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Reuters is reporting this hour EADS and BAE Systems will not extend their merger talks, calling an end – for now – to a plan to create the world’s largest defense and aerospace group.

Texas is sharing the limelight as the government reveals successes in the Distressed Homeowner Initiative, which began in October of last year and ran until September 30th. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “In July, five individuals were indicted in Texas for allegedly sending false military orders to lending institutions claiming benefits that were entitled to service members and then leasing out these homes to collect rental payments.” According to Holder, more than 500 scamsters were arrested in the initiative.

Your Toyota could be included in a safety recall affecting bout two and half million vehicles–more than a dozen models built between 2005 and 2010. The driver’s side power-window switch might not have gotten enough grease during assembly, and could causing smoke or a fire. You’ll get a letter from Toyota by the end of the month if your car is on the list.

Got a hard-to-remember cell phone number? Sprint and Zoove are teaming to provide Star-Star-me –basically a vanity phone number service that simplifies your phone number. Registration and a small fee are required, but you can change that odd, 10-digit phone number into something more memorable like **Jenny. You can set up your Sprint vanity cell number by punching “star-star-me.” A Huffington Post poll reveals 22 percent of respondents are interested in the service, but over 49 percent say the idea doesn’t ring true.

The government says, yes, gasoline prices in California really are up to incredible levels. New federal numbers show the price of regular unleaded in California has shot up 48 cents in the past week. The California average is now $4.66 per gallon. Filling up a Toyota Camry can now cost $75 in some areas. That has drivers getting creative — like biking because they don’t really feel like paying for gas because it’s ridiculously high. Prices are dropping in most of the country to the $3.85 range — but in California prices keep going up. Houston Chronicle Business and Energy Columnist, Loren Steffy, says gas prices in California are the result of a unique, perfect storm of circumstances, in part, of the state’s own making. A refinery fire compounded a refinery capacity deficiency in the state. “Then of course in California, you have a special formula gasoline so they can’t import gasoline from somewhere else; they have to make it to their specifications right there,” says Steffy. Houston’s average pump price this week is $3.51 per gal, according to AAA Texas.

In perhaps an unintended consequence of the new Health Care law, Darden Restaurants is cutting some employees’ hours to avoid providing health insurance–or paying fines because they do not–in four markets to keep labor and health care costs affordable. Darden owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants.

Samsung Electronics is partnering with music streaming service Spotify Ltd. to allow direct streaming of music from Samsung Series-E TV sets, equipping them with a software application adapted for television screens. Analysts say the lucrative music-streaming market is about to overtake physical sales of compact disks as the main source of revenue for music labels and publishers.

Investors are driving up shares of FedEx Corp. after plans for its anticipated cost-reduction and restructuring are revealed. FedEx plans to add $1-point-7 billion to its annual profit by fiscal 20-16 by cutting the number of employees and aircraft, and trimming underused assets in the company’s Express and Services units–hurt the most by the slow global economy. Shares rose 3-point-2 percentto $88-30 before the opening bell.

What’s the next, hot toy for Christmas? Hasbro is betting on a revival of it’s Furby as a retro toy, marketing via Facebook and Twitter to shoppers in their 20s–who were kids when the toy debuted in 1998.  Bloomberg reports Wal-Mart, Target and Toys “R” Us have all dedicated plenty of shelf space to the toy for this season.

Housing Scam Hits Home In Texas; New Toyota Recall Affects Millions  was originally published on