• Iraqi Kurds take over 2 northern oil fields

    Yesterday

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, further widening a split with the central government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The takeover of the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields were the latest land grabs by Kurds, who have responded to the Sunni militant insurgency that has overrun large parts of Iraq by seizing territory of their own, effectively expanding the Kurdish autonomous zone in the north. Those moves have infuriated al-Maliki's government while stoking independence sentiment among the Kurds.

  • Economists lower forecasts for U.S. growth

    By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, Associated Press | Published: Sat, Jul 12, 2014

    U.S. business economists have sharply cut their growth forecasts for the April-June quarter and 2014, though they remain optimistic that the economy will rebound from a dismal first quarter.

  • Does Oklahoma City commercial property really need an asterisk?

    BY RICHARD MIZE, Real Estate Editor | Published: Sat, Jul 12, 2014

    Foreign capital spilling out of gateway cities to lower-tier real estate markets? Does that include Oklahoma City? Should it?

  • Strong quake hits Japan, triggering small tsunami

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — A strong earthquake hit Japan's northern coast Saturday near the nuclear power plant crippled in the 2011 tsunami. At least one person was injured and a small tsunami was triggered, but no damage was reported. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the magnitude-6.8 quake struck 10 kilometers (6 miles) below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima. The 4:22 a.m. (1922 GMT Friday) quake shook buildings in Tokyo, about 250 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of the epicenter. A 20-centimeter (8-inch) tsunami reached the coast of Ishinomaki Ayukawa and Ofunato about 50 minutes after the quake. Smaller waves were observed at several other locations along the coast, but changes to the shoreline were not visible on telev

  • Chinese man accused of hacking into US computers

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. authorities have charged a Chinese businessman with hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies with large defense contracts, including Boeing, to steal data on military projects, including some of the latest fighter jets, officials said Friday. Suspect Su Bin worked in cahoots with two unnamed Chinese hackers to get the data between 2009 and 2013, and Su attempted to sell some of the information to state-owned Chinese companies, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that was unsealed Thursday. The men targeted fighter jets such as the F-22 and the F-35 as well as Boeing's C-17 military cargo aircraft program, according to court papers. An attorney

  • San Francisco parking spot app shuts down service

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An Italian company whose mobile app allows San Francisco drivers to get paid for the public parking spaces they exit has temporarily shut down the service following an order from the city attorney. Despite saying last month that it wouldn't stop, MonkeyParking said in a blog Thursday that it "temporarily disabled" its bidding service in San Francisco, a day before City Attorney Dennis Herrera's deadline to cease operations or face a possible lawsuit. "We are currently reviewing our service to clarify our value proposition and avoid any future misunderstandings," the website said. MonkeyParking CEO Paolo Dobrowolny said in an email Friday that his company was working with lawyers and he hopes to me

  • Pipeline breach renews call for more monitoring

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — A saltwater spill from an underground pipeline in North Dakota has renewed calls from farmers and environmentalists to require new monitoring to help ensure that such breaches are prevented or caught quickly. State Rep. Dick Anderson, a Republican farmer from Willow City, said he plans to revisit legislation the state Legislature rejected last year that would mandate flow meters and cutoff switches on such lines. "This is a serious problem that has become almost a weekly occurrence and we've got to do something," Anderson said. The measure failed 86-4 after encountering resistance from oil companies that argued the additional monitoring would be too expensive.

  • Head of US pension agency resigning

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal agency that insures company pensions for more than 40 million Americans says its top official is resigning. Joshua Gotbaum, a former investment banker, was appointed by President Barack Obama as director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. in July 2010. That makes him the longest-serving head of the agency in its history, the PBGC said in a news release Friday. During his tenure the agency's deficit — the gap between pension obligations and assets available to cover them — widened to about $34 billion as the weak economy triggered more corporate bankruptcies and failed pension plans. Gotbaum will step down in August, the agency said. No further information was given, and agency spokesmen

  • Billionaire Elon Musk giving $1M to Tesla museum

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    SHOREHAM, N.Y. (AP) — The billionaire owner of Tesla Motors is giving $1 million to a New York museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of the inventor who inspired its name. The Tesla Science Center announced Elon Musk's donation on what would have been Nikola Tesla's 158th birthday. The museum said Thursday that Musk will also install a Tesla supercharging station. The museum is being built on the 16-acre site of Tesla's Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham, Long Island. The Serbian scientist began an unfinished project there to send messages and electricity around the world wirelessly. Tesla is known for his work with alternating current and experiments with X-rays. Musk co-founded PayPal and also runs

  • Ex-chief of huge pension fund guilty of bribery

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The former head of the nation's largest pension fund admitted Friday that he took bribes, including hundreds of thousands of dollars stuffed in paper bags and a shoe box, and helped an associate collect millions in a fraudulent investment scheme. Fred Buenrostro Jr. pleaded guilty in San Francisco federal court to fraud and bribery charges stemming from his time as chief executive of the California Public Employees' Retirement System from 2002 to 2008. In his plea agreement, Buenrostro said that in exchange for his help Alfred Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member, took him on a trip around the world, gave him casino chips and paid for his wedding in Lake Tahoe, California. Villalobos denied t

  • FDA weighs cancer risk of fibroid removal devices

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health advisers say there is little to no evidence that a popular technique for removing fibroids can be performed without the risk of spreading undetected cancers to other parts of the body. The panel of Food and Drug Administration experts also said Friday that women who do undergo the procedure should sign a written consent form stating they understand the serious risks of laparoscopic power morcellation, in which electronic tools are used to grind tissue and remove it through a small incision in the abdomen. Surgeons developed the technique as an alternative to traditional surgery, which requires a larger incision that often results in more bleeding and longer hospital stays.

