• Viacom CEO's 2014 pay rises 19 percent to $44.3 million

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman's pay climbed 19 percent to $44.3 million last year while the TV-and-film company's stock slumped and its earnings remained flat. The compensation package disclosed in a Friday regulatory filing included a $20 million bonus and stock awards valued at $19.9 million at the time they were granted. Those stock incentives ultimately could be worth more or less, depending on how Viacom Inc.'s stock fares in the next few years. The rest of Dauman's pay for the fiscal year ending last September consisted of a nearly $3.9 million salary and various perks worth a total of $500,313. The Associated Press calculates an executive's total compensation by counting salary, bonuses, perks, sto

  • McDonald's earnings fall; changes afoot to woo customers

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's isn't lovin' it, and it's going to do something about it. The world's largest hamburger chain reported falling earnings and sales for its fourth quarter on Friday and says it is going to take action this year to save money and bring customers back. This includes slowing down new restaurant openings in some markets. It's also making changes to its menu and looking to offer customers more options to customize their burgers. But the fast-food giant said its problems won't be fixed overnight: It expects sales to remain weak through the first half of this year while it deals with the fallout from a food-safety scandal in China, global economic uncertainty and shifting tastes among diners.

  • Man pleads guilty in slaying of Boston Scientific attorney

    Yesterday

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A man charged with gunning down his ex-boyfriend and business partner at a Minnesota gas station last summer pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree intentional murder. Lyle "Ty" Hoffman, 44, entered his plea in Ramsey County District Court. He admitted to a judge that he shot 48-year-old Kelly Phillips on Aug. 11 after a "heated argument" and a struggle. "It was so fast," Hoffman said in court. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors will seek a sentence of 25 1/2 years in prison when Hoffman is sentenced on March 17. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi released a statement after Friday's hearing, saying the plea spares everyone who loved Phillips the burden of a trial.

  • Man pleads not guilty to trying to get deadly poison ricin

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — A man's computer bears evidence that he tried to acquire the deadly poison ricin, a prosecutor told a judge Friday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ilan Graff said Cheng Le left proof that he was exchanging emails with an undercover FBI employee in the weeks before his Dec. 23 arrest. The prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres that Le was signed on at the time of his arrest at the email address that was frequently cited in a criminal complaint as the Ricin Buyer. Graff said the discovery was made by investigators who searched Le's Manhattan apartment after he was taken into custody after picking up a delivery of a fake ricin pill.

  • Mississippi fugitive arrested in Utah after 34 years

    Yesterday

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A man who police say has been on the run since he escaped from a Mississippi jail 34 years ago was arrested Thursday in a small central Utah town, police said. Sam Gene Harris has lived under at least 10 different aliases and escaped from two other jails in Oregon, Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood said. He also has a criminal history in Florida and Georgia, including charges for theft and assaulting an officer, Wood said. The 61-year-old man had been living relatively quietly off the main street of the 1,600-person town of Wellington for several years when an FBI bulletin tipped off Utah police to his identity Thursday, police said.

  • Report: Decomposing body found at Arkansas funeral home

    Yesterday

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An inspection of an Arkansas funeral home that has since been suspended found bodies stacked in a cooler packed beyond capacity and other bodies that hadn't been embalmed lying out in the open, the inspector wrote. Leslie Stokes told the Arkansas Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors that one of the bodies she came across during her Jan. 12 inspection of Arkansas Funeral Care in Jacksonville was "half covered in a bed sheet that was saturated in bodily fluids that had seeped from the body," the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1JhhIot ). When she returned the next day, the body was still there, "half wrapped in a soiled sheet, unrefrigerated," she wrote.

