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Business Central America

  • MEXICO CITY-- Mexico's Senate passed a bill Thursday banning large cash transactions as part of an effort to fight money laundering that experts estimate may amount to around $10 billion per year in Mexico. It also forbids cash purchases of more than 200,000 pesos for automobiles or items like jewelry and lottery tickets.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The cost of sending a letter in the United States will go up by a penny next year, the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said on Thursday. The Postal Service will also offer a new, global Forever stamp starting next year, which customers can use to send letters anywhere in the world for a set price of $1.10.

  • Bill Haslam was asked at the Southern Automotive Conference on Thursday about what steps are being taken to keep investments from moving abroad, especially in light of a recent decision by German automaker Audi to build its first North American plant in Mexico. Audi is a Volkswagen subsidiary.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, Oct 11- Oil major BP Plc has secured U.S. government permission to ship U.S. crude oil to Canada, and Royal Dutch Shell has applied for an export license, as rising production in the world's top oil consumer upends global energy flows.

  • The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that it will raise postage rates on Jan. 27, including a 1- cent increase in the cost of first-class mail to 46 cents. Currently, the prices vary depending on the international destination, with letters to Canada and Mexico costing 85 cents.

  • Oct 11- West Coast oil refiners saw only a small dip in operations last week and gasoline inventories were little changed, according to government data that shed little new light on the unprecedented spike in California gasoline prices.

  • --North American rent-to-own retailer Rent-A-Center has demonstrated the willingness and ability to maintain credit ratios within levels indicative of an "intermediate" financial risk profile.

  • TORONTO, Oct 10- Canada's main stock index hit its lowest closing level in nearly five weeks on Wednesday, driven downward by falling financial and energy shares after the start of the U.S. earnings season flashed mixed signals for the global economy. posting a quarterly net loss and a weaker consumption outlook for China, while Chevron's.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of AuRico Gold surged more than 17 percent on Wednesday, as the Canadian gold mining company announced that it is selling the Ocampo mine, adjacent exploration projects and half of the Orion development project for $750 million.

  • NEW YORK-- Endeavour Silver Corp. said Wednesday that it has resolved the work stoppage that blocked its management from accessing certain facilities held under lease near the El Cubo mine in Mexico. Endeavor's U.S. shares rose 24 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $9.37 in afternoon trading. They are up 29 percent from a 52- week low of $7.25 set in mid-May.

  • TORONTO, Oct 10- Canada's main stock index was slightly lower on Wednesday morning as materials shares strengthened and financials weakened after the starting round of the U.S. earnings season flashed mixed signals. A warning from Alcoa Inc.

  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.-- A private company successfully delivered a half-ton of supplies to the International Space Station early Wednesday, the first official shipment under a billion-dollar contract with NASA. Williams thanked SpaceX and NASA for the delivery, especially the chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream stashed in a freezer.

  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 10- Astronauts plucked a commercial cargo ship from orbit on Wednesday and attached it to the International Space Station, marking the reopening of a U.S. supply line to the orbital outpost following the space shuttles' retirement last year.

  • ISSAQUAH, Wash.-- Costco is drawing more shoppers and signing up more new members, helping the wholesale club operator's fiscal fourth-quarter net income and revenue climb. Consumers have been drawn to stores like Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club because they feel like they are getting bargains by purchasing items in bulk.

  • DES MOINES, Iowa-- Wading into an explosive social issue, Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday said he would not pursue any abortion-related legislation if elected president. "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," he told the Des Moines Register in an interview posted on the newspaper's website.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO-- The one-time right-hand-man of popular former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was found guilty on a corruption charge by a majority of 10 Supreme Court justices Tuesday, who ruled he orchestrated a widespread cash-for-votes scheme that came to light seven years ago.

  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 10- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station plucked a commercial cargo ship from orbit on Wednesday, a key maneuver in the first U.S. supply run to the orbital outpost since the retirement of the cargo-hauling space shuttles last year.

  • GRAPEVINE, Texas-- Spirit Airlines Inc. on Dec. 1 will open a flight attendant and pilot crew base at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as it expands operations in Texas. The low cost carrier also plans an open house in Dallas for potential flight attendants.

  • Oct 10- Toyota Motor Corp said it would recall more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide as a faulty power window switch was a potential fire hazard, the latest in a series of setbacks for Japan's biggest automaker.

  • *Aurico Gold said it had agreed to sell the Ocampo mine in Mexico, as well as adjacent exploration projects and a 50 percent stake in the Orion project, to tycoon Carlos Slim's Minera Frisco for $750 million.