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BEYOND TAMPA BAY

Retail sales jumped in August by 2.7 percent, the largest amount in more than three years, spurred by widespread gains beyond the expected increases of auto sales from the government's Cash for Clunkers program. Excluding autos, sales rose 1.1 percent, and excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.6 percent, the most in six months. Auto sales soared 10.6 percent last month, the most in almost eight years, due mainly to the clunkers program.

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Ford is providing The Jay Leno Show with its all-new battery electric Ford Focus, set to hit the market in 2011, for a seasonlong contest called the Green Car Challenge. Ford said celebrities will drive the car as a way to showcase Ford's leadership on fuel efficiency and electrified vehicles. Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer said the Focus will likely make its first appearance on the show Friday.

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With global talks on climate change looming, the Obama administration unveiled its plan to require better gas mileage for cars and trucks and tougher rules on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. The new standards call for the auto industry's fleet of new vehicles to average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The administration estimated the requirements would cost up to $1,300 per new vehicle by 2016 - but that it would take just three years to pay off that investment.

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In a blog post on Facebook's Web siteTuesday, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote the company became "cash-flow positive" during the last quarter. This does not mean that the social-networking site is profitable by the measurements that most companies use, though. Cash remaining after expenses could be swallowed up by other costs like taxes, debt payments or other accounting charges.

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"Sure. Do you think I'm stupid?"

Carol Bartz, new Yahoo CEO, asked if she would have accepted Microsoft's $40 billion-plus takeover offer last year if she had been in charge of the company then.

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$11B: Projected loss this year by airlines globally, according to the International Air Transport Association, after airlines lost $6 billion in the first half alone.

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THE BOTTOM LINE:U.S. wholesale prices rose 1.7 percent in August, sharply higher than 0.8 percent rise economists had forecast ...U.S. businesses slashed inventories for 12th straight month in July, but sales posted second consecutive gain ... Adobe Systems to buy Web analytic software company Omniture for $1.8 billion.

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