• Obama seals Iran deal win as Senate Democrats find 34 votes

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Overcoming ferocious opposition, President Barack Obama secured a legacy-defining foreign policy victory Wednesday as Senate Democrats clinched the necessary votes to ensure the Iran nuclear agreement survives in Congress. The decisive 34th commitment came from Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski, who is retiring next year after three decades in the Senate. In a statement she said "no deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime." But she called the pact "the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb." Supporters now have the votes in hand to uphold Obama's veto, if one becomes necessary, of a resolution of disapproval Republicans are trying to pass this month.

  • Hulu launches $12 ad-free streaming service

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Video-streaming company Hulu is introducing an ad-free version of its subscription service for $4 extra a month as competition for streaming customers heats up. The service with ads costs $8 and the ad-free version costs $12. The company said customers asked for an ad-free option. Competition is getting tougher among video-streaming services as providers seek to add more offerings to attract viewers. On Tuesday, Amazon said subscribers of its $99 annual Prime membership program will be able to download some shows and movies to watch offline.

  • Fed report shows autos and housing fueling US growth

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — While U.S. housing and auto sales showed strength over the summer, manufacturers were feeling pressure from China's economic slowdown and the oil industry was squeezed by lower energy prices. That's the U.S. economic picture that emerges from the Federal Reserve's latest look at business conditions around the country. The Fed said 11 of its 12 regional banks reported that the economy grew at least modestly in July through mid-August. One of the Fed's regions — Cleveland — reported only slight growth. The Fed report, known as the beige book, will be used for discussion when the central bank meets next on Sept. 16-17.

  • White House welcomes Senate support of Iran nuclear deal

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — The White House says it's encouraged that more than a third of the Senate has announced support for the nuclear deal with Iran. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the senators' support is validation of the Obama administration's outreach campaign to ensure they understand what's in the deal. Earnest says every vote is important because the stakes are so high. He says the administration will continue making top officials available to brief undecided lawmakers on the deal. Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski became the 34th senator to back the agreement when she announced her support Wednesday.

  • North America's tallest mountain gets new name _ and height

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — North America's tallest mountain doesn't just have a new name. It also has a new elevation. Denali, the Alaska mountain formerly known Mount McKinley, is now officially 10 feet shorter, measuring 20,310 feet at its highest point, the U.S. Geological Survey announced Wednesday. The previous measurement of 20,320 feet stemmed from a 1953 survey that used the technology of the time, officials said. The new elevation is the result of data collected from the mountain by climbers in June using technology that didn't exist in the earlier survey, such as GPS instruments. The change is part of an ongoing USGS program to update elevations in Alaska and elsewhere.

  • Judge to move forward with suit over NSA's bulk collection

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge said Wednesday he plans to push ahead with a challenge to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of telephone data on hundreds of millions of Americans, even as the program is set to expire at the end of November. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon said he has no intention of allowing the Obama administration to use legal maneuvering to "run out the clock" on a lawsuit challenging the USA Patriot Act. Leon ruled in 2013 that the mass collection of phone records is likely unconstitutional, but the government successfully appealed that decision by challenging whether the plaintiffs in the case could prove their phone records were among those swept up by the secret program.

  • US bank earnings rose 7.3 percent in April-June quarter

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks' earnings jumped 7.3 percent in the April-June period from a year earlier as revenues increased and the volume of soured loans banks had to write off fell to the lowest level since before the financial crisis. The data issued Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed continued improvement for the banking industry seven years after the crisis struck. The number of "problem" banks continued to fall and some big banks had reduced expenses for legal settlements following large amounts paid out previously to resolve crisis-related cases. The FDIC reported that U.S. banks earned $43 billion in the second quarter, up from $40.1 billion a year earlier. Nearly 60 percent of banks repo

  • Crane operator blamed for Rhode Island building collapse

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — A police report shows that a worker blamed a mistake by a crane operator for the collapse of a building under construction at a private Rhode Island university that injured six people. Workers were installing steel beams Tuesday morning on a new indoor practice facility at Bryant University in Smithfield when the beams collapsed. The Smithfield Police Department report released Wednesday says a construction worker told police a crane operator must have pulled the beam too far as they were trying to straighten the leaning structure. A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday three of the injured workers are in good condition and three have been released. The Occupational Safety and Health Admin

  • Wills of millions of Americans now available online

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Paul Revere left all his household furniture to an unmarried daughter. Harriet Beecher Stowe bequeathed her stock in several railroads and a Florida orange grove to her son. Daniel Webster willed a beloved grandson a gold snuff box with the head of George Washington on it and all his fishing tackle. Eli Whitney left two nephews $1,000 each. Such mundane details that shed insights into the family relationships of some of America's most famous citizens are now just a mouse click away. Ancestry.com has digitized wills and probate records that cover more than 100 million people, including the deceased as well as their family and friends, dating from the Colonial era to the beginning of the 21st century

  • Car deals abound _ if you want a 2015 model

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — If you're looking for a bargain on a new car — and you're not too picky about getting the latest model — September is the time to buy. At least 31 models are being redesigned for 2016, including big names like the BMW 3 Series and the Toyota Prius, according to the car buying site Edmunds.com. So, dealers are slashing thousands of dollars off the cost of 2015 models to clear them off their lots. There are drawbacks to buying an outgoing model, such as missing out on the latest infotainment and safety features. Still, big savings on a good car might be too good to pass up, for your budget and your lifestyle. Edmunds.

