• Uber, campaign finance, forced pooling in play in W.Va.

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Facing a Wednesday deadline to keep their bills in play, West Virginia lawmakers cleared the way to change campaign-finance laws, scale back people's natural-gas mineral rights, introduce Uber ridesharing, and outlaw open beer cans in cars. On the GOP-led Legislature's last day to pass bills in the chamber where they started, an oil and natural gas mineral rights discussion consumed much of the day in the House of Delegates. The so-called forced-pooling bill would allow horizontal drilling under some properties when 80 percent of the surrounding mineral owners had worked out drilling agreements. It would apply when people owning mineral rights couldn't be found or refused to sign leases. The propert

  • Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections

    Yesterday

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" linked to a type of medical scope that's used on more than a half-million people in the U.S. every year, the hospital said Wednesday. The revelation comes two weeks after a similar outbreak at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center where seven patients were sickened with the superbug known as CRE after undergoing endoscopic procedures. Two died. Cedars said in a statement that it halted such procedures after learning about the UCLA outbreak and launched its own investigation. The hospital said the germ may have been transmitted through a duodenoscope made by Olympus Corp. during procedures performed between l

  • Oregon House sends low-carbon fuels bill to governor

    Yesterday

    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House voted Wednesday to send Gov. Kate Brown a climate-change bill that's likely to increase gas prices, handing the Democrat a thorny decision as she settles into office. Brown has spoken favorably of extending Oregon's low-carbon fuel standard, but she hasn't specifically said whether she'll sign the bill. The initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions associated with transportation fuels and spur investments in clean energy. But critics worry about higher gas prices. Democrats approved the measure by the narrowest of margins, 31-29, after five hours of debate. "For the health and prosperity of the next generation, we have a responsibility to act," said Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland.

  • 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Yesterday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday: 1. HOW TSARNAEV HOPES TO AVOID DEATH SENTENCE IN BOSTON BOMBING The defendant's lawyer concedes he committed the crime — but argues that he had fallen under the malevolent influence of his now-dead older brother. 2. MAN SLASHES US AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA WITH KNIFE Diplomat Mark Lippert's wounds don't appear life-threatening after the attack in Seoul by a man screaming "South and North Korea should be reunified!" 3. GOVERNMENT CLEARS OFFICER IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI, SLAYING The Justice Department concludes that the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was legally justi

  • House passes Amtrak bill that could boost Northeast service

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a rare burst of bipartisanship, the House moved Wednesday to boost Amtrak's popular service between Boston and Washington while giving states a greater say in the local routes they help subsidize. The bill, approved by a vote of 316 to 101, authorizes $7.2 billion in federal subsidies for passenger rail, including about $1.4 billion a year over four years in subsidies for Amtrak. That's nearly the same as current spending levels, disappointing Amtrak supporters who had urged a significant increase to help the railroad address its deteriorating infrastructure and aging equipment. But in a compromise between Democrats and Republicans, the bill separates Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service between Boston a

  • Bankrupt Caesars unit gets court's OK to use cash, for now

    Yesterday

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal judge in Chicago ruled Wednesday that a bankrupt division of Caesars Entertainment Corp. can tap some of the $847 million in cash it has on hand for at least five weeks. Judge Benjamin Goldgar said Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. could access its cash in the interim despite objections from some of the company's creditors. A budget the company submitted to the court indicated it plans to spend $334 million through April 3. The documents showed revenue is expected to offset spending and leave the company with $834 million in cash at the end of five weeks. Goldgar scheduled a hearing to reconsider the motion on March 26.

  • Venture capitalist says he tried to prevent firing of woman

    Yesterday

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A prominent senior partner at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm testified Wednesday that he was a loyal supporter of a woman who is now suing the company for sex discrimination. Billionaire John Doerr took the witness stand for a second day in the lawsuit alleging women were denied chances to advance at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and treated as second-class citizens. The lawsuit was filed by Ellen Pao, who says she was denied a chance to advance because she is a woman and was fired in 2012 after she complained. The case has sparked debate over the treatment of women in the high-tech and venture capital fields, which are dominated by men.

