CARACAS, March 16- Central Bank President Nelson Merentes acknowledged on Sunday that Venezuela was undergoing an "economic crisis" but said measures like a new market-based currency mechanism would help bring rapid improvements. "But Venezuela has the ability to get out of this moment which is not so good.» Read More
NEW YORK-- An analyst downgraded PNC Financial Services' rating on Wednesday, saying the bank's third-quarter net interest margin compressed more than expected and its preferred dividends will likely rise considerably next year.
TUNIS, Tunisia-- Tunisia's journalists are holding a daylong strike to protest what they call government interference. Several hundred journalists gathered Wednesday outside union headquarters in the capital of Tunis, chanting for freedom of the press.
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SAN CARLOS, Calif.-- Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income and revenue grew thanks to growing demand for its Internet security software.
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif.-- Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith is planning to auction his 13 Gold Gloves and a pair of World Series rings he received from the St. Louis Cardinals in retirement.
SEATTLE-- King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed legislation Tuesday on the funding plan for construction of an arena that could be used to lure the NBA back to Seattle. Other investors include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family.
TORONTO-- The NHL has released details of its latest collective bargaining proposal to the public. In an unprecedented move, the league has published the documents it handed over to the NHL Players' Association on Tuesday in an attempt to save a full 82- game season and end the third lockout of Commissioner Gary Bettman's tenure.
RALEIGH, N.C.-- North Carolina's highest court is deciding whether the state can outlaw video sweepstakes parlors as gambling halls, or whether the video screens give the owners constitutional free-speech rights.
BRUSSELS-- Europe is considering limiting the amount of food-based biofuels that can count toward its renewable fuel targets while a drought in the U.S. has pushed up food prices worldwide and millions around the world go hungry.
A surprisingly strong housing report is pushing the stock market mostly higher even as weak earnings reports from Intel and IBM weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average. IBM's sales fell below Wall Street's expectations, and Intel warned that sales of personal computers will likely remain weak during the holiday season.
LESS STIMULATING: The likelihood that the Bank of England might approve more economic stimulus next month decreased on Wednesday as rate-setters disagreed on the program's effectiveness.
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay-- Senators in Uruguay were debating Wednesday whether to legalize abortion, a groundbreaking step in Latin America, by accepting a compromise measure that has frustrated both sides of the bitter abortion debate.
NEW YORK-- The shares of at least four homebuilders hit new highs and construction materials companies got a boost as well Wednesday from the release of a new report showing that U.S. builders started construction on homes in September at the fastest rate since July 2008, another sign of a recovering housing market.
LONDON-- A new London exhibition has brought together more than 100 Hollywood costumes, from Darth Vader's suit to the world's most famous ruby slippers.
LOS ANGELES-- Susan Sarandon reported for work on "Cloud Atlas" midway through the shoot, in time to see a collection of far-flung film scenes that the cast and crew were viewing.
DUNCAN, S.C.-- A company that makes fiber optic products is expanding its operations in South Carolina's Spartanburg County. AFL announced Wednesday that it would invest $8.6 million to expand its presence in Duncan, creating 95 new jobs.
ROGERS, Ark.-- A new $10 million plastics recycling facility is planned for Rogers, Ark. and the company says it will hire up to 350 workers. Nextlife Asset Recovery Services announced Wednesday that it will open a headquarters and processing plant and that it will supply several companies with resin that's used to manufacture new consumer plastic items.