AP Business NewsBrief at 8:13 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A guide to Britain's new media regulation regimeLONDON (AP) _ The British government is setting up a new media watchdog to tame the country's scandal-tainted press. The move comes after a phone hacking scandal caught journalists eavesdropping on voicemails, bribing public officials, and intruding into the private lives of celebrities, athletes, politicians and crime victims. Many journalists, however, fear the new system threatens press freedom. Some are even talking of boycotting it.
Crisis in Cyprus threatens EU role and legitimacyBERLIN (AP) _ By rejecting an EU bailout and turning to Russia for help, Cyprus has exposed the growing frustration and dwindling solidarity within the European Union, a bloc meant to bring the continent closer together after World War II. While talks about a Russian rescue appeared stalled Friday, experts noted that the idea of seeking Russian money alone raised doubts about the legitimacy of the European project _ notably over perceived German dominance and threats to national sovereignty. The extraordinary spectacle of an EU member seeking salvation from the old Cold War enemy has raised deep questions about how far Europe can or will go to take care of its own.
Cyprus lawmakers work on economy-saving planNICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Cypriot authorities were putting the final touches to a plan they hope will convince international lenders to provide the money the country needs to avoid bankruptcy within days. As well as trying to forge an overall financing package, lawmakers were meeting to decide the fate of the country's second largest lender Laiki which was hardest hit from its exposure to bad Greek debt.
World markets lower on Cyprus uncertaintyAMSTERDAM (AP) _ World stocks were mostly lower Friday as it remained uncertain how an impasse on Cyprus' bailout talks will be resolved. In addition, Japanese stocks tumbled after the country's new central bank chief, Haruhiko Kuroda, delivered his first speech since taking office. Kuroda reiterated a pledge to bring Asia's second biggest economy out of deflation but offered few specifics.
Tiffany 4Q net income rises less than 1 pctNEW YORK (AP) _ Tiffany says its fourth-quarter net income edged up less than 1 percent, but managed to beat Wall Street predictions. The New York-based jewelry company also says it expects its first-quarter earnings from operations will fall about 15 percent to 20 percent as a result of profitability pressures and higher marketing costs, but pick up later in the year.
Darden 3Q profit falls but tops Street's viewNEW YORK (AP) _ Darden Restaurants' third-quarter net income dropped 18 percent, as it dealt with soft sales at Red Lobster but the performance still beat Wall Street's expectations. The Orlando, Fla., company said Friday that sales at its Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants open at least a year fell a combined 4.6 percent.
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 misidentifies China as cyberattack originSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korean investigators said Friday they had mistakenly identified a Chinese Internet address as the source of a cyberattack that paralyzed tens of thousands of computers at banks and broadcasters earlier this week. But they said they still believe the attack originated from abroad. The error by South Korean regulators raises questions about their ability to track down the source of an attack that hit 32,000 computers at six companies Wednesday and exposed South Korea's Internet security and vulnerability to hackers.
CNOOC posts 9.3 pct profit drop on higher costsHONG KONG (AP) _ State-owned CNOOC, which made China's biggest-ever overseas energy acquisition last year, said Friday that annual profit fell 9.3 percent because of higher costs for exploration and for operating in Canada's oil sands. CNOOC Ltd.'s $15.1 billion purchase of Canadian energy producer Nexen was part of a broader trend of Chinese resources companies making foreign acquisitions to get better access to key commodities as well as become global competitors.
Lion takes on AirAsia with record jet ordersKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Indonesia's top discount carrier, which catapulted into the global aviation spotlight with record deals to buy Airbus and Boeing planes, is taking the battle for Asia's budget-minded travelers to the backyard of the airline that helped pioneer low cost flights in the region. Lion Air, hardly known beyond Indonesia until giving Boeing and Airbus their biggest orders ever, made its first foray outside its home market with the launch Friday of Malindo Air in Malaysia, the base of AirAsia, which after a decade of rapid growth dominates cheap travel in the region.
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