Google retreats on forcing use of Google+

Google is saying that it's time for Google+ to be going, going … though not completely gone. The company said it will pull back Google+'s integration with Google products in an attempt to streamline the service, which has been panned by users who have been confused and annoyed at being forced into the network. YouTube will be the first entity to split off. In the coming months, YouTubers will be able to create channels, upload videos and post comments with regular Google accounts. And beginning Monday, YouTube comments won't appear on Google+ or be linked to publicly searchable Google+ pages.

Durable-goods orders up sharply in June

Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a sizable gain in June, but the advance was fueled by higher demand for commercial aircraft. Outside of this volatile category, a key category that represents business investment rose by a far more modest amount. Orders for durable goods jumped 3.4 percent in June from May, when orders had fallen 2.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported. The gain was the best result since March. However, the jump was driven by aircraft orders booked by Boeing at the Paris air show. A category viewed as a proxy for business investment plans rose a slower 0.9 percent.

Republic Air warns of labor disruptions

Republic Airways warned that its operation of regional flights for the nation's biggest airlines could be disrupted by a pilot shortage and labor standoff. Republic disclosed late Friday that it had cut flying by 4 percent in early summer and was talking with American, United, Delta and US Airways about reducing its flying more through the first half of next year. At American Airlines, which also owns US Airways, spokesman Casey Norton said the airlines use 10 regional carriers and were working with Republic on "minor schedule adjustments" to reduce impact on passengers.

McGraw Hill to buy SNL Financial for $2.3B

McGraw Hill Financial, owner of ratings agency Standard & Poor's, is buying SNL Financial for about $2.23 billion. Privately held SNL Financial, based in Charlottesville, Va., is a provider of financial news, data and analysis. McGraw Hill Financial President and CEO Douglas Peterson said in a written statement that the transaction will help in developing new services and will allow the company to expand into adjacent markets. The acquisition's cost will be somewhat offset by tax benefits of about $550 million.

Mitsubishi, UAW to seek buyer for Ill. plant

Mitsubishi Motors and the United Auto Workers said they will work together to look for a buyer for the central Illinois plant the company plans to close. The Japanese automaker also said in the joint statement that its decision to close the plant in Normal in November was not related to labor costs but rather diminishing sales. Production at the plant, which employs about 1,200 people, has fallen to 64,000 vehicles from more than 200,000 in 2002. The contract with UAW members expires next month.

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