• Senator objects to anti-terrorism rules for online sites

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and skeptic of broad government surveillance, objected Tuesday to a bill that would have required social media and online sites like Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook to alert federal authorities of any terrorist activity. The proposal, by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had been tucked into a broader bill authorizing intelligence programs throughout the 2016 budget year and became the subject of several private meetings on Capitol Hill between congressional staff and industry officials. In a statement submitted into the Congressional Record, Wyden said the Senate had been asked on Tuesday to approve the intelligence authorization bill by unanimous consent. Doing so wo

  • SBA loan approvals resume after Congress lifts lending limit

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses are again able to get loans backed by the federal government. President Barack Obama signed into law a bill Tuesday raising the lending authority for the Small Business Administration's biggest loan program, known as the 7(a) program. Loan approvals resumed after going on hold Thursday, when the SBA reached its $18.75 billion annual limit for loan guarantees. The bill, which won final passage by the House on Monday, raises the lending limit to $23.5 billion. The SBA reached its annual limit with more than two months left in the government's fiscal year. The agency has had an influx of applications because owners are willing to take on more risks including loans after cutting back durin

  • Planned US ivory rules not fazing California Chinatown shops

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ivory dealers in San Francisco's Chinatown stood in their shop doors next to windows full of carved ivory tusks and trinkets, unfazed by proposed federal rules that the White House says go as far as possible to ban the U.S. trade of ivory from the world's endangered elephants. "Wooly mammoth ivory," not elephant ivory, Michael Rasoyli said this week of the carved tusks for sale in the store he manages. "Cow bone," Virginia Lo, manager of a Chinatown shop next door, said of the half-dozen curved tusks up to 4 ½ feet long that she was selling. Those claims are a ruse, according to opponents of the global trade in elephant ivory.

  • Haslam launches 15-stop Tennessee tour on road funding needs

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday that he will kick off a 15-stop tour of Tennessee to highlight the state's transportation funding challenges as he considers a proposal to increase the gas tax for the first time in 25 years. Haslam cited a "multibillion dollar backlog" of highway projects across the state. He said the state can no longer depend on federal funding. He also said maintenance becomes more expensive as infrastructure ages and new projects are needed to improve safety, access and economic development. "The good news is that all our vehicles get a lot better mileage than they used to," Haslam told The Associated Press at a National Governors Association meeting in West Virginia

  • Ohio funeral home owner pleads not guilty to corpse abuse

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The owner of an Ohio funeral home where several bodies intended for cremation were found in a state of decay has pleaded not guilty to corpse abuse charges. Robert Tate Jr. of Tate Funeral Services in Toledo was arraigned Tuesday on two felony counts in Lucas County court. A trial is scheduled for Sept. 8. A message seeking comment was left for Tate's attorney, Derek Farmer. The funeral home has maintained it provided embalming in accordance with state law. In late May, authorities removed 11 bodies intended for cremation, including some that were stored in a damp garage. Tate's license was later suspended by a state board that oversees funeral homes. He also was sued by the family of a man w

  • Drugmaker Pfizer tops Street 2Q forecasts, raises forecast

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    Pfizer Inc. beat Wall Street's second-quarter expectations and raised its 2015 forecast, as soaring sales for a few key products helped inoculate the world's second-largest drugmaker against a $1 billion revenue hit from foreign exchange rates and its last wave of cheap generic competition hurting former big sellers. Though net income dropped 10 percent, shares of the New York-based maker of Viagra started climbed Tuesday. The drugmaker, which has struggled in recent years, touted its third straight quarter with operational growth and prospects to have 10 drugs in testing by next year in the hot field of immune-oncology — medicines that boost the immune system to better fight cancer. Rivals Merck & Co. and Bristol-Mye

