• $148 million metal research center set for Detroit

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — A fall opening of the Detroit headquarters for a federally funded metals research program was announced Wednesday. The $148 million American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) is expected to help move cutting-edge metals from research into vehicles, planes and ships used commercially and by the U.S. military. President Barack Obama had announced in February the creation of the hub and one in Chicago that would concentrate on high-tech digital manufacturing and design. The eventual goal of the Pentagon-led institutes is creating jobs that have been lost to foreign competition. Two dozen people will work at the facility in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood.

  • SEC votes to end $1 a share for some money funds

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators have voted by a narrow margin to end a longtime staple of the investment industry — the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds — at least for some money funds used by big investors. The idea is to minimize the risk of a mass withdrawal from the funds during a financial panic. The Securities and Exchange Commission also is letting all money funds block withdrawals when their assets fall below certain levels or impose fees for withdrawals. The new rules were adopted Wednesday on a 3-2 vote, culminating several years of regulatory haggling and false starts. They were opposed by one Democratic and one Republican commissioner. The fund industry will have two years to compl

  • Oil gains on sharp drop in US supplies

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    The price of oil rose Wednesday after the government reported that U.S. oil supplies rose more than expected. The benchmark U.S. oil contract for September delivery gained 73 cents to $103.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, rose 70 cents to $108.03 on the ICE Futures exchange in London. The Energy Department reported that U.S. oil supplies fell by 4 million barrels last week, a sharper decline than the 2.6 million barrels expected by analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Financial. On the geopolitical front, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Tel Aviv, seeking to renew a push for a cease-fire

  • APNewsBreak: Medicaid enrollees strain Oregon

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Low-income Oregon residents were supposed to be big winners after the state expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul and created a new system to improve the care they received. But an Associated Press review shows that an unexpected rush of enrollees has strained the capacity of the revamped network that was endorsed as a potential national model, locking out some patients, forcing others to wait months for medical appointments and prompting a spike in emergency room visits, which state officials had been actively seeking to avoid. The problems come amid nationwide growing pains associated with the unprecedented restructuring of the U.S.

  • Senate agrees on $11B highway funding measure

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate agreed Wednesday on an $11 billion measure to temporarily fix a multibillion-dollar shortfall in federal highway and transit programs, setting up a vote next week on several alternatives. But senators will likely end up simply adopting a measure that passed the GOP-controlled House by a sweeping bipartisan vote last week, which would send it directly to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House bill would provide enough money to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent through May 2015. The fund pays for transportation programs nationwide. The money would come from pension law changes, customs fees and a fund to repair leaking underground fuel storage tanks. The largest chunk

  • Holmes lawyers question firearms analysis

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Defense attorneys in the Colorado theater shootings are attacking the reliability of firearms analysis, saying it's subjective and lacks statistics to measure its accuracy. The judge heard testimony Wednesday from a state crime scientist who said he matched bullets and shell casings found at the theater to three weapons, apparently the ones officers seized at the scene. The defense wants firearms testimony barred from the trial. James Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Defense lawyers have acknowledged Holmes was the shooter but continue to challenge any evidence pr

  • ND lawmakers react to oil train proposals

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Members of North Dakota's congressional delegation say they're encouraged by proposed rules for rail tank cars that carry crude oil. Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer say the issue of rail safety is important, though they also want commonsense rules that are workable. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp adds that it takes a comprehensive approach that includes government and industry in the discussion. U.S. regulators are proposing to phase out thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude. It's the government's response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year, including one at Casselton in December that left an ominous cloud over the town and led some residents to evacuate.

  • Dole, vets groups renew push for disability treaty

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — At 91, Bob Dole won't take no for an answer. The former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday renewed his plea for full ratification of a treaty promoting equal rights for disabled around the world. Veterans groups, organizations for the disabled and a handful of the Senate's strongest proponents joined Dole in stepping up the pressure for a Senate vote. In December 2012, Dole, looking frail and in a wheelchair, sat in the Senate chamber to show his support for the treaty. His appearance did little to sway Republican opposition as the treaty fell five votes short of ratification. Undeterred nearly two years later, Dole said on Wednesday that the treaty was "the

  • Delta 2Q profit rises 17 percent

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines Inc. said Wednesday that second-quarter earnings rose 17 percent, topping analysts' expectations, as passengers flew more miles at higher average fares and fuel spending declined. The results from Delta, the world's third-biggest airline company, produced a strong opening to the industry's results for the busy April-to-June quarter. American and United are scheduled to report second-quarter figures on Thursday, and analysts expect the biggest U.S. carriers to post large profits. Delta said it benefited from gains in corporate contracts and domestic traffic. Like other airlines, Delta has been adding flights cautiously and instead is cramming more passengers on each plane. The average flight wa

  • Ex-CEO gets prison for stealing from NYC charity

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The politically connected former CEO of a prominent New York City charity was sentenced to prison Wednesday for helping to steal more than $9 million from the anti-poverty organization. William Rapfogel, who once headed the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, will serve a term of 40 months to 10 years in a case that rattled New York's political circles. Authorities linked the decades-long theft to campaign contributions, and both the charity and Rapfogel himself have deep political ties. His wife, who's not accused of any involvement in his scheme, is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's chief of staff. "I deeply regret harming the organization that I worked 21 years to build and that I hurt and disappointe

