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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Google plans an online TV service, home building falls off in June, and more
Higher mortgage rates are driving down new home construction.
Higher mortgage rates are driving down new home construction. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

1. BEN BERNANKE REITERATES THE FED'S PLANS... AGAIN
On Wednesday, during his biannual appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke repeated once again the Fed's plans for its economic stimulus package: If and when the economy gains strength, the Fed will start trimming its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program. Bernanke also warned that federal spending cuts, which he said have already reduced growth this year by about 1.5 percentage points, could create more problems for the economy. [The New York Times]

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2. REPORT: GOOGLE PLANS AN ONLINE TV SERVICE
Google has been approaching traditional media companies recently about using their content for an online TV channel, say people familiar with the matter. Intel and Sony are both working on similar deals, which could have a major impact on both traditional TV and online players like Hulu. The word is still out on whether any of the three companies will be able to strike licensing deals. [The Wall Street Journal]

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3. HOME BUILDING FALLS OFF IN JUNE
Builders started work on 836,000 homes in June, down from a pace of 928,000 in May, as construction companies started to feel the pinch of higher mortgage rates. The housing market has been a major force driving the economic recovery this year. Even with the slow-down, June's rate is still a 10 percent gain from the same period last year. [CNN]

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4. THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY TRIES SEX-THEMED CRUISES
Just months after start-up YOLO Cruises launched its first Swingers Cruise, which is exactly what it sounds like, another travel company has inaugurated a Cougar Cruise, also true to the name. More sex-themed cruises are now in the works. YOLO Cruises president Marlene Brustle said his cruise offers "an open, erotic atmosphere... it will feature full nudity at the pools, daytime pool parties and specially planned sexually themed parties in the evening." [USA Today]

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5. J.P. MORGAN CHASE NEARS $1 BILLION SETTLEMENT
J.P. Morgan Chase, the nation's biggest bank, is nearing a $1 billion settlement with the top U.S. energy-market regulator for alleged electricity market manipulation. A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission investigation found that J.P. Morgan devised "manipulative schemes" that converted "money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers." This is just one of the bank's several regulatory headaches. Others include probes into its credit-card business and the nature of its relationship with Ponzi king Bernie Madoff. [FOX Business]

Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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