Governments demand data on 38,000 Facebook users
WASHINGTON Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday. The social-networking giant is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers. Microsoft and Google have done the same. As with the other companies, it’s hard to discern much from Facebook’s data, besides the fact that, as users around the globe flocked to the world’s largest social network, police and intelligence agencies followed.
A whole new meaning to a burger and fries
NEW YORK Burger King says it will start offering a “French Fry Burger” for a buck, as it looks to fend off McDonald’s aggressive push for its Dollar Menu. The Miami-based chain says the burger will be available Sept. 1 through the fall, as it looks to drum up sales and customer interest with cheap new concoctions. The burger, which clocks in at 360 calories and 19 grams of fat, basically consists of a standard beef patty topped with four of the chain’s French fries.
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Consumer confidence rises
WASHINGTON Americans’ confidence in the economy inched closer to a 51/2-year high on growing optimism that hiring and wages could pick up in coming months. The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 81.5 in August. That’s up from a revised reading of 81 in July. And it’s just below the 82.1 reading in June, which was the highest since January 2008. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
Carowinds to expand
CHARLOTTE The Ohio company that owns Carowinds says it will spend $50 million to expand the theme park on the North Carolina-South Carolina state line. Cedar Fair Entertainment officials told the Charlotte Chamber on Monday the company will add rides and attractions, upgrade food locations and make infrastructure improvements. Officials did not go into details about the expansion except to say work will begin next year and will take several years to complete. The expansion will create 15 permanent jobs and 270 additional jobs.
Market falls on Syria worries
NEW YORK Mounting tensions with Syria sent the stock market sharply lower and pushed the price of crude oil to an 18-month high. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 170 points, or 1.1 percent, to 14,776 Tuesday, the lowest close in two months. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 26 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,630. The Nasdaq composite fell 79 points, or 2.2 percent, to 3,578. Airline stocks fell sharply as the spike in crude oil brought the threat of higher fuel costs. Crude oil jumped $3.09, or 2.9 percent, to $109.01 a barrel, the highest since February 2012. Gold and bond prices rose.
The Associated Press contributed.