TOKYO (AP) — Japan has been overtaken by China as the world's No. 2 economy. Its flagship company, Toyota, recalled more than 10 million vehicles in an embarrassing safety crisis. Its fourth prime minister resigned in three years, and the government remains unable to jolt an economy entering its third decade of stagnation.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft Corp. on Tuesday announced its commitment to keep its aircraft operations in Kansas for the next 10 years as part of a $45 million deal brokered with state and local officials. In return for an incentives package, Hawker Beechcraft has agreed to maintain its current aircraft lines and keep at least 4,000 jobs in the state during the next 10 years.
SHANGHAI (AP) — A Chinese subsidiary of U.S.-based PPG Industries Inc. has pled guilty to violating U.S. export controls by exporting high-tech coatings to a nuclear reactor in Pakistan, the U.S. Commerce Department said. PPG and its wholly owned subsidiary PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co.
PARIS (AP) — Airbus has warned pilots about a dangerous potential malfunction of speed sensors on aircraft like the Air France A330 that crashed into the Atlantic last year, killing all 228 people aboard. The European jet maker on Monday sent the warning over the sensors, called Pitot tubes, to the roughly 100 operators of its A330 and A340-200 and A340-300 long-range, widebody aircraft.
WASHINGTON (AP) — South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia and German car maker Volkswagen lead the insurance industry's annual list of the safest new vehicles, used by safety-minded consumers looking to buy a new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognized 66 vehicles on Wednesday with its "top safety pick award" for the 2011 model year, the most-ever awarded by the Virginia-based group.
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Fire investigators say dust in the air at an animal vitamin plant led to an explosion that damaged the plant and left two workers injured. Jackson County firefighters responded to the blast at the Hoffman-La Roche/DCM Materials plant on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today announced that it has named Jay Timmons president and CEO, effective January 2011. Timmons has served as Executive Vice President at the NAM and will succeed former Michigan Governor John Engler in this position. Timmons has extensive experience in government relations, public affairs, political campaigns and business.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Boom from the BP oil spill is getting a new charge from the maker of the Chevrolet Volt electric car. General Motors says that instead of going to landfills, roughly 100 miles of plastic boom material will be converted into vehicle parts. The parts deflect air around the vehicle's radiator.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mark Hurd is facing more fallout from his ouster five months ago as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's biggest personal computer and printer maker. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the circumstances of Hurd's forced resignation in August, a surprising exit that triggered an immediate $9 billion drop in HP's market value and involved allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate sharing of inside information.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Union workers at Kohler Co. have approved a new contract against the recommendation of their leaders. The contract passed with 62 percent of the vote. Vote totals were not made available immediately following the vote Sunday in Sheboygan. The contract calls for a 5-year pay freeze, and workers will pay more for health insurance.
NEW YORK (AP) — Drug developer Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday recalled a batch of 19,000 bottles of the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, citing a consumer complaint about an "uncharacteristic" odor. The latest announcement marks the fourth such recall since August over similar issues. Pfizer said the bottles were supplied by an outside manufacturer, though it did not identify the party.
Experts say U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline following seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth. Here are key moments marking the rise and fall: 1905 — Country's first gasoline filling station is built in St. Louis. 1946 — Gasoline demand rises 25 percent the year after World War II ends.
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.
SEATTLE (AP) — Competition among smart phone makers is heating up at retail, in advertising and, increasingly, in the courtroom as handset and software makers wield patent lawsuits to protect their turf and slow down their rivals. Just a few years ago, smart phones were mainly for office workers who needed to check e-mail after hours.
EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Negotiators for Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers are taking a break for the holidays and plan to resume talks on a contract on Jan. 11. The contract covers about 9,500 workers at a number of sites around Illinois and in three other states. The two sides met Thursday for about two hours.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Communities in central and northern China are facing power cuts and rationing as winter coal supplies fall short of surging demand. Cold weather and transport disruptions typically cause shortages most years, but the problem has been complicated by coal producers' unhappiness over price controls that are crimping their profits.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar Airways' CEO voiced confidence in Boeing Co. over its delayed 787 program Saturday, but warned the fast-growing carrier may scrap orders for the planes if development problems drag on. Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker noted, however, that there are no current plans to amend Qatar Airways' multibillion-dollar orders for 30 787s and options for 30 more.
ATLANTA (AP) — Defense company Lockheed Martin Corp. reached a $10.3 million settlement with the federal government Friday to resolve claims that the company's Georgia division inflated rates used to price contracts for the Air Force and Navy between 1996 and 2000. The settlement resolves prosecutors' claims that Lockheed mischarged costs in a commercial contract with Italian company Alenia Aerospazio to develop a tactical transport plane dubbed the C-27J, said U.
QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Titan Tire has stopped work at three plants in Illinois, Iowa and Ohio amid contract talks with union members. Quincy, Ill.-based Titan closed plants in Freeport, Ill., Des Moines and Bryan, Ohio, as of 11 p.m. Friday. Titan has been in negotiations with the United Steelworkers union for several months.
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Manhattan broadened their insider trading crackdown Thursday, arresting four people on charges alleging that so-called "expert consultants" revealed secrets about Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other technology products to hedge funds seeking a trading edge on quarterly earnings reports.