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VOL. 37 | NO. 9 | Friday, March 01, 2013

Tournament favorite? It has to be Nashville

SEC, OVC fans drop millions into city’s basket while TSSAA boosts Murfreesboro

March Madness arrives today in all its glory with a flip of the calendar. The Road to the Final Four begins in Music City with Wednesday’s tip-off of the Ohio Valley Conference men’s and women’s tournaments at Municipal Auditorium, followed a week later by the sold-out Southeastern Conference men’s tournament at Bridgestone Arena.

No clear favorites in struggling SEC field

Vanderbilt, which lost its top six players to graduation or the NBA, has struggled much of the season with a young, inexperienced lineup.

OVC dream: Belmont vs. TSU in men's championship

The SEC men’s basketball tournament at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena is, as expected, sold out.

High school tourneys provide $3M boost to Rutherford County

While the SEC and Ohio Valley Conference tournaments are playing in Nashville through March 17, the TSSAA BlueCross Basketball Championships will take place at Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, bringing an estimated $3 million to Rutherford County coffers.

Why is it so hard for us to chill out?

National surveys show that the majority of Americans don’t take all the vacation time they’ve earned.

Local Weather
Today
Nashville, TN
54°F
Cloudy
Wind: 6 mph
Humidity: 69%

EVENTS

People’s Law School is a free program that provides an overview of legal issues that a typical person might face. Topics and dates:

more events »

Good travel agents find deals the Internet alone can’t

Traditional travel agencies, already struggling in the Internet age, took a double whammy during the recession as individuals became their own travel agents, using online tools to search for deals on air travel, hotel rooms, car rentals and activities.

REALTY CHECK

More work to be done in bettering Metro schools

When Bill Purcell was mayor of Nashville, he had a favorite Realtor story, much to the chagrin of Nashville Realtors, I might add. One of the more painful aspects of the tale is that it is true.

REAL ESTATE

Top commercial real estate transactions for January 2013

Top January 2013 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

LEGISLATIVE PROFILE

‘Bad cop’ McCormick tries to reign in fellow Republicans

State Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), says he sometimes has “to play the bad cop.”

NEWSMAKERS

Roberts promoted to president, CEO of DVL

DVL Public Relations & Advertising has promoted Ronald Roberts to president and chief executive officer.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Shift from monologue to dialogue

For more than a decade, companies have slowly shifted their focus to fit an era of deep consumer engagement. They have begun to embrace social media management, and they are better integrating print and TV campaigns with their online and social media presence. Unfortunately, it’s not enough.

THE WORLDLY INVESTOR

Opposing forces cause swirling economy

Remember Relative Value One by-product of the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy is the widespread positive returns that numerous asset classes have been able to experience.

SMART STUFF 4 WORK

The last-second madness

Many people in the relatively danger-free world of modern white-collar workers seem to be stressed out these days. Perhaps this is because they are ill-equipped to function in the modern world. I’ve been playing around with mathematics and time to help explain what is going on.

I SWEAR

Got a garbage problem? Judge will get it fixed

The voice mail message on my private office line went like this:

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

$600 for balsamic vinegar? Probably not

Two things I love: lamb chops and balsamic vinegar. Well, those are just two things. Seriously, though, anytime we go to a restaurant that offers lamb chops, that’s what I’m going to order.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

CMA Foundation awards $1.2M to Nashville schools

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Country Music Association Foundation recently donated $1.2 million to Nashville public schools.

Old friends turn out for Mindy McCready memorial

NASHVILLE (AP) — Mindy McCready's time in Nashville was filled with music, and her memorial service in Music City reflected that.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Bill to lift switchblade ban passes Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Senate has approved legislation that seeks to lift Tennessee's ban on switchblades.

Bill allowing state college IDs to vote delayed

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would allow student identification from the state's higher education institutions to be used for voting was delayed Thursday in the Senate amid questions about the validity of such IDs.

Haslam's school voucher bill delayed

NASHVILLE (AP) — State Republicans are trying to decide between two competing proposals that would create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

NASHVILLE AREA

Icahn proposes alternative to Dell buyout

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn wants Dell Inc. to remain a public company and proposed rewarding shareholders with a large dividend payment instead of becoming private in a $24.4 billion buyout.

Grand jury indicts former Nashville businessman

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal grand jury indicted a once prominent Nashville businessman with a drug smuggling past on charges of obstruction of justice and being a convicted felon in possession of 16 firearms.

