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News >  Business

Google launches map tool; shares rise

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Google Inc. shares continued their march above $300 a share on Tuesday on the same day the Internet search leader unveiled a new satellite-based three dimensional mapping product.

The free service, called “Google Earth,” comes just a day after the Mountain View, Calif.-based company introduced a video-viewing channel, which allows users to search through thousands of professional and amateur entries.

Both products require software that can be downloaded from Google’s Web site.

After surpassing $300 for the first time Monday, Google’s red-hot stock rose as high as $309.10 Tuesday afternoon on the Nasdaq Stock Market. However, investors saw the price as a point to collect profits, and Google shares fell $2.10 to close at $302.

“The stock is trading at another high, and the reason investors value this company is because it is constantly trying to expand and reinvent,” said Michael Patterson, an analyst with San Francisco-based BPC Investors. “We want to see these kinds of new products because it makes you wonder what’s next. And that alone is a reason to hold on to the stock.”

Life sentence urged for WorldCom head

New York

Federal prosecutors want former WorldCom boss Bernard Ebbers to go to prison for the rest of his life, urging a judge to brush off his pleas for leniency.

In court papers made public Tuesday, the government encouraged the judge to hand down a penalty consistent with a federal probation report that has recommended a life sentence.

“The enormity of the crimes that Ebbers committed cannot be overstated: The fraud at WorldCom was the largest securities fraud in history,” prosecutors wrote. “Along with Enron, the name WorldCom has become synonymous with fraud.”

Prosecutors also encouraged Judge Barbara Jones to consider the sentence given last week to Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas – 15 years. Rigas, 80 and in poor health, could be released sooner if he serves at least two years and has less than three months to live.

Congress OKs sending of unsolicited faxes

Washington Congress approved junk fax legislation Tuesday that allows businesses to send out unsolicited faxes in certain circumstances while protecting the rights of consumers to stop receiving them.

The legislation, passed by the House on a voice vote and now headed for President Bush’s signature, reinstates a 1992 Federal Communications Commission ruling that permits businesses and associations to send unsolicited faxes to those with whom they have an “established business relationship.”

It would eliminate a new FCC ruling, first drawn up in 2003, that required businesses and organizations to obtain prior written approval before sending a commercial fax.

That rule was supposed to go into effect on Friday, but the FCC on Tuesday announced it would further delay its new junk fax rule until Jan. 9, 2006, “in light of the ongoing developments in Congress.” The agency said the delay would also give more time to respond to petitions to reconsider the rule.

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