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Exxon Mobil overtakes Wal-Mart to top Fortune 500

April 19, 2009 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. unseated Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the 2009 Fortune 500 list, shrugging off the oil price bubble and weathering what the magazine called the worst year ever for the country's largest publicly traded companies.Fortune's closely watched list, released Sunday, ranked...

Efron turns '17 Again' into No. 1 hit with $24M

April 19, 2009 9:54 am | by DAVID GERMAIN - AP Movie Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zac Efron has taken the box-office crown from his Disney teammate Miley Cyrus.Efron's comedy "17 Again," in which he plays the youthful version of a middle-aged man magically transformed to high school age, debuted as the top weekend movie with $24.1 million, according to studio...

White House: Some banks will show serious woes

April 19, 2009 9:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some big banks will need more bailout bucks, Obama administration officials said Sunday, although it is unlikely the government might need to take over any reeling institution."We're confident that, yes, some are going to have very serious problems, but we feel that the tools are...

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Nigerian militants: UK hostage to be freed soon

April 19, 2009 9:13 am | by EDWARD HARRIS - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's main militant group said Sunday that it plans to release a British hostage held captive for more than six months.The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that Robin Barry Hughes will be freed "very soon." The...

Jackie Chan's China comments prompt backlash

April 19, 2009 9:08 am | by MIN LEE - AP Entertainment Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

HONG KONG (AP) — Action star Jackie Chan's comments wondering whether Chinese people "need to be controlled" have drawn sharp rebuke in his native Hong Kong and in Taiwan.Chan told a business forum in the southern Chinese province of Hainan that a free society may not be beneficial for China's...

Taiwan receives 3,000 Chinese tourists per day

April 19, 2009 9:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan has reached its goal of hosting 3,000 Chinese tourists a day as ties between the two rivals continue to strengthen, the government said Sunday.Chinese tourist arrivals averaged 3,013 people per day so far this month, compared with the daily average of 580 over the past...

Behind the scenes with Windows 7

April 19, 2009 8:43 am | by JESSICA MINTZ - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — To design Windows 7, Microsoft analyzed billions of pieces of data. It studied exactly what PC users do in front of their screens. It tallied hundreds of thousands of Windows surveys. It got feedback from people all over the world who tried different versions of the...

Windows washer: Meet Microsoft's antidote to Vista

April 19, 2009 8:38 am | by JESSICA MINTZ - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Julie Larson-Green hopes you'll like Windows 7. If not, well, now you and a billion other people know whom to blame.Microsoft Corp. is counting on Larson-Green, its head of "Windows Experience," to deliver an operating system that delights the world's PC users as much as its...

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Largest sewage recycler scrutinized in some states

April 19, 2009 8:37 am | by ED WHITE - Associated Press Writers - Associated Press | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit officials were approached in 2001 with what was hailed as a visionary project to clean up the unhealthy yellow plumes that cast a pall over the city's gritty Delray neighborhood.Synagro Technologies would replace outdated incinerators that burn human and industrial waste with...

Penny slots making lots of cents in Mo.

April 19, 2009 4:16 am | by BILL DRAPER - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gamblers may be cutting back like other consumers, but one thing they're not doing is pinching pennies.Their spending on penny gambling machines produced about one-fourth of all slot machine revenue in Nevada last year, and more in other states. In Missouri, one of few...

UK Treasury likely to present bleak annual budget

April 19, 2009 2:55 am | by JANE WARDELL - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — British Treasury chief Alistair Darling is likely to present a bleak annual budget next week with little good news for the average Briton as the economy wallows in recession.Along with a hefty downgrade to the country's growth forecasts, Darling is expected to unveil deferred tax...

Wanted: Computer hackers ... to help government

April 18, 2009 8:52 pm | by LOLITA C. BALDOR - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wanted: Computer hackers.Federal authorities aren't looking to prosecute them, but to pay them to secure the nation's networks.General Dynamics Information Technology put out an ad last month on behalf of the Homeland Security Department seeking someone who could "think like the...

More companies are becoming hesitant to forecast

April 18, 2009 8:02 pm | by DAVID PITT - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

These days, it's not what companies say about the past as much as what they say about the future that matters most to investors.Increasingly, though, companies are dialing back what they're willing to forecast.Consider what happened to Intel on Tuesday. The company reported stronger-than-expected...

Locking in: Save a lot - or pay the price

April 18, 2009 8:02 pm | by DAVID KOENIG - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

DALLAS (AP) — At TXU Energy, the biggest electric company in Texas, the fastest-growing billing plan is one that lets customers lock in the price of power for one or two years."It's easier to plan that way, and I think you're saving money," says Brian Bell, an advertising salesman who signed a...

Shanghai auto expo: showdown for global automakers

April 18, 2009 7:22 pm | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — International automakers are converging on China's commercial capital for a show that, once marginal, is now a key showcase — and battleground — for the world's only major growing car market.The biennial Shanghai Auto Show, which opens Monday to media and on Wednesday to the public,...

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