  • Pharrell tells jury he didn't copy Gaye music for hit song

    Yesterday

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pharrell Williams told a jury Wednesday that he was trying to evoke the feel of Marvin Gaye's music but did not copy the late singer's work when he crafted the 2013 hit "Blurred Lines." Williams said he grew up listening to Gaye's music and was familiar with his song "Got to Give It Up," but did not use it as a basis for "Blurred Lines," which was a hit for him and collaborators Robin Thicke and T.I. "He's one of the ones we look up to," Williams said. "This is the last place I want to be." Williams, Thicke and T.I. are being sued by Gaye's children who claim "Blurred Lines" infringes their father's copyrights for 1977's "Got to Give It Up," but Williams' testimony is crucial because he wrote the so

  • Online retailer Etsy files for IPO valued at up to $100M

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Etsy, the online retailer used by hobbyists and people who make their living selling their crafts, is going public. The Brooklyn-based company filed paperwork Wednesday for an initial public offering of stock valued at up to $100 million. It did not say yet how many shares it plans to sell or specify the timing of the deal. But the company said up to 5 percent of the shares sold in its IPO will be set aside for individual investors. That will allow U.S.-based Etsy users and others to participate in the offering, it said. LendingClub Corp., which facilitates personal and small business loans by connecting borrowers with investors, offered a similar program when it went public in December.

  • Airlines canceling large number of flights for Thursday

    Yesterday

    The patience of thousands of airline travelers will be tested again Thursday by a winter storm stretching from Texas to southern New England. Airlines canceled more than 1,800 U.S. flights scheduled for Thursday after scrubbing nearly 1,700 through early evening on Wednesday, according to tracking service FlightAware.com The airports likely to be hit hardest Thursday include Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Reagan National and Dulles in the Washington area, and LaGuardia and Newark in the New York City area. The bulk of cancelations for Thursday are on regional carriers such as ExpressJet and Republic that operate flights with smaller aircraft for the major airlines.

  • Proposed Christie-Exxon Mobil contamination deal criticized

    Yesterday

    ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists have assailed a proposed court settlement of about $250 million between Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Exxon Mobil in an oil and chemical contamination case in which the state originally sought nearly $9 billion. The settlement figure, they argued this week, amounts to the state getting just 3 cents on the dollar even though Exxon's liability had already been established. "The public health of our residents and our environment are priorities, especially in areas long subject to pollution and misuse," said Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, who's planning a public hearing this month to question the deal.

  • Judge: More time needed to seek higher Revel bids

    Yesterday

    CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A bankruptcy court judge says more time is needed to seek higher bids for Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel. Judge Gloria Burns delayed a decision Wednesday on the proposed $82 million sale of the shuttered gambling hall to Florida developer Glenn Straub. She did so after Los Angeles developer Izek Shomof expressed interest in buying Revel, but for $2 million less. The $2.4 billion casino closed in September after just over two years of operation, during which it never turned a profit. Leo Pustilnikov, Shomof's partner, says he's interested in making a formal bid soon.

  • Hoeven: Keystone backers will find way to approve pipeline

    Yesterday

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. John Hoeven says a failed attempt to override the president's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline will not deter him from pushing to get the project approved. The Senate voted 62-37 Wednesday to override President Barack Obama's veto of the bill. Proponents needed a two-thirds majority. Hoeven, the chief sponsor, says pipeline supporters didn't win the battle Wednesday but will "win the war" because they will find another bill to which they can attach the pipeline project. Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says the failed to override the veto is clear evidence that more work remains to gather additional support for the project.

