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Published on January 30, 2009 By Enrique111 In Business

A proposed Internet filter dubbed the "Great Aussie Firewall" is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.

Europe’s manufacturing and service industries contracted for an eighth month in January as the global recession curbed demand for exports and damped spending. A composite index of both industries was at 38.5 compared with 38.2 in December, which was the lowest reading since the survey began in 1998. Economists forecast a decline to 37.4, according to the median of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The index is based on a survey of purchasing managers by Markit Economics and a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

World stocks rose on the first trading day of the year after a dismal 2008, while the dollar gained. Crude oil and metal prices fell, as did government bonds. Global stocks as measured by the MSCI world index were up 0.5%, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 gaining 1.1%.

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis is quickly learning just how lonely life at the top can really be. Last week, the Charlotte-based company reported its first quarterly loss in years, hit hard by rising credit costs and sizeable writedowns.

The U.S. trade deficit shrank nearly 29 percent in November, the largest amount in 12 years, as weak consumer demand and plummeting oil prices caused imports to sink by a record amount.

Chrysler LLC, which suffered a 30% drop in sales last year, announced a massive new incentive program to move vehicles off dealers’ lots. The carmaker will begin marketing the incentive plans, called "Employee Pricing Plus," in ads on Monday.


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