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  • 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...

  • Grant seeks to expand indoor farming in state Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 10:01 AM ET

    A New Haven- based technology company, Agrivolution LLC, has received a $73,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work with Connecticut farmers and determine the feasibility of year-round, indoor production. Richard Fu, who began Agrivolution while a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, plans to use that money to research whether...

  • Feline fame in cyberspace gives species a boost Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 8:46 AM ET

    PORTLAND, Ore.— Cats these days aren't associated with deities the way they were in ancient Egypt, but the Internet has gotten them a little closer. We adore Nora the piano-playing cat. "Social media has put pets front and center," said Christie Keith, social media consultant for Maddie's Fund, a California- based foundation that works to save pets' lives.

  • Florida truck driver crushed by storage pod dies Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 6:26 AM ET

    CLAY, N.Y.— Authorities say a Florida truck driver has died from injuries suffered when she was crushed by a 5- ton storage pod at an upstate New York facility. The Onondaga County Sheriff's Office says 38- year-old Alicia Henderson of Casselberry, Florida, died Tuesday at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. The sheriff's office and the federal Occupation...

  • Air bag maker Takata shuffles top management Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 5:17 AM ET

    TOKYO— Takata Corp., the Japanese maker of air bags at the center of massive recalls in the U.S. and elsewhere, said Wednesday that it was reshuffling its top executives, who plan to take pay cuts in response to the crisis. Takata's president Stefan Stocker is moving aside to let its chairman, Shigehisa Takada, take over, the company said in a statement.

  • 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...

  • Officials cite progress on health care enrollment Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 3:23 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The second sign-up season under President Barack Obama's health care law is off to a good start but has a way to go to make it a success, administration officials said Tuesday. The numbers don't include states running their own insurance exchanges, including California and New York. At her year-end news conference, Burwell dodged questions about a...

  • US-Cuba: New life for Cuba's classic cars? Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 12:00 AM ET

    HAVANA— Dairo Tio cruises the streets of Havana in a gleaming black 1954 Buick with polished chrome highlights and the diesel motor from an electric plant bolted beneath the hood. One of the measures announced by Obama last week would allow U.S. exports to Cuba's small class of private business owners, which includes thousands of mechanics and taxi drivers who...

  • Hertz announces price increases, shares jump Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 3:32 PM ET

    NAPLES, Fla.— Shares in Hertz jumped Tuesday after the company said it is raising prices for its car rentals. The Florida- based company said that the price increase applies to all Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty car rentals schedule for pickup after Jan. 1. The decision comes as Hertz is pursuing cost reductions, which it expects will save $100 million annually.

  • South Dakota expected to set holiday travel record Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 1:47 PM ET

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D.— Low gas prices and the steadily improving economy should encourage a record number of South Dakota travelers to hit the roads over the holidays, despite the chance of bad weather. About 260,000 residents will get behind the wheel and 8,700 people will take flights, said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. Parts of eastern South...

  • Medellin's Christmas lights dazzle in Colombia Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 7:06 AM ET

    MEDELLIN, Colombia— Medellin for Christmas vacation? The lights can be seen primarily in eight areas of the city: Cerro Nutibara, La Playa Avenue, East Avenue, Carabobo, San Juan, Junin, 70 North Street and Las Palmas. After all, Colombia's most notorious outlaw, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, was assassinated more than 20 years ago.

  • Ruling opens door for cruise malpractice lawsuits Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 4:50 AM ET

    MIAMI— Pasquale Vaglio, a retired New York City policeman and Korean War veteran, was on the cruise of a lifetime with 18 family members in the summer of 2001 aboard Royal Caribbean's "Explorer of the Seas." The most recent is a 1988 ruling known as "Barbetta" that cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival regularly relied upon to get malpractice lawsuits...

  • President Barack Obama speaking at the end of the year press conference in the White House, Washington, December 19, 2014.

    The investigation will see if insurance companies discriminated against people with costly chronic conditions. The NYT reports.

  • HAVANA/ MIAMI, Dec 22- International rivals have a clear head start in Cuba but U.S. companies could catch up quickly if the economic embargo that has kept them away is dismantled in a new era of cooperation between Washington and Havana. "We've found it to be quite a stable and good place to do business and have had a lot of success there," said David Pathe, the chief...

  • Consumer group sues Aetna, alleges discrimination Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 7:00 PM ET

    SAN DIEGO— A consumer advocacy group has filed a class-action lawsuit against Aetna Inc. saying a new policy violates the privacy of people with HIV and AIDS by requiring them to get their medications from its mail-order pharmacy. Consumer Watchdog filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court in San Diego. The plaintiff is a San Diego man who is anonymous in court...

  • Arizona to change drugs it uses in executions Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 3:23 PM ET

    TUCSON, Ariz.— Arizona officials said Monday they have been cleared of any wrongdoing in an execution this year that lasted nearly two hours, but they are nevertheless changing the drugs they use to put inmates to death. Instead, it will try to obtain pentobarbital or Sodium Pentothal, the powerful sedative also known as sodium thiopental that was used in lethal...

  • HAVANA— Cuba said Monday that it has a right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, the clearest sign yet that the communist government has no intention of extraditing America's most-wanted woman despite the warming of bilateral ties. "We've explained to the U.S. government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted...

  • Coming soon to US: Cuba Libre, with real Cuban rum Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 12:01 PM ET

    And it's unclear what the news means for industry titan Bacardi, which was driven from its Cuba headquarters by the 1959 Castro revolution. Bacardi said it's waiting to see what effects thawing U.S.- Cuba relations may have. In 1997, Bacardi bought the legal rights to the recipe and name of Havana Club, a popular rum created in 1935 by a Cuban family who eventually...

  • MIAMI, Dec 21- For a handful of Cuban-Americans, President Barack Obama's new Cuba policy wasn't much of a shocker. "There is a clear understanding in the White House that politically they are going to have to focus on and cultivate the younger generation of Cuban-Americans who are mobilized and out there supporting the president's decision," said Frank Mora, a...

  • US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 | 11:13 AM ET

    American businesses have begun imagining ways to capitalize on last week's announcement that the United States will restore diplomatic ties with Cuba and ease curbs on trade with one of the last surviving Communist regimes. Their more ambitious plans would require that Congress lift the U.S. embargo on most exports to Cuba. All that said, Cuba experts have a...