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  • NEW YORK, July 3- When Puerto Rico hired former Detroit judge Steven Rhodes it sent a signal to creditors that one possible solution it sees is the one thing it cannot do now: declare bankruptcy. "The parallels between Detroit and Puerto Rico are strong enough that I think any of the public corporations or the commonwealth itself could take advantage of the same...

  • Aetna aims to spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul. Aetna's acquisition of Humana would make it the largest provider of Medicare Advantage coverage, with 4.4 million members, a figure that could change depending on...

  • HELENA, Mont.— The Montana Supreme Court overturned a $52 million jury verdict in a breach-of-contract case, but justices did not rule on the constitutionality of the state's $10 million punitive damages cap. The court on Wednesday sent the case back to District Court in Butte for a new trial, saying Masters Group International's lawsuit against Comerica Bank...

  • Ford recalls 432K cars because of software problem Thursday, 2 Jul 2015 | 12:06 PM ET

    Ford Motor Co. says there is a flaw in the body control module software in the vehicles. The Focus vehicles were made in Michigan as far back as June 2014, while the C-Maxes were made in Michigan starting in April 2014 and the Escapes were built in Louisville starting in April 2014. About 375,000 of the cars were sold in the U.S., 52,000 in Canada and 5,000 in Mexico.

  • LONDON, July 2- Whisper it softly, but the end of the load-out queues that have plagued the London Metal Exchange warehousing system for so long may finally be in sight. Behind the LME stands UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority, which has apparently spelt out directly to warehouse operators the new lie of the regulatory land. Behind the FCA lurks the even...

  • Northern New England states fight, track invasive bugs Thursday, 2 Jul 2015 | 9:52 AM ET

    Dangling this year from tree branches all over New Hampshire and Vermont are horizontal chains of bright green funnels designed to attract and catch the emerald ash borer. It has destroyed millions of trees since being discovered in Michigan in 2002 and is now known to be in 25 states, including New Hampshire. Out-of-state firewood has been banned in New...

  • State finds probable financial stress in Wayne County Wednesday, 1 Jul 2015 | 3:22 PM ET

    DETROIT— A state board that examined a preliminary review of Wayne County's finances said Wednesday the entity is operating under probable financial stress. Khouri chairs the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board, which looked at the Treasury Department's two-week review before announcing its ruling in Lansing. Wayne County has about 1.7...

  • DETROIT, July 1- Strong demand for sport utility vehicles and trucks in June helped General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co offset slowing demand for sedans by allowing them to raise prices on their trucks. GM and Ford said on Wednesday increases in the average transaction prices for their vehicles, particularly trucks and SUVs, outpaced sales volume growth that...

  • DETROIT, July 1- Toyota Motor Corp expects the U.S. auto industry to sell more cars this year than in any year since at least 2005, Toyota U.S. sales executive Bill Fay said on Wednesday. In 2005, sales were 16.94 million vehicles. June sales of Toyota's trucks and SUVs rose, and its car sales fell, in line with Detroit automakers also reporting sales on Wednesday.

  • SUVs, muscle cars help auto industry maintain momentum Wednesday, 1 Jul 2015 | 9:08 AM ET

    Sales of the larger Ford Explorer rose 30 percent; Nissan's Rogue small SUV posted a 54 percent jump; and sales of the Jeep Cherokee gained 39 percent. Most automakers reported gains for June, led by Nissan with an increase of 13 percent. General Motors' sales fell, largely because the company cut back on sales to rental-car companies.

  • At first the Jan. 24, 2014, crash on U.S. 50 in Cincinnati's eastern suburbs drew only the attention of Ohio authorities, who faulted the semi driver for not properly inspecting the hitch that holds the trailer to the tractor. Given the nearly 1 ½- year gap between the crash and the investigation, the safety agency could face renewed criticism for failing to...

  • Pfizer Inc, the largest U.S. drugmaker, for example reported more than $234.2 million in research payments and another $53.3 million in general payments. John Diliberti, a pediatric geneticist from Illinois, collected nearly $447,000 from Pfizer in consulting fees last year, the biggest single payment to an individual doctor by the drugmaker.

  • MONTPELIER, Vt.— The transfer of 280 Vermont prison inmates from a private prison in Kentucky to one in Michigan has been completed, a state Department of Corrections official said Tuesday. The inmates were moved from the Lee Adjustment Center in Beattyville, Kentucky, owned by the Corrections Corporation of America, to the North Lake Correctional Facility in...

  • LONDON, June 30- In a rare defeat for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered it on Monday to reconsider whether the EPA's regulations on mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants are appropriate and necessary. While the EPA considered the costs and benefits of various regulatory options later in the rule-writing...

  • DETROIT— Newer cars aren't supposed to need more oil between oil changes, but Consumer Reports found that some engines— mainly from Audi, BMW and Subaru— require an extra quart as often as once a month. In an annual survey of car owners, significant numbers reported what the magazine considered to be excessive oil consumption. "The companies should be willing to step...

  • Boosting overtime: Obama calls for broader coverage Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 | 3:20 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— They're called managers, and they sometimes work grueling schedules at fast food chains and retail stores. "We've got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded," President Barack Obama wrote in an op-ed published Monday in The Huffington Post. Employers can now often get around the rules: Any salaried employee who's paid more than $455 a week— or $23,660...

  • June 29- General Motors Co said a judge in Delaware has dismissed a lawsuit by shareholders who wished to recoup losses stemming from the recall of millions of vehicles with an ignition switch defect linked to several deaths. There are three other shareholder derivative actions, one in Wayne County, Michigan and two in Federal District Court for the Eastern...

  • *Former bankruptcy judge: Puerto Rico "urgently needs our help". Steven Rhodes, the retired U.S. bankruptcy judge who oversaw Detroit's historic bankruptcy and has now been retained by Puerto Rico to help solve its problems, gave a blunt assessment on Monday. Puerto Rico "urgently needs our help," Rhodes said.

  • WASHINGTON, June 29- The Supreme Court on Monday dealt a blow to a sweeping U.S. air pollution regulation aimed primarily at curbing emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants by ruling that the Obama administration wrongly failed to consider compliance costs. "EPA is disappointed that the court did not uphold the rule, but this rule was issued more than...

  • NEW YORK, June 29- Puerto Rico is "insolvent" and will soon run out of cash, according to a newly appointed adviser to the commonwealth who was the judge who oversaw the historic bankruptcy of Detroit. The U.S. territory's future hinges on gaining eligibility for debt restructuring under the U.S. bankruptcy code, a process it does not currently have access to, said...