MIDSTATE

Brown-Forman posts 18 percent net income gain

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Brown-Forman Corp.'s third-quarter net income rose 18 percent, mixing strong sales in the U.S. and abroad as the liquor producer reported another round of robust demand for its flagship Jack Daniel's brand and its higher-priced premium brands.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Toyota chief stresses safe growth

TOKYO (AP) — After four tumultuous years bookended by an unprecedented recall crisis and a return to the top of the global auto industry, Akio Toyoda is refashioning Toyota Motor Corp. into a leaner company that's more imbued with the venture spirit of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, his grandfather.

Subaru recalls cars that can start on their own

DETROIT (AP) — Subaru of America is recalling more than 47,000 cars and SUVs with remote starters because the engines can start on their own.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks gain for fifth day on unemployment report

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow pushed further into unchartered territory Thursday, having surpassed its previous all-time high two days ago. The catalyst was a government report on employment that gave succor to stock market bulls.

US household wealth regains pre-recession peak

WASHINGTON (AP) — It took 5½ years.

Retailers report slowing sales gains for February

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans cut back on spending in February as cold weather and economic challenges chilled their appetite for spring merchandise.

US rate on 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.52 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages were little changed this week, hovering near historic lows. Cheap mortgages have helped spur a recovery in the housing market.

US trade gap widens to $44.4B as oil imports rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened in January, reflecting a big jump in oil imports and a drop in exports.

Weekly US unemployment claims fall to 340,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 last week, driving down the four-week average to its lowest level in five years. The drop is a positive sign ahead of Friday's report on February job growth.

US worker productivity falls 1.9 percent in Q4

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. worker productivity shrank in the final three months of last year, mostly because of temporary factors that dragged down growth.

Oil price rises as US economy seen strengthening

Oil prices moved up slightly closer to $91 a barrel on Thursday as reports of a moderately improving U.S. economy, which suggests increased fuel consumption, outweighed a big rise in crude supplies.

Facebook getting ready to change News Feed

NEW YORK (AP) — Amid chatter of "Facebook fatigue," real or imagined, the world's biggest social networking company is getting ready to unveil a new version of News Feed, the flow of status updates, photos and advertisements its users see on the site.

Kroger's profit beats Wall Street expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — Kroger's fourth-quarter profit handily beat Wall Street expectations as the country's largest traditional supermarket operator saw sales climb.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Obama invites budget writers to White House lunch

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say President Barack Obama has invited the top House budget writers for lunch at the White House.

Efforts to avoid gov't shutdown move to Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Efforts to stave off a late March government shutdown shifted to the Senate after House Republicans swiftly passed legislation to keep federal agencies running, while also easing some of the effects of $85 billion in budget cuts.

Group backing Obama won't take corporate money

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reversing course amid criticism, a nonprofit group run by former advisers to President Barack Obama said Thursday it would not accept corporate donations and would disclose the specific amount of money it receives from donors after being accused of selling access to the White House.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6
STATE LEGISLATURE

Sponsors won't advance abortion ultrasound bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Republican sponsors of a measure setting ultrasound requirements in advance of abortions have decided not to push the bill forward in the Tennessee General Assembly this year.

Harwell vote rescues grocery store wine bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bid to allow local governments to hold referendums on whether to allow supermarket wine sales survived in a House subcommittee Wednesday thanks to a deciding vote from Speaker Beth Harwell.

Senator's traffic stop part of VU police debate

NASHVILLE (AP) - The effort to strip Vanderbilt University of its police force over a nondiscrimination policy for student groups has brought up a traffic stop involving the chairwoman of the Senate committee handling the bill, but the lawmaker says she doesn't know why the incident has become part of the debate.

Bill would create Higher Ed ombudsman

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican state lawmakers are proposing legislation to create an inspector who would examine operations within Tennessee's higher education systems.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville, Memphis airports get expedited screens

NASHVILLE (AP) — The airports in Nashville and Memphis will soon offer the Transportation Security Administration's pre-check program.

Dell committee defends $24.4B sale as best choice

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Dell Inc. committee that negotiated the slumping PC maker's $24.4 billion buyout is standing behind the deal despite the misgivings of major shareholders who believe the price is too low.

Alexander's home broken into

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville detectives say they believe a break-in at U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's home was a random burglary.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Bryan, Clarkson, Strait to perform at ACM Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) — Already busy co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan also will perform during this year's Academy of Country Music Awards.

