Official: Charges Possible in HP Scandal

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ California's attorney general could file criminal charges within a week in the boardroom spying scandal at Hewlett-Packard Co., a spokesman said Wednesday, and experts say the company's top brass and third-party detectives are all possible targets.

Oil Prices Rise in Asian Trading

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Oil prices rose in Asia Thursday, extending overnight gains after the United States reported a drop in the nation's crude inventories as the International Monetary Fund predicted prices could again rise _ and impact global growth.

Prosecutors Seek $2.5M From Livedoor

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TOKYO (AP) _ Prosecutors on Thursday demanded a 300 million yen ($2.5 million) fine against the disgraced Internet startup Livedoor, Kyodo News agency reported.

Xinhua Defends Foreign Media Controls

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BEIJING (AP) _ The official Xinhua News Agency defended controls on foreign news agencies' access to China's media market, saying it won't seek to profit from its new monopoly and promising that financial firms will continue to receive economic information.

U.S. to Mandate Anti-Rollover Technology

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government, impressed by the promise of anti-rollover technology, is planning to require automakers to include electronic stability control devices on all new vehicles in the coming years.

IMF Lifts Global Growth Forecast

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SINGAPORE (AP) _ The International Monetary Fund on Thursday raised its growth forecast for the world economy, but said expansion could be tempered by inflationary pressures, high oil prices and a likely slowdown in the U.S. caused by the cooling housing market.

World Bank: 'Fragile States' on the Rise

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SINGAPORE (AP) _ The number of ``fragile states'' in the world has risen from 17 in 2003 to 26 in 2006, a sharp increase that could threaten global security, the World Bank's watchdog said Thursday.

Japan Stocks Climb; Dollar Unchanged

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TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese stocks rose early Thursday following Wall Street's rally overnight. The dollar remained unchanged against the yen.

Aviva to Cut 4,000 Jobs in Britain

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LONDON (AP) _ Aviva PLC, Britain's biggest insurer, said Thursday it plans to cut 4,000 jobs _ or 11 percent of its U.K. work force _ to cut costs and increase profitability.

Airlines Disclose Settlements in Lawsuit

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CHICAGO (AP) _ United Airlines and American Airlines disclosed settlements Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit stemming from an investigation into alleged price collusion among carriers in the air cargo industry.