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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
The feds impose new mortgage rules, Amazon challenges Apple's iTunes, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
The CD might live to see another day, thanks to Amazon.
The CD might live to see another day, thanks to Amazon. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

1. NEW RULES DISCOURAGE RISKY HOME LOANS
In a move that is likely to radically change the housing market, federal regulators on Thursday announced new rules aiming to prevent the kinds of high-risk loans that contributed to the housing bubble. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is requiring lenders to verify borrowers' financial records, and barring lenders from offering deceptive teaser rates that can lure borrowers into loans they can't afford. The rules are also aimed to reassure banks, which have been reluctant to issue loans since the financial crisis began in 2008, that it's safe for them to start issuing more mortgages to qualified buyers, by giving them clear rules and protecting lenders that follow them from complaints of abusive lending. [New York Times]
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2. JOBLESS CLAIMS RISE UNEXPECTEDLY
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The news wasn't what economists expected — they told Bloomberg the number of new jobless claims would drop to 365,000, but they wound up rising by 4,000 to 371,000. Analysts weren't too worried about the news, though, as it merely indicated the labor market remains unsteady, with firings decreasing but hiring not increasing as much as hoped. "We need to see better payrolls data to get faster economic growth," says Bank of America economist Michael Hanson. [Bloomberg]
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3. AIG REJECTS SUIT OVER BAILOUT
The board of insurance giant AIG decided Wednesday not to join a lawsuit accusing the federal government of unfairly punishing shareholders in the 2008 bailout that saved the company. The board also told former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, who's spearheading the lawsuit, not to invoke the company's name in his efforts. The company's directors were under intense pressure to rebuff Greenberg, after politicians and others expressed shock and disgust that the company, which is in the middle of a "Thank you America" campaign to show gratitude for the rescue, would even consider taking the government to court. As Neil Irwin of The Washington Post put it: "Common sense 1, jaw-dropping chutzpah, 0." [Washington Post]
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4. GOOGLE'S SCHMIDT URGES NORTH KOREA TO END INTERNET ISOLATION
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Thursday that he and other members of a private delegation to North Korea told officials there that they were damaging their own economy by denying their citizens free access to the internet. "As the world is becoming increasingly connected," Schmidt said, "their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world, their economic growth and so forth." Schmidt traveled to the isolated communist nation with a private delegation led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Obama administration officials criticized the timing of the trip, which raised Pyongyang's profile a month after a rocket launch that violated international agreements. [Associated Press]
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5. AMAZON GOES AFTER ITUNES WITH AUTORIP SERVICE
In a move some bloggers are calling a potential "iTunes killer," Amazon on Thursday unveiled a new service called AutoRip that gives customers free digital versions of music CDs they buy from the online retail giant. The deal applies to CDs purchased going back to 1998, provided they're among the 50,000-plus titles Amazon is making available through AutoRip. The digital music files are automatically stored and can be downloaded or played through Amazon's Cloud Player. Amazon is hoping AutoRip will boost its digital music sales and get customers hooked on its cloud service. [NBC News]

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