  • Privacy concerns over health care website prompt reversal

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to privacy concerns, the Obama administration reversed itself Friday, scaling back the release of consumers' personal information from the government's health insurance website to private companies with a commercial interest in the data. The administration made the changes to HealthCare.gov after The Associated Press reported earlier this week that the website was quietly sending consumers' personal data to companies that specialize in advertising and analyzing Internet data for performance and marketing. The personal details included age, income, ZIP code, tobacco use and whether a woman is pregnant. That prompted lawmakers to demand an explanation, while privacy advocates called on the admin

  • US regulators close small Chicago bank

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators have closed a small lender in Chicago, making it the second U.S. bank failure of 2015 following 18 closures last year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday that it has taken over Highland Community Bank, which operated two branches. The bank had $54.7 million in assets and $53.5 million in deposits as of Dec. 31. United Fidelity Bank, based in Evansville, Indiana, agreed to assume all of Highland Community Bank's deposits and to buy essentially of the failed bank's assets. The failure of Highland Community Bank is expected to cost the federal deposit insurance fund $5.8 million. U.S. bank failures have been declining since peaking at 157 in 2010 following the financi

  • US appeals court upholds dismissal of Holocaust suits

    Yesterday

    CHICAGO (AP) — Holocaust survivors and heirs of victims can't sue Hungary's national bank and railway in the U.S. for the theft of cash, art and other assets from Hungarian Jews until they first exhaust their legal options in Hungary, a U.S. appeals court ruled Friday. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upholds a lower court's dismissal of the lawsuits filed in the Northern District of Illinois in 2010. More than 500,000 Hungarian Jews died in the Holocaust during World War II, many forced to buy tickets for trains that carried them to Nazi concentration camps outside Hungary. The value of their losses ran into the billions, plaintiffs say.

  • Officials file to end lawsuit against Penn State, NCAA

    Yesterday

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania officials are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit against Penn State and the NCAA over the penalties related to the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and state Treasurer Rob McCord on Thursday asked a Commonwealth Court judge to mark the case as settled. A letter between Penn State and the treasury department calls for the university to send the state $36 million within 10 days of the dismissal order and another $12 million by July. The money will fund child-abuse prevention efforts. The parties reached a deal last week to restore 112 wins to Penn State, ending punitive sanctions imposed after Sandusky's 2012 conviction on child molestation charges.

  • Judge unseals court records on slain California family

    Yesterday

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Police investigating a missing persons report found a tall lamp lying on a bedroom floor and open suitcases containing folded clothes in the walk-in closet of a California home, according to court records unsealed Friday in the investigation that eventually led to the discovery of four dead family members in shallow desert graves. The documents offer the most detailed look yet of the disheveled condition of the family's house in Fallbrook when investigators arrived in February 2010 while searching for Joseph McStay, then 40, his wife Summer, 43, and their two sons, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3. Police also found two bowls of slightly spilled popcorn on a living room couch and a carton of raw eggs and bowl o

  • Another Southern state's gay-marriage ban struck down as judge rules on Alabama law

    Yesterday

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Another Southern state's gay-marriage ban struck down as judge rules on Alabama law.

  • Kobe to be re-examined before deciding injury fate

    Yesterday

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant's torn right rotator cuff will be re-examined Monday before the Los Angeles Lakers decide whether the superstar guard needs potentially season-ending surgery. Bryant was examined Friday in Los Angeles after the third-leading scorer in NBA history tore his rotator cuff Wednesday in New Orleans. A completely torn rotator cuff typically requires surgery and several months of rehabilitation, which means Bryant's 19th NBA season could be over. Bryant's previous two seasons also ended early due to injuries. A partial tear sometimes can be managed while an athlete continues to play, but the Lakers have declined to specify the severity of Bryant's tear.

