BEIJING (AP) — China appears on track to avoid an abrupt economic slowdown with possible global repercussions after growth eased to a still robust 8.9 percent in the last quarter of 2011. The expansion in the world's second-largest economy was the slowest in 2 1/2 years but December retail sales and factory output accelerated, data showed Tuesday.
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Airbus took in a record number of orders for new commercial aircraft last year as strong demand for its revamped single-aisle plane helped it best U.S. rival Boeing Co. in the race for orders for the fourth year running. The European jet maker said Tuesday that it took in 1,419 net new orders in 2011, worth $140 billion, well above Boeing's total of 805 aircraft.
POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Eastern Idaho leaders say they're still working to find a new purpose for the J.R. Simplot potato processing plant in Aberdeen. The Simplot company announced last fall that it would close the plant in 2014, eliminating about 290 jobs. Former Pocatello Mayor Roger Chase told the Idaho State Journal (http://bit.
BEIJING (AP) — The number of Internet users in China has surged past 500 million as millions of new Web surfers go online using mobile phones and tablet computers, an industry group reported Monday. The popularity of the Internet in China has driven the explosive growth of profitable Web companies and made fortunes for some Chinese entrepreneurs despite government controls on what the public can see online.
NEW YORK (AP) — Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. said Friday it has received a favorable initial determination in patent infringement litigation filed by Apple Inc. According to Motorola Mobility, an administrative law judge in the U.S. International Trade Commission issued an initial determination finding no violation for any of the three Apple patents listed in Apple's suit, which was filed in October 2010.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom Berhad said Monday it will buy national carmaker Proton in a 3 billion ringgit ($957 million) deal that could help revive Proton's flagging fortunes. DRB-Hicom said it would pay 1.29 billion ringgit ($412 million) for government investment arm Khazanah Nasional's 43 percent stake in Proton.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cheaper tablets, thinner laptops and an array of sleeker TVs stood out at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. More than 140,000 people gathered there this week, for an event that's growing despite the absence of Apple and more recently, the decision by Microsoft to make this the last year it participates.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana company that bills itself as the world's largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool products is becoming a target for plaintiffs' lawyers filing antitrust lawsuits. In November, Pool Corp. settled claims by the Federal Trade Commission that the Covington-based company used its "monopoly power" to eliminate would-be rivals by pressuring manufacturers not to sell their products to other distributors.
Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise. They hope the water comes back to the surface fast enough and hot enough to create cheap, clean electricity that isn't dependent on sunny skies or stiff breezes — without shaking the earth and rattling the nerves of nearby residents.
DETROIT (AP) — Thousands of people poured through the doors Saturday for the opening of the Detroit auto show, the global industry's annual showcase of new vehicles and concept cars. Industry executives spent the week promoting their brands to news media from around the world. Now it's the public's opportunity to walk the floor and gaze at more than 500 vehicles, through Jan.
ATLANTA (AP) — For manufacturing giant Shaw Industries, producing carpet in north Georgia costs the company millions of dollars in sales taxes that it wouldn't have to pay in most parts of the nation. That's because Georgia is one of the few remaining states that requires manufacturers to pay sales tax on electricity, natural gas and other energy they consume to produce goods — whether they're building Gulfstream business jets in Savannah or brewing Miller beer in Albany.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California has declared war on vampires, but this time it's no Hollywood monster flick. The state will be the first in the nation to target so-called vampire battery chargers that suck up and waste as much as 60 percent of the electricity they consume. The California Energy Commission voted 3-0 on Thursday to regulate such power-sapping chargers despite objections by consumer product makers.
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of natural gas is plummeting at a pace that has caught even the experts off guard. A 35 percent collapse in the futures price over the past year has been a boon to homeowners who use natural gas for heat and appliances and to manufacturers who power their factories and make chemicals and materials with it.
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple has disclosed a list of its suppliers for the iPhone, iPad and other popular gadgets for the first time amid growing criticism over labor and environmental practices, especially in China. The list for years has been strictly and fervently protected. Even a glimpse of an Apple iPhone or its components before a public release became a source of intrigue and controversy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Applications for weekly unemployment benefits spiked last week, largely because companies let go of thousands of workers after the holiday season. Weekly applications rose by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 399,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the highest level in six weeks.
FULTON, Md. (AP) — Pump and valve maker Colfax Corp. on Friday said that it closed a $2.3 billion acquisition of Charter International plc after approval by a regulator and the boards and shareholders of both companies. Colfax said in September that it would buy Charter, which owns two engineering businesses, in a cash-and-stock deal worth about 1.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana House Democrats want voters to decide the fate of a right-to-work bill or else they'll continue stall tactics designed to derail the contentious legislation, the House minority leader said Friday. A statewide referendum should decide whether Indiana will become the 23rd state to ban union contracts that include mandatory representation fees, House Democratic leader Patrick Bauer said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened in November for the first time in five months, largely because of a spike in the price of imported oil. Still, exports fell for a second straight month, a sign that Europe's slowdown has begun to affect the U.S. economy. The trade gap rose 10.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A retired Dow Chemical Co. research scientist has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his conviction on charges that he stole trade secrets from Dow's Plaquemine plant and sold them to companies in China. The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/yc5sNh ) 75-year-old Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David Liou, was sentenced Wednesday U.
DOVER, Del. (AP) — A California solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan from the federal government before declaring bankruptcy is asking a Delaware judge to approve up to $500,000 in employee bonuses. A hearing on the request by Solyndra LLC of Fremont, Calif.