• Fukushima study: Think about unthinkable disasters

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. science advisory report says Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident offers a key lesson to the nation's nuclear industry: Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios. That means thinking about earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, solar storms, multiple failures and situations that seem freakishly unusual, according to Thursday's National Academy of Sciences report. Those kinds of things triggered the world's three major nuclear accidents. "We need to do a soul searching when it comes to the assumptions" of how to deal with worst case events, said University of Southern California engineering professor Najmedin Meshkati, the panel's technical adviser.

  • US issues 186 mining citations in June

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The Mine Safety and Health Administration says inspectors issued 186 citations at 13 U.S. mining operations in June. Eleven of those mines were coal operations, while the others were metal and nonmetal. MSHA cited as examples Thursday coal mines in Virginia and West Virginia. Twenty-five citations were issued at the Dickenson-Russell Coal Co. LLC's Cherokee Mine in Dickenson County, Virginia. The West Virginia inspection occurred at Rhino Eastern LLC's Eagle Mine 3 in Wyoming County. MSHA said it found dozens of violations. The impact inspections began in 2010 after the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia killed 29 coal miners.

  • Dick's Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) — The Dick's Sporting Goods chain has laid off 478 Professional Golfers' Association teaching pros months after the company reported that sales of golf gear are dwindling. Dick's didn't immediately respond Thursday to the layoffs, which were announced by the PGA on Wednesday. Dick's operates more than 500 stores nationwide, most under the Dick's name. Those stores sell golf equipment as do 79 stores the chain operates under the Golf Galaxy name. Dick's is based in the Pittsburgh suburb of Findlay Township. Earlier this year, Dick's announced it expected its year-end profits to drop about 10 percent because of reduced sales in golf equipment, which the company says was offsetting gains it made sellin

  • Bombardier restructuring cuts 1,800 jobs globally

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Airplane maker Bombardier Inc. is cutting 1,800 jobs across facilities worldwide as it restructures operations. Spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau with the Montreal-based company said Thursday that Bombardier plans to reorganize the company into four business segments before Jan. 1. Bombardier says production-related jobs will not be affected. It plans a 15 percent reduction in what the company calls "indirect functions," such as human resources, finance and communications. Rondeau said it is too early to say what the impact will be on the company's Learjet plant in Wichita or any other of its facilities. The four business segments will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Pierre Beaudoin.

  • Texas governor's startup fund is not all it seems

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has distributed $205 million in taxpayer money to scores of technology startups using a pet program designed to bring high-paying jobs and innovation to the nation's second most-populous state. But a closer look at the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, one of Perry's signature initiatives in his 14 years as governor, reveals that some of the businesses that received money are not all they seem. One actually operates in California. Some have stagnated trying to find more capital. Others have listed out-of-state employees and short-term hires as being among the jobs they created. A few have forfeited their right to do business in Texas by not filing tax reports.

  • Morgan Stanley paying $275M to settle SEC charges

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $275 million to settle U.S. civil charges that it misled investors about risky mortgage bonds it sold ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Thursday with the Wall Street bank. The SEC said Morgan Stanley failed to accurately disclose the delinquency status of home mortgages backing two securities deals that it financed and sold in 2007. The mortgages underlying the securities had a total value of about $2.5 billion, according to the SEC. New York-based Morgan Stanley neither admitted nor denied the allegations. "We're pleased to have settled this matter," said spokesman Mark Lake. The $275 million Mor

  • More girls now getting cervical cancer vaccine

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The government is reporting an increase in teen U.S. girls getting a controversial cervical cancer vaccine — but it's not much of a bump. Last year's rise follows a couple of years when the HPV vaccination rate was flat. For girls ages 13 to 17, the rate is now up to about 38 percent from 33 percent. The CDC on Thursday reported the latest rates for the vaccine that protects against human papillomavirus, or HPV. The sexually transmitted bug can cause cervical cancer, genital warts and other illnesses. The vaccine has been available since 2006. ___ Online: CDC: http://www.cdc.

  • Varying health premium subsidies worry consumers

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — Linda Close was grateful to learn she qualified for a sizable subsidy to help pay for her health insurance under the new federal law. But in the process of signing up for a plan, Close said her HealthCare.gov account showed several different subsidy amounts, varying as much as $180 per month. Close, a South Florida retail worker in her 60's, said she got different amounts even though the personal information she entered remained the same. The Associated Press has reviewed Close's various subsidy amounts and dates to verify the information, but she asked that her financial information and medical history not be published for privacy reasons.

  • Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. But the project has been racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency. Today, the project is still in the testing phase, and the agency can't say when it will be operational or how much it will cost.

  • US airlines to resume flights to Israel

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — All three U.S. airlines serving Israel will resume flights there Thursday, following a two-day hiatus caused by combat in the Gaza Strip. United Airlines was the first to announce the resumption of flights. The decision came hours after the Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets. The Chicago-based airline says it will resume service to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv with a 4:45 p.m. eastern flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. A second United flight will leave Newark at 10:50 p.m. eastern. Delta Air Lines will also resume its once-daily s

  • Oil train derails in Seattle rail yard; no spill

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — Three tanker cars in an oil train from North Dakota derailed at a rail yard in Seattle early Thursday, but Burlington Northern Santa Fe says none of the oil spilled. Gus Melonas (mel-OWN'-us) says a locomotive and buffer car loaded with sand also left the rails about 2 a.m. at the Interbay yard as the train with 102 cars of Bakken oil was pulling out, headed for a refinery. The BNSF spokesman says the train was traveling at about 5 mph at the time. Two of the tankers are leaning, and one at a 45-degree pitch will be pumped out. It holds 27,000 gallons of oil. No one was injured. Melonas says crews expect to have the cars back on the rails and the track repaired by midnight Thursday.

