World's largest McDonald's to be replaced

The world's largest McDonald's is preparing to close, but it should be replaced with an even bigger McDonald's next door in a couple of months. The Orlando Sentinel reported that the restaurant and entertainment complex on the International Drive tourism corridor was set to close for good Wednesday night. The McDonald's building, which looks like a giant box of french fries, first opened in 1976. Besides the restaurant itself, the McDonald's offered other activities, like bowling, slides and video games. Officials with Oerther Foods Inc., the company that owns and operates the restaurant, say construction of the new 19,000-square-foot complex will start in February.

U.S. pending home sales tumble

Fewer people signed contracts to purchase homes in November, as the real estate market appears to have cooled after sales gains for much of 2015. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 0.9 percent to 106.9 last month. It was the lowest reading in 10 months. Still, the index has risen 2.7 percent from a year ago. Steady hiring and low mortgage rates lifted home sales for much of this year. But the pace of buying slowed after the end of the summer, with inventories tight and home values rising faster than incomes. Signed contracts last month fell in the Northeast and West market, while rising slightly in the Midwest and South.

Vireo Health to offer certified kosher pot

A New York company says it will soon offer the first certified kosher medical pot. Vireo Health said its non-smokable medical cannabis products have been certified as conforming to the Jewish dietary law by the Orthodox Union. Vireo said it's the first time a medical cannabis product has been deemed kosher. The Orthodox Union said it awarded certification after inspecting Vireo's facilities to ensure the marijuana was grown and processed according to kosher standards. Those include, for example, insect-free plants. Vireo said the certification will help the company serve patients among New York's Jewish population, the nation's largest. Its program is slated to start next month and will serve patients in New York state with certain qualifying conditions.

KaloBios files for bankruptcy protection

KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc., which Martin Shkreli rescued from liquidation last month, filed for bankruptcy after his arrest knocked the biotechnology company's brief revival off course. KaloBios filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The San Francisco-based company plans to use the bankruptcy to buy time to implement its restructuring plans, which include concentrating on an experimental leukemia drug, according to court papers. Its focus is using engineered antibodies to fight cancer. Shkreli, the company's former chief executive who took the helm just over a month ago and with a group of investors pledged to save it, was arrested Dec. 17. The charges of securities fraud relate to his tenure at another drug company, Retrophin Inc.

Icahn wins Pep Boys bidding at $1 billion

Carl Icahn is acquiring Pep Boys for $1 billion, ending his weekslong bidding war with the Japanese tire company Bridgestone. The deal announced Wednesday is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Icahn Enterprises offered $18.50 in cash for each share of Pep Boys, $1.50 more per share than the most-recent offer from Bridgestone. With the contest becoming too rich, Bridgestone bowed out Tuesday. Because Pep Boys had already agreed to a deal with Bridgestone Corp., Icahn Enterprises will pay it a $39.5 million breakup fee.

NEWS SERVICES