• US regulator: Fannie, Freddie in deal with banks

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal regulator says government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have reached an agreement with major banks that could expand lending. The head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced the deal Monday at a conference of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Las Vegas. FHFA Director Mel Watt said the deal clarifies conditions in which banks could be required to buy back mortgages they sell to Fannie and Freddie for misrepresenting the loans' risks. Watt said the agreement in principle is "a significant step forward" that will help make more mortgage credit available without harming Fannie and Freddie's finances.

  • UPS increases some shipping rates by 4.9 percent

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — UPS says it is raising rates for a number of its shipping services by an average of 4.9 percent for 2015. The Atlanta-based company said Monday it is increasing rates for its ground, air, international, UPS Freight, and UPS air freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The increase goes into effect on Dec. 29. UPS had previously announced some size-related pricing changes that will also take effect at the end of December.

  • Ebola: Keeping patients alive as body fights back

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — People who shared an apartment with the country's first Ebola patient are emerging from quarantine healthy. And while Thomas Eric Duncan died and two U.S. nurses were infected caring for him, there are successes, too: A nurse infected in Spain has recovered, as have four American aid workers infected in West Africa. Even there, not everyone dies. So why do some people escape Ebola, and not others? The end of quarantine for 43 people in Dallas who had contact with Duncan "simply supports what most of us who know something about the disease have been saying all along: It's not that easily spread," said Dr. Joseph McCormick of the University of Texas School of Public Health.

  • Casino resisting Donald Trump's bid to remove name

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A casino company that agreed to Donald Trump's demand to remove his name from its now-closed Trump Plaza is refusing to strip the name from its lone remaining casino, the struggling Trump Taj Mahal. The real estate mogul and his daughter Ivanka Trump are suing Trump Entertainment Resorts, which he once ran, in state Superior Court, demanding that the Trump name come off the Taj Mahal as well. They say the Atlantic City company, with which they no longer are involved, allowed the casinos to fall into disrepair, which damages their brand. Ivanka Trump said on Monday that she and her father "vehemently disagree" with Trump Entertainment's stance regarding use of the Trump name and the claims the comp

  • Urgent-care clinics ill-equipped to treat Ebola

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    A new concern over the spread of Ebola surfaced recently when a Dallas County sheriff's deputy who searched the apartment of the first patient to die from the virus in the U.S. started feeling ill and went to an urgent-care center. The clinics popping up rapidly across the nation aren't designed to treat serious illnesses and are ill-equipped to deal with suspected Ebola cases. Doctors are urging patients to avoid smaller medical facilities and head to emergency rooms if they think they've been exposed to the virus that has put a focus on weak spots in the U.S. health care system. "Patients have a difficult time deciding where they need to go for care" but hospitals are best for serious problems, Dr. William Gluckman sa

  • A year later, cleanup still going for ND oil spill

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — One year after a pipeline rupture flooded a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota with more than 20,000 barrels of crude, Tesoro Corp. is still working around the clock cleaning up the oil spill — one of the largest to happen onshore in U.S. history. Cleanup costs have soared from the company's original estimate of $4 million to a forecast of more than $20 million, and it may be at least another year before work is completed, the company and state officials said. The oil-sopped parcel of land, about the size of seven football fields, is no longer usable for planting at present. "It's a big cleanup and it's become part of our life," farmer Steve Jensen said Monday. "The ground is still saturated wi

  • Ex-Boston funeral director held on $50,000 bail

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — A former Boston funeral director charged with improperly storing bodies and stealing thousands of dollars in funeral pre-payments has been ordered held on $50,000 bail. Joseph O'Donnell pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court on Monday. He's charged with stealing nearly $150,000 from clients and keeping the remains of 12 people at a storage facility where they were found in July. He faces a 278-count indictment including multiple counts of larceny, forgery, embezzlement and improperly disposing of human remains. O'Donnell's attorney says he doesn't acknowledge wrongdoing and would like to be out of jail so he could begin repaying former clients. He's been in custody since he pleaded not guilty in Ap