  • GM profit 2Q falls 85 pct. on recall costs

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Recall expenses chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, as it added up the costs of repairs for nearly 30 million cars and set aside funds to compensate victims of small-car crashes. The nation's biggest automaker posted a net profit of $190 million, or 11 cents per share. A year ago GM made $1.26 billion, or 75 cents per share. Without one-time items GM would have made 58 cents per share, equaling Wall Street's expectations, according to data provider FactSet. So far this year GM has recalled almost 30 million vehicles, surpassing the company's annual record of 11.8 million in 2004. GM's safety problems began earlier this year with the recall of 2.6 million small ca

  • Dunkin' pushing cashiers to 'upsell' in afternoons

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on. Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis says the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush. In the afternoon, customers who do come in are mostly just searching for a drink. Upselling of this kind — often called "suggestive selling" in the fast-food world — is common. Who hasn't been asked "Would you like fries with that?" But it's not a strategy Dunkin' has aggressively pushed in the past, because most the chain's business is in the morning

  • AmerisourceBergen reports 3Q loss

    Yesterday

    CHESTERBROOK, Pa. (AP) — AmerisourceBergen Corp. (ABC) on Thursday reported a fiscal third-quarter loss after posting a profit in the same period a year earlier. The company's results topped analysts' expectations. The Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania-based company reported a loss of $12.8 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with a profit of $168.4 million, or 71 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and to extinguish debt, came to $1.01 per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 92 cents per share. The prescription drug distributor said revenue climbed 39 percent to $30.35 billion from $21.

  • IMF cuts US and global growth forecasts for 2014

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund foresees the global economy expanding less than it had previously forecast, slowed by weaker growth in the United States, Russia and developing economies. The lending organization predicted Thursday that global growth will be 3.4 percent in 2014, below its April forecast of 3.7 percent. But the fund still expects the growth of the world's economy to accelerate a bit to 4 percent in 2015. The downgrade of this year's estimate for the global economy reflects much slower growth in the United States. The IMF now expects just 1.7 percent U.S. growth in 2014, which would be the weakest since the recession officially ended five years ago. That's down from its April prediction of 2.

  • Ford 2Q net profit up 6 percent to $1.3 billion

    Yesterday

    DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. beat Wall Street's expectations in the second quarter as it chalked up a record profit in North America and made money in Europe for the first time in three years. But things will get leaner in the second half as Ford closes one of its U.S. pickup truck plants to prepare for the launch of its new aluminum-sided F-150. Marketing expenses for new products, like the truck and the Ford Edge in the U.S. and the Mondeo and Focus sedans in Europe, will also take a bite out of earnings. Ford, which earned $3.9 billion before taxes in the first half of this year, confirmed it expects full-year earnings of $7 billion to $8 billion. That's down from $8.6 billion in 2013.

  • Nokia sees brighter future without handset unit

    Yesterday

    HELSINKI (AP) — There is life after mobile phones for Nokia. Shares in the Finnish wireless equipment maker surged Thursday after it reported higher profits and an improved earnings outlook in the wake of the sale to Microsoft of its troubled handset division. The Finnish company said its second-quarter profit rose 20 percent to 213 million euros ($285 million) on the back of improved profitability of its key networks unit. Net sales in the April to June period fell to 2.9 billion euros from 3.2 billion euros in the same period last year, mainly due to divestments and currency fluctuations at the networks gear unit. Nokia Corp.'s stock closed up 7.3 percent at 6.14 euros on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

  • Cruise passengers recount horror stories to Senate

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Laurie Dishman told senators through tears that she was choked and raped on a Royal Caribbean cruise by one of the line's employees, using her experience to shed light on the dangers that passengers might face on cruises. "Cruise consumers have virtually no rights or protections," Dishman, a resident of Sacramento, California, said Wednesday during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in which witnesses called for more passenger protections on cruise liners. "I know this first-hand." Dishman said she was hurt and humiliated during the 2006 incident when staff members were slow and discourteous in helping her.

  • Tanker overturns, spills gas on I-95 in Virginia

    Yesterday

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia state police say a tanker truck has overturned and spilled gasoline on Interstate 95 in Chesterfield County. Spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the southbound truck collided with another vehicle at 6:07 a.m. Thursday near the 57-mile marker. The truck then veered off the interstate, struck a wall and overturned. Geller says cleanup crews are pumping the gasoline out of the tank in order to contain the leak. She says the truck's driver was taken to VCU Medical Center for treatment of injuries that were serious but not life threatening. The driver and two passengers in the other vehicle were transported to Chippenham Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. The cause of the crash

  • AAA: Texas retail gasoline prices slip 4 cents

    Yesterday

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Texas and nationwide retail gasoline prices have slipped 4 cents this week amid lower crude oil costs. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump statewide settled at $3.41 per gallon. Motorists across the U.S. are paying an average $3.55 per gallon. The association survey found Amarillo has the cheapest gasoline in Texas this week at $3.32 per gallon. Drivers in El Paso have the most expensive gasoline in Texas at $3.49 per gallon. AAA experts say retail prices at the pump have continued to move lower due primarily to lower crude oil costs as global geopolitical tensions stabilize.