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NEW YORK — It doesn't surprise experts that some debit and credit card numbers stolen from Target's computer systems may have surfaced among nearly 100 fake credit cards seized by police in Texas this week. Even so, they say the bust is unlikely to lead authorities directly to the hackers behind the breach, given the vast, labyrinthine nature of the global market for stolen data. By Bree Fowler. SENT: 810 words, photos.


BRUSSELS — France is sending business executives by the planeload to Iran. Turkish and Austrian airlines are adding new flights to Tehran, and carmakers and oil companies are drawing up plans for investment. Europe's business community is abuzz with preparations to rush back into Iran, one of the largest economies in the Middle East, as sanctions are lifted. By Juergen Baetz. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — Child car seats would have to protect against side-impact crashes — the kind implicated in many child deaths and injuries — under proposed new government rules. Manufacturers would get three years to comply after the rules are final. By Joan Lowy. SENT: 740 words, photos.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In the absence of federal action, states from Rhode Island to Hawaii are looking at requiring food producers to label any products with genetically modified ingredients. Supporters say consumers have a right to know if they're eating something that's been genetically altered, but biotech and agricultural companies insist GMO food — which makes up as much as 75 percent of what Americans eat — is safe. Opponents hope Congress blocks state laws by making GMO labels voluntary. By David Klepper. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 550 words by 6 p.m.


NEW YORK — Maria Contreras-Sweet, are you listening? Now that President Obama has nominated you to run the Small Business Administration owners are getting their wish lists ready. The biggest concerns: access to loans, regulation and winning federal contracts. If you're confirmed, these are just some of the issues that people who run small companies expect you to tackle. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 1,050 words, photo.


NEW YORK — Many people remember where they were when a man first walked on the moon or when the Berlin Wall fell. I remember where I was when I passed Level 86 of "Candy Crush Saga," the maddeningly addictive mobile game that involves matching bright-hued virtual candies in a row to have them disappear, only to be replaced by more. I'm on Level 92 now. I'm reading less and spending less time with friends and family, but I keep telling myself that I can quit any time. How did it come to this? By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 900 words, photos.



DAVOS, Switzerland — Leaders gathered in the Swiss ski resort of Davos are pushing for nations worldwide to shift to cleaner energy sources as the best way to contain global warming and re-energize the global economy. U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres says the world economy is at risk unless a binding deal is agreed in Paris in 2015 to lower heat-trapping carbon emissions from coal and oil. By John Heilprin. SENT: 590 words, photos


NEW YORK — The Standard & Poor's 500 index ekes out its second small gain of the week as investors pore over the latest earnings reports. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 700 words, photo.

— OIL PRICES — The price of oil rises above $95 a barrel amid expectations for solid demand and weaker supply, particularly in Asia and Europe. SENT: 380 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 5:30 p.m.

— DETROIT BANKRUPTCY — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder backs a plan to commit $350 million in state funds to shore up Detroit's pension funds and prevent city-owned art from being sold during they city's bankruptcy. SENT: 800 words.

— LEW-DEBT LIMIT — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew tells Congress that by late February he will run out of steps he can take to avoid a first-ever default on U.S. debt. SENT: 130 words.



CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A second chemical was released during a spill that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians, state officials say, though the newly identified substance appears to be less toxic than the coal-cleaning agent already known to have leaked. State regulators order the company to disclose everything that leaked into the Elk River from its storage tank. By Jonathan Mattisse. SENT: 560 words, photos.

— ARCTIC OFFSHORE DRILLING — A federal appeals court rules that federal regulators conducted inadequate environmental studies before selling $2.7 billion in petroleum leases off Alaska's northwest coast. The decision could affect leases acquired in 2008 by Royal Dutch Shell in the Chukchi Sea. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: xxx words by xx p.m.

— PLAYTEX-PACIFIER HOLDER RECALL — Playtex is recalling 1.4 million pacifier holders because of concern that a small child could choke if a part of the clip broke off. SENT: 130 words.

— TARGET-HEALTH CARE — Target Corp. says it will no longer be offering health care coverage for its part-time workers. SENT: 140 words. SENT: 500 words, photo.

— KEYSTONE PIPLINE-TEXAS — A Canadian company on Wednesday started delivering oil through the Texas portion of a proposed cross-border pipeline that has stirred controversy and tension between the United States and its northern neighbor. SENT: 600 words.

— FRANCE-GOODYEAR — French officials and protesting workers at a Goodyear tire plant in Amiens have ended their yearslong standoff with an agreement. SENT: 340 words.

— MALAYSIA-AUTO SALES — Auto sales in Malaysia rose 4.5 percent to a record high in 2013, but are expected to slow this year as a rising cost of living curbs consumer spending. SENT: 500 words.

— FRANCE-MCDONALD'S — McDonald's says French tax authorities have searched its offices, but denies a report that the company hid profits in tax havens. SENT: 140 words.

— SWEDEN-STEEL-MERGER — The Swedish steel company SSAB AB makes an offer to buy Finnish company Rautaruukki Oyj for 10.2 billion Swedish kronor ($1.6 billion) to create a combined Nordic producer of high-strength steel. SENT: 300 words.

— JETBLUE-ETIHAD-PARTNERSHIP — JetBlue Airways Corp. and the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, form a partnership to allow passengers to fly on routes operated by both carriers on a single ticket. SENT: 140 words.

