- - Sunday, October 16, 2011

ENERGY

Kinder Morgan to buy pipeline firm El Paso

HOUSTON — Kinder Morgan agreed to buy El Paso Corp. for about $20.7 billion in cash and stock in a deal expected to create the largest natural-gas pipeline in the U.S.

“We believe that natural gas is going to play an increasingly integral role in North America,” Richard Kinder, Kinder Morgan Inc.’s chairman and chief executive, said Sunday, citing the recent developments in natural-gas shale drilling.

After adding El Paso’s pipeline network, Kinder Morgan would have the largest natural-gas pipeline network in the country with 80,000 miles of pipelines.

COMPUTERS

Web-address group now runs time-zone database

NEW YORK — The organization in charge of the Internet’s address system is taking over a database widely used by computers and websites to keep track of time zones around the world.

The transition to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, comes a week after the database was abruptly removed from a U.S. government server because of a federal lawsuit claiming copyright infringement.

Without this database and others like it, computers would display Greenwich Mean Time, or the time in London when it isn’t on summer time. People would have to manually calculate local time when they schedule meetings or book flights.

EUROPE

German official predicts bigger losses on Greek bonds

BERLIN — Germany’s finance minister says private holders of Greek government bonds must accept bigger losses to achieve “a durable and sustainable solution” for Europe’s debt crisis.

Wolfgang Schaeuble told German public broadcaster ARD on Sunday that an agreement struck in July, when banks and other investors agreed to renounce on 20 percent of their Greek debt, must be renegotiated.

He says the private sector’s contribution to a reduction of Greece’s debt burden “will probably have to be higher.”

The Institute of International Finance, a global bank lobbying group, says its managing director, Charles Dallara, is in talks with officials from the 17-nation eurozone about the July agreement. Spokesman Frank Vogl declined to elaborate, but the group’s leadership has so far rejected accepting bigger losses.

INTERNET

Google to kill Buzz, focus social efforts on Plus

SAN JOSE — Google is getting ready to press the mute button on Buzz, an online social-networking service that turned into a massive faux pas.

Buzz will be shut down within the next few weeks, according to a post on Google Inc.’s blog.

The 20-month-old service probably won’t be missed. If anything, Buzz is destined to be remembered as Google’s botched attempt to build a social network to rival Facebook’s online hangout.

Google now is focusing its social-networking efforts on Plus, a 3½ month-old service that has been catching on quickly. Plus already has more than 40 million users, and Google CEO Larry Page seems confident that it will become an effective weapon for fighting the threat posed by Facebook and its audience of 800 million users.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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