• Disney CEO succession path cleared as CFO Jay Rasulo resigns

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. said Monday that its chief financial officer, Jay Rasulo, will resign at the end of June, clearing the path for another top executive, Tom Staggs, to succeed Bob Iger as eventual CEO. A new chief financial officer was not immediately named Monday, but Rasulo, 59, will serve as an adviser to assist in the transition. "Jay has been a valued colleague and friend, as well as a vital contributor to Disney's success," Iger said in a statement. Barton Crockett, a media company analyst with FBR Capital Markets & Co., said the move is clearly related to succession planning, something Disney has managed poorly in the past, especially with the resignation of Michael Eisner in 2005 following

  • On sale soon: Souvenirs for pope's visit to Philadelphia

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Keychains, rosaries, T-shirts and even a miniature plush doll of Pope Francis will be among the souvenirs for sale to commemorate the pontiff's upcoming trip to Philadelphia. Officials on Monday gave the public a peek at some of the keepsakes to be sold online starting this month. More than 200 items will be available, with prices ranging from $5 to $500. "I'm looking forward to soon making my first purchase," said Mayor Michael Nutter, an alumnus of local Catholic schools. "I can assure you, it will be for my mother." The pope plans to visit Philadelphia in September for the World Meeting of Families, an international gathering for Catholics focused on strengthening family bonds.

  • US consumer spending flat in April as income, savings rise

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers held back from spending more in April, deciding instead to channel income gains into savings. Consumer spending was flat in April — the weakest performance in three months — after a revised 0.5 percent increase in March, the Commerce Department reported Monday. The March advance had been the biggest gain since last August. Personal income rose a healthy 0.4 percent. The unchanged reading for consumer spending in April had been expected given weakness previously reported in retail sales and auto sales for the month. Economists, however, forecast that spending will rebound in coming months. Solid gains in employment and incomes should translate into more confident consumers who are willing

  • Things to know about the California oil spill

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cleanup crews continued to mop up oil-stained beaches along California's Central Coast two weeks after an onshore underground pipeline ruptured, leaking thousands of gallons of crude into the Pacific. The May 19 spill occurred along the same stretch of Santa Barbara County coast as the devastating oil platform blowout in 1969 that galvanized the environmental movement. While the impacts of the latest spill have been far less severe, the episode has angered conservationists and residents who lived through the earlier disaster.

  • Intel buys into chips powering cloud computing, smarter cars

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Intel is buying chip designer Altera for about $16.7 billion in cash to expand its reach into new chip markets that are powering the wireless revolution, smarter cars and more. The deal is the biggest in Intel Corp.'s 47-year history. It is the latest in an industry that is looking to acquisitions to boost lackluster sales and cut costs. Sales are falling for personal computers because people are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets. While Intel already works with Altera on the manufacturing of certain kinds of high-end chips, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that owning the company will allow Intel to fully integrate that manufacturing and put in place design and production improvements, ultimately

  • Feds say Colorado oilman hasn't responded to penalty

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal agency says a Colorado oilman, known for filing scores of lawsuits against energy companies claiming they underreported natural gas production, hasn't responded to a civil penalty from a federal agency alleging that he failed to report production on his own leases. The Office of Natural Resources Revenue announced in November it had assessed a civil penalty of over $46,000 against Jack J. Grynberg. It alleged he failed to report production on federal leases in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Agency spokesman Patrick Etchart said recently that Grynberg didn't respond to the penalty or ask for a hearing. He said the Treasury Department will pursue collection of the debt.

  • Hollywood dipping toes into virtual reality worlds

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Virtual reality is creeping into our world. Once seen as a tool for alien-blasting gamers, movie studios, television producers and artists are now adopting the technology, which immerses people in faraway realms using bulky goggles, house-sized domes, and smartphones. Entering a virtual world means that users who look left, right, up or behind experience an alternate environment, even when they're sitting in a theater or on a couch. It means a horror movie can be promoted with a haunted house tour featuring a mass murderer who can spring from anywhere. Or a shark documentary enhanced by the sensation that you're being circled by predators.

  • Colstrip gets new operator as PPL spins off Montana assets

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The longtime operator of one of the largest coal-fueled power plants in the West completed a spin-off of assets Monday that include the 2,100-megawatt Colstrip plant in southeastern Montana. PPL Corp. of Pennsylvania said it was spinning off subsidiary PPL Montana and assets elsewhere to focus on "more reliable" markets. Colstrip will be controlled by the newly-created Talen Energy Corp., also of Pennsylvania. The 360-worker Montana plant serves wholesale and industrial power customers across the Pacific Northwest.

  • Disney CFO Jay Rasulo resigns, leaving path for Tom Staggs

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. said Monday that its chief financial officer, Jay Rasulo, will resign at the end of June. Once considered a possible candidate to replace CEO Bob Iger when Iger retires in 2018, Rasulo's resignation paves the path to Disney's top job for 55-year-old Tom Staggs, who became chief operating officer in February. Disney has not officially named a successor to Iger. A new chief financial officer was not immediately named Monday, but Rasulo, 59, will serve as an adviser to assist in the transition. "Jay has been a valued colleague and friend, as well as a vital contributor to Disney's success," Iger said in a statement.

  • John Petersen, former CEO for whom Pitt arena is named, dies

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — John Petersen, a retired insurance executive whose gifts to the University of Pittsburgh included $10 million for a basketball arena named for himself and his wife, has died. He was 86. Petersen died Saturday after battling cancer, university officials and his family said. He and his wife, Gertrude, were living with their daughter in Savannah, Georgia, at the time. Chancellor Emeritus Mark Nordenberg said the gift that helped fund the $119 million John M. and Gertrude E. Petersen Events Center also helped invigorate the campus and was a magnet for other donations. It opened in 2002.

