• West seeks to inflict more economic pain on Russia

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Citing Russia's stalled growth rate and a flow of foreign capital out of Moscow, U.S. and European officials hope a new round of sanctions targeting energy and defense entities, as well as major banks, will deepen Russia's economic pain even further and force President Vladimir Putin to end provocations in Ukraine. Roughly 30 percent of Russia's banking sector assets are now constrained by U.S. sanctions, Obama administration officials said Tuesday, shortly after announcing new penalties. The sanctions target five of Russia's six largest state-owned banks and aim to curtail their access to U.S. debt markets. The West is also halting future sales to lucrative Russian economic sectors, with the U.S.

  • Argentina, US bondholders meet as deadline looms

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Argentina's economy minister emerged from daylong negotiations aimed at preventing a default Tuesday to say both sides had finally spoken for the first time, a development that raised hopes that a deal might be reached to avert a financial crisis. Minister Axel Kicillof made the revelation shortly before midnight as he left talks he had joined several hours earlier. Shortly afterward, court-appointed mediator Daniel A. Pollack issued a statement saying Kicillof had led a delegation that met lawyers for U.S. bondholders trying to collect about $1.5 billion they are owed by Argentina. He said the two sides met several hours in his office and in his presence. "These were the first face-to-face talks

  • PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal grand jury charged Pacific Gas & Electric on Tuesday with lying to federal investigators in connection with a fatal pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled a suburban Northern California neighborhood in 2010. The U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced the obstruction of justice charge and 27 related counts, which are in a new indictment charging the utility with felonies. It replaces a previous indictment that contained 12 counts related to PG&E's safety practices, but not obstruction. Prosecutors say PG&E hampered the investigation by lying to National Transportation Safety Board investigators after the blast.

  • Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The little blue bird is flying high. Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter. Twitter also grew its user base more than expected, alleviating concerns, at least for now, that it doesn't hold appeal for a broad swath of people. Its larger rival, Facebook, also posted strong results last week and its stock is trading near a record high. San Francisco-based Twitter's stock jumped 30 percent to $50.01 in extended trading Tuesday. Twitter Inc. posted a net loss of $144.6 million, or 24 cents per share, in the April-June period. That compares with a loss of $42.

  • Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter. Twitter also grew its user base more than expected, alleviating concerns, at least for now, that it doesn't hold appeal for a broad swath of people. Its larger rival, Facebook, also posted strong results last week and its stock is trading near a record high. San Francisco-based Twitter's stock jumped 30 percent to $50.01 in extended trading Tuesday. Twitter Inc. posted a net loss of $144.6 million, or 24 cents per share, in the April-June period. That compares with a loss of $42.2 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earl

  • Utility works to restore power in Michigan

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — DTE Energy Co. says it's working to restore power to about 15,000 customers out of the 223,000 homes and businesses that lost service when severe thunderstorms hit Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The Detroit-based utility says that 171,000 of its 186,000 affected customers were back online at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says it's restored power to the 37,000 of its customers blacked out by Sunday's storms. DTE crews are working 16-hour shifts and more than 400 workers from Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin are assisting. The utility says a majority of the remaining outages are in Oakland County, north of Detroit. The National Weather Service reports storm winds reached 70 mph, knoc

  • Pacific Gas & Electric charged with obstruction in connection with fatal San Bruno explosion

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric charged with obstruction in connection with fatal San Bruno explosion.

  • 5 food writers subpoenaed in 'pink slime' lawsuit

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Several food writers, including a New York Times reporter, have been subpoenaed by a meat producer as part of its $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC in regards to the network's coverage of a beef product dubbed "pink slime" by critics. The subpoenas were issued to five writers — three reporters for the online Food Safety News, Times reporter Michael Moss and noted food writer Michele Simon — asking each to supply copies of any communications they had with ABC in 2012. Beef Products Inc. sued the network in 2012 seeking $1.2 billion in damages for the coverage of the meat product the industry calls "lean, finely textured beef," which critics dubbed "pink slime.

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it back to House

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted Tuesday to keep federal highway money flowing to the states into December but only after rejecting the House's reliance on what lawmakers called a funding "gimmick" and moving to force a post-election debate on whether to raise gasoline taxes. The House could accept the Senate's changes or reject them and send the bill back to the Senate. Whichever outcome, a highway funding bill is still expected to clear Congress before lawmakers adjourn for the summer later this week. The Senate took up a $10.8 billion bill the House passed last week that would have kept the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent through next May and voted 66-31 to strip out controversial funding provisions, leaving $8.1 bi

  • Schauer unveils economic plan, promises new jobs

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WATERTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer on Tuesday proposed tripling the percentage of Michigan's electricity that must come from renewable sources and rebuilding crumbling roads — parts of an economic plan he said would create tens of thousands of jobs. Schauer's 24-page "blueprint" includes new proposals such as increasing the portion of power from sources such as wind and the sun to 30 percent by 2035. Under state law, Michigan's suppliers must produce at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder favors increasing the requirement but has not decided by how much.

  • Argentina talks go long as debt deadline looms

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Argentina's economy minister has joined negotiators who are in New York trying to prevent the South American nation's second default in 13 years. Minister Axel Kicillof arrived Tuesday evening at the Manhattan offices of a mediator appointed to try to strike a deal by midnight Wednesday. A federal judge last week ordered around-the-clock negotiations to avoid a default. But Argentina has blamed the judge for the crisis, saying his orders are forcing it into insolvency. The judge has ordered Argentina to pay about $1.5 billion it owes to New York hedge funds if it pays other bondholders who agreed to swap their bonds at a discount.

