• Groups sue feds over Pacific bigeye fishing rule

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Environmental groups on Thursday sued the National Marine Fisheries Service to challenge a new rule for fishing bigeye tuna, a popular species for sushi and fish steaks. The regulation undermines international efforts to end overfishing of bigeye, said the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court by the environmental law firm Earthjustice on behalf of the Conservation Council for Hawaii and two other groups. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which regulates commercial fishing between Indonesia and Hawaii, has established an annual quota of 3,763 metric tons of bigeye for U.S.-flagged longline vessels in the central and western Pacific.

  • Fed to review its oversight of big banks

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says it will review how it oversees the biggest U.S. banks amid criticism that it has grown too close to the financial institutions it is charged with regulating. The Fed announced the review late Thursday. On Friday, a Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on whether Fed examiners — particularly in its New York operation — have become too cozy with the big banks they oversee. The central bank said the review will examine whether its decision-makers get the information they need to make good decisions in their inspection and oversight of banks. It also will look at the Fed's internal culture, and whether dissenting views related to oversight are stifled.

  • Government tells Chrysler to speed up Jeep recall

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — The nation's auto safety agency is telling Chrysler to speed up a recall of 1.5 million older Jeeps with gas tanks that can rupture in a rear collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent a letter to Chrysler on Wednesday saying that a "woeful" 3 percent of the Jeeps have been fixed, more than a year after the recall began. The agency urged owners to take the Jeeps to dealers for repairs. It's the latest skirmish in a 4½-year feud between Chrysler and the agency over the recall, which Chrysler initially resisted, saying the Jeeps performed no worse than similar vehicles. The two sides were headed for a public hearing and court battle until former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

  • 21 Indian reservations joining buyback program

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal officials on Thursday doubled the number of American Indian communities involved in a $1.9 billion government effort to return lands on reservations to tribal ownership. Twenty-one Indian communities in 12 states will join the land buyback program by 2017, said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor. That brings the number of locations in the program to 42. "Right now the program is accelerating," Connor said. "Our outreach efforts and coordination with tribal leaders and government is becoming more effective." The buyback program was a central piece of a $3.4 billion settlement in 2009 of a class-action lawsuit filed by Elouise Cobell of Browning who died in 2011.

  • Man admits $20 million Ponzi scheme in New Jersey

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A central New Jersey man has admitted running a $20 million Ponzi scheme. Louis Spina faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud when he's sentenced in February. Spina pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton on Thursday. The U.S. attorney's office says the 57-year-old Colts Neck resident persuaded 36 investors to invest $20 million based on promises they would earn 9 percent to 14 percent monthly. Spina was accused of putting only $9.5 million into a trading account and using the remaining $10.5 million to make interest payments to investors, return some portions of their principals and pay for his personal expenses. He also was accused of making a $400,000 donation to a university. In

  • Drug lab explosion kills 1, hurts 2; house gutted

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say an explosion that tore apart a Southern California shack, killing one person and critically injuring two others, was caused by a lab illegally making hash oil. The blast shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Muscoy destroyed a 500-square-foot home. Authorities say the body of 61-year-old Adrian Curiel of Chino was found buried in wreckage in the basement. A critically injured woman with a head injury was found partially buried by debris in the basement and a burned man, also critically injured, was found walking near the home. The Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.

  • NJ: No proof that Pala CEO knew of cheating

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    ATLANTIC C ITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's chief gambling regulator says a preliminary investigation has found no proof that the CEO of a tribal Internet gambling company was involved in or knew of an online cheating scandal at a previous job. David Rebuck, director of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, said Jim Ryan, chief executive of Pala Interactive, was CEO of a company whose software was used to cheat online card players in 2006. Pala started offering Internet gambling in New Jersey this week, the first Indian tribe to do so. In a letter posted on the division's website Thursday afternoon, Rebuck said an investigation of the UltimateBet scandal determined that it occurred while Ryan was head of Excapsa Software.

