AP Business NewsBrief at 3:35 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A look at Cyprus' move to seize bank depositsPARIS (AP) _ Lawmakers in Cyprus are still scrambling for a way to raise (EURO)5.8 billion ($7.5 billion) to help pay for an international bailout of the country's banks and government. A plan to seize up to 10 percent of people's savings has been met with fury and it has raised concern, if not panic, in the rest of Europe about the security of bank deposits in times of financial turmoil.
Fed likely to back low-rate policies despite gainsWASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. economy is strengthening on the fuel of more job growth, rising home prices and solid retail sales. Just don't expect the Federal Reserve to let up in its drive to keep stimulating the economy with record-low interest rates. Not yet, anyway.
NY fracking foes: will become lobby if necessaryALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Artists Against Fracking said neither the group nor supporters Yoko Ono or Sean Lennon have been told to register as lobbyists in their campaign against gas drilling in New York, but will if necessary to continue their work. A good-government advocate and two lobbying experts said the state should review whether Artists Against Fracking and its supporter-celebrities should be registered as lobbyists.
Congress works on budget for both 2013 and futureWASHINGTON (AP) _ Congress is finally cleaning up its unfinished budget business for the long-underway 2013 budget year with a bipartisan government-wide funding bill, even as the combatants in the House and Senate gear up for votes this week on largely symbolic measures outlining stark differences between Democrats and Republicans about how to fix the nation's long-term deficit woes. The Senate is positioned to approve the catchall spending bill Tuesday after it cleared a procedural hurdle Monday by a strong 63-35 vote. The House, which approved a narrower version two weeks ago, is expected to quickly clear the measure and ship it to President Barack Obama for his signature.
INFLUENCE GAME: Congress silent on Dreamliner woesWASHINGTON (AP) _ Congress has been strangely silent as Boeing, its airline customers and federal safety regulators struggled over the past two months to solve problems with the new 787 Dreamliner's fire-plagued batteries. Despite the plane's grounding and the safety issues raised by its cutting-edge technology, there have been no congressional hearings or news conferences focusing on the problems, and little commentary from lawmakers who normally pounce at the first sign of trouble.
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 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. Asian stock markets rose Tuesday, shaking off jitters sparked by Cyprus' financial crisis.
China's homegrown hit films struggle overseasHONG KONG (AP) _ The surprise hit in Chinese theaters last year was a low-budget, wacky road-trip comedy that even beat out global blockbuster "Avatar" to become the country's highest-grossing film ever. But "Lost in Thailand" found just a paltry $57,000 during its U.S. theatrical release. The film that earned 1.26 billion yuan ($200 million) in China joins other homegrown hits that have flopped internationally, and is the latest sign that while the country has become a box-office superpower, it faces a harder task fulfilling its leaders' hopes that its studios will be able to rival Hollywood for global influence.
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.
Bloomberg cigarette plan gets praise, criticismNEW YORK (AP) _ Anti-smoking advocates and health experts hailed proposals from Mayor Michael Bloomberg that would keep cigarettes out of sight in New York City stores, while tobacco companies and smokers called it an overreach. The ban, which would be the first of its kind in the U.S., is aimed at discouraging young people from smoking.
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