  • US gov't sets duties on steel pipe from Korea

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government has imposed duties on imports of steel pipe from South Korea, India and seven other countries, ruling in favor of U.S. steel producers and unions that had complained those countries were unfairly flooding the American market. The Commerce Department said Friday it had found that dumping of the steel pipe imports into the U.S. harmed competition. The steel pipe is used mainly in drilling oil and gas wells, and the imports, especially from South Korea, have figured heavily in the recent drilling boom in the southwestern U.S. Companies including U.S. Steel Corp. as well as the United Steelworkers union had pressed the department to reverse its preliminary decision in February not to impose

  • United Airlines reducing Venezuela flights

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines is the latest carrier to say it will reduce flights to Venezuela over a dispute about money trapped by tight currency controls in the South American country. American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and several foreign airlines have previously announced cutbacks. United Continental Holdings Inc. said that starting Sept. 17 it will reduce Houston-Caracas service to four flights per week from the current daily flights. A spokeswoman said the reductions were due to "current market economics." The Chicago company reported a $21 million loss in the first quarter due to weakening of the exchange rate on about $100 million it held in Venezuelan bolivars as of March 31.

  • Oil and gas regulator chairman makes fracking plea

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The head of the agency that regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas is asking officials of Denton in North Texas to withhold support from a grass-roots petition advocating a ban on hydraulic fracturing within the city limits. The university town sits on the Barnett Shale, believed to hold one of the largest natural gas reserves in the U.S. Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, called the measure "essentially a ban on drilling" that is "extremely misguided," in a letter Thursday addressed to Denton Mayor Chris Watts and the City Council. "If other cities were to follow your lead, then we could potentially, one day, see a ban on drilling" in Texas, Smitherman wrote.

  • Lawmakers seek lower price for bill on vets' care

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Stung by sticker shock, members of Congress are scrambling to lower the cost of a bill to fix veterans' health care amid a growing uproar over long waits for appointments and falsification of records to cover up the delays at Veterans Affairs hospitals. At the same time, deficit hawks fear that letting veterans turn more to providers outside the VA for health care could cost far more if Congress, under pressure from powerful veterans groups, decides to renew that program rather than let it expire in two years. Lawmakers in both parties agree on the need to reform the Veterans Affairs Department's health care network — the largest in the country — following reports of veterans dying while awaiting appoi

  • Locals object to plan for Pavillion water reports

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — People dealing with polluted groundwater in the Pavillion area have objected that a gas developer can review and comment on two state investigations involving the contamination before the public is allowed to see the reports. Representatives of Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens filed a state records request Thursday seeking the draft reports. They say Wyoming law doesn't provide for Pavillion gas field owner Encana to review the reports before the general public. "We believe that the state is obligated by law to release any reports or documents to the public and the Pavillion Area Working Group at the same time they are released to Encana and the EPA," John Fenton and Jeff Locker of the citizens group

  • Ride-sharing Lyft's New York City plans postponed

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The on-demand ride-sharing app Lyft postponed its scheduled Friday launch in New York City while a state judge will wait until next week to consider whether its planned operations violate state and local laws. The state attorney general's office and the Department of Financial Services sued only hours before San Francisco-based Lyft planned to enter the market. Their joint lawsuit said the company actually operates as a traditional for-hire livery service using mobile technology, not a peer-to-peer transportation platform as claimed. The company operates "in open defiance" of state and local licensing and insurance laws, according to the suit filed in Manhattan.

  • US rig count rose 1 to 1,875

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by one this week to 1,875. The Houston firm said in its weekly report Thursday that 1,563 rigs were exploring for oil and 311 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,759 active rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Texas gained two rigs each. North Dakota, Ohio and Wyoming each gained a rig. Oklahoma lost 11 rigs, while California and West Virginia lost one each. Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah had unchanged rig counts. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

  • Stocks stabilize, but end down for the week

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks stabilized and ended with a small gain Friday, but it wasn't enough to prevent the market's biggest weekly drop since April. Investors became more cautious this week as corporate earnings for the April-June period began trickling in. Worrisome news about a Portuguese bank also revived fears about the European debt crisis. That weighed on stocks, which had closed out the previous week at record highs. Investors are now mulling whether the stock's market valuations are justified by the outlook for company earnings, or whether they have risen too far, too fast. As investors try to make sense of the market, "we could be in a holding pattern," said Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist at Al

  • US: Man posed as airline worker to get free travel

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    DALLAS (AP) — Federal officials say that a Georgia man posed as an airline employee to score cheap travel and resold the tickets for thousands of dollars. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said that 37-year-old Gilbert Myers Jr. of Atlanta remained in custody Friday on $75,000 bond after pleading not guilty to mail-fraud charges. Officials said Myers was arrested earlier this week at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California, after agreeing to meet a ticket buyer who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. JetBlue Airways said that it uncovered the scheme and notified law enforcement. Myers was arraigned Thursday in federal district court. He was ordered to stay in the Los Angeles area if he posts bail and