LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Facebook makes its long-expected debut as a public company this spring, the social-networking company will likely vault into the ranks of the largest public companies in the world, alongside McDonald's, Amazon.com and Bank of America. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Facebook is preparing to file initial paperwork for an offering that could raise as much as $10 billion and value the company at $75 billion to $100 billion.
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's government has agreed with U.S. Steel to buy back its loss-making plant in the Balkan country for a symbolic $1, with a goal to avoid its closure and the layoff of 5,400 of its workers, the prime minister said Friday. Mirko Cvetkovic said the formal agreement with the Pittsburgh-based giant will be signed next Tuesday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Seeking to influence other states and Washington, California air regulators passed sweeping auto emission standards Friday that include a mandate to have 1.4 million electric and hybrid vehicles on state roads by 2025. The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the new rules that require that one in seven of the new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The battle over the right-to-work issue may be reaching a conclusion in Indiana as the state prepares to adopt its law, but the argument over exactly what the measure means for a state's economy is likely to rage on, unresolved, as it has for 70 years. Since the 1940s, 22 states have passed laws barring unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers for labor representation.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Engine maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. on Thursday said it will close a plant in Tennessee and shift the work to Georgia, eliminating about 690 jobs in the U.S., as it adjusts to a changing market for outdoor equipment. The company is also closing a plant in the Czech Republic, which will result in 77 job cuts there.
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Union members at Cooper Tire and Rubber Co.'s Texarkana plant will see their pay go up for their first time since 2008, when members agreed to millions in concessions to save the plant from closure. Members of United Steelworkers Local 752L approved a four-year contract 1,006-141 on Thursday.
TOKYO (AP) — Detractors say the F-35 stealth fighter, the costliest military plane ever, is destined to go down as one of the biggest follies in aviation history. But it may have found a savior: deep-pocketed U.S. allies hungry to add its super high-tech capabilities to their arsenal.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Thursday that the creation of a federal clean energy standard would serve as a big step toward creating a nationwide market that would spur more innovation in renewable energy technology. Many states already require a certain percentage of a utility's electricity to come from solar, wind and other renewable resources, but Chu said the nationalizing of those efforts could pay off with hundreds of millions of dollars more in investments by private companies.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Union membership grew slightly last year, giving labor leaders hope that a period of steep declines has finally bottomed out. The number of unionized workers increased by about 50,000 to nearly 14.8 million members in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — For Ford, there's no place like home. North America propped up the company in the fourth quarter as the European debt crisis and flooding in Thailand hurt profits elsewhere. Ford Motor Co.'s shares took an initial hit after the company missed Wall Street's expectations, but moderated once the company promised better — if still bumpy — results in 2012.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 377,000, up from a nearly four-year low the previous week. But the longer-term trend is pointing to a healthier job market. Applications have trended down over the past few months.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An unusual small claims lawsuit by a Honda hybrid owner took another complicated turn Wednesday with additional arguments that prompted a commissioner to delay a ruling for more consideration. Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan said he was aware of "a media blitz on this case," and wanted to be clear on all of the issues raised by Honda owner Heather Peters.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board plans to push for new rules that would give unions a boost in organizing members, despite an outcry from Republicans and business groups who say the board is going too far. Mark Pearce said he hopes the board will propose the rules soon, now that it has a full component of five members.
CYPRESS, Calif. (AP) — Cypress-based Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. is recalling nearly 69,000 tires because of a possible kink near the rim area that could cause a crack and lead to tire failure. A statement on the company's website says the recall involves the Toyo Extensa A/S tires that were manufactured at the Toyo Tires plant in Georgia and have a "Made in U.
NEW YORK (AP) — If you like Apple's stock, you're going to love its suppliers. The companies that make iPhone casings, chips for the iPad and other components are attracting so many investors, they're making the stock of the beloved tech juggernaut look like it's gathering dust. Many are virtual unknowns, sporting names like TriQuint Semiconductor, Aphenol and the hopeful-sounding Skyworks Solutions, but that may be why they're doing so well.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Automakers expressed qualified support for California's proposed rules to require carmakers to build more electric and other less-polluting hybrid cars and trucks by 2025. Companies including Ford Motor Corp., Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co.
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PARIS (AP) — The former head of a French company at the center of a breast implant scandal affecting tens of thousands of women worldwide was arrested along with his former deputy Thursday in southeast France, officials said. Jean-Claude Mas, who founded and ran the now-defunct implant maker Poly Implant Prothese, was detained as part of a judicial investigation in the southeastern city of Marseille into manslaughter and involuntary injuries, an official said.
NEW YORK (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit jumped 60 percent, boosted by pent-up demand for new equipment and continuing growth in developing countries. The performance of the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment is an indicator of the strength of the global economy.
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Chinese investment abroad is drawing scrutiny as global leaders increasingly look to China to prop up the world economy, even as some remain wary of the country's dominance. The head of one of China's biggest private equity firms said Thursday that foreign prejudice about Chinese investment is unfair and that Chinese investors are still learning a game that much of the world has been playing for decades.