Protesters lie on the ground in front of riot police in the background at parliament during a demonstration against a plan to seize part of depositors' bank savings in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.



Ward 2 office to hold business round table

Ward 2 City Councilman Paul Cunningham is inviting local businesspeople to a round table to discuss sports tourism.

The event is at 11:30 a.m. March 26 at Eastside City Hall, 7575 E. Speedway.

Speakers will be Greg Foster of FC Tucson and the Desert Diamond Cup and Felipe García of the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors bureau.

Lunch will be provided for participants, but Ward 2 is asking for a $5 donation for the Community Food Bank.


Casa Grande outlet focuses on home improvement

CASA GRANDE - An outlet mall in Casa Grande plans to reinvent itself as a shopping center focused on businesses related to home improvement.

AZ Outlook Investments bought the property in 2011, and Vice President Brad Holyoak said the company plans to add retail establishments that offer building materials, interior furnishings and other products related to home improvement.

The shopping center has been named The Outlets at Casa Grande but now is The Station.

It's at the Jimmie Kerr Boulevard exit on Interstate 10.

Privately-minted-coin bill advances in Legislature

PHOENIX - The state Legislature took another step this week toward allowing privately minted gold and silver coins to be considered legal tender in Arizona.

Proponents told the House Committee on Financial Institutions this would provide a necessary backup if the value of U.S. currency became so inflated as to be useless. The measure, which already has been approved by the Senate, now goes to the full House.


Cypriot lawmakers reject tax on bank deposits

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Cypriot lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a critical draft bill that would have taxed part of people's bank deposits in order to qualify for a vital international bailout, without a single vote in favor.

The rejection leaves Cyprus' bailout in question. Without external funds, the country's banks face collapse and the government could go bankrupt. Nicosia will now have to come up with an alternative plan to raise the money: the government could try to offer a compromise bill that would be more palatable to lawmakers.

The bill was rejected even after it was amended Tuesday morning to shield small deposit holders from the deposit tax.

Prices expected to plunge from near-record wheat crop

Farmers from Australia to Europe to the United States are poised to reap the second-largest wheat crop on record, the United Nations estimates, as fields recover from drought and heat waves, boosting global stockpiles for the first time in four years.

Prices will probably drop 17 percent to $6 a bushel in Chicago by the end of the year, according to the median of 16 analyst and trader estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.


Senate panel advances White's SEC nomination

WASHINGTON - A Senate panel approved Mary Jo White's nomination to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and sent it along for a final vote.

The Senate Banking Committee approved White's nomination on a 21-1 vote, with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, objecting. White is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate and become the first former prosecutor to lead the agency that oversees Wall Street.

The panel also advanced Richard Cordray's nomination to continue as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. His nomination was approved on a 12-10 party-line vote. All Republican members opposed the nomination. They have also opposed the newly created agency.

Citigroup to pay $730M to settle class-action suit

NEW YORK - Citigroup has agreed to pay $730 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed investors were misled by the bank's disclosures when they purchased its debt and preferred stock from May 11, 2006, through Nov. 28, 2008. Citigroup denied the allegations and said it settled to avoid further expense.

Housing starts rise; permits at 4-year high

WASHINGTON - U.S. builders started more homes in February and permits for future construction rose at the fastest pace in more than four years, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The increases point to a housing recovery that is gaining strength.

Lululemon discontinues see-through yoga pants

NEW YORK - Lululemon has yanked its popular black yoga pants from store shelves and online after it found that the sheer material used was revealing too much of its loyal customers.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (which has stores in Tucson) said the latest batch of the Luon pants went on sale at the beginning of the month.

Twinkies could be back on shelves by summer

NEW YORK - A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the sale of Twinkies to a pair of investment firms. Hostess Brands Inc. is selling Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and other brands to Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. for $410 million. The latter firm wants to have the snack cakes back on shelves by June and said the brands could benefit from new flavors.

Staff and wire reports