  • Arizona sues General Motors over delayed recalls

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's attorney general has sued General Motors Co. for failing to recall millions of cars and trucks with safety defects the auto giant did not disclose for years. The lawsuit seeks potentially billions of dollars in fines. Attorney General Tom Horne said Thursday that he sued under the state's consumer fraud statutes and is seeking a $10,000 fine for each of hundreds of thousands of defective vehicles sold in the state. The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix also seeks an injunction barring GM from similar actions and an order that it hand over profits it made from selling defective vehicles. Horne took action independent of a group of 48 states that have been jointly investigatin

  • Casinos push back on Massachusetts gambling limits

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — In a rarely used strategy to address gambling addiction, Massachusetts regulators may require casinos to reward their customers for voluntarily setting limits on how much time and money they spend at slot machines. But the state's recently licensed casino companies — Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming — have voiced strong concerns over the proposal, suggesting such programs have not proved effective elsewhere. The programs, sometimes called play management, limit-setting or pre-commitment programs, are in place in New Zealand, Singapore, Norway, Sweden and Canada. Australia has piloted a limiting system in four of its states. Massachusetts would be the first in the U.S.

  • AT&T pays $23.8 M to settle hazardous-waste case

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — AT&T agreed Thursday to pay California authorities nearly $24 million to settle allegations that it improperly disposed of hazardous waste during a nine-year period. California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Thursday that the telecommunications giant has also agreed to spend $28 million over the next five years to properly dispose of the waste, which includes batteries, electronic equipment and various gels and liquids. The investigation began in 2011 when inspectors with the Alameda County District Attorney's office and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control examined trash bins outside about 235 AT&T warehouse and other facilities, Harris said.

  • GameStop 3Q misses estimates; cuts 2014 outlook

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — GameStop shares fell Thursday after the company reported a third-quarter profit that missed expectations while also cutting its outlook for the year. The Grapevine, Texas-based company said it earned an adjusted profit of 57 cents per share in its fiscal third quarter. Wall Street analysts expected 62 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research. The video game retailer's sales in the period, $2.09 billion, also fell short of analysts' forecast for $2.21 billion. GameStop said the delayed release of "Assassin's Creed Unity," the newest version of a popular video game, hurt its sales for the quarter, which ran through Nov. 1. GameStop now expects per-share earnings for the year of $3.

  • Gap names heads of namesake brand, Banana Republic

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Gap Inc. cut its full-year profit outlook Thursday after reporting a sales shortfall in the fiscal third quarter and announced management changes at its Gap and Banana Republic brands. As part of the executive overhaul, Jeff Kirwan, 48, will become global president for the Gap brand in December following a brief transition period. Kirwan, who was head of Gap's China business, succeeds Stephen Sunnucks, who will leave the company on Dec. 19 after steering the growth of its namesake brand for nearly 50 countries for the past decade. Meanwhile, Andi Owen, 49, who heads Gap Outlet's division, will become global president for Banana Republic effective Jan. 5. She succeeds Jack Calhoun, who will leave the company

  • Family gets $6.75 million in Botox treatment case

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A New York couple who said Botox treatment of their son's cerebral palsy left him with life-threatening complications and sued its manufacturer won a $6.75 million verdict from a federal jury on Thursday. The verdict, in U.S. District Court in Burlington, came three days after the announcement that Parsippany, New Jersey-based drugmaker Actavis would acquire Botox maker Allergan for $66 billion, one of the biggest acquisitions announced this year. A lawyer for Mineville, New York, residents Lori and Kevin Drake said Joshua Drake, now 7, suffered calf spasms due to mild cerebral palsy until he got Botox injections to treat them at a Burlington hospital in 2012.

