WASHINGTON (AP) — The devastating tornadoes that swept across Alabama and other southern states Wednesday caused widespread power outages, shut down several large manufacturing plants and could disrupt the region's fragile economic recovery. Most economists say the setback will likely be temporary.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's chief executive told shareholders at their annual meeting Thursday that the company will come back "stronger than ever" after addressing quality problems that resulted in an astounding string of product recalls. William Weldon, who became CEO in 2002, said the series of "disappointing recalls" troubled him and employees and meant thousands of parents could not get medicines they needed for their children.
OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Shares of Oshkosh Corp. tumbled Thursday after the heavy vehicle maker said that its net income and revenue both fell sharply in the second fiscal quarter. THE SPARK: The company, based in Oshkosh, Wis., said its net income fell to $67.9 million, or 74 cents per share, from $292.
DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler will take out bank loans and sell bonds to repay $7.5 billion in bailout money from the U.S. and Canadian governments, another sign that the automaker is recovering from its near-collapse in 2009. Details about how much Chrysler will borrow from banks and the size of the bond sale are being worked out.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge ordered a Texas-based company accused of abusing and underpaying several mentally disabled men at a turkey plant in Iowa to pay $1.76 million to the former workers, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday. The partial summary judgment was issued in the department's lawsuit against Hill Country Farms, of Goldthwaite, Texas, doing business as Henry's Turkey Service.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Spyker Cars, the tiny Dutch company that controls struggling automaker Saab, came closer to getting much-needed investment from Russian Vladimir Antonov after Sweden's debt office on Thursday approved his application to become a shareholder. The decision means Spyker has cleared one of several hurdles in its attempt to solve a liquidity crisis that has forced it to suspend production at the Saab plant in western Sweden.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Commercials promoting sugary breakfast cereals could be put on a strict diet under government guidelines urging food companies to limit marketing of unhealthy products to children. Under a proposal announced Thursday by several government agencies, companies would be urged to only market foods to children ages 2 through 17 if they are low in fats, sugars and sodium and contain specified healthy ingredients.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, just back from China, said the United States must compete with the Asian nation to be a global leader on renewable energy. The Nevada Democrat led a bipartisan delegation of 10 senators on a taxpayer-funded trip to China that included meetings with top Chinese government officials and business leaders.
NEW YORK (AP) — New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and a flight instructor did everything they could to save their lives after the small plane they were piloting malfunctioned, causing them to crash into a Manhattan building, a lawyer for the men's families told a jury Wednesday at the start of a civil trial.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Plastic or ... a different plastic? Procter & Gamble said Tuesday that it has started producing some of its shampoo bottles from a plastic made from sugar cane because it's a renewable resource. Customers won't notice a difference, the company said, but the environment will: Most traditional plastics are petroleum-based.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's CEO said Wednesday he hopes most of the company's product recalls are behind it, but he can't promise that. William Weldon, who has run the health care giant since 2002, said J&J has learned some lessons, invested heavily in improving quality and will work to regain consumer confidence.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin woman who created a bra with pockets has filed a federal patent infringement lawsuit against another person who came up with a similar idea. Tammy Pintor, owner of TJ Secret in Menomonee Falls, has a patent for a brassiere that holds and conceals electronic devices, cosmetics, money or other items.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Volkswagen AG sharply increased net profit to euro1.71 billion ($2.5 billion) in the first quarter as stronger sales in emerging markets such as China, Argentina, and Russia more than made up for slumps in debt-stricken European countries. Earnings per share of euro3.
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. denied Wednesday that iPhones store a record of their users' movements for up to a year and blamed privacy concerns partly on a misunderstanding. A data file publicized by security researchers last week doesn't store users' locations, but a list of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in their general area, the company said.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Union members from across West Virginia are gathering to remember fallen workers as a new report puts the state among the 10 worst for on-the-job fatalities. The West Virginia AFL-CIO planned to observe national Workers Memorial Day on Wednesday in Huntington at Local 317 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Chinese drywall supplier's insurers have agreed to pay up to $8 million to settle court claims against the company over damage to homes from the corrosive product, according to a proposed settlement filed Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans must approve the deal between plaintiffs' attorneys, Interior/Exterior Building Supply and two of its three insurers.
DETROIT (AP) — Details are still being worked out, but Chrysler Group LLC on Thursday will make an announcement about a refinancing package that will repay its government loans, according to a person briefed on the matter. Final details are likely to be revealed Monday, when Chrysler releases its first-quarter financial results, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the company is still negotiating the package with banks.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses increased their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and steel in March, boosting demand for long-lasting manufactured goods for a third straight month. Orders for durable goods rose 2.5 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. said Wednesday it will slash 7,000 jobs worldwide, through both layoffs and outsourcing, as it strives to cut costs and catch up with its top rivals in the smartphone market. Most of the 4,000 layoffs, due by the end of 2012, will be in Denmark, Finland and Britain, Nokia said.
TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) — Schools canceled classes and residents were urged to stay inside Tuesday after power outages shut down three Houston-area refineries, including BP unit where a 2005 explosion killed 15 people, and a Dow Chemical plant. Emergency officials were working to determine what caused the Texas City outages, which a spokeswoman for Texas New Mexico Power company said involved a "customer-owned equipment problem.