The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that American Airlines and US Airways are in the final stages of a putting together a merger which could be announced as soon as next week. The combined airline would be the largest in the world.

The government reported this morning that worker productivity fell at the end of last year at the fastest pace in two years -- about 2 percent. Analysts say companies are hiring more and therefore don't have to lean so hard on their current workers.

A new report from the United Nations finds corruption is on the rise in Afghanistan and it's costing the country billions of dollars. The report says fully half of all Afghans are paying bribes.

The world's largest online retailer, Amazon.com, announced this week it will make its own virtual currency: Amazon coins.

And finally, to a job opening in Scotland. They're looking for someone to live on an uninhabited island for six months of the year according to the Daily Mail. They'll pay you about $35,000. Although the only store on the island is a gift shop...so bring your own food and drinking water. The internet connection is also said to be spotty.

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Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson