Apple Books Big Profit

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The computer company reports a fourth-quarter profit of $904 million — up 67 percent from last year.


Hey, good morning, everyone.

Iran will not negotiate with anyone about its right to nuclear technology. That's what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today, just hours before talks aimed at defusing a nuclear standoff between the West and Iran were supposed to start in Rome. Ahmadinejad went on to say Iran is in favor of talks, but that negotiating is off the table.

In Iraq, government leaders there say they'll help Turkey crackdown on separatist Kurdish guerillas in the north of the country. That was the word from Iraq's foreign minister after he met with his Turkish counterpart today in Baghdad. Turkey has said it will wage military action to stop Kurdish rebels called the PKK from waging attacks on Turkey from bases in northern Iraq. That's the last thing the Bush administration wants, and it's stepped up its own pressure on Iraq's government to reign in the PKK, which the U.S. has listed as a terrorist organization.

Late last night, the PKK posted a statement on its Web site declaring its willingness to issue a cease-fire. Stay tuned. We'll hear more from a reporter on the ground in Iraqi Kurdistan coming up next in the show.

A pair of U.S. government reports say the U.S. State Department has done a poor job in overseeing the work done by private security contract firms doing work in Iraq, like Blackwater USA. The New York Times is reporting that a State Department review of its own practices cites poor coordination, communication, oversight and accountability when it comes to the private security firms.

Another government audit shows the State Department can't determine exactly what services it received for $1.2 billion it paid to its biggest security contractor, DynCorp. The State Department review does not address the September 16th shooting of Iraqi civilians that involved Blackwater. The FBI is handling that investigation separately.

A little business news: Apple Computer's quarterly earnings report came out yesterday, and the company definitely made the grade. Apple reported a fourth quarter profit of $904 million. That's up by 67 percent from a year ago. The report shattered expectations on Wall Street, and experts say it shows the company could be climbing back up to the top tier of personal computer makers Hewlett Packard and Dell.

And the man who invented that most famous San Francisco treat has passed away.

Unidentified Man #2: From San Francisco comes…

(Soundbite of bell ringing)

Unidentified Group: (Singing) Rice-O-Roni, the San Francisco treat.

MARTIN: Vincent DeDomenico died at the age of 92. He and his brothers created the pocket side dish of rice and vermicelli pasta for their San Francisco-based family business. Rice-O-Roni became a household name in the 1960s through TV commercials featuring this catchy tune and the famous San Francisco street cars. The DeDomenico brothers sold their company to Quaker Oats in 1986 for $275 million.

That's the news, and it's always online at

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