  • Mandarin Oriental investigating potential credit card breach

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Upscale hotel chain Mandarin Oriental says it is investigating a potential credit card breach at its hotels. "Unfortunately incidents of this nature are increasingly becoming an industrywide concern," the company said in an emailed statement. Mandarin Oriental said it is coordinating with credit card agencies and forensic specialists. The company didn't disclose how many hotels were affected nor how many customers reported fraudulent charges on their credit cards. Mandarin Oriental operates hotels across the world including Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Prague, Boston, Las Vegas, Macau and Barcelona. The breach was first reported by cybersecurity news website Krebs

  • Deal with 72 Asiana passengers leaves many cases unresolved

    Yesterday

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — While 72 passengers have settled their personal-injury claims stemming from the crash of an Asiana Airlines flight in San Francisco two years ago, other people are continuing their legal fight with the airliner and others involved in the accident that killed three Chinese teenagers and injured nearly 200 people. There were 291 passengers and 16 crew members aboard the Boeing 777 flight that originated in South Korea when it slammed into a sea wall on approach on July 6, 2013. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed in the United States, but many foreigners aboard the flight are prevented by international treaty from suing the airliner in this country and must pursue their legal claims in Asia and elsewhere.

  • 2 killed in shootings at California nightclub, gas station

    Yesterday

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Two people were killed and five others were wounded in shootings at a Southern California nightclub and a nearby gas station early Wednesday, authorities said. Gunfire erupted as up to 200 people filed out of Stinger's nightclub on the south side of San Bernardino shortly before 2 a.m., police Lt. Rich Lawhead said. "Everything was ending, the lights were on, I was telling people to get home safe when we heard the gunshots," club promoter Eugene Jones told the Sun newspaper (http://bit.ly/1B1rAjW ). Jones, 31, was hosting a "taco Tuesday" event featuring live comedy. One person died at the club and five people were wounded, two critically, Lawhead said.

  • Report: J&J close to deal to buy partner Pharmacyclics

    Yesterday

    Health care giant Johnson & Johnson reportedly is close to buying biopharmaceutical company Pharmacyclics, its longtime partner in developing blood cancer treatment Imbruvica. London's Financial Times reports "people familiar with the matter" say Johnson & Johnson's anticipated offer would value Pharmacyclics of Sunnyvale, California, above its current $17 billion market capitalization. Those sources said a deal could be announced within days but might unravel. J&J spokeswoman Amy Meyer declined to comment. Pharmacyclics shares surged on the rumor, jumping 6.3 percent in regular trading and another 3 percent after hours to $237.48.

  • USGS: More data needed to assess any fracking-pollution link

    Yesterday

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — More data are needed to be able to fully assess whether any widespread correlation might exist between recent oil and gas development in the U.S. and degraded quality of nearby surface water, a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests. The study published in the American Geophysical Union journal Water Resources Research examined water quality data from 1970-2010 in areas with recent oil and gas drilling. The authors wrote they could document no trends involving surface water pollution in areas with increased unconventional oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing. However, existing data to investigate long-term water quality trends are adequate in just 16 percent of U.S.

  • AP INTERVIEW: Reid wants Congress to delay Iran legislation

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Key Senate Democrats led by Minority Leader Harry Reid announced their opposition Wednesday to fast action on a bill giving Congress final say on any nuclear deal with Iran. The development appeared likely to upend GOP plans to move swiftly on the bill following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Tuesday speech to Congress in which he railed against the emerging agreement. "I think we are better off on things relating to the Iran deal to wait until we see if there can be something negotiated," Reid said in an interview with The Associated Press. "And if there is something negotiated which allows a deal, then we should all jump in with all the energy we have.

  • Fed struggled in 2009 over how to boost economy, papers show

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Great Recession inflicted worsening damage on the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve struggled during 2009 to determine the best corrective steps to pursue. Transcripts of their meetings released Wednesday showed that the Fed's policymakers feared the precedents being set by providing billions of dollars of government aid to the nation's largest banks. They also debated ways to provide support to an economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. Janet Yellen, at the time head of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and now the Fed chair, was particularly spot-on in her predictions. Yellen envisioned an especially weak recovery and insisted that the world's biggest economy needed




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