  • Future dim for Taj Mahal, former Revel casinos

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The prospects for Atlantic City's crumbling casino market are worsening. All sides scrambled to regroup from the collapse Wednesday night of a deal to sell the former Revel Casino Hotel to a Canadian firm, leaving its future uncertain. A Delaware bankruptcy judge scheduled a hearing on whether the parent company of the struggling Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort should be liquidated. Trump Entertainment Resorts has said it will close the casino Dec. 12. The liquidation hearing is set for Dec. 4. And looming early next year is a widely expected bankruptcy filing by a division of Caesars Entertainment, the company that owns three of Atlantic City's eight remaining casinos.

  • Delta orders 50 Airbus jets, bypassing Boeing

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday it would acquire 50 new planes from Europe's Airbus to replace older Boeing Co. jets. Both aircraft makers wooed Delta for the order, which carries a sticker price of $14.3 billion, although airlines routinely get sharp discounts. Airlines have been on a buying spree, replacing older, less fuel-efficient planes. Delta said that it ordered 25 Airbus A350-900 jets to start arriving in 2017 and 25 Airbus A330-900neo jets for delivery beginning in 2019. The two-aisle planes will replace older Boeing 747 and 767 jets. Boeing did win an order for 10 wide-body 777-300ER jets from Kuwait Airways, however. Those will be delivered starting in late 2016. The list price was $3.3 b

  • Cramer appointed to Energy and Commerce Committee

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer has been appointed to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce for the upcoming 114th Congress. The committee has a broad jurisdiction. It is responsible for the nation's telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, public health research, environmental quality, energy policy, and interstate and foreign commerce. Cramer says "the biggest issues" affecting North Dakota and the country "will be deliberated" on this committee. Cramer is a former energy and telecommunications regulator. He served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission before he became a congressman.

  • GM shakes up management, names new quality chief

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors has promoted its purchasing chief to be its head of quality as part of a management shakeup. The move comes after all GM brands but Buick performed worse than average in this year's Consumer Reports auto reliability survey. Quality and customer experience head Alicia Boler-Davis will remain a senior vice president, but will no longer lead quality.  She's now in charge of a department that handles GM's interactions with its customers. Purchasing head Grace Lieblein takes over as vice president of global quality. Both executives report to CEO Mary Barra. Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet all scored below average in the Consumer Reports survey revealed last month. GMC fell 10 places l

  • Senator: Obama climate plan unfair to Pennsylvania

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania's Democratic senator is criticizing President Barack Obama's proposed climate change rules, urging revisions to a plan that he says imposes unfair costs and burdens on the state. In a 22-page letter sent Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. Bob Casey makes clear he supports broad goals of combating global warming and agrees an EPA plan is necessary. But Casey said the carbon emissions target for the state is unreasonably high and could lead to higher electricity prices. "Our Commonwealth powers the electricity needs of states across the mid-Atlantic. We should be treated sensibly and fairly," said Casey, the state's senior senator.

  • Most US unemployed don't get benefits: Here's why

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Even though the U.S. job market is gaining strength, there are still a lot of unemployed Americans. Yet only a fraction of them are receiving financial aid from the government. Fewer than 25 percent of those out of work are signed up for weekly unemployment benefits, a near-record low since the government began tracking this data in 1987. That's a sharp turnaround from just after the recession, when as many as three-quarters of those out of work received help, a record high. The drop counters a common assumption that most of those out of work receive unemployment benefits. It is partly a sign of an improving job market: Layoffs have plummeted and Americans seem more confident in their prospects for finding

  • FDA approves new, hard-to-abuse hydrocodone pill

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators on Thursday approved the first hard-to-abuse version of the painkiller hydrocodone, offering an alternative to a similar medication that has been widely criticized for lacking such safeguards. The Food and Drug Administration approved Purdue Pharma's Hysingla ER for patients with severe, round-the-clock pain that cannot be managed with other treatments. The once-a-day tablet is designed to thwart abuse via chewing, crushing, snorting or injecting. The FDA said the medication is difficult to crush, break or dissolve. Purdue Pharma's new drug poses a direct commercial challenge to Zogenix's much-debated drug Zohydro, a twice-a-day hydrocodone tablet approved by the FDA last year.