  • US consumer confidence falls to lowest level since September

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell this month to the lowest level since September. Consumers are worried about the job market and rattled by events in Greece and China. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence fell to 90.9 in July from a revised 99.8 in June. That's the lowest since September's reading of 89. Consumers' assessment of current conditions fell slightly to a still-healthy 107.4 from 110.3 in June; but their outlook for the next six months dropped sharply to 79.9 this month, the lowest since February 2014 and down from 92.8 in June. Lynn Franco, a Conference Board economist, says consumers may have been concerned about the debt standoff in Greece and a stock mark

  • Freeport-McCoRan launches business review to cut costs

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    Shares of Freeport-McMoRan jumped Tuesday after the company said it has started reviewing its mining and oil and gas businesses to look for cost-cutting opportunities in the face of weak markets for its products. The Phoenix company plans to complete the review and report on revised plans during the third quarter. It will look for ways to cut capital spending and operating and administrative costs. The company said this could include adjustments to mine plans and future copper and molybdenum production volumes to cut costs. Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s assets include mining operations in North and South America, oil and gas assets in the United States and a minerals deposit in Indonesia. Its shares rose were up 8.1 percent,

  • Haslam launching 15-stop tour of Tenn. on road funding needs

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is launching a 15-stop tour of Tennessee to discuss the transportation funding challenges as he considers a proposal to increase the state's gas tax for the first time in 25 years. Haslam in a release Tuesday cited a "multi-billion dollar backlog" of highway projects across the state. He said the state can no longer depend on federal funding. He also said maintenance becomes more expensive as infrastructure ages and new projects are needed to improve safety, access and economic development. Haslam will be joined by Transportation Commissioner John Schroer on the six-week tour beginning Aug. 5 in Memphis.

  • The Latest: Kerry's nuke deal testimony translated in Iran

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest developments on Obama administration officials' testimony Tuesday before Congress on the Iran nuclear deal (all times local EDT): 12:53 p.m. Iran's state TV's broadcast of Secretary of State John Kerry's testimony before Congress on a landmark nuclear agreement was simultaneously translated into Farsi and a news bar highlighting specific remarks. It's the second time state TV has broadcast Kerry's testimony this week, marking a further departure from Iran's longtime policy of not broadcasting remarks by U.S. officials. State TV has carried two speeches by President Barack Obama on the nuclear deal.

  • Ford surprises in 2Q with record North American profit

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s net income jumped 44 percent to $1.9 billion in the second quarter as global sales rose and customers paid more for new trucks and SUVs with premium features. Ford pulled off a record quarterly profit of $2.6 billion in North America even though dealerships weren't fully stocked with its best-selling vehicle, the F-150 pickup. The results bode well for the second half of the year, when Ford's two U.S. truck plants will be in full production and dealers will have more pickups to sell. "We are now more confident than ever that we will deliver a breakthrough year," Ford's CEO Mark Fields said on a conference call with analysts. Fields said Ford still expects to achieve a pretax profit

  • Nebraska trial set over land seizures for oil pipeline

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    O'NEILL, Neb. (AP) — A judge has scheduled an October trial on a Holt County lawsuit aimed at keeping TransCanada Corp. from seizing land to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. At a hearing in on Monday in O'Neill, District Judge Mark Kozisek set the nonjury trial date of Oct. 19. Seven Nebraska landowners filed lawsuits after the state Supreme Court tossed an earlier, similar lawsuit, with three justices saying the plaintiffs in the case didn't have standing to sue because they didn't prove TransCanada was seeking their land. In January TransCanada filed legal papers in nine Nebraska counties to invoke eminent domain for land that's needed to construct, operate and maintain the pipeline.

  • Strong home sales, limited supply lift US home prices in May

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose steadily in May, pushed higher by a healthy increase in sales this year. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 4.9 percent in May from 12 months earlier, down slightly from a 5 percent pace in April, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Home sales have jumped in recent months as an improving economy boosts hiring and enables more people to afford a purchase. Yet the higher sales haven't encouraged more people to sell their homes, leaving supplies tight and driving up prices.

