Mobile payments for PayPal

Small businesses from coffee shops to plumbers will soon be able to accept credit cards through PayPal, using a small triangular card reader attached to a smartphone. PayPal unveiled a mobile payments service Thursday targeting merchants that don't already have full-fledged payments systems in place. Called PayPal Here, the service will let customers pay using credit cards, PayPal accounts or, in the United States, checks. They won't need a PayPal account to pay by credit card or check. It rivals existing mobile payment services such as Square.

Subaru issues SUV recall

Subaru is recalling more than 275,000 Forester SUVs because a rear seat belt may not hold a child seat securely in place. The recall involves certain Foresters from the 2009 to 2012 model years, according to federal safety regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website Thursday that the rear center belt doesn't meet federal safety standards. The agency says Forester owners might not be able to install child seats properly, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. Dealers will notify owners and begin replacing the belts free of charge starting April 13.

Airlines set Jan. on-time record

Mild winter weather helped the nation's airlines post their best January on-time performance on record. The government said Thursday that 83.7 percent of flights on the biggest airlines arrived on time in January. That's up from 76.3 percent in January 2011, and the best January since 1995, when the government changed the way that delays are reported. But it was a dip from December's 84.4 percent rating. There were no reports of U.S. flights stuck on the tarmac for three hours or more -- the point at which airlines risk a hefty fine. Hawaiian Airlines reclaimed its spot atop the on-time rankings, at 93.14 percent. AirTran Airways was next, followed by AirTran owner Southwest Airlines.

MF Global distribution request

The trustee overseeing the liquidation of MF Global has asked for permission to distribute another $685 million to the failed brokerage's customers. James Giddens filed the request Thursday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Giddens has already returned $3.9 billion to MF Global's U.S. customers, roughly 72 percent of what they claim they're owed. MF Global, headed by former Goldman Sachs chief executive and ex-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31. It was the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Foreign Treasury holdings up

Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury debt rose to $5.05 trillion in January, a record high. China, the largest buyer of Treasury debt, increased its holdings for the first time in six months, the Treasury Department reported Thursday. U.S. government debt is considered one of the safest investments. Demand has increased as Europe's debt problems have intensified. The demand has remained strong despite the first-ever downgrade of the government's credit rating last August, when Standard & Poor's lowered its rating on long-term Treasury debt one notch from AAA to AA+.

Citigroup, SEC ruling suspended

A federal appeals court said Thursday that a judge likely overstepped his authority when he blocked a $285 million settlement over toxic mortgage securities after concluding that it was bad policy for a regulatory agency to accept a deal that does not include an admission of liability. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan suspended the effect of Judge Jed Rakoff's decision to turn down the settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission until it can fully study the case. It said there was a "strong likelihood" that Citigroup and the SEC would succeed in overturning Rakoff's ruling. -- AP

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