  • Inmate covered in neo-Nazi tattoos loses right to attorney

    Yesterday

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Supreme Court says an inmate who is covered in neo-Nazi tattoos and serving a life sentence for killing a prison guard has lost the right to an attorney after repeatedly threatening his lawyers. The court ruled Friday that the drastic action is needed after 35-year-old Curtis Allgier threatened his lawyers and acted extremely disruptive. Allgier has tried to get several court-appointed attorneys removed, filed his own briefs and intimidated lawyers by saying he knows people he knew outside prison. The high court says he few issues left to appeal and attorneys have already presented most arguments for him. Allgier pleaded guilty in 2012 to wrestling a gun from a prison guard five ye

  • Relationship between city, police at issue after shooting

    Yesterday

    BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) — A fatal shooting by police officers of a man who defied their orders by stepping out of a car during a traffic stop but had his hands raised has opened a new rift between residents and the police department in the struggling city. Jerame Reid's Dec. 30 death has received scrutiny from activist groups and community members since the Bridgeton Police Department released a video this week showing how it unfolded — as another black man died at the hands of police officers, one black and one white. While there have been protests, none has been violent. On Friday, leaders of the state NAACP joined city officials to call for patience and peace during an investigation into Reid's shooting death.

  • Anheuser-Busch buying craft beer maker Elysian Brewing

    Yesterday

    Anheuser-Busch is buying Seattle's Elysian Brewing Co., further expanding its collection of craft brewers as it tries to offset sagging sales of its flagship beers. The financial terms of the deal announced Friday were not disclosed. Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, a Belgian company that is the world's largest brewer. The company, which makes Budweiser and Bud Lite, has been combatting soft sales by buying up increasingly popular craft brewers. While nationwide beer sales declined 1.9 percent in 2013, craft beer sales rose 17 percent, according to the Brewers Association, which represents craft brewers. Anheuser-Busch announced in November that it was buying 10 Barrel Brewing of Oregon,

  • Pittsburgh mayor, official spar over 'Undercover Boss' fund

    Yesterday

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — The county controller said Friday she's withholding money from a Pittsburgh tourism agency until it details contributions linked to the mayor's appearance on "Undercover Boss," a move the mayor is calling a "cheap political stunt." Mayor Bill Peduto appeared on the CBS show last month and pledged $155,000 to help four needy city workers. Peduto has stressed that tax revenue wouldn't be used and that corporate and institutional donors — including VisitPittsburgh — had pledged to pay for it. But Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said VisitPittsburgh gets most of its $11 million budget from county tax money.

  • Settlements reached in so-called 'hot fuel' litigation

    Yesterday

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Twenty-eight oil companies and retailers have agreed to settle litigation claiming customers were knowingly overcharged when gas station fuel temperatures rose, plaintiffs announced Friday. Federal officials earlier consolidated about 50 lawsuits filed since 2006 from consumers across the country in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas. The plaintiffs' attorneys said in a news release that a judge has given preliminary approval to the settlement agreements in the so-called "hot fuel" cases. Online court records show final approval hearings are scheduled for June 9. The plaintiffs say customers were shortchanged when buying gasoline that is over 60 degrees.

  • NTSB: Pilot in fatal crash reported engine trouble

    Yesterday

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A preliminary report shows that the pilot of a small plane flying over western Kentucky lost sight of the airport and reported the right engine had stopped shortly before the plane crashed and killed everyone aboard except a 7-year-old girl. The National Transportation Safety Board's report says air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane about 5:55 p.m. on Jan. 2, about five minutes after the pilot had asked for assistance because of engine problems. The pilot's last contact with controllers was that he had lost sight of the airport. The Piper PA-34 landed upside down with the landing gear retracted. The crash killed pilot Marty Gutzler; his wife, Kimberly; their daughter Piper; and her cousi

  • Caesars bankruptcy venue decision near

    Yesterday

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Delaware or Chicago: Troubled casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. should find out early next week where a subsidiary's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case will be decided. Caesars prefers Chicago, where its Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. filed for bankruptcy protection filed Jan. 15. Three creditors prefer Delaware, where they are attempting to push the debt-heavy unit into involuntary bankruptcy and prevent it from proceeding with its own plan. A Delaware judge is set to decide the venue by Tuesday. "Clearly, venue matters," said Anthony Casey, an assistant law professor at the University of Chicago who specializes in bankruptcy law.




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