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[January 15, 2013]
AP Business NewsBrief at 2:43 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) China added 51 million Internet users in 2012BEIJING (AP) _ China's population of Internet users rose 10 percent last year to 564 million even as communist authorities tightened controls on content, according to data released Tuesday. Driven by a surge in mobile Web surfing, the country added 51 million new Internet users, a number bigger than the population of Spain, the China Internet Network Information Center reported. It said the number of Chinese Web surfers who go online from mobile phones, tablet computers and other wireless rose 18.1 percent last year to 420 million.
What's Facebook's secret Company tells all todaySAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Facebook's mystery "press event" on Tuesday could reveal a more robust search feature that would intensify the competition between the social networking giant and its rival Google Inc. Facebook is holding the event at 10 a.m. (1 p.m. EST) at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. The company has not said what it plans to announce. Last week, it invited bloggers and journalists to "come see what we're building." Toyota retakes global auto sales crown from GMDETROIT (AP) _ Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling automaker. The Japanese company sold 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, although it's still counting. GM sold 9.29 million.
Ex-EBRD director charged with attempted briberyMOSCOW (AP) _ Russia's Interior Ministry says it has charged a former Russia director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with conspiracy to take a $1.4 million bribe. The police said in a statement on Tuesday that Yelena Kotova and a Russian banker combined their "powers as well as links in the business community" to negotiate the bribe from an unnamed Canadian oil and gas company in exchange for vetting a $95 million loan.
Bernanke prods Congress to raise debt ceilingWASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that it's important that Congress raise the nation's borrowing limit before the Treasury runs out of maneuvering room to avoid a potential default on U.S. debt. Bernanke, speaking at the University of Michigan, said the approaching debt limit is one of the "critical fiscal watersheds" for the government in coming weeks.
Venezuela struggles with sporadic food shortagesCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Mireya Bustamante spent most of the day trying in vain to find flour to bake a birthday cake for her 4-year-old son. Like most Venezuelans, the single, 33-year-old officer worker has periodically struggled with such food shortages for years, and, like many in the country, thinks they're getting worse. She blames price and currency controls imposed by the government, though authorities contend unscrupulous business owners are at fault.
Japan stocks at highest since April 2010BANGKOK (AP) _ Japan's stock market closed at its highest level since April 2010 on Tuesday, buoyed by a weaker yen and major stimulus measures to help the country's struggling economy. Other Asian markets surrendered early gains. Sentiment was initially given a boost after Fed chief Ben Bernanke said the central bank's bond buying is providing crucial support for the U.S. economy, suggesting it will continue despite divisions with the Fed.
As yen weakens, BOJ gov says easing to persistTOKYO (AP) _ The governor of Japan's central bank says it will persist in easing monetary conditions as it tries to pull the country out of a deflationary slump. In comments Tuesday to branch managers of the central bank, Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa noted risks from the European debt crisis and continued tensions with China over a territorial dispute that are inhibiting investment by Japanese manufacturers and other businesses.
Dell's stock soars on report of possible buyoutROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) _ Dell's stock soared 13 percent Monday on a report that the struggling personal computer maker is in talks to take the company private. Citing unidentified people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg News said Dell has discussed a potential sale with at least two firms that specialize in buying companies whose stocks have fallen out of favor. The report didn't name the interested firms.
Apple stock wilts on worries about iPhone demandSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Apple's stock slipped below $500 for the first time in 11 months on Monday as investors reacted to reports signaling the company's latest iPhone is falling further behind a slew of sleek alternatives running Google's Android software. The latest indication that Apple, the world's most valuable company, is seeing sluggish demand for its iPhone 5 emerged in separate stories published Monday in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal. Both publications cited unnamed people familiar with the situation saying Apple has dramatically reduced its orders for the parts needed to build the newest iPhone because the device isn't selling as well as the company hoped.
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