MIDSTATE

Hemlock Semiconductor: 400 layoffs now permanent

THOMAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan-based silicon products company says it's making permanent the layoff of 400 workers at sites in Michigan and Tennessee, a move forced by a supply glut and trade conflicts with China.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Former GM executive tapped for Toyota board

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota has tapped a former executive at U.S. rival General Motors to join its board, the first time in the Japanese automaker's 76-year history it is appointing directors from outside the company.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Fed survey: US economy growing moderately

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey showed the U.S. economy expanded in all parts of the country in January and February, helped by strong auto sales, a continued recovery in housing and improved job prospects.

Private survey shows steady job gains in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey shows U.S. businesses added a solid number of jobs in February, indicating higher taxes and looming government spending cuts have yet to slow hiring.

US factory orders signals confidence in economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. orders for machinery and other factory goods that signal business investment surged in January, indicating confidence in the economy.

Stocks edge up following record day for the Dow

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average is pushing further into record territory, a day after surging past its previous all-time high.

Exxon Mobil predicts lower production this year

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil expects production to decline by about 1 percent this year due to weaker output of natural gas.

Oil recovers some losses on upbeat Fed report

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil regained some of its earlier losses on Wednesday after a report from the Federal Reserve showed the economy strengthened across much of the country.

Martha Stewart denies wrongdoing in Penney deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Home decor and food guru Martha Stewart testified in court on Tuesday that she did nothing wrong when she signed an agreement to open shops within most of J.C. Penney's stores across the country.

Schools shift from textbooks to tablets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Well before the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy was in full swing, students could read about the weather system that slammed the East Coast in their textbooks.

EU fines Microsoft $733M for breaking browser pact

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Union has fined Microsoft €561 million ($733 million) for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company's flagship Windows operating system.

NATIONAL POLITICS

House approves bill preventing shutdown March 27

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House approved legislation Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown on March 27 and blunt the impact of newly imposed spending cuts on the Defense Department.

Obama, Republicans cooperate on spending _ for now

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration and congressional Republicans are quietly working in tandem to blunt the impact of short-term spending cuts that kicked in with dire White House warnings a few days ago, with both sides eager to pocket the full savings for deficit reduction as they pivot to a new clash over Medicare.

Report: Too much money spent in Iraq for too few results

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten years and $60 billion in American taxpayer funds later, Iraq is still so unstable and broken that even its leaders question whether U.S. efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation were worth the cost.

Federal government closes DC offices as snow nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government says its offices in the Washington, D.C., area will be closed Wednesday as the nation's capital braces for its first big snowfall of the winter.


TUESDAY, MARCH 5
MIDSTATE

State appeals court hears arguments in mosque case

NASHVILLE (AP) - If the state Court of Appeals upholds a lower court's ruling that Rutherford County officials held an illegal meeting when they approved plans for a new mosque, the question will be, "What next?"

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Jepsen drops Boy Scouts event over gay rights

NASHVILLE (AP) - Carly Rae Jepsen is canceling her performance at the national Boy Scouts of America Jamboree because of the organization's exclusion of gays.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Charter school authorizer bill advances

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that seeks to create a special panel that would authorize charter school applications advanced out of a key House committee Tuesday despite concerns that it strips control from local school districts and could dig into taxpayers' pockets.

Bill allowing state college IDs to vote advances

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow student identification issued by state higher education institutions to be used for voting is advancing in the Senate.

Critics of Vandy policy seek to strip police power

NASHVILLE (AP) - Opponents of a Vanderbilt University policy banning discrimination in student groups want to enact a law to strip the private school of its police powers if it doesn't change its ways.

Senate OKs bill requiring meningitis shot proof

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis has passed the Senate.

STATEWIDE

New hunting and fishing licenses on sale

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's 2012-13 hunting and fishing licenses have expired, and the new licenses are on sale.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford expects some Europe market recovery in 2013

GENEVA (AP) — Ford Europe CEO Stephen Odell says the uncertain Italian election results "possibly didn't help" the European car market but he still expects some recovery this year.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Dow hits record, erasing Great Recession losses

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is back.

Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes

NEW YORK (AP) — When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. When it closed at an all-time high of 14,253.77 on Tuesday, it wasn't so much a time for celebration as it was for reflection.

Face-off over Dow record: believer vs. skeptic

NEW YORK (AP) — Something strange has happened to investors this year. Ever since the financial crisis in 2008, many had worried that the next big disaster was waiting around the corner, ready to clobber them.

