers nationwide added the fewest jobs in seven months. The Labor Department said Monday that unemployment rates rose in 25 states. They fell in only 8 states and were unchanged in 17.
US builder confidence falls on weak supply, laborConfidence among U.S. homebuilders fell this month because of concerns that increased demand for new homes is exceeding supplies of ready-to-build land, building materials and workers. In the short term, those constraints could slow sales. But builders' outlook for sales over the next six months has reached its strongest point in more than six years.
Obama nominates Justice official to top Labor slotWASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama gave a glowing rollout Monday to Thomas Perez, his choice to lead the Labor Department after an aggressive stint as the nation's chief civil rights enforcer. But the nomination quickly ran into trouble as a Republican senator declared he would block the nomination until GOP concerns about Perez's Justice Department tenure are addressed. Sen. David Vitter said he objects because Perez enforced Louisiana's voting rights laws in a way "that specifically benefits the politics of the president and his administration at the expense of identity security" of registered voters in the state. The Justice Department, he said, has not responded to Vitter's 2011 letter on the subject.
Monitoring your kids on Facebook That's so 2009.WASHINGTON (AP) _ After Friendster came MySpace. By the time Facebook dominated social media, parents had joined the party, too. But the online scene has changed - dramatically, as it turns out - and these days even if you're friends with your own kids on Facebook, it doesn't mean you know what they're doing. Thousands of software programs now offer cool new ways to chat and swap pictures. The most popular apps turn a hum-drum snapshot into artistic photography or broadcast your location to friends in case they want to meet you. Kids who use them don't need a credit card or even a cellphone, just an Internet connection and device such as an iPod Touch or Kindle Fire.
Argentina: HSBC helped launder money, evade taxesBUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Argentina's government on Monday accused the British banking giant HSBC of facilitating money laundering and tax evasion. Tax chief Ricardo Echegaray said HSBC's Argentina subsidiary created an illegal scheme enabling its clients to hide more than $100 million. He said the scheme included a criminal organization and fake receipts used to launder money for various companies.
Politicians strike deal over UK press regulationLONDON (AP) _ British politicians struck a last-minute deal on press regulation Monday, unveiling new rules that aim to curb the worst abuses of the country's scandal-ridden media. The deal agreed upon by all three major parties came on the same day a lawyer announced in court that there could potentially be hundreds more hacking victims of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
AstraZeneca reorg to cut 1,600 jobs in US, UKTRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ Struggling Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC said Monday that it will eliminate 1,600 jobs, mostly in the U.S. and United Kingdom, as its new CEO starts a major research and development reorganization. The cuts, meant to reduce costs and make research programs more productive, come just weeks after the company reported big drops in revenue and net income for 2012 and forecast continuing difficulties as generic competition hurts sales.
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