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  • Battle over ownership of giant emerald may be over Friday, 29 May 2015 | 7:22 PM ET

    Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson tentatively ruled on Thursday that FM Holdings Inc. had established clear title to the Brazilian gem, which has been appraised at $372 million. Unless other parties object, the ruling will become final, then a judgment will be submitted and Johnson will sign off on it, said Andrew J. Spielberger, an attorney...

  • SAO PAULO, May 29- Panama's Copa Airlines plans to expand its route network out of Latin America despite the challenges it currently faces in Brazil, the region's biggest market, the company's chief executive officer said on Friday. The carrier, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings SA, sees further potential in a business model built on linking small and mid-sized Latin...

  • *U.S. first-quarter GDP shrinks at 0.7 pct annual rate. NEW YORK, May 29- U.S. "The PCE core part of the GDP report was a reminder that inflation is still quite weak, and that adds to a bid in the bonds," said market strategist Lou Brien of DRW Trading in Chicago.

  • NEW YORK, May 29- The accused mastermind behind the underground website Silk Road was sentenced on Friday to life in prison for orchestrating a scheme that enabled more than $200 million of anonymous online drug sales using the digital currency bitcoin. Ulbricht had admitted to creating Silk Road, but denied wrongdoing. Ulbricht, who sniffled while speaking,...

  • US oil and natural gas rig count drops by 10 to 875 Friday, 29 May 2015 | 3:58 PM ET

    HOUSTON— Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 10 this week to 875.. Houston- based Baker Hughes said Friday 646 rigs were seeking oil and 225 explored for natural gas. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost four rigs, California declined by three and Arkansas,...

  • NEW YORK, May 29- A federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit accusing Ocwen Financial Corp of fraudulently billing hundreds of thousands of homeowners for needless property inspections, saying the case amounts to no more than a breach of contract claim. It accused Ocwen of ignoring Fannie Mae guidelines that call for assessing individual...

  • PARIS, May 29- Airbus Group announced the creation of a $150 million venture capital fund and said it had hired a Google executive to run a new centre in Silicon Valley as it seeks to wave a digital wand over its heavy-manufacturing culture. Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders announced the centre's creation on Wednesday, saying it would provide promising...

  • NEW YORK, May 29- Shares of U.S. automakers may finally be able to accelerate. "This is going to be one of the best months ever," said David Kudla, chief investment strategist of Mainstay Capital Management in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Kudla sees May sales approaching $40 billion, not far from the $40.3 billion record in August 2014.

  • Paul LePage vowed Friday to veto every Democratic-sponsored bill that gets to his desk for the rest of the time he's in office unless the Legislature agrees to let residents weigh in on whether to get rid of the income tax. "The Maine people deserve to have a say on the income tax and until they lift it, that's my leverage," LePage said during a wide-ranging and...

  • NEW YORK, May 28- Allison Armour loves fashion, but doesn't need to keep it in her closet. Armour, a marketing manager for a nonprofit in Oakland, California, has picked up skirts and shirts, Oxford shoes for $30, a J.Crew trench coat for $40 and a Dooney& Bourke satchel for $150, less than half its retail price. About 85 percent of people aged 18 to 34 own them, according to...

  • At noon on a recent Wednesday in May, San Francisco's Lazy Bear restaurant began taking reservations for June. Just 45 minutes later, nearly every seat for the entire month was sold out. "The main issue is trying to manage risk, trying to incentivize patrons to keep their reservations," says Northwestern University microeconomic theorist Jeffrey Ely, noting that...

  • *Broadcom, Avago shares slip after big rise on Wednesday. May 28- Avago Technologies Ltd agreed on Thursday to buy Broadcom Corp for $37 billion in the largest merger of chipmakers ever, turning a lesser known company run by a ferocious dealmaker into one of the biggest industry players. Avago, which serves the wireless and industrial markets, is offering Broadcom...

  • 2 plead guilty in Los Angeles fashion district raids Friday, 29 May 2015 | 12:40 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES— Father and son Chinese immigrants pleaded guilty Friday in a case of suspected money laundering for Mexican drug cartels in the Los Angeles fashion district. Xilin Chen and his son, Tom Chen, pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles and are set to be sentenced in August. Xilin Chen, 56, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary...

  • NEW YORK— Carl's Jr. and Hardee's ads starring nearly naked women have become a part of American culture, according to Andy Puzder, CEO of the chains' parent company. Others, such as Heidi Klum and Padma Lakshmi, were already famous. CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl's and Hardee's, is privately held and doesn't disclose financial results.

  • BOISE, Idaho— A 1988 Nobel Prize put up for auction by a retired experimental physicist now facing memory loss and potential medical bills has sold for $765,002. The online auction went into overtime Thursday evening until a final bid went unchallenged for half an hour in the competition for the gold medal won by Leon Lederman. "I'm shocked it sold at all," said his...

  • Data center Equinix will bulk up its presence in Europe through the acquisition of British counterpart TelecityGroup in a cash-and-stock deal valued at around $3.3 billion. The boards of both companies have agreed to the deal, which will add London- based TelecityGroup's 39 data centers in 11 European countries to Equinix's more than 100 facilities in 15...

  • CHEYENNE, Wyo.— Many Republicans are wary of a large federal effort to protect the greater sage grouse— but not the Republican governor of Wyoming, the state with the biggest share of the birds and more energy development in their habitat than any other. Aware that the greater sage grouse sooner or later would face listing as a federally protected endangered or...

  • LONDON, May 29- U.S. data center company Equinix Inc said on Friday it had agreed to buy British peer Telecity Group in a deal worth 2.35 billion pounds which ends Telecity's pursuit of smaller Dutch firm Interxion Holding NV. Telecity, which runs some of the huge computer centers which process traffic on the Internet, said in a statement its board had recommended...

  • Washington farmers are dumping unprofitable apples Friday, 29 May 2015 | 2:11 AM ET

    SPOKANE, Wash.— A record crop of apples, coupled with the West Coast port slowdown earlier this year, is taking a toll on Washington apple growers. Nearly $100 million worth of apples that cannot be sold have been dumped into fields across central Washington, the nation's most productive apple region. "If we wouldn't have had the port slowdown, we wouldn't have needed...

  • NEW YORK— A San Francisco man who created the underground drug-selling website Silk Road was sentenced Friday to life in prison by a judge who cited six deaths from drugs bought on his site and five people he tried to have killed. Ulbricht's 2013 arrest shut down what prosecutors described as an unprecedented one-stop online shopping mall where the supply of...