National briefs: Battery firm goes to China

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NEW YORK -- Bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems Inc. on Sunday said it will sell most of its assets to the U.S. arm of Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group Corp. for $256.6 million.

Wanxiang America Corp. won an auction conducted under the supervision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

A123's government business will be sold separately, for $2.25 million, to Navitas Systems, of Woodridge, Ill.

Waltham, Mass.-based A123, which makes lithium ion batteries for electric cars, grid storage and commercial and military applications, was awarded a $249 million grant from the Department of Energy in August 2009 to help it build U.S. factories. About $130 million of that grant was delivered before the company fell victim to the lackluster market for electric cars.

A hearing seeking the necessary court approval of the sale is scheduled for Tuesday. The deal must also be OK'd by the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal inter-agency committee that reviews sales of U.S. companies to foreign owners. The company has about 2,000 employees.

Booker to decide soon on bid

NEWARK, N.J. -- Democratic Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., a prominent figure in his party, said Sunday that he'll decide within two weeks whether to challenge Republican Gov. Chris Christie next year.

Mr. Booker, who leads the state's largest city, also told CBS' "Face the Nation" that he's thinking about running for the U.S. Senate.

He said he has to decide on a gubernatorial bid in the next couple of weeks out of respect for his party and other Democratic candidates who'd like to take on the outspoken Mr. Christie.

Tea Partier loses La. seat

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana congressman Charles Boustany won a fifth term on Saturday by handily defeating his fellow Republican incumbent, Jeff Landry, in a runoff election.

The two men were forced into the same district when Louisiana lost a congressional seat because of anemic population growth in the latest federal census. The state will have six U.S. House seats in the new term that begins in January.

The district design favored Mr. Boustany, a traditional Republican candidate allied with House Speaker John Boehner. Mr. Landry, a freshman congressman, was the Tea Party favorite but was unable to build enough grassroots support to oust Mr. Boustany.

Gasoline falls to $3.3766

DALLAS -- The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps fell 9.62 cents in the past three weeks to $3.3766 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The survey covers the period ended Dec. 7 and is based on information obtained from about 2,500 stations by the Camarillo, California-based company. The average, now the lowest since Jan. 6, has dropped 46.09 cents a gallon in nine weeks.

The average is up 8.48 cents from a year earlier. Gasoline is 59.1 cents below the year-to-date high of $3.9671 on April 6.

-- Compiled from news services

nation


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