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In Brief

Adelson moving up again
on list of richest Americans

Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson is back in the money, according to the latest Forbes 400 list.

Adelson, who Forbes magazine ranked as the third richest American in 2007, saw his net worth climb from $5.7 billion last year to $14.7 billion.

His net worth makes the gaming executive the 13th richest American, according to Forbes.

At nearly $15 billion, Adelson’s net worth is still far less than the $28 billion net worth he enjoyed in 2007 when he was ranked third on the Forbes 400 list.

The total worth of the 400 members of the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans increased by 8 percent from 2009 to about $1.37 trillion in 2010, according to the rankings that were released late Wednesday. Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates held the No. 1 spot with $54 billion in total worth.


Blockbuster moving toward bankruptcy, report suggests

Troubled video-rental chain Blockbuster Inc. was moving closer
to bankruptcy protection, a Wednesday story in The Wall Street Journal suggested.

Citing unnamed sources, the Journal said Blockbuster is working with creditors to develop a bankruptcy restructuring plan that would free it of debt and allow the company to keep some stores open and focus more on digital distribution.

If Blockbuster misses an interest payment on Sept. 30, more than $900 million in debt will be due in full.

The article says billionaire investor Carl Icahn owns one-third of Blockbuster’s debt and would return to the company’s board once it exits Chapter 11. He resigned from the board in January.

Blockbuster and Icahn did not return calls to The Associated Press for comment.

Starbucks lifts prices, mostly on big and labor-intensive drinks

Starbucks customers will soon get a jolt before any caffeine touches their lips.

The world’s biggest cafe chain is raising prices.

Raw coffee prices have been rising. Starbucks said on Wednesday that it has absorbed the higher prices until now, but no more. It said the price increases will be focused on big and labor-intensive drinks. It didn’t say which drinks, or how much.

Most of its basic coffee and espresso drink prices will stay the same or even drop in some cases, including its $1.50 tall brewed coffee.

The announcement Wednesday also said it may raise the price of packaged coffee, including beans sold in grocery stores, in coming months.


GM shares said to need price of $133.78 to recoup bailout cash

The U.S. government would have to sell its General Motors stock for $133.78 per share to recoup the nearly $50 billion it spent bailing out the Detroit automaker, a watchdog of government bailout money estimated.

Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry and automakers, revealed the figure in an Aug. 30 letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

GM repaid the government $6.7 billion. The remaining money was converted to a 61 percent ownership stake in GM plus $2.1 billion worth of preferred stock. The government plans to start selling its shares as part of a GM initial public stock offering that is tentatively scheduled for mid-November.

The government won’t sell the
304 million common shares it owns
all at once. The Treasury Department and GM’s new CEO have said it may take a couple of years and several “follow-on” sales for the government to recoup its investment. Also, analysts say the share price could start out low to help fuel demand. The hope is that GM’s share price would rise as the company’s car sales and finances improve.

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Hard Rock Cafe demolition starts in Las Vegas

The two-week-long demolition of the cafe, which began Monday afternoon, is one of the first steps of the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel’s transformation to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.