• Guilty plea set in $7.5 million Miami Heat fraud

    Updated: 53 min ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man preparing to plead guilty in a multimillion-dollar scam involving three former Miami Heat players and the team itself wants to take responsibility for his actions and move on. The government alleges that Haider Zafar (HY'-dur ZAH'-fahr) defrauded players Mike Miller, James Jones and Rashard Lewis in 2013 by promising to invest $7.5 million in various business opportunities. Instead, prosecutors say, Zafar kept the money and used some of it to buy a $1 million, three-season Heat ticket package. Defense attorney Sam Shamansky says Zafar is interested in making parties in the case whole and accepting whatever punishment is appropriate.

  • Asian stocks down on recovery, Ebola worries

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stocks fell Thursday amid worries about the strength of U.S. and European recoveries and the first American case of Ebola. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 1.7 percent to 15,815.45 points and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.9 percent to 1,973.31. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.7 percent to 5,295.7. Stocks in Southeast Asia also lost ground. Markets in Hong Kong and China were closed for a public holiday. SLOW GERMAN DATA: A survey showed German manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in September for the first time in 15 months, the latest sign Europe is being hurt by sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in Ukraine.

  • 2 white Ohio women sue over sperm from black donor

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio woman and her partner have sued a Chicago-area sperm bank after she became pregnant with sperm donated by a black man instead of a white man as she'd intended. Jennifer Cramblett was five months pregnant and happy with her life in April 2012. She and her partner had married months earlier in New York, and within days of their nuptials she had become pregnant with donor sperm at a fertility clinic in Canton. Cramblett, 36, and her partner, Amanda Zinkon, 29, were so elated that they called Midwest Sperm Bank LLC outside Chicago to reserve sperm from the same donor in the hope that Zinkon would someday also have a child.

  • Sheldon Adelson criticizes Internet gambling

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Billionaire Sheldon Adelson repeated his distaste for Internet gambling during a talk Wednesday night at the G2E Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, saying there was no reason casinos should be in the pockets of every single American. "You cannot know your customer on the Internet," he said. He posed a hypothetical situation involving a person of legal age signed in on a mobile device to an online game who then passed the device off to a minor. Adelson is the CEO and chairman of the Sands Corp. His harsh rebuke of legalized Internet gambling prompted scattered applause in the crowd of casino industry members. Sitting in the front row was fellow billionaire and casino mogul Steve Wynn who spoke the night

  • Judge: Stockton must treat pension like other debt

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Striking at the sanctity of public pensions in California, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that U.S. bankruptcy law allows the city of Stockton to treat pension fund obligations like other debts, meaning the city could trim benefits. Stockton argued that it must make its pension contributions for public employees before its creditors are paid the entire amount they are owned. The case is being closely watched because it could help clarify who gets paid first by financially strapped cities around the nation — retirement funds or creditors. The ruling was prompted by a key creditor's contention that pension obligations should be treated like other debts.

  • ND attorney general settles case with polling firm

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Democratic polling firm representing backers of a state conservation fund will pay $2,000 to resolve a complaint alleging violations of North Dakota's do not call law, court records show. The North Dakota attorney general's office and Las Vegas-based Campaign Communication Solutions Inc. reached the agreement Wednesday. The company, which has offices in Washington, D.C., and California and also does business as Stones' Phones, did not admit wrongdoing or liability, court records said. The company allegedly made illegal prerecorded calls on behalf of North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks, a group pushing a ballot measure that would funnel some of the state's oil extraction taxes into a co

  • Black Press buys Hawaii and Washington newspapers

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — The owner of Hawaii's largest newspaper bought two daily publications on Hawaii's Big Island and several newspapers in Washington state. Oahu Publications, which owns the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, said Wednesday it is buying West Hawaii Today and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald from Las Vegas-based Stephens Media. The Garden Island newspaper on Kauai also is owned by Oahu Publications, which is a subsidiary of Black Press. The purchase of The Daily World of Aberdeen, Washington, and three weeklies by another Black Press subsidiary closed Wednesday. The Hawaii sale closes Dec. 1. The chain now owns nearly all the English-language daily newspapers in Hawaii, except for the Maui News.

