Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm •  Published: July 10, 2014
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Portuguese bank fears rekindle euro market tension

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The specter of Europe's financial crisis is back to haunt investors.

Worries over the health of Portugal's biggest bank on Thursday raised fears that the country might run into financial trouble again — just weeks after emerging from a bailout — and trigger a flare-up in the market crisis Europe thought it had quelled.

Stocks and bonds fell worldwide while the price of gold rallied as traders sought it out as a safe investment.

The tensions center on Espirito Santo International, a holding company that is the largest shareholder in a group of Espirito Santo family companies, including the parent of Portugal's largest bank, Banco Espirito Santo. Espirito Santo International reportedly missed a debt payment this week and was cited for accounting irregularities — the sort of shenanigans that helped cause Europe's debt crisis four years ago.

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Agriculture industry seeks to create right to farm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — In the nation's agricultural heartland, farming is more than a multibillion-dollar industry that feeds the world. It could be on track to become a right, written into law alongside the freedom of speech and religion.

Some powerful agriculture interests want to declare farming a right at the state level as part of a wider campaign to fortify the ag industry against crusades by animal-welfare activists and opponents of genetically modified crops.

The emerging battle could have lasting repercussions for the nation's food supply and for the millions of people worldwide who depend on U.S. agricultural exports. It's also possible that the right-to-farm idea could sputter as a merely symbolic gesture that carries little practical effect beyond driving up voter turnout in local elections.

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California man sentenced to 15 years for espionage

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a California chemical engineer to 15 years in prison and fined him $28 million after his rare economic-espionage conviction for selling China the technology that creates a white pigment.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland said Liew had "turned against his adopted country over greed."

A jury previously convicted the 56-year-old Liew of receiving $28 million from companies controlled by the Chinese government in exchange for DuPont Co.'s secret recipe for making cars, paper and a long list of everyday items whiter.

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WellPoint CEO: Insurer readies for technology wave

NEW YORK (AP) — WellPoint CEO Joseph Swedish says that when people ask what a doctor's appointment will be like in the future, they assume that patients will physically have to visit an office.

They're wrong, the insurance executive told The Associated Press during an interview at its New York headquarters.

Swedish says adapting to technology is a top priority for him as he leads the nation's second largest health insurer. The U.S. health care overhaul also is a big focus for WellPoint Inc., which is one of the biggest players in the overhaul's public insurance exchanges. The largely online exchanges debuted last fall and helped roughly 8 million people find coverage.

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FTC sues Amazon over kids' app charges

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over charges that the company has not done enough to prevent children from making unauthorized in-app purchases, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

The move had been expected since last week, when Amazon said it wouldn't settle with the FTC over the charges.

Amazon has said it already refunded money to parents who complained and is prepared to go to court.

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US unemployment aid applications fall to 304,000



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