US carmakers have reported strong sales for December, confirming the auto industry's steady recovery during 2010.
Chrysler said sales for the month rose by 16% against a year earlier, while General Motors posted sales growth of 7.5%. Ford said sales rose by 7%.
Japan's Nissan fared even better, reporting US sales growth of 28%.
Most major carmakers reporting sales figures on Tuesday also posted strong rises in sales for the full year 2010 compared with the previous year.
Ford reported a jump of 19%, Chrysler an increase of 16%, while GM posted a rise of 6%.
The figures confirm a remarkable turnaround for the so-called Detroit three carmakers, two of which - Chrysler and GM - went into bankruptcy protection in 2009.
Millions of people around the globe have been hit by an outage at the popular internet phone service Skype.
Users as far afield as Japan, Europe and the US have all reported problems.
The company which prides itself on providing relatively reliable service last suffered a major outage in 2007.
"We take outages like this really seriously and apologise for the inconvenience users are having," Tony Bates, Skype chief executive officer told BBC News.
Agreement at the UN climate summit in Cancun appears to be close, with most delegations hailing compromise texts drawn up by the Mexican hosts.
Only Bolivia, with some support from Cuba, raised objections, but it is not clear if they will block consensus.
The draft texts say deeper cuts in carbon emissions are needed, but do not establish a mechanism for achieving the pledges countries have made.
It also sets up a fund to help poor countries cope with climate change.
Delegates cheered speeches from governments that had caused the most friction during negotiations - Japan, China, even the US - as one by one they endorsed the draft.
The Green Climate Fund is intended to raise and disburse $100bn (£64bn) a year by 2020 to protect poor nations against climate impacts and assist them with low-carbon development.
A new Adaptation Committee will support countries as they establish climate protection plans.
And parameters for funding developing countries to reduce deforestation are outlined.
Japan's economy expanded faster than initially estimated between July and September thanks to higher corporate spending, official figures have shown.
The economy grew by an annualised rate of 4.5%, compared with the previous estimate of 3.9% announced last month.
Despite the upgrade, economists remain cautious about the economic outlook in Japan, which is suffering from a strong yen and falling prices.
Last month, the government passed a $61bn (£39bn) stimulus package.
This, the latest in a series of stimulus measures, is designed to boost the country's fragile economic recovery.
Japan's first space probe bound for Venus has failed to enter the planet's orbit, the country's space agency says.
The space craft, Akatsuki, is believed to have passed Venus after it failed to slow down sufficiently.
Akatsuki, launched about 200 days ago, fired its main engine just before 0000 GMT on Monday to allow the planet's gravity to capture the probe.
A previous interplanetary space probe launched by Japan in 1998 to orbit Mars was also a failure.
Akatsuki briefly lost contact but was now back in communication and functioning normally as it headed off around the sun, officials said.