  • Flight operations at Chicago airports improving

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration says that despite the sabotage last week at a suburban Chicago air traffic control center, air traffic controllers managed more operations at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday than at any other airport. The agency said that by Wednesday afternoon, arrivals and departures at O'Hare were running above 85 percent of the average Wednesday air traffic over the past two months, and above 80 percent at Midway. Officials say FAA technicians are working around-the-clock to restore telecommunications services at the Chicago En Route Center in Aurora. They say workers already have installed some of the new communications equipment, but still have to lay miles of new cable.

  • Nevada city plans festival to celebrate blue jeans

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada tourism officials are planning a three-day festival in Reno next fall to celebrate and promote the city as the birthplace of what became modern blue jeans. Reno tailor Jacob Davis created riveted denim jeans in 1871 in a downtown shop. Two years later, he and Levi Strauss & Co. patented the pants with the rivets to the corners and pockets that made them the sturdy favorites of miners, loggers and cowboys who helped tame the West. The "Blue Genes Jam" next Oct. 2-4 will celebrate the iconic trousers' impact on popular culture with concerts, fashion shows, a retail marketplace and a mini-festival of films that were milestones in the history of blue jeans, such as James Dean's "Rebel Without a Ca

  • Man with Ebola virus flew roundabout trip to US

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    The first reported case of Ebola in the United States is spooking airline investors and raising the prospect that some frightened travelers might stay home despite repeated reassurances from public-health experts. Details of the man's 28-hour trip from western Africa emerged Wednesday. He flew on two airlines, took three flights, and had lengthy airport layovers before reaching Texas on Sept. 20. Still, federal officials say other passengers on the flights are at no risk of infection because the man had no symptoms at the time of his trip. Thomas Eric Duncan left Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 19 aboard a Brussels Airlines jet to the Belgian capital, according to a Belgian official.

  • Manager Orr testifies in Detroit bankruptcy trial

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Emergency manager Kevyn Orr testified in bankruptcy court Wednesday that when he took over Detroit's finances, he found a city with poor services for residents, next to no cash flow and significant neighborhood blight. Orr, who was hired by the state in March 2013 to fix Detroit's finances and who took the city into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, was called to the stand and questioned by a city lawyer in federal court in Detroit. Judge Steven Rhodes is to decide whether Orr's plan to remove $7 billion in debt is fair to creditors. Orr has said Detroit's unsecured debt is about $12 billion. Orr said Wednesday that before he filed for bankruptcy, every creditor wanted to be "paid in ful

  • PNM negotiates agreement over coal-fired plant

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state's largest electric utility has negotiated a settlement proposal that would allow it to meet certain pollution standards with the partial closure of an aging coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico. PNM officials said the proposal, if approved by state regulators, would allow the company to reduce its use of coal at the San Juan Generating Station. The utility said it would also have an opportunity to add more renewable energy to its portfolio. The proposal would result in an increase of about 7 percent to the average customer's bill, according to the utility. The estimated cost to customers stood at about 10 percent — or $7.50 per month — prior to the negotiations.

  • Deep discount lures buyer for Revel casino

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — As one Atlantic City casino after another shut down and left thousands of workers jobless, Mayor Don Guardian insisted that the meltdown that claimed four of his city's 12 casinos since January was actually the opportunity of a lifetime for savvy investors. On Wednesday, someone finally agreed. A Canadian asset management company won a bankruptcy court auction for the failed Revel casino hotel and announced plans to re-open it as a casino. Toronto-based Brookfield US Holdings LLC will pay $110 million to buy the 2-year-old casino that cost $2.4 billion to build, adding it to casinos it owns in Las Vegas and the Bahamas.