  • Senate bill targets companies that move overseas

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted Wednesday to advance an election-year bill limiting tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. But big hurdles remain. The Senate voted 93-7 to begin debating the bill, which would prevent companies from deducting expenses related to moving operations to a foreign country. The bill would offer tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country. Senate Democratic leaders say the bill would end senseless tax breaks for companies that ship jobs abroad. "It would end the absurd practice of American taxpayers bankrolling the outsourcing of their very own jobs," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

  • Review: Amazon Fire offers new ways to use phones

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — What I find fascinating about Amazon's Fire phone isn't the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products. Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought to work. The iPhone and its Android smartphone rivals are so much alike that companies have been suing each other for stealing ideas. The Fire phone uses Android, but Amazon has modified it to the point that it's barely recognizable. That means the phone offers new ways to navigate, discover and, of course, shop — all enabled by new features from the world's largest online retailer. That doesn't mean everyone should rush out to get a Fire phone.

  • South Dakota PUC rules against wind power producer

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission has ruled against an alternative energy producer seeking to force rural electric cooperatives to buy the wind power it plans to generate. Wisconsin-based Prelude LLC tried to use the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act, or PURPA, to get six co-ops to purchase its electricity. PURPA requires utilities in specific circumstances to buy alternative energy and applies to rate-regulated utilities. Under South Dakota law, however, rural electric co-ops aren't rate-regulated. Commissioners say the state Legislature doesn't allow that.

  • Retail trade group reduces annual sales forecast

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's largest retail trade group has pared its annual sales forecast because of slower-than-expected growth during the first half of the year tied to winter storms and lingering economic woes. The Washington-based National Retail Federation said Wednesday that it now expects retail sales to rise 3.6 percent this year to $3.19 trillion, instead of its original prediction of a 4.1 percent increase, released in early February. The figures include sales in stores and online but exclude automotive sales and sales at gas stations and restaurants. Online sales, which account for about 6 percent of total sales, are expected to rise about 10 percent this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

  • Appeals court upholds convictions in oil scam

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of two men who ran an oil-and-gas drilling scheme in which investors lost millions of dollars. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found no mistakes in the handling of the cases of 51-year-old former attorney Bryan Coffman and 60-year-old Tennessee businessman Gary Moss Milby. Both men were convicted in May 2011 of multiple charges of mail, wire and securities fraud. Coffman and Milby were also ordered to forfeit $33 million in cash, cars and property.

  • US stocks drift following mixed corporate earnings

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are little changed in midday trading as traders look over a mixed batch of corporate earnings. Boeing fell 2 percent Wednesday after its revenue fell short of what analysts were expecting. Apple rose 3 percent after its earnings came in ahead of forecasts. Apple sold 13 percent more iPhones in the latest quarter than in the same period a year earlier. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,988 as of noon Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,101. The Nasdaq composite rose 22 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,478. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.46 percent.

  • Review: Fire phone, an improvement on the familiar

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Many of the Amazon Fire phone's features are twists on apps and concepts tried in other devices. But in a number of cases, Amazon's technology is more comprehensive and reliable, showing that innovation is often about rethinking old ideas. — Beyond the apps. On iPhones and Android devices, each icon takes you to a different app. The Fire and Windows phones break away from that and offer direct links to content as well. In Amazon's case, that's a book you just read or a video you just watched. Windows icons also give you a preview of new messages and notifications, so you can decide whether the app's worth opening. The Fire does better in letting you interact with the message and see more of it

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday. The weak link seemed to be call centers that handled applications for frazzled consumers unable to get through online. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office told a House committee that its investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts — even after HealthCare.gov's much maligned online system flagged some applications as problematic. The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony docume

  • PepsiCo raises outlook, looks to new Lay's flavors

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) — PepsiCo raised its forecast for the year on Wednesday and said its new Lay's potato chips — including a cappuccino variety — should help boost its profit in the months ahead. The company, which also owns Tropicana, Gatorade and Quaker, said global volume for both its snacks and drinks rose 1 percent in the second quarter. The gains were relatively modest, but PepsiCo has been driving its financial performance with a cost-cutting plan expected to generate $1 billion in savings this year. In its Frito-Lay North America division, PepsiCo said lower prices helped lift sales volume.

  • Norfolk Southern 2Q profit rises 21 percent

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Norfolk Southern executives are optimistic about the economy after delivering a 21 percent rise in second-quarter profit as the railroad hauled more freight. "We believe that the U.S. economy will continue to recover at a reasonable although not robust level for the balance of this year and next which will also help us to continue our upward momentum," CEO Wick Moorman said. The Norfolk, Virginia-based railroad reported net income of $562 million, or $1.79 per share, in the quarter. That's up from $465 million, or $1.46 per share, a year ago. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet was for earnings of $1.74. The railroad said revenue climbed 8.6 percent to $3.04 billion from