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  • SAN FRANCISCO-- Google Inc.' s third-quarter earnings should reveal whether investors' recently rejuvenated optimism about the Internet search leader's growth prospects is justified.

  • NEW YORK-- An opera-loving philanthropist convicted in New York of a multimillion-dollar fraud has been freed on bail to await the outcome of his appeal. Alberto Vilar was freed Wednesday on $10 million bail from a federal lockup in Fort Dix, N.J. He'll be required to wear an electronic bracelet, as he was before his November 2008 conviction.

  • Eight people died and 38 homes were destroyed in the gas-fueled inferno that tore through the bedroom community of San Bruno on Sept 9, 2010 after one of PG&E's pipelines ruptured.

  • _ In a San Diego- area race, Democrat Scott Peters reported raising $1.2 million in his bid to unseat Republican Rep. _ Democratic state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley reported taking in $748,970 last quarter in her bid for an open Ventura County seat and ended September with $304,380 in cash.

  • CHICAGO-- Houston, San Francisco and South Florida are bidding for the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowls. NFL owners will vote next May between San Francisco _ the 49 ers are building a new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., _ and South Florida for the 50th Super Bowl in 2016. The loser of that race will then compete with Houston for hosting the 2017 game.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- Wells Fargo is forming a new markets division within its investment banking business that aligns services for traders as the nation's biggest mortgage lender reckons with its bigger Wall Street counterparts. Wells Fargo& Co., which is based in San Francisco, is combining investment sales and trading operations under common leadership.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- In a case seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, federal justices on Tuesday focused their questions on whether the law discriminates against out-of-state businesses.

  • The change will put the North American, international, online, outlet and franchise divisions under a single global executive for each of the company's brands _ Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

  • SEATTLE-- The King County Council and the Seattle City Council gave their final approval Monday to an agreement to build a $490 million basketball and hockey arena in the city, despite the threat of a lawsuit from longshore workers. Mayor Mike McGinn called the votes important steps toward bringing professional men's basketball back to Seattle.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- A federal appeals court will hear arguments in a case seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring petroleum refiners and ethanol producers to make cleaner fuels for millions of cars and trucks in the state.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- A former U.S. senator who helped negotiate a peace treaty in Northern Ireland has been appointed to help California energy regulators and Pacific Gas& Electric reach a settlement over a pipeline explosion that killed eight people, the two sides announced Monday.

  • WASHINGTON-- Nearly six in 10 Medicare recipients would pay higher premiums under a hypothetical privatized system along the lines of what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has proposed, according to a study released Monday.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- The Charles Schwab Corp. has agreed to acquire dividend income specialist ThomasPartners Inc. for an upfront payment of $85 million, plus additional payments if the smaller company can attract more investors. It had $2.3 billion under management as of Sept. 30, mostly in growth-oriented stocks that pay dividends.

  • In addition to its namesake stores, Gap Inc. operates Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta. At Gap, for example, it's focusing on denim products while at Banana Republic it's been zeroing in on suits. But she also said that Old Navy's new global brand president, Stefan Larsson, should bring fresh ideas that have an impact on the brand in 2013 and beyond.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- Corrosion that went unchecked _ the suspected cause of a fire at Chevron Corp.' s Richmond refinery in August _ has been linked to a fire at the plant in October 2011, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.

  • LOS ANGELES-- Federal regulators failed to pursue recalls after they found cadmium-tainted jewelry on store shelves, despite their vow to keep the toxic trinkets out of children's hands, an Associated Press investigation shows.

  • The money is aimed at improving record-keeping and safety testing of PG&E's gas transmission lines after the Sept. 9, 2010, blast that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in the bedroom community.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 12- PayPal is planning to cut as much as 3 percent of its workforce as the payments division of eBay Inc looks to streamline its operations under new President David Marcus, a person familiar with the situation said on Friday. Marcus became president of PayPal earlier this year after eBay acquired Zong, the mobile payments start-up he ran.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 12- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Like its larger rival Intel, AMD was caught flat-footed in recent years with the emergence and fast growth of mobile devices like Apple's iPad.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 12- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is planning significant layoffs, after the chipmaker warned this week its quarterly revenue would fall due to a weak global economy, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday. The source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters the layoffs would be close to a range of 10 percent to 20 percent.