  • US, China air differences over Hong Kong protests

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Top U.S. and Chinese officials publicly aired differences Wednesday over the protests in Hong Kong, where students want democratic changes to the electoral system. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi was visiting Washington as the standoff between students and authorities intensified in the Chinese territory — the stiffest challenge yet to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997, allowing it to retain more freedoms than mainland China. President Barack Obama joined his National Security Adviser Susan Rice in a meeting with Wang, and said that the U.S. is closely following developments in Hong Kong and expressed their hope differences between Hong Kong authorities an

  • Infant's body found in California trash facility

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) — The body of an infant has been found at a Southern California trash recycling center. Sheriff's deputies were called to Advance Disposal Co. in the high desert city of Hesperia, in San Bernardino County, shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller tells KNBC-TV that investigators would like to hear from anyone who knows of a recently pregnant woman who gave birth without going to a hospital. The Victor Valley Daily Press reports (http://bit.ly/1rvGZFz ) that last October an infant's body was found at a recycling center in Victorville, just north of Hesperia.

  • Baker Hughes to disclose fracking chemicals

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The drilling services company Baker Hughes on Wednesday implemented a policy of disclosing all of the chemicals used in its fracking operations. Environmental groups and local communities have for years been pushing for full disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique also known as fracking. In response, the oil and gas industry set up an online database that lists many of the chemicals, but held back crucial information on certain chemicals and the amounts used on the grounds that it would provide competitors with trade secrets. Baker Hughes said that starting Wednesday it will not withhold any information on those grounds. It first announced the policy earlier this

  • Complaint: Racial slurs, threats at Daimler plant

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's labor commissioner has filed a complaint against heavy-duty truck and school bus manufacturer Daimler Trucks North America, alleging five employees at its Portland plant were subjected to racial slurs and threats. A statement Wednesday from Commissioner Brad Avakian says the accusations will be investigated, and if they bear out, workers could be awarded damages including back pay if they've quit. Among the allegations is that a Daimler Trucks employee threatened a black co-worker with a noose, saying he'd drag the African-American behind a car, the statement said. Avakian's complaint says the company failed to take "appropriate corrective action.

  • Verso Paper shuttering paper mill in Maine

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Verso Paper said Wednesday that it will shutter a paper mill in Maine that has yet to turn a profit for the maker of coated papers. The Memphis, Tennessee company did not say how many employees at the mill in Bucksport, Maine, would lose their jobs as a result of the closure. But Verso projects that the shutdown will result in roughly $35 million to 45 million in pretax cash severance and other charges this year and in 2015. The mill closure will reduce Verso's coated groundwood paper production capacity by approximately 350,000 tons and its specialty paper production capacity by approximately 55,000 tons, the company said. Verso is expected to close down the mill in the fourth quarter of this ye

  • BofA board names CEO Brian Moynihan chairman

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan has been named chairman, effective immediately. The lender said Wednesday that its board of directors elected Moynihan to succeed Charles "Chad" Holiday Jr. Moynihan has been CEO of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank since January 2010. Like its competitors, Bank of America is still dealing with the fallout from the financial crisis that began in 2007 and the subsequent collapse of the housing market. In August, it agreed to pay a record $16.65 billion settlement for its role in selling shoddy mortgage bonds. Litigation costs have crimped its earnings this year.

  • Inslee: More needed to prevent oil train explosion

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — Citing deadly risks associated with increasing volatile shipments of crude oil through Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday said the state and federal governments need to take swift action to prevent and respond to oil spills. The governor likened an oil train explosion to "a bomb" going off, and said he's concerned that local emergency responders, particularly in smaller communities along rail lines, aren't adequately prepared to respond to accidents. Derailments of oil trains have caused explosions in several states and Quebec, where 47 people were killed when a runaway train exploded in Lac-Megantic in July 2013.