PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Oct 28

October 28, 2013

Oct 28 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* U.S. Food and Drug Administration's move to tighten restrictions for prescribing painkillers is a rare victory by lawmakers from states hard hit by prescription drug abuse over well-financed lobbyists for business and patient groups. ()


* Cruise ships keep growing bigger, and more popular. But the expansion in ship size is worrying safety experts, lawmakers and regulators, who are pushing for more accountability, saying the supersize craze is fraught with potential peril for passengers and crew. After a string of disasters at sea, lawmakers and regulators push for more accountability and question the size of the newest ships. ()


* The Obama administration has seemed uncertain how to handle reports that the National Security Agency spied on the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, for several years. ()


* Economists and policy wonks behind the Affordable Care Act worry that the technical problems bedeviling the federal portal could become much more than an inconvenience. If young and healthy applicants decide to put off or give up on buying coverage, rising prices and even a destabilized insurance market could result. ()


* Social media giant Twitter is entering one of the strongest markets for initial public offerings in three years, especially in the United States. Investors have shown a growing appetite for initial offerings, eager to take risks in hopes of big rewards when newly public companies' stocks rise. Retail investors, in particular the very wealthy, are also seeking exposure to soaring stock of new companies. ()


* Via its Goldman Sachs Foundation, led by Dina Powell, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, which many associate with Wall Street greed and excess, has staked out a position as one of United States' leading corporate philanthropists. ()

* Financially struggling media companies are racing to add conferences, festivals and other live events to their business strategy, convinced they can provide a reliable revenue stream and expand the reach of their brands. The number of organizations staging live events has surged in recent years, say publishers and their business partners, and concerns over conflict of interest, though still a delicate issue at some media companies, are largely bygone relics at others. ()


* As adults turn to mobile devices like tablets, Kindles, and iPhones, their children - even the smallest ones - are doing so as well, according to a new study by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that examines children's use of technology, and rates children's apps, games and websites. Over the last two years, the shift has been drastic. Among children under 2, the survey found, 38 percent had used mobile devices like iPhones, tablets, or Kindles - the same share as children 8 and under who had used such technology in a similar survey two years ago. ()



* National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the "Octonauts" producer, Silvergate Media, have signed a letter of intent to develop a formal partnership to raise awareness of ocean exploration and science and advance NOAA's mission. ()