• Yellen: Greatly concerned by widening inequality

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sounded an alarm Friday about widening economic inequality in the United States, suggesting that America's longstanding identity as a land of opportunity was at stake. The growing gap between the rich and everyone else narrowed slightly during the Great Recession but has since accelerated, Yellen said in a speech at a conference in Boston on economic opportunity. And robust stock market returns during the recovery helped the wealthy outpace middle-class America in wages, employment and home prices. "The extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concerns me," Yellen said. "By some estimates, income and wealth inequality are near their highes

  • Detroit museum defends 6-figure salaries

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Institute of Arts is defending the six-figure salaries of its two top executives, saying Friday that it didn't anticipate a backlash when raises were granted a few years ago, before the city filed for bankruptcy. Some suburban officials have criticized the museum, especially because it relies on a three-county property tax for much of its budget. The museum also has been at the center of Detroit's bankruptcy case. City-owned art won't be sold to pay creditors, while retirees would see pension cuts under the city's bankruptcy proposal. Director Graham Beal's total compensation was $534,000 last year, a 17 percent increase since 2011. Chief Operating Officer Annmarie Erickson received $337,000 in 20

  • US stocks end dramatic week with rally

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market capped a turbulent week with a big gain Friday, a sign of renewed investor confidence after days of gloomy economic news. It was the latest large move for a market which, with a few exceptions, has been on a mostly downward track since last month. Stocks have had four weeks of declines, leaving the Standard & Poor's 500 index 6 percent below the record high from Sept. 18. Investors rode wild market swings for much of the week. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged as much as 460 points Wednesday, then had one of its best days of the year on Friday, when it soared more than 260 points following strong earnings from big-name companies Morgan Stanley and General Electric, as well as some enc

  • Convict must change where he gets wife from work

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WOODBURY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man has been told to change where he picks his wife up from work at a nuclear power plant after he pleaded guilty to unwanted sexual contact of another employee. Superior Court Judge Christine Allen Jackson on Friday ordered 56-year-old Michael Ford, of Hi-Nella, not to have contact with the victim and to pick up his wife at a different parking lot at the Salem nuclear power plant in southwest New Jersey. Ford pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. He was sentenced to three years' probation and told to undergo a psychological evaluation. The charge stemmed from an occasion when the woman drove Ford home on Interstate 295 from his then-job at the plant.

  • Judge voids Taj Mahal casino union contract

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort may survive after all, but it's likely to do so with angry employees. A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware on Friday voided the struggling casino's contract with its union workers, giving owner Trump Entertainment Resorts a big part of its plan to keep the casino open and save its 3,000 jobs. But those workers were seething after Judge Kevin Gross granted the company's request to terminate its contract with Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union. Trump Entertainment said if the ruling went against it, it would close the Taj Mahal on Nov. 13. The company and billionaire investor Carl Icahn had said the casino can't survive without shedding costly pension and health car

  • Fear-gauge flashes wild week on Wall Street

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Europe's economy sputters, oil prices plunge and stocks start swinging wildly. Wall Street's long dormant "fear index" now predicts more turbulence ahead. The Chicago Board Options Exchange's volatility index, known as the VIX, doubled over the past month: from 12 to 26. Although that's nowhere near the 80 reached in the financial crisis, the recent spike means traders are bracing for more big jumps and steep drops. Slowing growth in Europe and the developing world has stirred up lingering doubts among investors just as the Federal Reserve plans to wind down a bond-buying program that many considered a driving force behind the stock market's five-year run.

  • Colorado ski season starts with A-Basin opening

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    KEYSTONE, Colo. (AP) — Ski season has officially started in Colorado with the opening of Arapahoe Basin. Skiers and snowboarders rode down the single intermediate trail that opened Friday under sunny skies. A-Basin began making snow Oct. 2 and, over the course of several days, created the 18-inch base necessary for opening. The ski area also received about a foot of natural snow in the past several weeks. It's the third straight year that A-Basin has won the race with Loveland Ski Area to be the first in the state to open. Loveland plans to open later this month, while Copper and Keystone will have Halloween-themed openings Oct. 31.

  • Colorado governor candidates highlight differences

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    DENVER (AP) — After five debates and months of campaigning, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez are locked in a tight race. It's been a contest dominated by clashes over how the state regulates fracking, the governor's controversial decision to halt an execution and the candidates' disagreement over how well Colorado has weathered economic woes. Now the ballots have been mailed and the candidates have less than three weeks to convince voters. Both campaigns and outside groups are spending millions of dollars on the race they believe is tied. This is the state's first general election where every registered voter will receive a ballot by mail. It's possible the bulk of the votes wil

  • Vermont Yankee: Shutdown to cost $1.24 billion

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Officials with the soon-to-close Vermont Yankee nuclear plant said Friday it could cost up to $1.24 billion to decommission the reactor, and that they currently have about half that much in a fund dedicated to paying for that work. The figure was contained in a "site assessment study" drafted by officials at the Vernon plant, which will cease operations at the end of this year. Bill Mohl, president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, a subsidiary of Vermont Yankee owner Entergy Corp., said the tally is based on federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules allowing a reactor owner to mothball the plant for up to 60 years to allow radioactive components to become less so and to allow the fund to grow.