  • Trial begins over Navy silencer contract

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Navy intelligence officer illegally diverted nearly $2 million in government funds to his boss's brother under a secret, illegitimate contract to build hundreds of untraceable rifle silencers. In opening trial statements in Alexandria on Monday, prosecutors said Navy civilian Lee Hall of Sterling had no authority to buy weapons. They said the real reason for the contract was to bail out his boss's brother, Mark Landersman, who they say had a failing race-car business. Landersman, of Temecula, California, faces trial next week. Both he and Hall are charged with conspiracy and theft of government funds. Hall's lawyer says the contract was legitimate and needed to support a classi

  • Owner pleads guilty in Vegas puppy store fire case

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 35-year-old former Las Vegas pet shop owner pleaded guilty Monday to felony charges that could get her up to 24 years in state prison for setting fire to the business before 27 puppies and dogs were rescued earlier this year, a court official said. Gloria Eun Hye Lee pleaded guilty Monday in Clark County District Court to arson, insurance fraud and attempted animal cruelty in a plea deal calling for the dismissal of 28 other charges against her, court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said. She is due for sentencing Feb. 25. Store security video shows Lee and a man who prosecutors identify as co-defendant Kirk Bills setting fire Jan. 27 to the Prince and Princess pet shop in southwest Las Vegas.

  • Suspected Indiana serial killer charged in 1 death

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A man suspected in the deaths of seven women in northwestern Indiana has been charged in one of the slayings. The Lake County prosecutor's office on Monday charged 43-year-old Darren Vann of nearby Gary, Indiana, in the strangulation death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy. Police say her body was found Friday night at a Motel 6 in Hammond. The Lake County coroner's office said she was strangled. Hammond Police Chief John Doughty says Hardy was involved in prostitution and had arranged to meet Vann at the motel through a Chicago-area website. Police took Vann into custody Saturday afternoon. Doughty said Monday that Vann confessed to killing Hardy and told investigators more bodies could be found

  • Biden touts plans to fix 'Third World' NYC airport

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden, who infamously dubbed New York City's outdated LaGuardia Airport "a third-world country," joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a news conference Monday to tout plans to improve the region's airports. Biden, the White House's loudest voice on the need to update the nation's crumbling infrastructure, was gently teased by Cuomo, who announced a design competition to modernize John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports as well as two lesser-known suburban airports. Cuomo offered a mock quiz about who said, "If I took you and blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you must think, 'I must be in some third-world country,'" asking if it was Texas Gov.

  • About 550 W.Va. coal miners failed drug tests

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — In the last two years, more than 550 West Virginia coal miners have temporarily lost their mining certifications because they failed a drug test. State Office of Miner's Health, Safety and Training Eugene White released the numbers to a legislative panel Monday. Over that timeframe, 79 mine workers were reinstated and 67 are currently in a treatment plan. After not responding to temporary suspension letters at all, 269 miners are facing three-year suspensions. White's report says prescription drugs are the main problem. Marijuana is second. A wide-sweeping mine safety law that took effect in January 2013 requires coal mine operators and certain employers to screen for substance abu

  • Chipotle's profit tops expectations as sales surge

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Chipotle reported a third-quarter profit Monday that topped Wall Street expectations as sales continued to surge. The Mexican food chain said sales rose 19.8 percent at restaurants open at least a year for its third quarter. The better-than-expected performance comes as traditional fast-food chains such as McDonald's and Burger King have struggled to boost sales in the U.S. Chipotle has sought to set itself apart by marketing its ingredients as being superior. People also like that they can walk down a line and dictate the toppings that go on their dishes. In a statement, co-CEO Steve Ells said people are "realizing there are better alternatives to traditional fast food," a trend he said he expects to co

  • Turkey says it helps Kurdish fighters enter Syria

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Turkey said it was helping Iraqi Kurdish fighters cross into Syria to support their brethren fighting Islamic State militants in a key border town, although activists inside embattled Kobani said no forces had arrived by Monday evening, raising questions about whether the mission was really underway. The statement by Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu came hours after the U.S. airdropped weapons and ammunition to resupply Kurdish fighters for the first time. Those airdrops Sunday followed weeks of airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition in and near Kobani.

