• Trial over plane crash into New York home begins

    Yesterday

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A jury Thursday began hearing the only case to go to trial over the February 2009 plane crash into a home outside Buffalo that killed 50 people. Opening statements framed some tough questions jurors will consider to determine how the airlines must compensate the family of Douglas Wielinski: Did he die instantly when the commuter plane crashed into their home? To what extent did the crash traumatize his widow and daughter? "No words can describe the horror of the night they lived through. No words can describe the terror they felt," the Wielinskis' attorney, Anne Beltz Rimmler, told jurors in state Supreme Court. "The enormity of their loss is overwhelming.

  • End of era: Ellison steps aside as Oracle CEO

    Yesterday

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is stepping aside as CEO after 37 years at the helm of the business software maker, ending a colorful reign marked by his flamboyant behavior and outlandish wealth amassed while building one of the world's best-known technology companies. With the changing of the guard announced Thursday, Ellison will be handing over his job to his two top lieutenants, Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, who become co-CEOs. Ellison, 70, intends to still play an influential role at Oracle Corp. He is taking over as Oracle's executive chairman, replacing Jeff Henley in the position, and will oversee the engineering departments as chief technology officer.

  • Agency can look at rig owner's role in oil spill

    Yesterday

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a federal safety board's right to investigate the role of Transocean Deepwater Drilling Corp. in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for BP PLC at its Macondo well, about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast when an explosion killed 11 workers and led to the nation's worst offshore oil spill. The company had challenged the authority of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, often referred to as CSB, to do the investigation. In a 2-1 decision Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the board could investigate.

  • Apple locks itself out of devices with passwords

    Yesterday

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple has tightened its technological security so not even the company can pry into a password-protected iPhone or iPad, a move meant to reassure the millions of people who are increasingly storing vital pieces of their lives on the devices. The additional safeguard is part of Apple's latest mobile software, iOS 8, which the Cupertino, California, company released Wednesday. Apple Inc. revealed the stronger protection in a new section of its website that is prefaced with a letter from CEO Tim Cook who emphasized the company's "fundamental" commitment to privacy and security. "Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers," Cook wrote. "We know that your trust does

  • 2014 already a nasty year for Wyoming oil spills

    Yesterday

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An oil boom in Wyoming has a filthy side effect: A string of accidents from a remote gulley in the Powder River Basin to a refinery in downtown Cheyenne already has made this year the state's worst for oil spills since at least 2009, state records show. Almost 220,000 gallons of oil already has spilled in Wyoming this year, more than double the 90,000 gallons all last year. About 165,000 gallons spilled in 2010, the previous worst year since the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality began tracking spills in a database that year. "There's a lot more production," Joe Hunter, the department's emergency response coordinator, said Thursday. "If you're producing more, there's going to be more opportuni

  • House GOP repackages election-year bills

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved an election-year package of legislation to cut taxes, reduce regulations and boost energy production, including approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The measures adopted Thursday had already been passed by the Republican-controlled House as separate legislation, but stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The bills are unlikely to be taken up in the Senate, and they face veto threats from the White House. That means they have no chance of becoming law. With Congress rushing to adjourn so members can campaign for the midterm elections, GOP leaders decided to repackage the bills into larger bundles that highlight differences between the two parties.

  • NC elections complaint centers on fracking ads

    Yesterday

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A conservative think tank filed a formal complaint Thursday with the State Board of Elections about advertisements and mailers attributed to a coalition of environmental advocacy groups that criticized the pro-fracking votes of several North Carolina lawmakers. The John W. Pope Civitas Institute argues the North Carolina Environmental Partnership and two of its key member groups illegally misrepresented the sponsorship or purchaser of the literature and commercials. The member groups said they've done nothing wrong. In one television ad on Triangle and Fayetteville stations beginning in March, the partnership referred to Republican Sens.

  • JetBlue's CEO will step down early next year

    Yesterday

    JetBlue Airways Corp. CEO Dave Barger will step down in February and be replaced by the company's president, ending months of speculation about leadership at the airline, which is profitable but has lagged its rivals. The new CEO, just the third in JetBlue's 14-year history, will be Robin Hayes, a 48-year-old former British Airways executive who joined JetBlue in 2008. The change was announced after a meeting of the New York-based airline's board. Hayes will take over on Feb. 16, after Barger's contract expires. Barger has been CEO since 2007. He said that he and the board agreed on the decision to change leaders, and that his departure wasn't due to any single event or trend.

  • SAP will buy Concur Technologies for $7.36 billion

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — German business software maker SAP said it will buy travel and expense management software company Concur Technologies for $129 per share, or about $7.36 billion. That's a premium of 19.7 percent to Concur's closing price on Thursday. SAP AG values the deal at $8.3 billion. It said Thursday the acquisition should close in the fourth quarter of 2014 or the first quarter of 2015, assuming Concur shareholders approve the sale. SAP says Concur has 25 million users in 150 countries. The Bellevue, Washington company's revenue rose 29 percent to $178.4 million in its latest fiscal quarter. That's a fraction of SAP's sales. SAP had about $5.

  • California bill increases Hollywood tax credits

    Yesterday

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown headed to the cradle of the Hollywood film industry Thursday to sign legislation that more than triples the state's tax credit to $330 million a year for films and TV shows produced in California. Warren Beatty joined prop makers, producers and others in the entertainment industry to watch Brown ink Assembly Bill 1839 as he sat at a desk in the courtyard of Hollywood's historic Chinese Theatre. The law, which takes effect next year, increases the annual film and TV tax credit offered by California and eliminates a selection process producers complained is arbitrary and flawed.