— SAN DIEGO-CAMPAIGN DONOR — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions from a wealthy Mexican businessman supported San Diego politicians, according to a federal complaint. SENT: 420 words.

— GERMANY-WIND ENERGY — Prokon, a German wind-energy financing company that attracted investors with promises of high returns, says it has filed for insolvency. SENT: 130 words.



NEW YORK — EBay says that its earnings and revenue grew in the last three months of 2013, driven by a strong holiday season for its e-commerce site and its fast-growing payments business, PayPal. The company also says it has received a notice from activist investor Carl Icahn seeking a spinoff of PayPal. But eBay says it has looked into that and does not believe it is best for shareholders. By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 200 words, photo. UPCOMING: xxx words by xx p.m.

— EARNS-NETFLIX — Netflix's fourth-quarter earnings soared as the Internet video service added another 2.3 million U.S. subscribers to burnish its status as one of the world's most popular entertainment options. SENT: 200 words. UPCOMING: xxx words by xx p.m.



SAN FRANCISCO — Activist investor Carl Icahn raises his stake in Apple as he escalates his campaign to pressure the company into buying back more of its stock while the shares remain stuck far below their peak price. By Michael Liedtke. SENT: 500 words, photo.

— NSA SURVEILLANCE-VERIZON — Verizon Communications Inc. says it received between 1,000 and 1,999 government requests for customer information related to national security last year. SENT: 440 words.

— SUPER BOWL-STREAMS — The Super Bowl will again be streamed live online. Fox said Wednesday that it would offer free access to all users on computers and tablets through its app for the NFL championship on Feb. 2. SENT: 100 words.

— FACEBOOK FOUNDER-DONATION — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are donating $5 million to help expand a community health center in Silicon Valley. SENT: 130 words.

— NASCAR-PATRICK-SUPER BOWL AD — Danica Patrick has ditched sexy strip downs for bulked up bodybuilders in her latest GoDaddy Super Bowl spot. SENT: 400 words, photos.

— ARGENTINA-ECONOMY-INTERNET CONTROLS — Argentina's government is slapping another restriction on online and mail-order purchases from abroad as it tries to stem the outflow of dollars. Wednesday's announcement limits Argentines to just two such purchases a year. SENT: 130 words.

— VMWARE-AIRWATCH — Cloud computing company VMware says it is buying mobile computing company AirWatch for about $1.18 billion in cash. SENT: 140 words.



LONDON — Britain's unemployment rate drops sharply to 7.1 percent, edging closer to the point at which the Bank of England will consider raising interest rates. The unemployment rate in in the three months ending in November is down 0.5 percentage points in the June to August period. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 550 words.


BEIJING — Relatives of China's president and other business and political leaders are linked to offshore tax havens that help "shroud the communist elite's wealth," a U.S.-based journalism group says. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 820 words.


BRUSSELS — The European Union shies away from more ambitious renewable energy goals as the bloc's sluggish economy appeared to dent its zeal in the global fight against climate change. To the dismay of Germany, environmentalists and others, the European Commission stepped back from proposing tougher binding renewable energy targets for each of the 28 member nations. SENT: 780 words, photos.


BRUSSELS —The European Union's top court dismisses a British lawsuit contesting an EU-wide regulation that bans some short-selling practices to increase financial market stability. The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice ruled the legal basis for the European Securities and Markets Authority to adopt such emergency measures is in accordance with EU law since its powers "are precisely delineated and amenable to judicial review." By Juergen Baetz. SENT: 150 words.

— VENEZUELA-ECONOMY — Venezuela is overhauling its foreign currency system and will now administer scarce dollars with a multi-tiered exchange system. SENT: 420 words, photo.

— GERMANY-ENERGY SWITCHOVER — Chancellor Angela Merkel is backing plans to stem the rising costs of Germany's transition to renewable energy as her new government meets to launch its legislative agenda. SENT: 160 words, photos.

— MYANMAR-ECONOMY — Myanmar's economy is on pace to grow 7.5 percent this fiscal year, the International Monetary Fund says, praising the government for working to liberalize the foreign exchange market and boost central bank reserves. SENT: 200 words.

— INDONESIA-CORRUPTION — An investigation of an Indonesian chief justice who was arrested on suspicion of receiving a $250,000 bribe has found that he has more than $16 million in assets, including 33 cars and 31 motorcycles, the graft commission says. SENT: 340 words.

— CZECH-EURO — The Czech Republic's incoming finance minister raises the possibility that the country might adopt the euro, Europe's common currency. SENT: 140 words.

— FRANCE-SMALL EXPLOSION — French officials say an explosive device detonated outside a tax office in a southern city, causing minor damage to the building. SENT: 120 words.


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Fool's gold?

Gold is one of the winners of early 2014: Its price is up 3 percent, beating both stocks and crude oil, whose prices are down. But don't be fooled by gold's early run, analysts say. They predict its price will fall this year, largely because investors have less reason to fear. A decline would mark gold's first consecutive annual decline since 1997-98. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Coach shares plummet

Victor Luis, who became CEO of Coach at the start of this year, had some troubling news for Wall Street on Wednesday. The luxury-goods maker reported a lower quarterly profit and shares of the luxury-goods maker sank. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.

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