Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, debuted on the Nasdaq exchange Thursday with a 19.1 percent jump despite an IPO that went out undersubscribed and lower priced than hoped. In a spate of buying that suggested that Wall Street's waters are still welcoming to loss-making technology high flyers, and to Chinese firms as well, Weibo shares rose from the subscription price of $17 to as high as $24.28, before settling the day at $20.24. Charles Chao, the chief executive of Chinese online power Sina Corp, Weibo's parent, shrugged off the undersubscription, saying it was mainly important to achieve the listing and establish Weibo's separate identity. Weibo, launched in August 2009, is China's largest social media service with 144 million active monthly users.
By Julia Edwards and Eric Beech WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors says that cars being recalled because of faulty ignition switches can be driven safely before repairs, based on more than 80 tests, but the automaker has not addressed a problem long known to potentially shut off the engine: a simple bump from a driver's knee. Safety advocates and engineers say the lack of testing for this factor undermines GM's claims that the cars are safe. As early as 2004, GM engineers complained that the ignition switch could be turned off if the key was bumped by a knee. A Texas judge on Thursday allowed the unrepaired cars to stay on the road, over the objection of safety advocates and plaintiffs lawyers who said there is no way, short of repairs, to ensure the ignition switch would not slip out of the run position, turning off the motor and disabling power steering, power brakes and airbags.
Russia, Ukraine and the West reached a surprise deal Thursday to try to ease the Ukrainian crisis, in a glimmer of hope for the former Soviet republic that risks splitting in two. While not spelt out explicitly, the groups likely referred to pro-Kremlin separatists who have taken over parts of Ukraine's restive southeast. The agreement marked a sharp change from the tone taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the day, when he left the door open for armed intervention in Ukraine. A ban by Kiev on all Russian males aged 16 to 60 from entering Ukrainian territory had also ratcheted up the pressure, with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling the measure "disgusting".