NANTERRE, France (AP) — Judges on Thursday postponed a highly awaited trial on whether a schemer manipulated France's richest woman out of euro1 billion ($1.2 billion) after secret recordings emerged suggesting the L'Oreal heiress was evading taxes by keeping millions in Swiss bank accounts. The recordings have implications that reach beyond the trial, shaking the highest echelons of power in France and embarrassing the government — in part because the wife of a leading minister worked for the company managing Liliane Bettencourt's fortune.
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Procter & Gamble Co. is aiming to make disposable diapers fashionable. Popular designer Cynthia Rowley has designed 11 styles of Pampers, including pastels, stripes, madras and ruffles. P&G says they'll be offered in Target Corp. stores beginning in mid-July.
TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. said Wednesday that it has started providing free software updates to more than half a million users worldwide to fix a glitch that could cause overheating in its popular VAIO laptops. So far, no injuries have been reported, but the Tokyo-based electronics company said it has received a total of 39 problem reports, including 26 in the U.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Boeing said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire combat engineering firm Argon ST Inc. for about $775 million in cash in a deal to expand its capabilities in intelligence gathering and warfare. Argon ST is a Fairfax, Va., company that develops a variety of systems used in surveillance, reconnaissance and combat.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co., the only Detroit automaker to avoid bankruptcy protection, said Wednesday it will reduce its huge debt by another $4 billion as it continues to show signs of financial strength. The Dearborn, Mich., automaker will pay $3.8 billion in cash to a United Auto Workers trust fund that pays retiree health care bills, and it will pay out $255 million in dividends on preferred securities that had been deferred as the automaker worked its way through financial troubles.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — If President Barack Obama wants to see a community hard hit by the recession, there's not many places better in Wisconsin than where he's coming Wednesday. Obama invited the public to attend a round table discussion on the economy in Racine, a city suffering under 14.
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Federal immigration agents have taken 43 people into custody following a raid at a Fullerton manufacturing plant. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley says federal agents executed a search warrant Tuesday morning at Terra Universal Inc. Haley says the 43 people taken into custody are suspected of being in the country illegally.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A senior American energy official said Tuesday the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico dramatically illustrates the need for investment into renewable sources of energy. David Sandalow, an assistant energy secretary, spoke during a visit to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member that is pumping some of its vast oil wealth into green technology.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. said Tuesday it completed its acquisition of American Pie LLC, a maker of desserts and frozen dinners under the Marie Callender's and Claim Jumper brand names. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. American Pie makes pies, fruit cobblers and pie crusts under license from Marie Callender's and Claim Jumper.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — CarMax Inc. CEO Tom Folliard is expecting the recovery of the worst U.S. auto sales market in decades is going to be slower than some others foresee. The head of the Richmond-based used car dealership chain told shareholders at its annual meeting in Richmond that customers are starting to return and sales are improving, but not at pre-recession levels.
NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. said Monday its shares were priced at $17 each, above what it expected. The electric car startup plans to launch its initial public offering of stock on Tuesday. The Palo Alto, Calif., company is offering 13.3 million shares, meaning it raised $226.1 million at the $17-a-share price.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Foxconn Technology, a supplier to Apple Inc., looks ready to build a huge new factory in north-central China despite the company's own misgivings about city-sized manufacturing facilities after a spate of suicides among its young migrant work force. The company plans to recruit some 300,000 workers for the new plant, to be located in the Henan city of Hebei, according to a notice seen Tuesday on a local government website.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. federal aviation officials have known for years that cockpit window heaters in some Boeing planes catch fire. But they haven't required airlines to fix the problem, even after dozens of incidents that unnerved pilots and, in some cases, forced emergency landings. Pilots have complained about heaters that burned, smoldered or sent electric currents dancing across cockpit windows since at least 2002, according to an Associated Press search of a NASA aviation safety database.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The BP oil spill has hammered the fishing and tourism industries along the Gulf of Mexico. But it appears the economic damage to the rest of the United States will be limited. Analysts say the spill will reduce economic growth by only about one-half of 1 percentage point this quarter, and even less during the second half of the year.
BERLIN (AP) — A former executive at German truck and machinery maker MAN SE was convicted of bribery Monday for paying millions of euros (dollars) to secure a contract in Kazakhstan. Heinz Juergen Maus, the former head of the MAN Turbo AG unit, was given a two-year suspended sentence and will have to pay a euro100,000 fine.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The circumstances around the fatal Middletown power plant explosion will be the focus of separate hearings Monday by a congressional subcommittee and a federal safety advisory board. Members of both groups are traveling to Connecticut from Washington, D.C.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Refrigeration equipment manufacturer Kysor/Warren is expanding its Columbus operations and plans to add about 200 employees. The company says the new hires are needed to meet an increase in demand this year. Kysor/Warren makes commercial refrigeration systems and display cases for supermarkets and is seeking to hire mostly manufacturing workers.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A steel company is officially beginning work on a new Ohio mill talked up by President Barack Obama during an appearance last month. A groundbreaking Monday was expected to bring Gov. Ted Strickland and other officials to V&M STAR in Youngstown. V&M's parent company is spending $650 million to add a 1 million-square-foot mill to its Ohio facility, a project the firm says will create as many as 750 temporary and permanent jobs.
NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. begins selling stock to the public on Tuesday. The sale's success depends on how much investors are willing to bet on a car company that has never made a profit, sells a single vehicle and expects to lose money until at least 2012. As for the car, it's electric — a kind of vehicle Americans have shown almost no appetite for — and it's very pricey.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Boeing workers in St. Louis have accepted a contract with the plane manufacturer, avoiding a strike that would have gone into effect Monday if the deal had been rejected. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said the contract passed Sunday by a vote of 1,237 to 838.