SINGAPORE/ JAKARTA/ PARIS, Jan 31- The captain of the AirAsia jet that crashed into the sea in December was out of his seat conducting an unusual procedure when his co-pilot apparently lost control, and by the time he returned it was too late to save the plane, two people familiar with the investigation said. The Airbus A320 jet plunged into the Java Sea while en route...» Read More
TAIPEI, Taiwan-- Taiwan is asking Apple Inc. to blur a map image of its new $1.4 billion early warning radar station that can detect aircraft and missiles coming from as far as western China. Defense Ministry spokesman David Lo said Tuesday that Apple should follow its rival Google in using only low-resolution satellite pictures to show sensitive facilities.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was meeting Tuesday with Indian Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram in New Delhi to discuss ways to improve economic ties between their two countries. Last month, the Cabinet agreed to allow foreign retail giants, such as U.S.-based Wal-Mart, into the Indian market.
Oil prices appeared set for a modest rebound Tuesday after three days of losses, rising nearer to $90 a barrel on supply concerns due to the Syrian conflict and delays in shipments of North Sea oil. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for November delivery was up 50 cents to $89.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
ATHENS, Greece-- German leader Angela Merkel arrived amid draconian security measures and a mass protest in Athens Tuesday for her first visit to Greece since the eurozone crisis began there three years ago.
NEW YORK-- MetLife rolled out an asset management business focused on real estate and private-placement debt, hoping to draw yield-starved institutional investors to areas where it already has considerable experience.
PARIS-- President Francois Hollande said that France can better contribute to reversing Europe's embattled fortunes after the National Assembly voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ratify a European fiscal treaty that would impose harsher penalties for countries that overspend. "This ample majority will give France an ability to have its extra voice heard.
NEW YORK-- The price of oil rose more than 3 percent Tuesday on concerns about supplies from the Middle East and the North Sea. Benchmark crude gained $3.06, or 3.4 percent, to finish at $92.39 a barrel in New York. There is also concern that tensions between Turkey and Syria could escalate and disrupt supplies from the Middle East.
In its latest forecast, the International Monetary Fund says that the global economy is weakening and will grow more slowly in the next year. The euro fell to $1.2878 in afternoon trading from $1.2967 late Monday. The dollar rose to 0.9395 Swiss franc from 0.9330 Swiss franc and to 97.84 Canadian cents from 97.66 Canadian cents.
TRAVEL IN DOUBT: U.S. companies are expected to cut back further on employee travel this year amid uncertainty surrounding the health of the economy.
NEW YORK-- Shares of RadioShack Corp. jumped nearly 9 percent Tuesday after a Wall Street analyst boosted her rating for the electronics retailer's stock to "Buy," saying that most of the risks surrounding the shares have already been factored into their price.
SKILLMAN, N.J.-- Matrixx Initiatives boosted its offer for Cold-EEZE maker ProPhase Labs to approximately $23.7 million. ProPhase Labs Inc. currently has about 14.8 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.
ROCKFORD, Mich.-- Wolverine Worldwide Inc. and two private investment firms said Tuesday that they have completed their roughly $2 billion acquisition of the Collective Brands Inc., which owns the Payless ShoeSource retail chain and the Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds shoe brands.
DETROIT-- General Motors has picked its top Washington lobbyist to lead the Cadillac brand worldwide. The company named Robert Ferguson on Tuesday to the new position of vice president of global Cadillac. Ferguson's lobbying duties will be assumed by Vice President of Communications Selim Bingol, who also will keep his current post in Detroit.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., which had lost 60 percent of their value in the last four weeks, recovered some lost ground Tuesday after a Jefferies& Co. analyst upgraded the stock. Amin raised his rating to "Buy" from "Hold" and increased his price target to $28 per share from $24.
NEW YORK-- Wal-Mart is testing a same-day delivery service in select markets for customers who buy popular items online during the holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart's tests started this month in northern Virginia and Philadelphia. Wal-Mart plans to test the service in San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., later this month or in early November.
NEW YORK-- Goldman Sachs downgraded Johnson& Johnson, saying Tuesday that the current share price has captured all the potential for improved growth. However, Goldman analyst Jami Rubin wrote that Johnson& Johnson comes up short in the two areas she sees as likely to boost stock prices, new prescription drugs and capital allocation.
Stock markets gains in Asia came despite the International Monetary Fund cutting its forecast for global economic growth, just a day after the World Bank issued a warning about a slackening expansion in Asia. "Asia has grown nearly 32 in the four years since Lehman Brothers collapsed," analysts at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore said in a market commentary. "
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-- California officials have reached a $25 million settlement with a company that sells end-of-life policies through funeral planners, state Controller John Chiang announced Monday.
SEATTLE-- Alaska Airlines said flights were running close to normal late Monday after a fiber-optic outage shut down its ticketing system for more than four hours, causing the airline and its regional carrier to cancel 78 flights, affecting nearly 7,000 customers. The problems were caused by two severed fiber-optic lines in Sprint's network.
The California Public Utilities Commission has been holding public hearings over the Sept. 9, 2010, blast that killed eight people, injured others and destroyed dozens of homes in the bedroom community of San Bruno. Democratic Assemblyman Jerry Hill of San Mateo and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane urged the judge to continue open hearings.