• GE spinoff Synchrony flat in stock market debut

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Synchrony Financial barely moved Thursday in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange, but that's a better outcome than the broader markets which plunged. The credit card company raised $2.88 billion, selling 125 million shares at $23 each. That makes it the largest initial public offerings of the year so far, according to data provider Dealogic. The Stamford, Connecticut, company is a spinoff of conglomerate General Electric Co. Following the IPO, GE will own 84.9 percent of Synchrony's common stock. The spinoff is part of GE's plan to shrink its financial unit GE Capital. GE has been focusing more on industrial products like jet engines, medical equipment and oil and gas drilling eq

  • $100 million for firm without offices, 1 agent?

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies overseeing millions of mortgage loans appear to be skirting new federal regulations and legal settlements intended to stop them profiteering at the expense of troubled homeowners. They are selling or have sold nearly nonexistent insurance agencies — in some cases with no offices, no websites and only a single registered agent — in multi-million dollar deals, as new rules prohibit them from collecting commissions on insurance they force homeowners to buy. The deals illustrate how regulators are still wrestling with messy banking practices more than six years after the housing market's collapse.

  • Ex-NY Yankees outfielder convicted of abusing girl

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A former New York Yankees outfielder has been convicted of sexually abusing a young girl. Rosendo "Rusty" Torres was convicted in a Nassau County court of five counts of sexual abuse Thursday. He faces up to seven years in prison on each count. Sentencing is Oct. 7. Prosecutors say Torres abused a girl younger than 11 while acting as a youth baseball coach for the town of Oyster Bay, 20 miles east of New York City. They say the abuse happened in spring 2012 during baseball practice sessions in nearby Plainview. Torres' attorney says he plans to appeal. The 65-year-old Torres was acquitted of abusing a second girl younger than 11. Torres played for five major league teams from 1971 to 1

  • SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines ending partnership

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Entertainment are ending their 25-year-old marketing partnership, officials with both companies said Thursday, as the airline has been urged by animal rights activists to terminate the relationship. The partnership won't be renewed at the end of the year when the current contract expires. As part of the partnership, three Southwest airplanes had various SeaWorld animals painted on their bodies. Those planes will be painted over to Southwest's traditional look. SeaWorld also had Southwest signs in its parks, and Southwest offered vacation packages to SeaWorld, as it does to other tourist destinations. The vacation packages will continue. SeaWorld officials said the decisio

  • Coal dust limit to try to combat black lung

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Obama administration's push to reduce black lung disease by limiting coal dust in mines will begin to take effect on Friday. The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration coal dust rule will be phased in, with requirements including increased dust sampling in mines and citations when coal operators don't take immediate action for high levels. In February 2016, better monitoring equipment will be required. In August 2016, the allowable concentration of coal dust will drop. Ohio-based Murray Energy and the National Mining Association sued separately over the rule, which was finalized in April.

  • Sony and Yum Brands are big market movers

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE 3D Systems Corp., down $5.94 to $50.13 The three-dimensional printing company reported a drop in quarterly profit and the results fell short of Wall Street expectations. Yum Brands Inc., down $3.60 to $69.40 The owner of fast-food chains, including KFC, said a food-safety scandal in China has hurt sales and could cut into global profit. Sony Corp., up 90 cents to $18.43 The electronics company reported a surprise jump in quarterly profit that beat Wall Street forecasts of a loss during the period. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., up 39 cents to $12

  • Report: CIA officers read Senate emails

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA officers improperly accessed Senate computers, read the emails of Senate staff, and exhibited a "lack of candor" when interviewed by agency investigators, according to a declassified CIA inspector general's report. The document, released Thursday by the CIA, is a summary of an internal CIA investigation that prompted CIA Director John Brennan to abandon his defiant posture in the matter and apologize to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders. Brennan has convened an internal accountability board chaired by former Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., that will examine whether the CIA officers should be disciplined, said his spokesman, Dean Boyd.

  • Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) — As mortar fire landed nearby, an international team of investigators finally reached the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 wreckage site Thursday and got their first look at a scene experts fear has been badly compromised in the two weeks since the plane was blown out of the sky. For the families of the 298 victims, it was an important start in locating and recovering bodies still out in the open and building a case against those who perpetrated the tragedy. Harun Calehr, the uncle of two young victims of the disaster, said by telephone from his home in the U.S. that he was happy investigators had reached the site. But Calehr said he remains concerned that dozens of bodies haven't been retrieved. "I

  • Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The fees that banks charge debit-card users who overdraw their accounts usually cost more than the items being bought. That's the result of a study that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released Thursday. Large banks have generally charged a $34 penalty when people overdraw their debit-card accounts, even though most of the purchases involved were for less than $24. And the penalties are charged even though most accounts return to a positive balance within three days, the study found. Banks profit by collecting more than half their checking account income from these fees. The study builds on a 2013 report that found that heavy overdrafters, on average, face $900 in additional costs each year.

