• Top US auto safety regulator says Chrysler to face sanctions

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fiat Chrysler will be punished soon for failing to follow the law in 23 recalls involving more than 11 million vehicles, the nation's top auto safety regulator said Thursday. But Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wouldn't say what action the agency will take until after a public comment period closes on July 17. Rosekind spoke after a two-hour public hearing in Washington on Fiat Chrysler's recall performance that featured agency officials detailing an alarming litany of failures to notify customers of recalls, delays in making and distributing repair parts, and in some cases failing to come up with repairs that fix the problems.

  • US average rate on 30-year home loans rises to 4.08 percent

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week, reaching high levels for the year.

  • Google's new app blunders by calling black people 'gorillas'

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's new image-recognition program misfired badly this week by identifying two black people as gorillas, delivering a mortifying reminder that even the most intelligent machines still have lot to learn about human sensitivity. The blunder surfaced in a smartphone screen shot posted online Sunday by a New York man on his Twitter account, @jackyalcine. The images showed the recently released Google Photos app had sorted a picture of two black people into a category labeled as "gorillas." The accountholder used a profanity while expressing his dismay about the app likening his friend to an ape, a comparison widely regarded as a racial slur when applied to a black person.

  • Gasoline prices in Arizona at $2.72 per gallon

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona are slightly lower at the pumps again this week. Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $2.72 a gallon. That's down by less than a penny from last week, but marks the sixth consecutive week of falling prices. This week's national average also is $2.76 per gallon, down by more than a cent from last week. Triple-A analysts say prices heading into the July 4th holiday weekend are the lowest in five years. Tucson has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $2.43 a gallon and Flagstaff the highest at $2.99 per gallon. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices among states in the continenta

  • 2Q mutual fund review: Momentum stalls

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Well, that was a disappointing ending. After years of nearly uninterrupted and strong returns, most mutual funds looked set to deliver another quarter of gains, albeit modest ones, for April through June. That is, it looked that way until the eve of the quarter's end, when a sell-off in global stock markets pulled down many funds. The losses meant less than half of all mutual funds -- 41 percent -- were able to post gains last quarter, down from 87 percent in the first quarter. Even the apparent winners ended up with weaker gains than had been anticipated just a few weeks earlier. The losses across various fund categories were mostly modest.

  • Recalls this week: Baby floats, snowmobiles, golf cars

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    A line of inflatable baby floats with a bad seam that can leak air are among this week's recalled consumer products. Other recalled consumer products include faulty snowmobiles and golf cars. Here's a more detailed look: INFLATABLE BABY FLOATS DETAILS: Otteroo inflatable baby floats. The floats are inflatable round rings made of clear and blue plastic material with two air chambers that fasten around a baby's neck with a white buckle. The name "Otteroo" is imprinted on the top of the float in large, orange letters with an Otter logo. They were sold at Otteroo.com and Amazon.com and Zulily.com from January 2014 through July 2014. WHY: The seam on the flotation device can leak air and deflate, posing a risk of drown

  • 3 Supreme Court justices maintain substantial stock holdings

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — New personal financial disclosures from the Supreme Court show that Chief Justice John Roberts and two other justices are maintaining significant investments in individual companies' stock. The details of investments held by Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Stephen Breyer are in annual financial reports released Thursday by the federal judiciary. Roberts holds stock worth $250,000 to $500,000 each in Time Warner Inc. and Microsoft Corp., and smaller investments in other technology and communications companies. Breyer was forced to sit out a patent case in the spring that involved Cisco Systems, Inc., because he owns up to $100,000 in Cisco stock.

  • US unemployment falls to 7-year low, but wages are flat

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. unemployment fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent and employers hired at a solid pace in June, but other gauges of the job market drew a bleaker picture: A wave of people stopped looking for work, and paychecks failed to budge. The figures released Thursday capture the persistently uneven nature of the recovery from the Great Recession. The job market "remains consistent with a two-steps-forward, one-step-back expansion the U.S. economy finds itself in," said Scott Andersen, chief economist at Bank of the West. The economy gained 223,000 jobs last month, and unemployment edged down from 5.5 percent in May, the Labor Department reported. That is the lowest jobless rate since April 2008,

  • Job growth expands in professional services and health care

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Depending on the sector, June was either a great month for job growth or a lackluster one. Leading the way with 64,000 added jobs was professional services, which includes accountants, engineers and office temp workers. Also posting sizable gains were retail and health care. At the same time, momentum stalled in construction and manufacturing, two bedrock sectors of the American economy. Construction failed to add any jobs in June after gaining 15,000 in May and 30,000 in April. Manufacturing added just 4,000 last month. Overall, U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since April 2008.

  • Federal government to step up bird flu monitoring this fall

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The federal government announced plans Thursday to step up monitoring wild birds for avian influenza this fall to provide an early warning of any resurgence of a disease that devastated poultry farms in the Upper Midwest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a pair of plans aimed at minimizing the impacts on domestic poultry flocks if any bird flu viruses return or mutate in migrating waterfowl and other wild birds. "The early detection of avian influenza remains key to controlling its spread and minimizing its effects," Dr. John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinary officer, said in a statement.

