• Shell says it will drill off Alaska if it can get permits

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC will move forward with drilling off Alaska's northwest coast if it can obtain permits it needs and drill safely, its chief executive officer said Thursday. Speaking in London on the company's fourth-quarter earnings, Ben van Beurden said Shell will move forward with its plan to use two drill vessels in the Chukchi Sea, subject to getting permits and legal clearance. "There's a few other challenges that are being worked, that can - again - hold us up this year," he said in response to questions. "But, provided that doesn't happen, we have the permits in place and we are operational ready, yes, we are minded to drill this year, in the Chukchi.

  • Casino union protests Taj Mahal cuts outside Icahn office

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    Atlantic City casino workers demonstrated outside the New York offices of billionaire investor Carl Icahn to protest the elimination of benefits at a casino he is poised to acquire. Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union tried to deliver a letter to Icahn on Thursday. He is taking over Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Trump Taj Mahal casino. But they only got as far as the front desk, where a worker said he would take the letter to Icahn. A bankruptcy judge in October let the company end health insurance and pension coverage for Taj Mahal workers, who have been fighting unsuccessfully since then to get Icahn to sign a new contract. Icahn did not immediately comment. He put up $20 million in December to

  • US colleges seek economic diversity in students from China

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Widely regarded overseas as places only for children of the rich and powerful, top American universities like Yale and Harvard are increasing efforts to attract the best international students, regardless of their financial backgrounds. With more undergraduates coming from abroad than ever, the Ivy League universities that have worked to overcome reputations for serving only children of the elite in the U.S. are trying to do the same the world over with travel, novel recruiting strategies and some help from the U.S. State Department. Yale sophomore Yupei Guo, for one, does not fit the mold of the traditional Ivy Leaguer from China: Her journalist parents are neither wealthy nor members of the governi

  • Bias complaints at Daimler Portland plant settled for $2.4M

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Daimler Trucks North America agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle discrimination complaints filed by six minority workers who said they were subjected to threats and racial slurs at the company's Portland plant. Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, announced the deal on Thursday. His office said the monetary settlement is easily the largest in the history of the agency's Civil Rights Division. The investigation began last year and included interviews with 60 current and former employees. "We know that some of the incidents that were occurring stretched back over a decade, but the significant thing as well is that it was continuing right up until recent months," he sa

  • Fans snap up caps designed and worn by Seahawks' Lynch

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Hats off to Marshawn Lynch. While barely saying a word, the Seattle Seahawks running back has created a run on the "Beast Mode" caps he's been wearing at Super Bowl press appearances. The two baseball caps Lynch wore this week while answering reporters' questions with single scripted lines have sold out on Lynch's website, where they're part of his own Beast Mode apparel line. Buffalo-based New Era Cap Co. makes the caps for the football player and says more are on the way. "Over the past 20 years, there've been different moments in time where a celebrity is seen wearing a different cap and the next day people are clamoring to find that product," Stuart Domanowski, football category director

  • Shell to revive plans to drill in Arctic

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to resume drilling in Alaska this year even as it plans to cut spending by $15 billion over the next three years because of the drop in oil prices. Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said the Western Chukchi Sea had the potential to produce billions of barrels of oil. "We're planning on drilling in Alaska in 2015 subject to getting the permits and legal clearance," van Beurden said on a conference call with reporters. The company, which suspended operations in Alaska in 2013 after one of its oil rigs ran aground, plans to spend about $1 billion in Alaska this year, even as it holds global capital investment at 2014 levels. "We always said we were going to just pause

  • Gasoline prices in Arizona at $1.90 per gallon

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona are down only slightly at the pumps this week. Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday that the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $1.90 a gallon. That's less than a penny lower than last week. This week's national average is $2.04 per gallon, up by less than a penny from last week. Tucson has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $1.78 a gallon and Flagstaff the highest at $2.21. Oklahoma has the lowest average gas prices among states in the continental U.S. at $1.82 a gallon with California the highest at $2.43 a gallon.

  • Bill would ban government contracting with Iran-linked firms

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Some House lawmakers want to ban Mississippi's state and local governments from contracting with anyone who does business with Iran's oil and gas industry. The House Appropriations Committee Thursday passed House Bill 1127, sending it to the full House for more debate. The bill bans contracting with any firm that sells $20 million or more of goods and services to Iran's oil and gas sector. The bill would have also banned contracting with any banks loaning more than $20 million to anyone doing business in Iran's energy sector, but that clause was removed from the bill by its sponsor, Baldwyn Republican Jerry Turner. Under the measure, the Mississippi would make a list of banned companies.

  • 2 New Mexico lawmakers eye regulating ride-sharing companies

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two New Mexico lawmakers are pushing a measure aimed at regulating ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Rep. Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque and Sen. Phil Griego of San Jose recently introduced the bipartisan legislation as state officials wrestle with how to respond to the expansion of Uber and Lyft in the state. Under the proposal, ride-sharing services will be required to provide insurance and conduct rigorous background checks on drivers. Youngblood, a Republican, says the proposal would help expand ridesharing services in the state and reduce drunken driving.

  • Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The chances of a driver dying in a crash in a late-model car or light truck fell by more than a third over three years, and nine car models had zero deaths per million registered vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Improved vehicle designs and safety technology have a lot to do with the reduced risk, but a weak economy that led to reductions in driving may also have played a role, the institute said. The study, which examined fatalities involving 2011 model year vehicles, looked at how many driver fatalities occurred in a particular model over the course of a year of operation, expressed as a rate per million registered vehicle years.