Oil near $91, following healthy gains in stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil rose for the first time in four days Tuesday, but traders questioned whether the gains were sustainable.

US service firms grow at fastest pace in a year

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service companies grew in February at the fastest pace in a year, buoyed by higher sales, more new orders and solid job growth. The gain suggests higher taxes have yet to slow consumer spending on services.

US home prices rose by most in nearly 7 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices jumped in January, a sign the housing market is gaining momentum as it nears the spring selling season.

Martha Stewart denies wrongdoing in Penney deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Home diva Martha Stewart testified in court on Tuesday that she did nothing wrong when she signed an agreement to open up shops within most of J.C. Penney's stores across the country.

Marriott to help Ikea launch budget hotels

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Ikea says Marriott International Inc. will help it open its new budget hotels across western Europe during the next five years.

NATIONAL POLITICS

GOP seeks to smooth roughest cuts, avert shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans controlling the House are moving to take the roughest edges off across-the-board spending cuts that are just starting to take effect.

How budget cuts could affect you

WASHINGTON (AP) — Automatic spending cuts that took effect last Friday are expected to touch a vast range of government services. Some examples:


MONDAY, MARCH 4
STATEWIDE

Feds responsible for health care exchange in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam has decided the state will not to create its own health care exchange, leaving both the exchange's operation and its marketing to the federal government.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Bill would let students use college IDs to vote

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Sen. Bill Ketron has filed legislation that would allow student identification issued by state higher education institutions to be used for voting.

Head of Tennessee Democrats says groups hurting schools

NASHVILLE (AP) - The head of the Tennessee Democratic Party expressed disdain Monday for the millions of dollars he said special interest groups are spending to advocate siphoning money from public to private schools, calling them nothing more than "vultures."

Supermarket wine opponents contribute heavily

NASHVILLE (AP) - Contributions totaling more than $364,000 have poured into lawmakers' campaign accounts over the past two years from liquor wholesalers, package stores and the beer industry — three groups that have traditionally opposed changing state law to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets.

GOP lawmakers seek to back away from 'fringe'

NASHVILLE (AP) — Before a House vote to give final approval to a contentious firearms bill last week, Speaker Beth Harwell implored her Republican colleagues to ignore demands from what she deemed "fringe" groups to make major changes to the measure.

NASHVILLE AREA

Charlie Daniels leads benefit show at Lipscomb

NASHVILLE (AP) — A benefit concert led by Charlie Daniels will raise funds for Lipscomb University's Yellow Ribbon Program.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen's Golf named Europe's Car of the Year

GENEVA (AP) — The Volkswagen Golf has been named Europe's Car of the Year by automotive journalists from more than 20 countries.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks grind higher, pushing Dow toward record

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors brushed off early jitters about a potential slowdown in China and pushed the Dow to its highest close of the year.

Oil near $90; drivers see some relief at the pump

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil dropped below $90 a barrel for the first time this year Monday, and pump prices dropped 3 cents over the weekend as drivers catch a break after two months of steep increases.

Study: No quick savings from workplace wellness

WASHINGTON (AP) — Your bosses want you to eat your broccoli, hit the treadmill and pledge you'll never puff on a cigarette. But a new study raises doubts that workplace wellness programs save the company money.

JC Penney could wind up with empty shelves

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney, which is struggling with big losses and steep sales declines, could face another challenge: empty shelves.

Government: Budget cuts already causing airport delays

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International and O'Hare International in Chicago, are already experiencing delays as a result of automatic federal spending cuts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday.

Forbes: Slim world's richest for 4th year in a row

NEW YORK (AP) — Mexico's Carlos Slim remains the world's richest man for the fourth year in a row, according to Forbes, while Warren Buffett dropped out of the top three for the first time since 2000.

Buffett: Stocks are good buy; ketchup is forever

Warren Buffet says stocks are a good investment, long-term government bonds are a dumb one, and ketchup is forever.

Yellen defends Fed's low interest rate policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The No. 2 official at the Federal Reserve said Monday that she does not see any risks at the moment from the Federal Reserve's low-interest rate policies that would prompt her to urge that the policies be curtailed.

Tax bills for rich families approach 30-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The poor rich. With Washington gridlocked again over whether to raise their taxes, it turns out wealthy families already are paying some of their biggest federal tax bills in decades even as the rest of the population continues to pay at historically low rates.

