Thursday, 17 February 2011

Feb 17 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
The New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Agencies that calculate the worth of a life have been raising the number, which affects how much the government should spend to prevent a single death.
* After Borders Group Inc (BGP.N), the 40-year-old retail chain that helped define the age of the book superstore, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, the struggling book industry was left wondering what was next -- and maybe even who was next.
* In a sign that more than half the Republican freshmen are willing to cut military spending, the House voted 233 to 198 on Wednesday to cancel an alternate fighter jet engine that the Bush and Obama administrations had tried to kill for the last five years.
* The Federal Reserve disclosed on Wednesday that policy makers had substantially upgraded their forecasts for how much the economy will grow this year, though they expect unemployment to remain painfully high for some time.
* Manufacturers are designing phones on the Android platform with options like 3-D, sophisticated gaming controls or push-button access to Facebook.* Agencies that calculate the worth of a life have been raising the number, which affects how much the government should spend to prevent a single death.
* After Borders Group Inc (BGP.N), the 40-year-old retail chain that helped define the age of the book superstore, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, the struggling book industry was left wondering what was next -- and maybe even who was next.
* In a sign that more than half the Republican freshmen are willing to cut military spending, the House voted 233 to 198 on Wednesday to cancel an alternate fighter jet engine that the Bush and Obama administrations had tried to kill for the last five years.
* The Federal Reserve disclosed on Wednesday that policy makers had substantially upgraded their forecasts for how much the economy will grow this year, though they expect unemployment to remain painfully high for some time.
* Manufacturers are designing phones on the Android platform with options like 3-D, sophisticated gaming controls or push-button access to Facebook.* A day after Apple Inc (AAPL.O) stirred up online publishers by announcing a digital subscription plan that some called too restrictive and financially burdensome, Google Inc (GOOG.O) on Wednesday announced its own payment service for digital content that aims to be more publisher-friendly.
* Republicans called the report on the 2008 financial collapse a political exercise whose findings were inevitable, while Democrats defended the conclusion that the crisis could have been avoided.
* At the Mobile World Congress, the industry's largest annual gathering being held here this week, the corporate visionaries of the business agreed that a challenge they all would face was managing the avalanche of demand for mobile data services fueled by the growth in smartphones.
* In Germany, faced with a dying business model and an overcrowded market, even banks that want to sell themselves are finding few buyers.
* Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday named a trusted economics adviser, Jens Weidmann, to be the next head of Bundesbank, the German central bank in Frankfurt, leaving a big gap in her administration as she tries to lead Europe out of its sovereign debt crisis.
* The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the wider use of Allergan Inc's (AGN.N) Lap-Band stomach-restricting device to some people who are just barely obese.
* The French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) said on Wednesday that it had agreed to buy the American biotechnology company Genzyme (GENZ.O) for at least $20.1 billion in cash, with additional payments possible based on the performance of Genzyme's drugs.
* The Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), the largest cable company in the United States, reported Wednesday that its revenue rose 7 percent in the fourth quarter, its last before taking control of NBC Universal.
* Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said on Wednesday that its earnings rose sharply in the last quarter of 2010 as strong demand from China combined with a recovery in car and truck sales in the United States and Europe. But its shares slipped after the results failed to meet analysts' expectations.

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