  • Harman shares jump following strong 2Q report

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Harman International Industries Inc. shares soared Thursday after the electronics and audio equipment maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its profit forecast for the year. The company earned $116.2 million, or $1.65 per share in its fiscal second quarter. That's up from $71.6 million, or $1.03 per share, the year before. It earned $1.79 per share on an adjusted basis, up from $1.09 per share. Stamford, Connecticut-based company said stronger demand for its home, auto and professional products and services helped drive its quarterly revenue up 19 percent to $1.58 billion. The quarter's results topped market expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research

  • British woman extradited to US can go home within weeks

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A British woman who with her husband lost a long and public fight against being extradited to the United States to face fraud charges will be able to return home within weeks. A judge on Thursday said Sandra Dunham, who pleaded guilty to stealing $1 million from a US-based electronics company, must serve 18 days of home confinement before she can return to her home in Northampton, England. Dunham's husband, Paul Dunham, who also pleaded guilty in the case, will be sentenced next week and is expected to serve a prison sentence. The pair's plea agreements order them to repay the $1 million they stole, but they have said they are broke.

  • Environmental advocates push solar, energy efficiency bills

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Environmental advocates called on the divided Maine Legislature on Thursday to back a series of bill this session they say will expand the use of solar power, help residents cut their heating bills and bolster wildlife protections. The six-bill package outlined by the Environmental Priorities Coalition includes measures that would provide incentives for solar power investments, a $30 million bond to help families pay for home upgrades like insulation and heat pumps and add several species to the endangered list. While Republican Gov. Paul LePage has clashed with environmental groups in the past over efforts like increasing solar power, the group emphasized their desire to find common ground this year.

  • Ford beats estimates despite declines in earnings, revenue

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is putting a tough year behind it and promising big things despite a bumpy global market. The Dearborn-based automaker's net income fell 56 percent to $3.2 billion in 2014. Sales were down slightly, to 6.32 million cars and trucks, and revenue dropped 2 percent to $144.1 billion. Ford had repeatedly warned that earnings would be lower as it invested for the future. The company spent heavily to introduce 24 vehicles worldwide, including a redesigned Mustang and the new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup truck. Ford plowed money into five new plants in Asia and racked up expenses for closing plants in Europe and Australia. It also launched the Lincoln luxury brand in China.

  • Oil producers push to export US crude even as prices drop

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Dropping oil prices aren't slowing a push from U.S. producers to ship their crude oil overseas and change a decades-long ban on exports. The cost incentive may not be obvious, with oil prices are as low as they've been since 2009 and with some analysts predicting they'll drop further. But oil producers are confident of long-term demand and believe that new markets will eventually offer big profits. Backers see a changing landscape that includes a Congress controlled by Republicans generally viewed as more receptive to oil exports, and some signs the Obama administration will consider modifications to the longstanding policy that bans exports of raw crude.

  • Air Products and Chemicals posts 1Q profit

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD) on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $324.6 million. The Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company said it had profit of $1.50 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.55 per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.49 per share. The seller of gases for industrial, medical and other uses posted revenue of $2.56 billion in the period, which missed Street forecasts. Analysts expected $2.68 billion, according to Zacks. For the current quarter ending in March, Air Products and Chemicals e

  • 2011 vehicle models with highest and lowest death rates

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    The Insurance Institute for Highway safety examined fatalities involving 2011 model year vehicles, looking at how many driver fatalities occurred in a particular model over the course of a year of operation, expressed as a rate per million registered vehicle years. It found there was an average of 28 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years through the 2012 calendar year, down from 48 deaths for 2008 models through 2009. The study also found nine vehicle models with driver death rates of zero. When the institute looked at the issue eight years ago, there were no models with driver death rates of zero. The rates include only driver deaths because the presence of passengers is unknown.

  • Battle of the big phones: Samsung down in China, Apple gains

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung lost the battle of the big phones last quarter as Apple's copycat large iPhone lured buyers in the crucial Chinese market. The South Korean company said Thursday its October-December profit sank, with an improvement in its semiconductor business insufficient to mask its mobile problems. It was in China, the world's largest market for smartphones, where Samsung's dramatic decline was most evident. Its weakness there is a key reason why Samsung's share of global smartphone sales dropped to about one quarter last year from a one-third share in 2013. Apple Inc. contributed to Samsung's latest reversal in fortune, launching iPhones with bigger screens that robbed Samsung's Galaxy phones of

  • Study launched on restoring salmon runs to upper Columbia

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Indian tribes from Washington and Idaho who live near the upper Columbia River are beginning a study of whether salmon runs can be restored above Grand Coulee Dam, which blocked those runs more than 70 years ago. The tribes want to study what it would take to restore salmon runs to the 100 river miles between the dam, the nation's greatest producer of hydropower, and the U.S.-Canadian border. The study proposal was released this week by the Upper Columbia United Tribes, which represents the Colville, Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Kalispel and Kootenai tribes of Idaho and Washington. "Grand Coulee Dam should have been built with fish passage," said John Osborn of Spokane, a leader of the local Sierra Cl

  • Even with low prices, US oil industry pushing for exports

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Never mind dropping oil prices. U.S. producers are pushing harder than ever for the right to sell U.S. crude oil overseas. It might seem counterintuitive: Oil prices are as low as they have been at any point since 2009 at the height of the Great Recession, and some say they could drop even further. But oil producers are playing a longer game, betting that long-term demand will be strong and new markets will offer lucrative rewards for U.S. producers. Supporters see possible inroads in a Congress controlled by Republicans who generally are considered more receptive to oil exports, as well as some signs that the Obama administration may at least be open to considering changes to longstanding policy, which ba




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