  • Gannett buys El Paso Times, 6 New Mexico papers

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gannett Co., Inc. has purchased 11 media organizations from Digital First Media 11, including the remaining majority interest in the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership, Gannett announced Monday. The McLean, Virginia-based media company said that Gannett now will own 100 percent of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership. That partnership includes the El Paso Times; Alamogordo Daily News; Carlsbad Current-Argus; The Daily Times in Farmington; Deming Headlight; Las Cruces Sun-News; and the Silver City Sun-News. "We are very pleased to welcome these well-respected media organizations to U.S.

  • New Jersey bill would let voters decide on 3 casinos by NYC

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City's monopoly on casino gambling in the state, enshrined in law and fiercely protected by politicians for nearly 40 years, began to crumble Monday as lawmakers introduced a bill that would let voters decide whether to allow three new casinos in northern New Jersey, just outside New York City. The bill would schedule a referendum in which voters would be asked to approve up to three casinos in Bergen, Essex or Hudson counties. It comes as efforts to expand casino gambling beyond Atlantic City — which has been banned by the state constitution for 37 years — rapidly gain momentum while Atlantic City's casino industry withers from ever-increasing competition in neighboring states.

  • Appalachian Power closes 3 West Virginia coal-fired plants

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three coal-fired power plants in West Virginia have shut down operations in a previously announced move. Appalachian Power's Kanawha River Power Station at Glasgow, the Kammer Power Station near Moundsville and the Phillip Sporn Power Station at New Haven were closed Sunday. Appalachian Power had announced in 2011 that it planned to close the plants, along with three coal-fired plants in Virginia, Ohio and Indiana. The company had said it would be cost-prohibitive to equip them to comply with new federal emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. Another coal-fired plant in Virginia is being converted to natural gas.

  • Pool industry touts water savings in California drought

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Leigh McDonough stood in her backyard on a hot spring day and listened to the steady shush-shush-shush of two garden hoses filling her new pool and hot tub with water. Her family installed the 21,000-gallon pool despite a state mandate to cut overall water consumption by 25 percent amid a crushing, four-year drought. McDonough, however, wasn't worried: She was told her pool would actually help save water that would otherwise go to her lawn. It's a mantra being pushed by the California pool and spa industry in recent months, as water conservation campaigns have placed residential pools and other conspicuous water users in the crosshairs.

  • High court: Bankrupt homeowners can't void second mortgage

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that homeowners who declare bankruptcy can't void a second mortgage even if the home isn't worth what they owe on the primary mortgage. The justices ruled in two Florida cases that bankrupt homeowners can't "strip off" a second loan even if they are underwater on the first loan. Both cases involved property owners who were allowed by lower courts to nullify second loans held by Bank of America. The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed both cases, but Bank of America said the rulings conflicted with Supreme Court precedent. The company argued that even if the primary mortgage is underwater, that should not affect the lien securing the second

  • Justices boost workplace religious protections

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court strengthened civil rights protections Monday for employees and job applicants who need special treatment in the workplace because of their religious beliefs. The justices sided with a Muslim woman who did not get hired after she showed up to a job interview with clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch wearing a black headscarf. The headscarf, or hijab, violated the company's strict dress code, since changed, for employees who work in its retail stores. Employers generally have to accommodate job applicants and employees with religious needs if the employer at least has an idea that such accommodation is necessary, Justice Antonin Scalia said in his opinion for the court.

  • Molycorp delays interest payment, wants to restructure debt

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rare earth metals company Molycorp said it won't make a $32.5 million interest payment that was due Monday, but says it isn't in default on its debts. The company said it is allowed to use a 30-day grace period on the interest payments, which stem from senior secured notes that are due in 2020. Molycorp said the delay won't put it into default on its other debts and shouldn't affect its current operations. The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based company has retained financial and legal advisors to help it restructure its debt and will use the grace period to review its options for achieving that goal.

  • $430 million Dakota Prairie Refinery begins diesel sales

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Diesel sales have started at a new oil refinery in western North Dakota. Bismarck-based MDU Resources Group and Indianapolis-based Calumet Specialty Products Partners built the $430 million Dakota Prairie Refinery near Dickinson. Officials said Monday that some diesel was sold last month. But they say June is expected to be the first full month of production at 20,000 barrels per day. A barrel is 42 gallons. Crews broke ground on the refinery in March 2013. The only other refinery producing fuel in North Dakota is the Tesoro Corp. plant at Mandan.

  • French minister: 2015 climate deal must avoid US Congress

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    BONN, Germany (AP) — The global climate agreement being negotiated this year must be worded in such a way that it doesn't require approval by the U.S. Congress, the French foreign minister said Monday. Laurent Fabius told African delegates at U.N. climate talks in Bonn that "we know the politics in the U.S. Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse." If negotiators follow his plan, that would exclude an international treaty that has legally-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions — something some countries still insist on but which would have no chance of being ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress. "We must find a formula which is valuable for everybody and valuable for th

  • Movie theater chain AMC discloses government investigations

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. disclosed Monday that it received two requests for documents from U.S. agencies relating to an investigation of anticompetitive conduct. Shares of the company fell almost 2 percent in midday trading Monday. The company operates more than 4,900 screens in 347 movie theaters. AMC said it received the separate requests for documents last week from the U.S. Department of Justice and the office of the Ohio attorney general. The company said the request from the Justice Department is in connection with an investigation under the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibits companies from anticompetitive behavior.




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