  • Whole Foods apologizes for pricing problems

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Whole Foods Market is apologizing to its shoppers for incorrect pricing, a week after a New York investigation found that the natural food grocer routinely overcharged for prepackaged fruits, vegetables and deli meats. "Straight up, we made some mistakes," said co-CEO Walter Robb, as he stood beside co-CEO John Mackey in a YouTube video posted Wednesday. "We want to own that." Robb and Mackey said that the pricing mistakes were unintentional and that the company will increase its training at stores around the county. Going forward, Whole Foods will give items away for free if customers discover they were overcharged. "We apologize to our customers for any discrepancies that may have occurred," the company sa

  • 'Magic Mike XXL' outstripping 'Terminator' at box office

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — "Magic Mike XXL" is narrowly outstripping "Terminator Genisys" at the holiday weekend box office. The Channing Tatum male-stripper sequel earned $9.3 million on its opening day Wednesday, according to Warner Bros. Paramount Pictures said Thursday that its reboot of the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi franchise, "Terminator Genisys," opened with $8.9 million Wednesday. Both sums include about $2 million in Tuesday night showings. The two films are vying to unseat "Jurassic World" over the July Fourth weekend. With the holiday falling on Saturday, studios aren't getting the usual long-weekend boost. But "Magic Mike XXL" and "Terminator Genisys" both opened early to rope in more moviegoers.

  • Unemployment rate for black Americans at 7-year low

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Black Americans made strides in the job market in June, with their unemployment rate reaching its lowest level in seven years. The black unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent, the best showing since a 9.4 percent reading in June 2008. Despite the improvement, the employment gap by race remains stubbornly wide. The jobless rate for African-Americans is more than twice the rate for whites and has remained in double digits nearly every month since the summer of 2008. At the same time, unemployment rates improved in June for workers of all educational backgrounds — from those without high school diplomas to college graduates.

  • Wind power developer, GMP propose deal to regulators

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The developer of the Deerfield Wind Farm in southern Vermont is joining the state's largest power company in asking regulators to approve a 25-year power purchase contract. Officials with Iberdrola ("ee-bur-DROL-ah") Renewables and Green Mountain Power say GMP plans to buy 30 megawatts of power from the wind farm. That's enough to power about 14,000 average Vermont households. Iberdrola spokesman Paul Copleman says the project has other state and federal permits in hand but now needs the Public Service Board to approve the power purchase contract before beginning construction. The company is planning to build 15 wind turbines as part of the project, eight in Searsburg and seven in neighboring Re

  • How 5 Gulf Coast states will divide BP oil spill settlement

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Most of the $18.7 billion proposed settlement that BP reached over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would go to five Gulf Coast states, if the deal is approved by a judge. A portion of the settlement is not assigned to any particular state. Here's how the state-specific money breaks down, with payments to states being made over nearly two decades: ALABAMA Alabama would receive $2.3 billion. Gov. Robert Bentley said the settlement would steer $1.3 billion for coastal environmental restoration. He said some of the $1.3 billion has already been paid to the state. Another $1 billion for will go to the state's general fund as compensation from economic damages from the spill. Bentley said that money, which eq

  • US regulator says Fiat Chrysler recall woes are widespread

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A top U.S. auto safety regulator accused Fiat Chrysler of failing to provide timely and accurate recall information to her agency and said that customers also have problems getting accurate information. Jennifer Timian, acting director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's defect investigation office, made the remarks Thursday to start a public hearing on the company's recall performance. Problems with the company, known as FCA US LLC, are widespread and involve slow response to vehicle defects that have caused deaths and injuries, Timian said. The agency is holding the rare hearing to listen to evidence that Fiat Chrysler misbehaved on 23 recalls involving more than 11 million vehi

  • Ford recalls 432K cars because of software problem

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Ford is recalling 432,000 Focus, C-Max and Escape vehicles because of a software problem that could keep their engines running after drivers try to shut them down. Ford Motor Co. says there is a flaw in the body control module software in the vehicles. As a result of the problem, the engine could keep running after the key is turned to "off" and removed, or after the start/stop button is pressed to turn the engine off. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company says no injuries or accidents have been associated with the problem. Ford says dealers will update the software at no cost to consumers. The recall covers some model 2015 Focus cars, C-Max hybrids and Escape sport utility vehicles.

  • Correction: Dominion-Coal Ash story

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In a story June 27 about coal ash impoundments at the Possum Point Power Station, The Associated Press reported erroneously that U.S. rules governing coal ash disposal were in response to the Duke Energy coal ash spill in North Carolina in February 2014. While the Environmental Protection Agency announced the rules in December 2014, they were years in development. A corrected version of the story is below: Critics: Dominion Virginia jumping gun on coal ash cleanup Environmental groups fearful Virginia utility coal ash plan will leave permanent pollutant By STEVE SZKOTAK Associated Press RICHMOND, Va.

  • Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 4.08 percent

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week, reaching high levels for the year. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.08 percent this week from 4.02 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.24 percent from 3.21 percent. Mortgage rates have increased in recent weeks, in the midst of the spring home buying season, as the economy has shown signs of improvement. A year ago, the average 30-year rate was 4.12 percent; the 15-year average was 3.22 percent. Data issued Tuesday showed that home prices increased at a solid clip in April, led by double-digit gains in Denver and San Francisco.

  • Finance expert compares Greece's economy to that of Oklahoma

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Troy E. Jones, a certified public planner and chief executive of Access Financial Resources Inc., discusses why we should care about the financial crisis in Greece.




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