- - Thursday, June 28, 2012

BEIJING — The New York Times started a Chinese-language website Thursday that generated so much interest in China that two of its microblog accounts drew thousands of followers and were apparently taken offline for several hours.

The Times’ accounts on microblog sites hosted by two popular Chinese Web portals were offline Thursday morning, said Craig Smith, the paper’s China managing director.

The paper’s Chinese microblog accounts were activated Wednesday, attracting around 10,000 followers on Sina Weibo within a day and several thousand users on other sites.

NEWS CORP.

Split approved for Murdoch media empire

LOS ANGELES — Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said that its board has approved a plan to split into two companies, one containing struggling newspaper and book publishing businesses and the other comprising faster-growing entertainment operations.

Mr. Murdoch will serve as chairman of both new companies and CEO of the entertainment company. The Murdoch family, which controls nearly 40 percent of the voting shares in News Corp., is expected to maintain control of both companies.

News Corp.’s board unanimously approved the split in principle and will take a more formal look at the details in coming months. The separation is also subject to regulatory approval.

EUROPE

Italy, Spain demand relief, holding up stimulus

BRUSSELS — French President Francois Hollande says the leaders of the 17 countries that use the euro are holding an unplanned meeting in the middle of the night to talk about emergency measures that might lower the borrowing rates of Italy and Spain.

Leaders of those two countries say their current borrowing rates are unsustainable. They also have refused to give their final approval to a proposed $149 billion stimulus plan unless immediate measures are taken to help them.

Mr. Hollande also said early Friday that discussions on the future deepening of the Europe’s economic and monetary union had been put off until October.

HAWAII

Ellison completes island purchase

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