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US newspaper round-up: Postal Service, Spirits, Standard & Poor’s…

The Postal Service is expected to announce on Wednesday morning that it will stop delivering letters and other mail on Saturdays, but continue to handle packages, a move the financially struggling agency said would save about $2 billion annually as it looks for ways to cut cost. [The New York Times]

Distilled spirits made market share gains on beer and wine in 2012 and now accounts for more than a third of all alcohol sales, a report from the Washington-based Distilled Spirits Council said Wednesday. Year-over-year growth in spirits’ sales weren’t as strong last year as in 2011, but the industry continues to reap the benefits of regulatory changes made in the past decade, Peter Cressy, president and CEO of the industry’s trade group said at its annual meeting in New York City with analysts and the media. [USA Today]

The U.S. government wants Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services to pay more than $5 billion—roughly what its parent company has earned in the past seven years—for giving its seal of approval to bundles of subprime mortgages that eventually crumbled, costing investors billions and helping sink the economy. [The Wall Street Journal]

Time Warner reported a 51% increase in fourth-quarter earnings although revenue was largely unchanged. The company is raising its quarterly dividend 11% to 28.75 cents per share. Rising fees from cable and satellite companies and higher ad revenue at the TV networks offset revenue declines at its movie studio and magazine businesses. [USA Today]

President Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to quickly pass a new package of limited spending cuts and tax increases to head off substantial across-the-board reductions to domestic and military spending set to begin on March 1, but his appeal for more revenue was dismissed by Republicans. [The New York Times]

Strong earnings reports from media giants Disney and Time Warner aren’t impressing investors in early trading, and major U.S. market indexes are opening lower. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 60 points to 13,921 shortly after the opening bell Wednesday. It rose 99 points the day before. [The Washington Post]

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