AP Business NewsBrief at 2:46 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Deal to sell Dell may be about to face competitionSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Is Michael Dell's attempt to gain more control over his company about to turn into a financial tug-of-war The answer could come Friday. That's the end of a 45-day period that Dell Inc.'s board of directors set to allow for offers that might top a Feb. 5 deal to sell the personal computer maker to CEO Michael Dell and a group of investors for $24.4 billion.
SKorea ready for more cyberattacks; banks recoverSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korea said Friday it was preparing for the possibility of more cyberattacks as a new team of investigators tried to determine if North Korea was behind a synchronized shutdown of tens of thousands of computers at six South Korean banks and media companies. Many in Seoul suspect hackers loyal to Pyongyang were responsible for Wednesday's attack, but South Korean officials have yet to assign blame and say they have no proof yet of North Korea's involvement. Pyongyang hasn't yet mentioned the shutdown.
Asian markets muted amid Cyprus uncertaintyHONG KONG (AP) _ Japanese stocks tumbled Friday as investors were disappointed by a lack of specifics from the new central bank chief on boosting the economy while other Asian markets fluctuated because of uncertainty over Cyprus' troubled bank restructuring. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.5 percent to 12,446.27 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.4 percent to 22,130.08. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1 percent at 1,953.16.
What makes SKorea cyberattacks so hard to trace NEW YORK (AP) _ The attacks that knocked South Korean banks and media outlets offline this week appear to be the latest examples of international "cyberwar." But among the many ways that digital warfare differs from conventional combat: There's often no good way of knowing who's behind an attack. South Korean authorities said Thursday that the attack, which shut down scores of cash machines and hampered business, had been traced to an "Internet Protocol" address in China. But that doesn't mean the attack was launched from there. The general assumption in South Korea is that the attack originated in North Korea.
House passes GOP budget plan promising deep cutsWASHINGTON (AP) _ Moving on two fronts, the Republican-controlled House on Thursday voted to keep the government running for the next six months while pushing through a tea-party flavored budget for next year that would shrink the government by another $4.6 trillion over the next decade. The spending authorization on its way to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature leaves in place $85 billion in spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs. The result will be temporary furloughs for hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors over the next six months and interrupted, slower or halted services and aid for many Americans.
Cyprus rushes bailout plan as clock ticksNICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Cypriot politicians moved Thursday to restructure the country's most troubled bank as part of a broader bailout plan that must be in place by Monday to avoid financial ruin. Concerned customers rushed to get cash from ATMs as bank employees protested. Cyprus has been told it must raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) if it is to receive 10 billion euros ($12.9 billion) from its fellow eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund. If it does not find a way by Monday, the European Central Bank said it will cut off emergency support to the banks, letting them collapse.
Google exec urges Myanmar to embrace free speechYANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Friday urged Myanmar's government to allow private businesses to develop the country's woeful telecommunications infrastructure, emphasizing the importance of competition and free speech. "Try to keep the government out of regulating the internet," he said to a round of applause from a group of students at a technical university in Yangon. "The answer to bad speech is more speech. More communication. More voices," he said. "If you are a political leader you get a much better idea of what your citizens are thinking about."
Sierra Club blasts new plan to improve frackingPITTSBURGH (AP) _ The Sierra Club and some other environmental groups are harshly criticizing a new partnership that aims to create tough new standards for fracking. The criticism Thursday came a day after two of the nation's biggest oil and gas companies made peace with some national and regional environmental groups, agreeing to go through an independent review of their shale oil and gas drilling operations in the Northeast.
Judge: Aggregator of AP news can't have free rideNEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge concluded that an Internet news clipping service essentially resold stories from The Associated Press, saying in a decision released Thursday that the ability of news organizations to perform "an essential function of democracy" is jeopardized when a company merely redistributes the news of others. Media observers say the ruling against Meltwater U.S. Holdings Inc. and its Meltwater News Service, if upheld on appeal, could provide strong protection for the news industry as it struggles to survive in an Internet age.
Brother of hedge fund founder indicted in NYCNEW YORK (AP) _ The brother of a jailed one-time billionaire hedge fund boss has been charged with conspiring with his brother to cheat on Wall Street and earn nearly $1.2 million illegally, federal authorities announced Thursday. Rengan Rajaratnam, 42, of Manhattan, was charged in an indictment returned Wednesday and unsealed a day later with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and six counts of securities fraud. He was not immediately arrested. His brother, Raj Rajaratnam, is serving an 11-year prison sentence after he was convicted in 2011 of earning up to $75 million by swapping secrets about public companies with other hedge fund managers and friends at public companies.
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