  • Sirius XM matches Street 2Q forecasts

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Sirius XM Holdings Inc. reported strong subscriber growth, a second-quarter profit and raised its outlook for the year on Tuesday. The satellite radio company reported earnings of $102.8 million, or 2 cents per share. Adjusted for non-recurring costs, earnings were 3 cents per share. The adjusted results met Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 3 cents per share. The New York-based company's revenue rose 8 percent to $1.12 billion on subscriber growth of 46 percent. Looking ahead, the company expects to add 1.8 million new subscribers this year, up from prior guidance of 1.4 million. Sirius XM expects full-year

  • Correction: San Francisco-Soda Warning story

    Yesterday

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a story July 26 about a lawsuit against San Francisco by the American Beverage Association, The Associated Press reported erroneously where the city's health warning labels would be posted. The labels are to be placed on advertisements for certain sugary drinks, not on the beverages.

  • Merck tops Street 2Q forecasts despite lower sales, profit

    Yesterday

    Merck & Co.'s second-quarter profit plunged by two-thirds, hammered by the sale of its consumer business, unfavorable currency exchange rates, lower sales of some key drugs and hefty one-time charges. The world's fifth-biggest drugmaker by revenue beat modest Wall Street expectations and raised its full-year profit forecast by a dime per share, but shares still fell 1.3 percent to $56.25 in early trading. Edward Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans termed it a "mixed quarter," with promising new drugs for hepatitis C and cancer getting accelerated regulatory reviews and cost-cutting boosting the bottom line. Those factors were offset by all the charges and the loss of consumer health revenue, which totaled $583 million a year ago.

  • White House Notebook: Third term? Obama says no thanks

    Yesterday

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Could President Barack Obama win a third term in office? He's convinced that he could, but would really rather not. Obama used his own history of electoral success to rib African leaders who overstay their welcomes by refusing to leave office after their terms expire. In his speech Tuesday at the African Union headquarters, he conceded unfamiliarity with that concept because as a second-term U.S. president, he's constitutionally barred from running again. "I actually think I'm a pretty good president," Obama said. "I think if I ran, I could win. But I can't!" That's just fine with the president.

  • UAE slashes fuel subsidies, announces 24 percent price hike

    Yesterday

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has slashed gasoline subsidies, announcing Tuesday that it will raise the cost of a liter of regular gasoline by 24 percent amid globally low oil prices that have cut into the country's revenues. Starting Aug. 1, drivers will pay 2.14 dirhams (58 cents) per liter of gasoline at the pump instead of 1.72 dirhams (47 cents), or about $2.21 a gallon instead of $1.78, the government's new fuel price committee said. Meanwhile, the price of diesel will be lowered, with drivers paying 2.05 dirhams a liter instead of 2.90 dirhams — a 29 percent decrease. The move is part of a wider strategy to phase out subsidies and offset the effect of a drop in revenues.

  • DuPont cuts forecast on agriculture sales drop

    Yesterday

    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — DuPont's second-quarter profit fell 12 percent, and the chemical company lowered its forecast for the year after a stronger dollar and a sales drop in its agriculture segment affected results. The company also cut its quarterly dividend from 49 cents to 38 cents. The company plans to buy back $2 billion in stock this year and another $2 billion next year with proceeds from its spinoff of its Chemours business. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company now expects 2015 adjusted earnings to total about $3.10 per share, compared with a previous forecast for $4 per share. Company officials said most of that decrease came from removing results from its now-separated Chemours business. Analysts had expe

  • Scholars drawn to conflict zones stoke college safety debate

    Yesterday

    BOSTON (AP) — Some U.S. colleges with overseas-study programs won't touch Ukraine. Tufts University, on the other hand, is drawn to the turmoil in the former Soviet republic, which the U.S. State Department deemed dangerous for travel. The potential to help activists and scholars, Tufts professor Peter Levine says, outweighs the risks posed by an unstable country. He is leading a conference in Ukraine next month on civics studies, in part because the country exemplifies the struggles of a fledgling democracy. "American universities, at our best, have people who should be getting on a plane to go to a country that's in crisis," Levine said. "Sometimes they do a lot of good.




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