  • Fox News anchor sues Hasbro over toy hamster with her name

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An anchor for Fox News is suing Hasbro for more than $5 million over a toy hamster that shares her name — and possibly even her resemblance. Harris Faulkner sued Hasbro this week over its plastic Harris Faulkner hamster, sold as part of the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company's popular Littlest Pet Shop line. She says the toy wrongfully appropriates her name and persona, harms her professional credibility as a journalist and is an insult. "Hasbro's portrayal of Faulkner as a rodent is demeaning and insulting," says the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Faulkner has been at Fox News for a decade. She hosts the daytime show "Outnumbered" and anchors a Sunda

  • APNewsBreak: Egg group scrambled over eggless mayo maker

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A California company that makes an eggless mayonnaise alternative has the U.S. egg industry scrambling. The American Egg Board, which is responsible for the "Incredible, Edible Egg" slogan, waged a campaign to counter the emergence of Hampton Creek's Just Mayo spread, and even tried to prevent its sale at Whole Foods grocery stores, according to documents provided to The Associated Press. The documents offer a sometimes comic glimpse into the alarm the egg group felt about the startup and its CEO, Josh Tetrick, who has said he wants to make the food system more environmentally friendly by replacing the eggs in an array of foods with plant-based alternatives. "You want me to contact some of my old buddi

  • APNewsBreak: Egg group scrambled over eggless mayo maker

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A California company that makes an eggless mayonnaise alternative has the U.S. egg industry scrambling. The American Egg Board, which is responsible for the "Incredible, Edible Egg" slogan, waged a campaign to counter the emergence of Hampton Creek's Just Mayo spread, and even tried to prevent its sale at Whole Foods grocery stores, according to documents provided to The Associated Press. The documents offer a sometimes comic glimpse into the alarm the egg group felt about the startup and its CEO, Josh Tetrick, who has said he wants to make the food system more environmentally friendly by replacing the eggs in an array of foods with plant-based alternatives. "You want me to contact some of my old buddi

  • Shipyard, plaintiffs propose sex-discrimination settlement

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Plaintiffs in a gender-discrimination lawsuit filed against a Virginia shipyard have asked a federal judge to give preliminary approval to a settlement. A class-action lawsuit was filed in 2013 by women working at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair Inc. The women say in the lawsuit that they suffered pay and promotion discrimination and experienced sexual harassment. BAE has denied wrongdoing. If approved by the court, the settlement would share $3 million among 177 women. It would also require that promotion decisions be based on job related criteria, such as practical and written tests. And it would prohibit supervisors from imposing additional subjective requirements. The settlement is unoppo

  • Apple wants to guide your news consumption with News app

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Apple wants to be a central part of how you consume news. The iPhone maker has forged partnerships with CNN, National Geographic and others — more than 50 companies so far, representing hundreds of outlets. Apple will launch a News service on iPhones and iPads as part of a free software update this month. That means millions of devices will get the app on the home screen, with no separate download required. Here's what's known so far: ___ HOW IT WORKS You begin by choosing at least three news topics or outlets of interest. Topics include "cooking," ''science" and "dogs," while outlets include Hearst and BuzzFeed. You get a customized feed of news.

  • A look at where Senate Democrats stand on the Iran deal

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    Congress will vote this month on a resolution to disapprove of the White House-backed nuclear deal struck with Iran by the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The deal aims to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions. Republicans who control both chambers of Congress are unanimously opposed to the deal. They need a majority in the House and 60 of 100 votes in the Senate to pass the disapproval resolution. If it does pass, President Barack Obama has pledged to veto it. At that point, opponents would need to muster two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate to override Obama's veto.

  • Key revenue measure still falling at Delta Air Lines

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines Inc. said Wednesday that a key revenue measure fell again in August, further indication that spotty fare wars are taking a financial toll on the airlines. Delta said passenger revenue for every seat flown one mile fell 6.5 percent last month compared with August 2014. It blamed lower international fuel surcharges, the strong dollar, and weaker revenue in "select" U.S. markets. With jet fuel cheaper than a year ago, airlines have been adding flights and seats in recent months. That's leading to cheaper fares on some routes, particularly at off-hours where demand may be weaker. The decline in Delta's key revenue figure was worse than July's 3 percent drop. Still, J.P.

  • News Corp confirms return of Rebekah Brooks in top role

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's media empire, has confirmed that Rebekah Brooks is coming back at the top spot in London more than a year after she was acquitted of charges in a hacking scandal that shocked the U.K. The New York company said Wednesday that Brooks, 47, will be CEO of News UK, returning Monday to a role she left in 2011 amid the hacking scandal at the company's now defunct News of the World paper. News Corp has spent more than $500 million in legal settlements with hacking victims and other related costs after it came to light that reporters eavesdropped on private voicemails of thousands of people. Brooks began her career at News of the World in 1989.

  • US offers $10 million in grants for railroad crossing fixes

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. transportation officials on Wednesday offered $10 million in grants for states to upgrade highway-rail crossings and tracks in response to a recent surge in flammable fuel shipments. The announcement from the U.S. Department of Transportation comes as rail crossing collisions have increased over the past several years, following more than three decades of steady declines. The grants would pay for improvements along rail routes that transport flammable fuels. Shipments of crude oil and ethanol increased dramatically over the past decade before energy prices plummeted. There were more than 2,200 rail crossing collisions in 2014, killing 269 people and injuring 849.

  • India SUV maker rides into US market ... on a scooter

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — India's largest SUV maker is ready to make its debut on U.S. roads. But it's starting with two wheels, not four. Mahindra hopes to win over city and campus dwellers with a $2,999, Vespa-like electric scooter called the GenZe, which goes on sale this fall in California, Oregon and Michigan. Sales could soon expand to other states and Europe. If buyers like it, Mahindra could use the GenZe as a springboard into the car market, just as Honda made the leap from motorcycles to cars here in the 1970s. The strategy has some risks. Scooters have never been as popular in the U.S. as elsewhere — people in China buy as many electric scooters in a day as Americans do in a full year, for example.




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