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Qualcomm sued over political records; other business briefs


NEW YORK


Qualcomm sued over records

The state comptroller has sued Qualcomm Inc. in an attempt to compel the wireless technology company to disclose its political spending to him and other shareholders. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Delaware seeks a court order to inspect company records, saying prior requests for the information have been rebuffed by the San Diego-based corporation. The suit cites studies that say corporate political spending tends to hurt investor returns. "We think the fullest possible disclosure is what we're entitled to as shareholders," Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. He is sole trustee of New York's pension fund for public workers, which has 6.1 million Qualcomm shares valued at almost $380 million. Qualcomm didn't initially respond Thursday to requests for comment.


NATION


Boeing to be No. 1 plane maker

Boeing Co. said Thursday that it delivered 601 planes last year, putting it on track to beat European rival Airbus as the top plane maker for the year. Airbus has beaten Boeing in deliveries in recent years, but Boeing is now cranking out its new 787 and a revamped 747 after delays for both aircraft. Its delivery total was the most since 1999 -- the height of an Internet-driven boom and a time when airlines were relatively flush with cash. Boeing also says it booked orders for 1,203 commercial jets -- its second-highest total in the company's history. Airbus has not reported full-year orders and deliveries yet.


Subaru recall for 'puddle lights'

Subaru is recalling nearly 634,000 cars and SUVs in the United States because lights beneath the doors can overheat and catch fire. The recall affects Outback and Legacy cars from model years 2010 and 2011. Also included are Tribeca SUVs from 2006 through 2012 and Forester SUVs from 2009 through 2012. The company says moisture can get into "puddle lights" beneath the doors and cause a short circuit that can melt plastic and cause fires. It says up to 54,000 of the vehicles are equipped with the lights, but it will send letters to all owners asking them to take their cars to dealers if they have them. Subaru said Thursday there have been no reports of fires.

Crate-free sows for Smithfield

Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer, said Thursday it is on track to end the practice of keeping female hogs in small metal crates while pregnant at its U.S. facilities by 2017 and plans to phase out the practice at its international hog production operations and its joint ventures by 2022. The Smithfield, Va.-based company, which has been criticized for breeding sows in gestation crates that severely restrict the animals' movement, said it had successfully moved 38 percent of its pregnant sows from the crates to group housing at the end of 2012, up from 30 percent a year ago. The company had taken a break from converting to group housing to deal with the economic downturn the last few years. A Smithfield subsidiary operates 460 hog farms in the United States, with 851,000 sows.


WORLD


Cash is king for Vatican tourists

It's "cash only" now for tourists at the Vatican wanting to pay for museum tickets, souvenirs and other services after Italy's central bank decided to block electronic payments, including credit cards, at the tiny city state. The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Thursday that Bank of Italy took the action because the Holy See has not yet fully complied with European Union safeguards against money laundering. That means Italian banks are not authorized to operate within the Vatican, which is working to improve its mechanisms to combat laundering. The Vatican says it's scrambling to find a non-Italian bank to provide the electronic payment services "quite soon." -- AP

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