  • Apple Pay Q&A: What you need to know

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple's mobile payment system, Apple Pay, made its debut Monday. Now you can flash your new iPhone in the checkout line to pay for food, clothing and other goods. There's no need to pull out your credit card. But don't leave your wallet or purse behind quite yet: Despite a few dozen retail chains pledging support for Apple Pay, so-called contactless payments are still new. Smaller merchants, in particular, aren't likely to have the necessary equipment right away. Here's a guide to how Apple Pay works and what to expect: ___ Q. What do I need to use Apple Pay? A. To fully use Apple Pay, you'll need an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus with iOS 8.1, a free software update released Monday.

  • IBM and CSX are big market movers

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE IBM Corp., down $12.95 to $169.10 The technology company's quarterly profit missed expectations and it will pay $1.5 billion to shed its costly chip division. CSX Corp., down 35 cents to $33.51 Canadian Pacific Railway ended talks with the railroad operator and plans no more discussions about a possible combination. NCR Corp., down $6.33 to $23.54 The maker of ATMs and self-service checkout machines said third-quarter results will miss forecasts and it cut its outlook for the year, citing a weak market. Tesoro Corp., up $5.05 to $65.43 The oil com

  • Colorado tests reach of Democrats' ground game

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Dave Lightowler never even got to say Sen. Mark Udall's name. The moment Lightowler mentioned another Democrat running for a Congressional seat, the man inside the house in this swing suburb closed the door in the canvasser's face. Undaunted, Lightowler noted on his iPad that while one voter in the house had turned them away, a second — the man's wife, who is not registered with either major political party — hadn't been reached yet. Democratic party canvassers would return and try to talk to her. "We try again until Nov. 4," Lightowler said. "This is the time. This is the playoffs." The relentless ground game to inspire voters to cast ballots has helped Democrats dominate Colorado under even the mo

  • Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is suing several law firms that represented a man who claimed he owned half of the social network and was entitled to billions of dollars from the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The case was dismissed in April and the man, Paul Ceglia, is facing related criminal charges. Facebook Inc. and Zuckerberg filed a lawsuit Monday against DLA Piper and other law firms and lawyers, saying they conspired to file and prosecute a fraudulent lawsuit. DLA Piper is one of the world's largest business law firms. Ceglia claimed in a 2010 lawsuit that he and Zuckerberg signed a 2003 software development contract that included a provision entitling him to half-ownership of Facebook in exchange for $1,000 in start

  • US stocks close higher as turbulence fades

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing with modest gains following last week's turbulence. All three main stock indexes ended higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 17 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,904 Monday. The Nasdaq rose 57 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,316. The Dow Jones industrial average eked out a gain after spending most of the day in the red. The Dow was held back by a sharp decline in IBM, which reported disappointing results. The Dow ended up 19 points, or 0.1 percent, at 16,399. Sears jumped 23 percent after saying it would raise cash and had signed a leasing deal with the European fashion retailer Primark. Bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was flat at 2.19 p

  • IBM 3Q disappoints as it sheds 'empty calories'

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — IBM disappointed investors Monday, reporting weak revenue growth again and a big charge to shed its costly chipmaking division as the tech giant tries to steer its business toward cloud computing and social-mobile services. Shares fell more than 7 percent as investors sold off sharply and the stock dragged the Dow 30 into the red. Is it too late for IBM? Or can Big Blue weather the competition as it transforms its business for the cloud? Remaking itself is something IBM has done many times through its long history. Starting more than a century ago in punch-card tabulators and time clocks, it grew to encompass the giant mainframe computers and Selectric typewriters of the 1960s and launched its revolutionary