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Top Chrysler sellers under safety probe

DETROIT – Chrysler’s two top-selling vehicles, the Ram pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, are under investigation by a government agency for safety problems.

The rear wheels can lock up in Rams from the 2009 and 2010 model years, potentially causing crashes, while power steering fluid hoses can leak in 2012 Grand Cherokees, possibly causing engine fires, according to documents posted Monday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

The investigations affect up to 230,000 Ram pickups and nearly 107,000 Grand Cherokees. The pickup is Chrysler’s top-selling vehicle this year, while the Grand Cherokee is No. 2. The government could make the company recall the vehicles, although no recalls have been required yet.

Genesee & Wyoming to buy RailAmerica

GREENWICH, Conn. – Genesee & Wyoming said Monday that it will buy RailAmerica for about $1.39 billion in a deal that combines the two largest short-line and regional rail operators in North America.

The combined company will operate 108 railroads in the U.S. and abroad. The deal will diversify what the railroads carry, offering protection from prolonged weakness in certain shipments like coal, and make it less dependent on certain big customers. The combination will also allow the two companies to streamline their operations to save money.

China oil and gas giant has deal for Nexen Inc.

SHANGHAI – China moved Monday toward its biggest overseas energy acquisition as offshore oil and gas giant CNOOC Ltd. announced an agreement to buy Canadian producer Nexen Inc. for $15.1 billion.

The deal faces scrutiny from the Canadian government, which has rejected foreign interest in the past over worries about the country’s natural resources industry.

CNOOC and other big state-owned Chinese energy companies have increased purchases of oil and gas assets in the Americas as part of a global strategy to gain access to resources needed to fuel China’s economy. The companies have moved more carefully since CNOOC tried seven years ago to buy Unocal but was rejected by U.S. lawmakers citing national security fears.

Cisco plans layoffs of 1,300 employees

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Cisco Systems is preparing to lay off about 1,300 workers just a few months after the world’s largest maker of computer networking equipment warned that growing economic uncertainty is making it tougher to close deals.

The cuts announced Monday represent about 2 percent of Cisco System Inc.’s payroll of 65,000 workers.

Last year, Cisco shed about 10,000 jobs as part of a program aimed at saving about $1 billion annually.

Short-lived Yahoo chief is CEO of ShopRunner

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Scott Thompson, the former Yahoo CEO who stepped down in disgrace in May after less than four months on the job, has found a new top job in the tech world.

Thompson has been appointed CEO of ShopRunner, a Pennsylvania startup that seeks to sign up paying members for a service that offers shipping perks from a variety of websites. Thompson joined the company’s board of directors while still president of eBay-owned PayPal, and his experience at that company could come in handy as ShopRunner seeks to launch a payment system of its own, called PayRunner.