Some leaders souring on nuclear power costs

ATLANTA (AP) — As the cost of building a new nuclear plant soars, there are signs of buyer's remorse.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Economists were opposed to automatic spending cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most business economists opposed the automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday night amid the gridlock between President Obama and Congress, but they overwhelmingly support efforts to reduce the deficit over the next 10 years, according to a survey released Monday.

Obama nominates Wal-Mart's Burwell as budget chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has tapped Wal-Mart's Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his next budget chief, thrusting her into the center of Washington's heated partisan budget battles.


FRIDAY, MARCH 1
STATEWIDE

State buys 2007 King Air for governor's use

NASHVILLE (AP) - The governor has a new set of wings with the purchase of a used Beech King Air turboprop airplane.

Commissioner changes parole checks

NASHVILLE (AP) - The commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Correction said he has addressed problems found in a performance audit by the state comptroller's office that showed at least 82 people who parole officers claimed they checked on were actually dead.

MIDSTATE

TV hunter sentenced for poaching deer in Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Tennessee hunter featured in cable television hunting shows has been sentenced for poaching a deer in Kansas in 2007.

NASHVILLE AREA

Suits dismissed against corps over Nashville flood

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a pair of lawsuits claiming the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for flood damage in 2010 to the Grand Ole Opry, Gibson Guitar and other Nashville-area businesses.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Haslam 'likely' to sign parking lot guns bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is likely to sign into law a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their cars no matter where they are parked, a spokesman said Thursday.

House sends parking-lot guns bill to governor

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House on Thursday voted to send to the governor a contentious bill that would allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Chrysler, VW, GM report sales growth in February; Nissan down

DETROIT (AP) — Americans want new cars and trucks, and they're not going to let higher gas prices or political dysfunction in Washington stand in their way.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks eke out gains as manufacturing improves

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging higher on Wall Street, closing out a volatile week, as an upturn in manufacturing outweighed the threat of looming cuts to government spending.

Oil falls as spending cuts loom; pump prices dip

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil fell Friday to its lowest level of the year on worrisome economic developments in the world's two largest oil-consuming nations.

In death, Facebook photos could fade away forever

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — A grieving Oregon mother who battled Facebook for full access to her deceased son's account has been pushing for years for something that would prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories — as she did.

US factories grow at fastest pace since June 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace since June 2011, buoyed by increases in new orders and production. The third straight month of growth suggests factories may help the economy this year after slumping through most of 2012.

US construction spending down 2.1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in January by the largest amount in 18 months as home construction stalled and spending on government projects fell to the lowest level in more than six years.

US consumer spending up 0.2 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers increased their spending modestly in January when taxes rose, but they cut back sharply on major purchases that signal confidence in the economy. Income plunged by the most in two decades, although the decline followed a one-time surge in bonus payments to avoid higher taxes.

US economy barely grew in Q4, but rebound likely

WASHINGTON (AP) — The weakest quarter for the U.S. economy in nearly two years may end up being a temporary lull. Economists think growth has begun to pick up on the strength of a sustained housing recovery and a better job market.

Penney's shares plunge after 4Q massive loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of J.C. Penney Co. plunged nearly 20 percent a day after the department-store chain reported its fourth straight massive quarterly loss.

Groupon fires CEO, still faces underlying problems

NEW YORK (AP) — Now that Groupon has gotten rid of its quirky founder and CEO, the chief question is whether the company's underlying online deals business is promising enough to reverse its falling stock price, declining revenue growth and waning consumer interest.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Odds against him, Obama still betting on big deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders at the White House Friday, hours before a series of mandatory budget cuts start to kick in, for intense talks where Democrats and Republicans were most likely to stake out fiscal positions with the threat of a government shutdown looming.

Automatic cuts will have to wait until midnight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says automatic spending reductions set to kick in will be put off until as close to midnight Friday as possible.

Big spending cuts mark tea party success, and risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pending $85 billion in federal spending cuts would seem like a tea partyer's dream. Why, then, are tea party activists and other conservatives so wary on the eve of the big reductions, which Congress and the White House seem unable or unwilling to stop?

How budget cuts could affect you

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government agencies are already taking steps to comply with automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect Friday.

Jacob Lew becomes nation's 76th Treasury secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jacob Lew was sworn in Thursday as the nation's 76th Treasury secretary, one day before across-the-board government spending cuts kick in that could hold back the U.S. economy.

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