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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

'Apes' retains its No. 1 grip on the weekend box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Rebellious apes have held off Southern maids for a narrow win at the weekend box office.

Studio estimates Sunday pegged "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" at $27.5 million, good enough for its second-straight No. 1 finish. The 20th Century Fox release raised its 10-day domestic total to $104.9 million.

The "Planet of the Apes" prequel came in just ahead of "The Help," a drama about Mississippi maids during the civil-rights movement that debuted at No. 2 with $25.5 million. "The Help," a DreamWorks release distributed by Disney, has taken in $35.4 million domestically since opening Wednesday.

The Warner Bros. horror sequel "Final Destination 5," the latest in the franchise where death stalks victims who had been fated to die earlier, opened at No. 3 with $18.4 million.

The weekend's other two new wide releases had soft openings. Sony's action comedy "30 Minutes or Less," starring Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza deliveryman forced to help rob a bank, was No. 5 with $13 million, just behind Sony's surprise animated smash "The Smurfs," which slipped to fourth place with $13.5 million and lifted its three-week total to $101.5 million.

The singers from TV's "Glee" failed to find a big-screen audience as 20th Century Fox's "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" opened outside the top 10, finishing at No. 11 with just $5.7 million. The concert film was shot during the cast's recent North American tour.

Overall domestic business increased for the fifth straight weekend. Revenues totaled $152 million, up 6 percent from the same weekend last year, when "The Expendables" led with $34.8 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

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Espresso at Tim Hortons

As of today, Tim Hortons customers will be able to add espresso shots to their coffee and order a number of cold and hot cappuccino and latte drinks that use espresso as an ingredient.

The expanded drink menu will roll out today at all 114 of the company's Western New York stores. Espresso shots will be dispensed from an automated machine using previously ground coffee beans.

The Canadian coffee and doughnut chain tested espresso sales in its Western Canadian market in 2008 and stateside in Syracuse, Ohio and Michigan. Western New York is the first market to roll out the full line of espresso-related drinks and to test a new machine delivery system.

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Natural gas pipeline grows

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The increasing flow of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale reservoir is spurring interstate pipeline projects to bring it to customers in the Northeastern United States and possibly Canada.

That could mean hundreds of new miles of pipeline in Pennsylvania and its neighbors as part of a larger cross-country network, as well as dozens of new or upgraded compression stations.

The pipeline work is raising worries over air and water pollution and eminent domain issues.

The exploration companies need to find takers for the gas, and analysts from Colorado-based Bentek Energy say more pipeline capacity is needed if Marcellus Shale gas is going to ease winter price spikes at key Northeastern U.S. hubs.

The gas already flowing into interstate pipelines is displacing more expensive gas from more distant sources.

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Ground beef recalled

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) -- At least three major grocery store chains are recalling certain packages of ground beef due to possible E. coli contamination.

The recalls at Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Publix Super Markets Inc. and Kroger Co., mainly in the Southeastern U.S., stem from meat from National Beef Packaging Co. of Dodge City.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that National Beef was recalling more than 60,000 pounds of beef after the Ohio Department of Agriculture found the bacteria. The recalls affect products sold mainly in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee, but the meat could have been distributed nationwide.

The Agriculture Department says there have been no reports of illnesses.

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