  • Judge blocks Alabama newspaper from printing story

    Yesterday

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A state court judge sided with Alabama Gas Corp. and blocked the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information about the utility's plan for gas line safety, which the Alabama Public Service Commission released through an open records request. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance granted a request by Alagasco to temporarily prevent the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information from the plan. Court records show Vance ruled a week ago — on the same day Alagasco made the request to block publication — before the newspaper had a chance to respond. The paper has since objected to the ban, and Vance issued an order Thursday saying he would hold a hearing Monday on whether his order

  • Bio Box: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

    Yesterday

    NAME: Larry Ellison AGE: 70 (born Aug. 17, 1944) CAREER: Started Oracle Corp. with $1,200 of his own money in 1977 and built it into a business software powerhouse. EDUCATION: Dropped out of college in 1966 after attending on and off for two years. HOMETOWN: Born in New York, grew up in Chicago. LIVES IN: Woodside, California. WEALTH: Ellison is the world's fifth richest person according to Forbes, with a net worth of $51.3 billion. HOBBIES: Drives fancy cars, flies his own jet, races yachts. QUOTE: "If fire doesn't destroy you, you're tempered by it.

  • At UN, Obama to urge nations to go big on climate

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Having spent political capital fighting climate change at home, President Barack Obama will turn his sights overseas next week, urging fellow heads of state to be as ambitious as possible as they negotiate a make-or-break global treaty to be finalized in Paris next year. Obama will attend a United Nations climate summit where he will announce new U.S. commitments, aiming to ramp up the pressure on other major polluters like India and China to demonstrate they're not laggards in the global campaign against climate change. White House officials said the U.S. will offer tangible contributions such as American technology to help vulnerable populations deal with food security, sea level rise and other negative

  • Alibaba prices IPO at $68 per share, valuing company at $167.6 billion

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Alibaba prices IPO at $68 per share, valuing company at $167.6 billion.

  • Correction: Labor-Jazz Musicians story

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — In a story Sept. 17 about jazz musicians in New York City seeking pensions, The Associated Press misspelled the name of one musician. Her name is Keisha St. Joan, not St. John. A corrected version of the story is below: NYC jazz musicians fear poverty in retirement NYC jazz musicians fear poverty in retirement, ask clubs to help with pensions By JONATHAN LEMIRE Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Keisha St. Joan has been singing at some of the most famous jazz clubs in the nation for more than five decades. She was paid $50 a night when she sang in "Three Guys and a Doll" in 1958. Now, at age 75 and nearing retirement, she has no pension to fall back on — and is asking the club

  • Federal appeals judge: Argentina's bullying a bank

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Judges on a federal appeals court panel Thursday said they suspect Argentina has gone rogue, ignoring court orders and bullying a U.S. bank to try to prevent it from obeying a court order. Judge Reena Raggi of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the South American nation sound like it was adopting the ways of the Wild West, saying it was "basically holding the gun" to the head of Citibank's branch in Argentina by suggesting it could face criminal prosecution if it failed to process Argentina's payments to some bondholders at the end of this month. "We have a party who will not conform itself to the law," Circuit Judge Barrington Parker said. The bank has been told by a New York judge not to proc

  • Report adds details on Utah coal miner's death

    Yesterday

    EAST CARBON, Utah (AP) — Authorities say a 46-year-old worker who died in an accident earlier this week at a Carbon County coal mine was found crushed inside a vehicle he was driving. Officials with the Mine Safety and Health Administration have issued a preliminary report on the accident that killed Alejandro Ramirez at the West Ridge Mine a little before 2 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities say Ramirez had been using a mobile diesel can-setter when the vehicle somehow bent and crushed him. The report didn't specify why the vehicle bent. No witnesses saw the incident, and no others were injured. Ramirez lived in Price and had worked with the company for six years.

  • FDA approves Eli Lilly's injectable diabetes drug

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new injectable diabetes drug from Eli Lilly and Co. for adults with the most common form of the disease. The agency on Thursday cleared the drug, Trulicity, as a weekly injection to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 26 million Americans. The drug is part of a new class of medicines called GLP-1 agonists, which spur the pancreas to create extra insulin after meals. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of U.S. cases of the disease and occurs when the body doesn't properly produce or use the hormone insulin. Drugs to treat the disease represent a large slice of Lilly's product portfolio, which includes the i

  • Kentucky nears full job recovery from recession

    Yesterday

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's economy is on pace in the coming months to fully regain all the jobs lost during the Great Recession — a milestone for a long recovery that's had its ups and downs, a state economist said Thursday. So far, the Bluegrass state has recovered 96 percent of the 122,100 nonfarm jobs that vanished by early 2010 when employment sagged to its lowest level due to the economic downturn, said Monoj Shanker, an economist with the state Office of Employment and Training in Frankfort. Kentucky should achieve a full pre-recession job recovery by year's end, due to momentum from seven months of job growth, he said. The state is 4,800 jobs away from matching the high point before the recession hit, he sai

  • Fla. holds tax holiday on energy-saving appliances

    Yesterday

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Floridians can buy energy saving appliances for the next three days without paying sales taxes. The Florida Legislature approved the sales tax holiday earlier this year. The tax holiday starts at midnight on Thursday and runs through Sunday. Florida's sales tax is 6 percent and local governments usually charge extra. Consumers do not have to pay the tax on the first $1,500 of energy efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers and air conditioners. Other items that qualify include efficient light bulbs and ceiling fans. The tax is also waived on toilets, faucets and other items that cut down on water consumption. The tax break is limited to a single purchase for each item