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Staples tops estimates, raises profit outlook

The news boosted Staples’ shares by 8.3 percent to $15.40 in premarket trading. Smaller rivals have also shown some improvement on the profit front lately, with Office Depot<ODP.N> reporting a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss andOfficeMax <OMX.N> posting better-than-expected earnings. Many investors look at office supply retailers as a good gauge of the economy…

US credit crisis shocks Chinese consumers

Spurred on by state media which have let rip at the “debt-riddled” United States, the Chinese have listened with wide-eyed amazement to tales of American people living well beyond their means. The US credit crisis has brought to light a fundamental difference between thrifty consumers in China — the largest…

Lightning strike injures eight at Florida water park

Eight people were injured in a lightning strike at SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove water park in Orlando, Florida, authorities said. “Three guests and five employees suffered from an indirect strike shortly before 5:00 pm (2100 GMT),” said park spokesman Nick Gollattscheck. “Some of the victims reported a tingling sensation and were…

Tobacco firms sue US over graphic cigarette labels

Four tobacco companies filed a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over what they say are unconstitutional requirements for warning labels on US cigarette packaging. The third largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, Lorillard, Inc., said they were “challenging nine new cigarette warnings as an unconstitutional…

PayPal founder’s next project: Libertarian island nations

Peter Theil, the billionaire investor who co-founded Internet payments processor PayPal and made a key initial investment in Facebook, has a whole new idea occupying his time lately: according to a profile published in Details magazine Tuesday, he wants to build a series of island nations governed by a strict…

White House checks in with foursquare

WASHINGTON — The White House, in its latest social media foray, has joined the popular location-sharing service “foursquare.” A White House page on foursquare had attracted more than 12,600 followers by Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after it was created. The White House said in a blog post that…

Probe to examine two years worth of DARPA contracts

A published report this week confirmed that the Pentagon is launching a probe that will look at the last two years worth of contracts handed out by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to ensure there are no conflicts of interest or wasteful spending. The decision was made, a…

Reporter claimed News Corp. phone hacking was ‘widely discussed’ at meetings

A letter sent to top News Corporation officials in 2007 (PDF), published Tuesday by the British Parliament, accuses high ranking executives and other journalists at the now-defunct News of the World of actively discussing phone hacking efforts during editorial meetings, and calls into question the testimony of Rupert and James…

Home Depot flexes muscles against Lowe’s

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Home Depot Inc , the world’s largest home improvement chain, raised its fiscal-year profit forecast for the second time in three months on Tuesday as timely promotions and renewed focus on cheaper products helped it gain market share from rival Lowe’s Cos Inc . Home Depot…

UK parliamentary body likely to recall James Murdoch

LONDON (Reuters) – A British parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking at a now defunct UK tabloid paper is very likely to recall News Corp executive James Murdoch in person after receiving further statements that cast doubt on his previous testimony. “When we have the further information that we are seeking,…

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