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Tesla feuds with The New York Times, Netflix announces its first original kids show, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
A Tesla Model S on display at the 2012 North American International Auto Show last January.
A Tesla Model S on display at the 2012 North American International Auto Show last January. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

1. TESLA CHIEF SLAMS TIMES FOR BAD ELECTRIC-CAR REVIEW
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is accusing a New York Times writer of fudging a negative review of the Tesla Model S, an electric car being marketed as a green alternative to gas-powered high-end sedans. The vehicle is supposed to be able to go 265 miles or farther on a single charge, but reviewer John M. Broder said the speedy Model S he test drove ran out of juice between Tesla's two East Coast charging stations and had to be towed. Musk — the innovative billionaire entrepreneur who is also behind PayPal and SpaceX — said the reviewer failed to charge the car properly and neglected to mention a power-burning side trip on city streets, among other telling data recorded in the car's diagnostic data. The Times called the accusation "flatly untrue." [Washington Post]
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2. NETFLIX GAINS ON NEWS OF ORIGINAL SERIES WITH DREAMWORKS
Netflix shares rose by more than 1 percent early Tuesday after it announced a deal with DreamWorks Animation SKG to create the online video-streaming company's first original series for children. The Netflix series Turbo F.A.S.T., based on DreamWorks' coming summer movie Turbo, is scheduled to debut in December. "Families love Netflix, so creating an original series for kids was a natural for us," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. [MarketWatch, USA Today]
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3. JOB OPENINGS DROP
U.S. job openings fell in December from a four-year high, according to figures released Tuesday by the Labor Department. The number of positions waiting to be filled fell by 173,000 to 3.62 million, the fewest since September. A greater number of openings helps reduce the jobless rate, which has hovered at 7.8 percent or 7.9 percent since September. "The labor market is improving, but certainly not at a robust rate," said Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit. [Bloomberg]
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4. G-7 NATIONS PROMISE NO CURRENCY WAR WITH JAPAN
In a bid to stabilize currency markets, the so-called Group of 7 major developed countries, including the United States, pledged on Tuesday to let foreign exchange markets determine the value of their currencies. The move came as a relief to Japan, which has been accused of trying to boost their economy by pushing the yen lower to boost exports. Complaints in Europe and elsewhere over Japan's ultraloose monetary policy had raised fears that a currency war could break out if other powerful nations tried to respond to the falling value of the yen by driving down the value of their own currencies. [New York Times]
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5. HEALTHY DRINKS BOOST COCA-COLA
Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest soft-drink maker, said its fourth-quarter profit rose thanks largely to sales of its healthier, non-carbonated fare, including Powerade, Simply Orange, and Honest Tea. Excluding restructuring costs, the company posted profits of 45 cents a share, narrowly beating the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg. "Global diversification continues to pay dividends for the company even though you might have a little bit of softness in some regions like Europe, China, or North American carbonated soft drinks," says Thomas Mullarkey, an analyst for Morningstar Inc. in Chicago. [Bloomberg]

 

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