  • Libya Islamic militias declare control of Benghazi

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Islamic hard-line militias, including the group accused by the United States in a 2012 attack that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, claimed control of Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, after overrunning army barracks and seizing heavy weapons. The sweep in the eastern city is part of a new backlash by hard-liners against their rivals ahead of the sitting of a new parliament. In the capital Tripoli, escalating battles Thursday between militias prompted multiple foreign governments to scramble to get out their citizens as thousands of Libyans fled across the border into Tunisia.

  • Correction: FBI Headquarters story

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story July 29 about the search for a new FBI headquarters, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the warehouse under consideration as a potential site was located in Franconia, Virginia. The warehouse is actually in the neighboring community of Springfield, near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Franconia Road.

  • US stocks plunge, wiping out July's gains

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks had their worst one-day drop since February as traders worried about weak corporate earnings and the looming end of economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The drop interrupted a prolonged advance in the market and erased its gains for July. It was only the second monthly loss for stocks this year, after January. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 317 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 16,563 Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 39 points, or 2 percent, to 1,930. The Nasdaq composite dropped 93 points, or 2.1 percent, to 4,369. The S&P 500 closed at a record high just one week ago.

  • Testimony, advocates clash at EPA coal hearings

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Union miners and others opposed to stricter pollution rules for coal-burning power plants proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency clashed inside and outside the city's federal building on the first of two days of public hearings on the new regulations. About 5,000 union members, led by the United Mine Workers of America, on Thursday marched to the William S. Moorhead Federal Building chanting, "Hey, hey, EPA! Don't take our jobs away!" A few members of a Pittsburgh-based union, Boilermakers Local 154, traded shouts and insults with some 300 environmental activists who stood on a nearby street corner as the march ended. "You're sending our jobs to China! Use your heads!" one union member shouted.

  • Network planned to bring shale power to East Coast

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — PPL Corp. said Thursday it wants to spend billions of dollars to build a 725-mile system of electric transmission lines that will bring energy from the booming Marcellus Shale natural gas fields to customers on the heavily populated Eastern Seaboard. The Allentown-based utility said the 500-kilovolt line would span much of Pennsylvania and reach into New York, New Jersey and Maryland, although the route has not been determined. The cost was expected to exceed $4 billion, and it could take more than a decade to build. PPL said the project was likely to increase reliability during demand-driven power shortages and save money for customers.

  • Severe storms head to northern, western New Mexico

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Western and northern New Mexico may see flooding as new storms move across the state. The National Weather Service says the region will remain under a flash flood watch until early Friday morning amid another storm system. The severe weather comes during a week of heavy rain and damaging floods in the state. Forecasters say southern New Mexico will likely see heavy rain through the weekend and officials there were already preparing for possible flooding. The Dona Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department authorized its 16 Volunteer Fire Districts to stock and distribute sandbags to residents. Officials say distribution will be limited to 10 sandbags per residence or business due t

  • Twitter: Govt. requests for user data increased

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter said government requests for user data grew sharply in the past six months as more countries asked for a greater amount of information about users. More than half of the requests came from the United States, as has been the case since Twitter began issuing its "transparency report" in 2012. Typically, the requests are part of criminal investigations. To obtain non-public information about users — such as email addresses — law enforcement agencies have to get a subpoena or court order. Requests for the contents of communications — such as direct messages or non-public tweets — require a search warrant.

  • Target taps outsider as CEO for needed shakeup

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers. The Minneapolis-based company said Thursday that it named PepsiCo executive Brian Cornell to the top spot, replacing Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan, who had been keeping the seat warm since May. The announcement comes roughly three months after Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned following a large data breach in the run-up to the holiday shopping season last year. Steinhafel had been dealing with problems on a number of other fronts too, including persistent perceptions that Target charges higher prices than its rivals and concerns that it had lost its magic touch for

  • Jury convicts Colorado woman of kidnapping Wisconsin newborn, abandoning him in frigid temps

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Jury convicts Colorado woman of kidnapping Wisconsin newborn, abandoning him in frigid temps.

  • See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Researchers have found a way to make see-through mice, but you won't find these critters scampering in your kitchen. The transparent rodents aren't alive and they're for research only, to help scientists study fine details of anatomy. Before they are treated with chemicals, the animals are euthanized and their skin removed. Researchers made their inner organs transparent, but not their bones. The results look like a rodent-shaped block of gelatin with the organs held in place by connective tissue and a gel used in the procedure. Mice are mainstays of biomedical research because much of their basic biology is similar to ours and they can be altered in ways that simulate human diseases.

  • A look at the impact of Wisconsin's union law

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision Thursday upholding the 2011 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most state workers likely spells the end of the three-year legal fight over Gov. Scott Walker's signature initiative. Here are five repercussions of the ruling: ___ LEGAL FIGHT OVER The state Supreme Court's decision likely spells the end of the three-year legal fight against the 2011 law, those on both sides of the issue agreed. The law had been upheld by two federal appeals courts, and a fourth case that's pending in state courts raises much of the same issues in those that the Supreme Court rejected Thursday. The Supreme Court upheld the law on a 5-2 decision, with the two mos