Facebook likes Nasdaq for IPO

Facebook Inc., preparing what would be Silicon Valley's largest IPO, has picked Nasdaq over the New York Stock Exchange for its listing, a source familiar with the situation said Thursday. The choice is a major victory for the technology-laden Nasdaq; the IPO is one of the most coveted stock listings in recent years. Facebook, the world's largest social network, with more than 800 million users, is aiming to raise $5 billion or more in an initial public offering expected in May. The social network that began as a dorm room project for Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg has vaulted to Silicon Valley's top tier within eight years. -- Reuters

Mac hack attack widespread

More than 600,000 Apple Inc. Mac computers were affected by a hacking attack, a sign that the once rarely targeted company is becoming a bigger focus for people intent on spreading malware, a security-research firm said. The attack affects computers running Apple's Mac OS X software, according to Russian anti-virus software maker Doctor Web. Most of the infected computers are in the United States and Canada, the firm said in a blog posting. Apple fixed a security hole this week that let the malicious software spread. Users who haven't downloaded the necessary updates are vulnerable, Doctor Web said. A message left for Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Cupertino, Calif.- based Apple, wasn't immediately returned. -- Bloomberg News

J.C. Penney cuts 600 jobs

J.C. Penney Co. said Thursday that it has laid off 600 workers, or 13 percent of the staff at its headquarters in Plano, Texas, as the department store chain looks to streamline its operations amid a major reinvention of the business. The department store chain also will eliminate 300 more jobs at its customer call center when it closes the center July 1. The moves come as its new chief executive, former Apple Inc. executive Ron Johnson, is transforming every aspect of Penney's business, from pricing to the brands it carries. -- AP

Sky News admits email hacking

Rupert Murdoch's British satellite news channel became the latest branch of the mogul's global media empire to acknowledge bending the rules to stay ahead. Sky News admitted Thursday that its reporters hacked emails on two separate occasions, insisting that it was done in the public interest. Legal experts said that's no defense, the police are investigating, and Murdoch's goal of taking full control of Sky News' profitable parent company, British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, may be at risk. Sky chief John Ryley said in a statement released Thursday that his reporters had twice been authorized to hack into computers for stories. That included the case of Anne and John Darwin, the so-called "canoe couple" who became notorious in Britain after the husband faked his own death in a boating accident as part of an elaborate insurance scam. Ryley acknowledged that his organization had intercepted the couple's emails, but said the material was later handed to police and insisted Sky had done nothing wrong. -- AP

Kentucky mulls hemp legality

Hemp isn't legal in Kentucky yet, but the eclectic mix of people at a recent seminar in Lexington was evidence that support for the versatile plant may be taking root. One by one, elected officials stepped forward to promote the virtues of hemp production, staking out a position that once might have sown political trouble back home. Kentucky once was a leading producer of industrial hemp, a tall, leafy plant with a multitude of uses that has been outlawed for decades because of its association with marijuana. Those seeking to legalize the plant argue that the change would create a new crop for farmers, replacing a hemp supply now imported from Canada and other countries. The plant can be used to make paper, biofuels, clothing, lotions and other products. -- AP

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