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LONDON-- British publishing and education company Pearson PLC says it is in talks with German media group Bertelsmann SE over merging the firms' Penguin and Random House publishing operations. Pearson is publisher of the Financial Times and Penguin Group books.
Net income rose to $31.3 million, or $1.32 per share, matching the forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet. A year earlier, the company earned $21.5 million, or 91 cents per share. The shares fell $3.19, or 5.2 percent, to $58.65 in midday trading.
LONDON-- The Northern Ireland city of Londonderry has announced a program of arts events ranging from punk to painting to celebrate its role as the U.K.' s "city of culture" for 2013..
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Amid the fanfare accompanying the noisy launch of the iPad mini this week, Apple Inc also took the wraps off new Mac computers.
LONDON-- A London landmark that is a ceremonial passageway from Trafalgar Square toward Buckingham Palace will be converted from office space into a luxury hotel, Britain's government said Thursday. The Admiralty Arch was leased for 99 years to development company Prime Investors Capital, which plans to turn it into a five-star, 100- bedroom hotel.
PITTSBURGH-- Coal miner Consol Energy Inc. on Thursday posted an $11.4 million third-quarter loss, hurt by ongoing weak demand for coal. The Pittsburgh- based company's loss amounted to 5 cents per share, compared with a year-ago profit of $167.3 million, or 74 cents per share.
It was a rough third quarter for United Airlines. Net income for United Continental Holdings Inc. dropped to $6 million, or 2 cents per share, from $653 million, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier. But excluding that charge, its profit of $1.35 per share was still 12 cents less than analysts expected, according to FactSet.
ATLANTA-- Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. reported a drop in its third-quarter profit and revenue Thursday as the bottling company struggled with the weak economy in Europe and the drag of currency translations.
NEW ORLEANS-- BP PLC said Thursday it has capped and plugged an abandoned piece of equipment that is believed to be the source of a sheen spotted near the site of its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP and the Coast Guard both say no oil has been seen leaking out of the container since it was capped and plugged.
PARIS-- French carmaker Renault SA says its revenue slumped 13.3 percent in the third quarter as an economic downturn in France, Italy and Spain caused sales to slump. Renault's sales in Europe fell 18.4 percent, almost twice as fast as the overall market decline.
BATON ROUGE, La.-- Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell's office says five pharmaceutical companies will pay the state more than $18.6 million to resolve allegations they misreported drug price information to the state's Medicaid program.
The Barneys display puts Disney characters on the runway in front of animated versions of industry bigwigs in a short film that features Minnie's daydream sequence strutting her stuff in Paris in a hot-pink, ruffle-covered Lanvin dress. Daisy Duck, Cruella De Vil and Goofy get similar insta-slim treatments.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.-- Fourteen Middle Eastern and North African entrepreneurs are at the University of Michigan as part of a State Department- sponsored program that partners university experts with area community organizations. The program participants are from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Morocco and Tunisia.
CHICAGO-- American Airlines has announced it is adding flights from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to Dusseldorf, Germany, and Columbia, Mo.. In a statement Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chicago and Dusseldorf are travel hubs that spur growth. American is adding new domestic service between Chicago and Columbia, Mo., on Feb. 14.
BELLEVUE, Wash.-- Heavy-duty truck maker Paccar posted a 17 percent drop in third-quarter profit early Thursday. But sales to countries in South America helped offset some of the damage, and Paccar's results topped Wall Street's expectations.
CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- An Internet payday lender has agreed to stop making such loans in West Virginia. Attorney General Darrell McGraw's office says Payday Financial LLC and its owner, Martin A. Webb, also agreed prior to a contempt hearing this month in Kanawha County Circuit Court to refund $135,000 in fees to 120 West Virginia consumers and pay $5,000 to the state.
ALBANY, N.Y.-- New York officials say a $37 million grant from the federal Department of Energy will help upgrade the state's electricity grid. The money will help fund a $75 million "smart grid" initiative to improve the efficiency of New York's electricity delivery system.
ALBANY, N.Y.-- The New York comptroller says the state is spending about $12 billion a year to deal with obesity, which is reaching "epidemic proportions" in children, affecting nearly one-third of them.
*China, Taiwan, Australian companies see dismal earnings. That compares to dreary corporate profits in China and others in the Asia-Pacific region, like Australia, that depended heavily on the now weakened buying power of major economies such as China.