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BEYOND TAMPA BAY

GAS MILEAGE for new cars and trucks in the U.S. averaged a record 24.1 miles per gallon last year, but the rate of improvement is slowing. The Environmental Protection Agency says fuel economy last year rose a half-mile per gallon over the 2012 model year. Although last year's gain fell short of the 1.2 mpg improvement from 2011 to 2012, fuel economy is up almost 5 mpg since 2004, according to an annual report released by the agency Wednesday.

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AT&T will pay a hefty $105 million settlement after the government accused the company of unlawfully billing wireless customers for tens of millions of dollars in bogus charges - a practice known as cramming. The Federal Trade Commission said AT&T Mobility billed millions of customers for charges from third-party companies for services people never asked to receive or were duped into subscribing to. The fees were usually small - $9.99 a month - and were not easy for customers to find on their bills.

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A DRAMATIC NEW REPORT from investment bank Piper Jaffray shows that kids are over Facebook once and for all, having fled Mark Zuckerberg's parent-flooded shores for Twitter and Instagram. Between fall 2013 and spring 2014, when Piper Jaffray last conducted this survey, Facebook use among 13- to 19-year-olds plummeted from 72 percent to 45 percent, meaning fewer than half the teens surveyed said "yes" when asked if they use Facebook.

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SHARES of J.C. Penney Co. fell 10.9 percent Wednesday, closing at $8.19, after the department store operator warned that its sales last month were weaker than expected and cut its outlook for a key sales measure for the current quarter. The warning overshadowed the company's unveiling of a strategy at its analysts' meeting Wednesday that the retailer said would boost sales by $2.55 billion over next three years.

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$149M

THIRD-QUARTER INCOME for Alcoa, up from $24 million a year earlier, as higher aluminum prices and lower costs for raw materials boosted its core primary-metals business

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THE BOTTOM LINE: Glenn Murphy to step down as Gap's chairman and CEO on Feb. 1, with executive Art Peck taking over as the retailer's CEO ... Research firm IDC estimates worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter totaled 78.5 million units, down 2 percent from a year earlier

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