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  • In 2014, US economy began shaky, finished strong Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 3:41 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— The U.S. economy flexed its old muscles in 2014.. But consumers, businesses and investors, after enduring a brutal winter, showed renewed vigor as the year wore on and set the United States apart from much of the world. All told, the United States remained insulated from the financial struggles surfacing everywhere from Europe and Latin America to...

  • Capacity crowds pack screenings of 'The Interview' Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 3:02 PM ET

    Hundreds of theaters Thursday, from The Edge 8 in Greenville, Alabama, to Michael Moore's Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan, made special holiday arrangements for the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But with President Obama among others criticizing the decision, Sony officials changed...

  • Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 10:51 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. Happy Apple Co. of Washington, Missouri, said in a statement Wednesday that one of the apple suppliers to its California facility reported that there may be a connection between the listeria outbreak and the...

  • Unions make push to recruit protected immigrants Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 12:19 PM ET

    CHICAGO— Unions across the U.S. are reaching out to immigrants affected by President Barack Obama's recent executive action, hoping to expand their dwindling ranks by recruiting millions of workers who entered the U.S. illegally. "I think we'll see very positive changes" because of the action, said Tom Balanoff, president of Service Employees International...

  • Severe storms slam the South, killing at least 4 Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 4:52 AM ET

    Phil Bryant said at a Wednesday news conference in Columbia, about 80 miles southeast of the state capital of Jackson. Bryant, who toured the stricken area by helicopter and by vehicle before the news conference, said state emergency officials believe the destruction was caused by a tornado, although the National Weather Service in Jackson has not confirmed...

  • Cuba cigar boom? Not yet, stores and customers say Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 12:13 PM ET

    It's not for the average customer, "said Erik Otero, who left Cuba when he was 3 and has been rolling cigars since age 11.. Licensed American travelers to Cuba will soon be able to return home with up to $400 of merchandise, of which $100 combined can be spent on alcohol or tobacco products. Sampson Clay, visiting Miami from Cincinnati on his honeymoon, stopped at the...

  • Apple CEO donating to gay rights campaign in South Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:00 PM ET

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 1,000 company, is donating money to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other Southern states, organizers said Thursday. Organizers said it would help fund a three-year, $8.5 million campaign launched in April in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

  • Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:47 AM ET

    DETROIT— Ford Motor Co. has agreed to government demands to expand a driver's side air bag inflator recall to the entire U.S. Ford's action puts pressure on BMW and Chrysler, the only two automakers that haven't agreed to national recalls. Honda and Mazda already took their recalls national.

  • In surprise, Wyo. senator to head budget committee Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:53 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Alabama lawmaker who has been the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee for the past four years ended his effort Wednesday to become the panel's chairman, clearing the way for a colleague from Wyoming to lead the committee when the GOP controls Congress next year. Though men both arrived in the Senate 18 years ago, Enzi has seniority on the...

  • Fed eyes audit push as key political challenge in 2015 Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:00 AM ET

    Federal Reserve is lobbying to stem a rising threat to its independence as the "Audit the Fed" movement, once seen as usual background noise, looks set to gain momentum in 2015 when Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress. Fed officials are making their case for independence across Capitol Hill, reminding politicians of the damage that can come from...

  • DETROIT, Dec 15- The president of the United Auto Workers union on Monday called the National Labor Relations Board's recent decisions to allow employees to use company email to organize and unions to hold faster elections to represent workers "the right thing to do." "It made all the sense in the world," Dennis Williams told reporters at the union's headquarters in...

  • 14 cities get Bloomberg 'innovation team' grants Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 9:01 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Fourteen cities ranging from Long Beach, California, to Jerusalem are getting up to $3 million from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation to create "innovation teams" to jump-start new approaches to poverty, public safety, job growth and other issues, the foundation announced Monday. Winners range in size from Centennial, Colorado,...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 13- The threat of a U.S. government shutdown began to lift on Saturday as Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate struck a deal for a vote on a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, ending a dispute fueled by Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz. A similar situation began unfolding in the Democratic-controlled Senate after Cruz and two other Senate...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 13- The U.S. Senate passed a five-day extension of federal funding on Saturday, staving off a government shutdown and buying lawmakers more time to resolve a fight over a longer, $1.1 trillion spending bill led by Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz. On Saturday, a similar situation looked to be unfolding in the Democratic-controlled Senate after Cruz...

  • DETROIT, Dec 12- Chrysler Group is expanding its U.S. recall of older-model vehicles with Takata Corp passenger-side air bags, adding a second inflator design to the recall and more affected regions. The company said no accidents or injuries in any of its vehicles have been linked to any Takata passenger-side inflators. Chrysler was one of 10 automakers who...

  • Dec 9- The United Auto Workers union said on Tuesday it will train workers at Volkswagen AG's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in an effort to form a U.S. version of a German-style works council, while continuing to push for collective bargaining rights at the factory. Under a new agreement with the German company announced in November, unions that can prove...

  • WAHINGTON/ DETROIT, Dec 3- Chrysler Group has told regulators it will expand a U.S. recall of vehicles with Takata Corp passenger-side air bags, but stopped short of including all models regulators wanted included, a company statement issued on Wednesday shows. "At this time, data analysis indicates the front passenger-side inflators in affected pickups...

  • WAHINGTON/ DETROIT, Dec 3- Chrysler Group has informally told regulators it will expand a U.S. recall of vehicles with Takata Corp passenger-side air bags, a top regulator said. Congressional hearing on problems with Takata air bags in older vehicles sold by at least 10 automakers. In June, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unit recalled about 371,000 Dodge, Ram and...

  • DETROIT, Dec 3- As early as 2003, Takata Corp ran an investigation into an air bag inflator that ruptured in a BMW vehicle, but concluded the problem was an anomaly, the company said on Tuesday, ahead of a second U.S. congressional hearing on dangerous air bags it supplied. Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata's chief quality officer, told a Senate committee hearing last month...

  • DETROIT, Dec 1- The United Auto Workers union said on Monday it will press managers of the Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Alabama to respect the right of workers to discuss organizing a local union while on the factory floor. "It's unfortunate that Mercedes-Benz had to be ordered to simply allow workers to discuss their right to organize," said Kirk...