  • Fed Chair's "building blocks of opportunity"

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen expressed deep concerns in a speech Friday about growing inequality in the United States. Citing data compiled by the Fed, she outlined the accelerating divide in incomes and wealth between the top 5 percent of households and everyone else. Her remarks identified four "building blocks of opportunity" that she believes would help ensure that upward mobility is within reach of all Americans. — Resources Available for Children For most families, "public funding plays an important role in providing resources to children that influence future levels of income and wealth," Yellen said. In particular, she expressed support for government-subsidized early childhood education, which has been shown

  • Rules vary about travel to countries hit by Ebola

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Demands are rising in Washington for the U.S. to ban travelers from countries in West Africa, but the Obama administration is resisting and says the screening measures already in place for travelers are more effective. There are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone to the U.S. Officials say that about 150 passengers a day arrive in the U.S. from those countries after making a connecting flight, usually in Europe. Most arrive at one of five airports, where screening for fever — a symptom of the disease — began this week. Here's what different countries are doing about travel to and from the Ebola hot spots: EUROPE: United Kingdom: No formal ban.

  • GE and Urban Outfitters are big market movers

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE General Electric Co., up 57 cents to $24.82 The industrial conglomerate reported higher quarterly profit and revenue, and the results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Morgan Stanley, up 69 cents to $33.22 The investment bank reported a doubling of its quarterly profit and a boost in revenue, beating Wall Street expectations. SunEdison Inc., up $1.05 to $16.62 The solar energy technology company is considering investing up to $2 billion to build a factory in China, according to Bloomberg News. Schlumberger Ltd., up $3.33 to $93.

  • Judge mulls tossing lawsuit by Sterling mistress

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge who was on the verge of allowing a defamation suit by Donald Sterling's mistress to go forward decided Friday to reconsider after hearing from a lawyer for Shelley Sterling. Attorney Pierce O'Donnell called the filing by V. Stiviano an act of spite and revenge against the estranged wife of the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. O'Donnell filed a motion to dismiss Stiviano's suit in what is known as an anti-SLAPP motion against retaliatory actions. Stiviano's lawyer Mac Nehoray claims Shelley Sterling called his client a thief on national TV. But O'Donnell said neither he nor Nehoray was able to find any evidence of such a statement to submit to the court.

  • In latest big move, US stocks end sharply higher

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are closing out a wild week with a big gain. Industrial stocks like Textron and General Electric led the charge higher Friday after reporting strong earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 263 points, or 1.6 percent, to 16,380. The Dow was coming off six straight losses and ended the week down 1 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 23 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,886. The Nasdaq rose 41 points, or 1 percent, to 4,258. The market had huge swings this week including several sharp drops as investors worried about slowing economic growth and plunging oil prices. On Friday European markets recovered, as did the price of oil. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-y

  • Recalls this week: toy toasters, folding tables

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    A line of toy toaster sets sold at Toys R Us are being recalled because part of the toy can pose a laceration or choking hazard to children. Other products being recalled this week include faulty folding tables and television wall mounts. Here's a more detailed look: TOY TOASTER SETS DETAILS: Just Like Home brand toy toaster sets sold at Toys R Us stores nationwide and online at www.toysrus.com from July 2013 through August 2014. The set was sold with two plastic toast slices and two plastic half bagel slice accessories. Model number 5F60589 is printed on a white label on the bottom of the toaster and above the UPC bar code in the lower right hand corner of the product packaging.

  • Pentagon readying for long war in Iraq, Syria

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten weeks into its war against Islamic State extremists, the Pentagon is settling in for the long haul, short on big early successes but still banking on enlisting Syrians and Iraqis to fight the ground war so that U.S. troops won't have to. The U.S. general overseeing the campaign on Friday predicted that the jihadists will be "much degraded" by airstrikes a year from now, in part because he is focusing attacks on those resources that enable IS to sustain itself and resupply its fighters. On Friday, for example, the U.S. military said one of its six airstrikes overnight in Syria hit several IS petroleum storage tanks and a pumping station — sites that are central to the militants' ability to resupply th

  • Obama's under-used credit card declined in NY

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service is charged with watching the president's back, but who's watching his wallet? When his credit card was declined last month while dining in New York, President Barack Obama wondered if he had become a victim of identity theft. "It turned out, I guess I don't use it enough," Obama said Friday at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "They thought there was some fraud going on," he said, chatting while announcing a government plan to tighten security for debit cards that transfer federal benefits like Social Security to millions of Americans. "I was trying to explain to the waitress 'No, I really think that I've been paying my bills.

  • Man sentenced for part in global cybercrime ring

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Massachusetts man who was part of an international cybercrime ring that the government says hacked into the computers of more than a dozen financial institutions and the U.S. military's payroll service was sentenced Friday to 2½ years in prison. Lamar Taylor, 38, of Salem, Massachusetts, was also ordered to pay restitution of $338,649. He will be on supervised release for up to three years after his prison term. Prosecutors said the ring targeted electronic payment systems of leading financial institutions in a bid to steal at least $15 million from U.S. customers and that Taylor was asked by others in the conspiracy to cash out bank accounts and prepaid debit cards opened in other people's names.

  • Caesars Entertainment starting talks with banks

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Casino operator Caesars Entertainment said Friday that it is prepared to start formal discussions with some of its bank lenders as it works to reduce its debt. The company said it entered non-disclosure agreements with some banks that have loaned it money. Caesars is working to reduce leverage and revamp its capital structure. In September the Las Vegas company started negotiations with other creditors. Its shares climbed $1.05, or 10.1 percent, to $11.44 in afternoon trading. Caesars Entertainment had $26.55 billion in long-term debt at the end of the second quarter and is trying to reduce that figure.

  • Obama announces plan to tighten card security

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Saying more must be done to stop data breaches affecting consumers, President Barack Obama announced on Friday a government plan to tighten security for the debit cards that transmit federal benefits like Social Security to millions of Americans. Cards issued by the federal government will now have an internal chip replacing magnetic strips to reduce the potential for fraud. Concern is growing over the security of Americans' financial data, with an estimated 100 million people having been affected by breaches in the past year, including at big retailers like Target and Home Depot.