  • Biotech drugmaker Amgen laying off at least 2,400

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    Biologic drugmaker Amgen said Tuesday that it will lay off 12 to 15 percent of its worldwide workforce and close four sites, even as it reported stellar second-quarter results that trounced Wall Street expectations. Amgen also raised its forecasts for its 2014 profit and revenue, driving up its shares. The maker of Prolia for osteoporosis and anemia treatment Aranesp said it's restructuring to free up money needed for investments in the business, particularly marketing and other costs for launching new drugs. "We began this action with strong confidence in the underlying performance of our business," CEO Bob Bradway told analysts on a conference call. The layoffs will happen this year and next, eliminating 2,400 t

  • Vending firm ex-official sentenced in Pepsi scheme

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former official of a New Jersey-based vending company has been sentenced to prison time for his role in a scheme that defrauded the Pepsi Bottling Group of $2.9 million over a 10-year period. Cedar Grove resident Joseph Belasco was ordered Tuesday to serve six months in prison and six months of home confinement. He also will pay $1 million in restitution and must serve two years of supervised release once he's freed from prison. The 65-year-old Belasco pleaded guilty last November to a complaint charging him with providing a false 2008 Internal Revenue Service 1099 tax form to the wife of a PepsiCo executive for consulting services she never performed. Pepsi Bottling Group is owned by Purchase, N

  • $1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The price is sky-high, but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million. Even with insurers reluctant to pay, Sovaldi prescriptions have eclipsed those for all other hepatitis C pills combined in a matter of months, new data from IMS Health indicate. The promise of a real cure, with fewer nasty side effects, has prompted thousands to get treated. But clinical and commercial successes are also triggering scrutiny for the drug's manufacturer, California-based Gilead Sciences Inc., which just reported second-quarter profits of $3.66 billion, or a net margin of 56 percent.

  • Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; 128 killed

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel unleashed its heaviest air and artillery assault of the Gaza war on Tuesday, destroying key symbols of Hamas control, shutting down the territory's only power plant and leaving at least 128 Palestinians dead on the bloodiest day of the 22-day conflict. Despite devastating blows that left the packed territory's 1.7 million people cut off from power and water and sent the overall death toll soaring past 1,200, Hamas' shadowy military leader remained defiant as he insisted that the Islamic militants would not cease fire until its demands are met. The comments by Mohammed Deif in an audiotape broadcast on a Hamas satellite TV channel cast new doubt on international cease-fire efforts.

  • Senate amends highway bill, delaying final action

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has amended a House-passed highway bill. The move delays until later this week final congressional action for keeping federal highway funds flowing to states through the November election. Senators opposed a provision in the $10.8 billion House bill to cover more than half its cost by letting companies defer required contributions to their employee pension plans. That would raise both the companies' tax bills and revenue for the government to devote to highway spending. The Senate's action requires that the bill go back to the House. Leaders there say they will reject the Senate change. The final bill is still expected to clear Congress before it recesses later this week.

  • Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced a bill to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records, a proposal that goes further than a similar House measure and has drawn support from civil liberties groups, the White House and Republicans. The bill represents the latest step in fulfilling a January promise by President Barack Obama to end the NSA's collection of domestic calling records. If enacted, it would represent the most significant change to come in the wake of the leaks of once-secret surveillance programs by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden. The measure was co-sponsored by Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

  • Detroit bankruptcy trial delayed until Aug. 21

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — A trial to determine if Detroit gets out of bankruptcy has been delayed by a week to Aug. 21. Judge Steven Rhodes filed a new schedule Tuesday. Some creditors wanted a longer postponement, but he settled on seven days. Rhodes found "extraordinary cause" for "limited adjournments." It's the second delay in the historic case. The trial was first scheduled for July, a year after Detroit filed for protection under Chapter 9. Detroit's plan to erase or greatly reduce $18 billion in debt has been approved by many creditors, including thousands of retirees. But nothing will happen unless the judge finds that the overall strategy is fair and feasible. The greatest resistance is coming from bond insurers w

  • Clean-air rules assailed as too much, too little

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Hundreds of people across the country lined up Tuesday to tell the Environmental Protection Agency that its new rules for power-plant pollution either go too far or not far enough. The agency is holding hearings this week in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington on President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030, with 2005 levels as the starting point. The rules are intended to curb global warming. Coal mines, electric utilities, labor unions, environmental groups, renewable-energy companies, government agencies, religious and civil rights organizations and others sent representatives to the hearings.

  • American Express 2Q profit rises 9 percent

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    American Express Co.'s net income grew 9 percent in the second quarter, as spending by cardholders increased and the credit card issuer set aside less money to cover potential credit losses. A one-time gain related to the company's business travel division also helped boost results. The New York company's latest earnings beat Wall Street's expectations, but its 5 percent increase in revenue fell short. Spending by holders of American Express cards grew 9 percent during the April-June period, reflecting gains in the U.S. and abroad. That helped drive U.S. card services revenue up 6 percent to $4.5 billion, while international card services revenue rose 7 percent to $1.4 billion.