LOCAL BUSINESS

Women’s program Sept. 18

The Athena International Women’s Leadership Luncheon will take place 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 18 at Portage Country Club, 240 N. Portage Path, Akron.

The event, in its fourth year, encourages mentoring and relationship building among area women. The keynote address will be delivered by University of Akron Vice President and Chief of Staff Candace Campbell Johnson, who was selected as the 2012 Akron Athena Leadership Award winner.

Tickets are $80, which includes admission for one “established” and one “emerging” woman leader. Additional emerging leader tickets are $40 each.

For reservations, contact Diane Bray at 330-571-9461. To pay by credit card, call the Akron Community Foundation at 330-376-8522.

PHILANTHROPY

Buffett helps foundations

Billionaire Warren Buffett has pledged an additional $3 billion of shares in his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to his three children’s foundations.

Buffett committed the majority of his wealth in 2006 to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At that time, he also made commitments to charities established by his three children — the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation and the NoVo Foundation — and by his late wife. Buffett turned 82 Thursday. Buffett has promoted philanthropy that addresses society’s toughest challenges as a way for wealthy individuals to show gratitude for their opportunities and shield themselves from the burdens of having too much money. He created the Giving Pledge with Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates in 2010 to enlist billionaires to donate at least half their wealth to charity.

ELECTRONICS

New Kindle Fire expected

Amazon.com Inc. says it has sold out of its Kindle Fire tablet computer amid expectations of a new model for the holiday season. The Internet retailer has a major news conference scheduled for next Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif. It’s widely expected to reveal a new model of the Fire there, so the announcement that the first model is “sold out” suggests that Amazon halted production a while ago to retool for a new model.

Amazon launched the $199 tablet in November. It was the first Kindle with a color screen and the ability to run third-party applications, placing it in competition with Apple Inc.’s iPad, at half the price of the cheapest iPad.

Amazon doesn’t say how many Fires it has sold, but says it captured 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales over nine months. That would make it the second-most popular tablet, after the iPad. Tom Mainelli at research firm IDC said that figure matches his estimate of 6.7 million Fires sold, all in the U.S. The Fire, which is about half the size of the iPad, could face a tougher challenge this holiday season. Many analysts expect Apple to introduce a smaller, cheaper iPad to take on the threat of the Kindle Fire and reach buyers who can’t afford a full-sized iPad. In addition, Google just launched its own Kindle-sized tablet, the Nexus 7, and is selling it for $199.

REAL ESTATE

U.S. mortgage rates fall

Average U.S. interest rates on fixed mortgages fell this week and are just slightly above record lows reached earlier this year. The low rates have contributed to a modest housing recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.59 percent, down from 3.66 percent last week. Five weeks ago, the rate fell to 3.49 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, slipped to 2.86 percent. That’s down from 2.89 percent last week and from the record low of 2.80 percent five weeks ago.

Compiled from staff and wire reports