EchoStar agreed to buy Hughes Communications, the satellite Internet company, for $1.3 billion, bolstering its data services offerings. Including debt, the deal is valued at about $2 billion. The private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which owns the majority of Hughes' shares, agreed to the deal.

China's GDP pulls ahead of Japan's

Japan relinquished its 42-year status as the world's second-largest economy to China in terms of nominal gross domestic product on a U.S. dollar basis in 2010, according to statistics released Monday in Tokyo. Japan's nominal GDP -- the total value of goods and services without accounting for inflation -- last year increased 1.8 percent from the previous year to 479.22 trillion yen ($5.47 trillion). China's figure was $5.88 trillion.

Bernanke stands by efforts to save Lehman

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he'd defend to his "deathbed" his actions prior to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., in an interview with the commission probing the causes of the financial crisis. "I will maintain to my deathbed, that we made every effort to save Lehman, but we were just unable to do so because of a lack of legal authority," Bernanke said, referring to the 2008 failure that intensified a crisis that Bernanke said was the worst in history, according to an 89-page transcript of the interview published Monday by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Kline going to bat for for-profit colleges

Members of the U.S. House are trying to block an Education Department proposal to limit funding to for-profit colleges. A provision to be considered as part of a budget-balancing measure in the House would block funding for the Education Department's "gainful employment" proposal, said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House education committee. The proposed rule would tie for-profit colleges' eligibility for U.S. government student aid to students' incomes and loan repayment rates. For-profit colleges have lobbied to defeat the proposal.

Europe to double debt rescue fund

European governments agreed to double the lending capacity of the rescue fund for debt-laden countries in 2013, while seeing no need for immediate steps to shield Portugal from the fiscal crisis. Finance ministers decided that the future emergency aid mechanism will be able to lend 500 billion euros ($675 billion), twice the size of the fund set up in the wake of Greece's near-default last year.

FROM NEWS SERVICES