Undersea cables damaged by quake

•TAIPEI, Taiwan - Undersea fiber-optic cables were damaged by a powerful earthquake off the southern tip of Taiwan, causing the largest outage of telephone and Internet service in years and demonstrating the vulnerability of the global telecommunications network.

Two residents were killed and more than 40 injured in the magnitude-6.7 tremor that hit offshore, near the southern Taiwanese town of Hengchun late Tuesday.

Voting on Delta plan could begin in Feb.

•ATLANTA - Lawyers for Delta Air Lines Inc., the nation's third-largest carrier, said Wednesday they have scheduled a Feb. 7 hearing in bankruptcy court to consider approval of the disclosure statement to the carrier's reorganization plan.

The disclosure statement includes details on Atlanta-based Delta's operations. If the statement is approved, that means Delta can begin soliciting votes on the reorganization plan, which typically takes four to eight weeks, Delta spokesman Michael Freitag said.

United leads with post-holiday sale

•WASHINGTON - Following with tradition, United Airlines has launched a post-holiday fare sale intended to stimulate demand during a traditionally slow period, and many of its competitors followed suit.

Some sample one-way fares, which must be purchased by Jan. 9 as part of roundtrip service through March 7, include: $109 for Chicago to San Diego, $126 for Denver to San Francisco and $49 for Washington to Chicago.

Stocks make big surge, pass 12,500

•NEW YORK (AP) - Wall Street surged higher Wednesday, hurtling the Dow Jones industrials past 12,500 for the first time as year-end bargain hunters picked up stocks across a variety of sectors.

The auto industry was in focus after a meeting between executives at Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. sparked hope about a potential alliance between the two rivals. Shares of both companies moved higher on the speculation.

- From wire reports