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  • March 20- A federal judge rejected Bank of America Corp's request to dismiss a lawsuit in which Cook County, Illinois, accused the lender of targeting black and Hispanic borrowers in the Chicago area with subprime mortgages. District Judge Elaine Bucklo in Chicago said Cook County could pursue allegations that the bank steered minority borrowers into an...

  • WASHINGTON— House aides released an outline late Friday of an emerging bipartisan deal shielding physicians from Medicare cuts and pumping more funds to popular programs for children's health and community health centers. In the winner's category, the agreement would also help Tennessee hospitals serving large numbers of poor patients and makers of...

  • HOUSTON— Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. tumbled by 56 this week to 1,069 amid slumping oil prices. Houston- based Baker Hughes said Friday 825 rigs were seeking oil and 242 exploring for natural gas. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost 36 rigs and Louisiana 18. New...

  • Fracking: US tightens rules for chemical disclosure Friday, 20 Mar 2015 | 11:34 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Obama administration said Friday it is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, the first major federal regulation of the controversial drilling technique that has sparked an ongoing boom in natural gas production but raised widespread concerns about...

  • NEW YORK— Shares of AK Steel fell in premarket trading Friday after the company forecast a first-quarter loss because of lower-than-expected shipments and prices. AK Steel and its competitors have been grappling with a market being flooded with steel exports from China. Shares of AK Steel Holding Corp. fell 27 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $3.93 in premarket...

  • STATE COLLEGE, Pa.— More than 100 Penn State University students and other supporters demonstrated Friday against a fraternity accused of posting photos of nude or partly nude women, some asleep or passed out, on an invitation-only Facebook page, urging the administration to take stronger action against those involved. About 100 miles away, the university's...

  • March 19- Bank of New York Mellon Corp has agreed to pay $714 million to resolve cases accusing the bank of overcharging pension funds and other clients for foreign exchange services, U.S. federal and state authorities said on Thursday. Attorney and New York attorney general, among others, that claim BNY Mellon told clients it would provide the best possible...

  • WASHINGTON— An emerging bipartisan House deal changing how Medicare reimburses doctors ran into turbulence in the Senate Thursday over abortion, spotlighting a rare public disagreement between Congress' two top Democrats. Aides to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D- Calif., said the Medicare agreement's health center abortion language would expire...

  • CHICAGO, March 19- Planting is expected to start early in the northern U.S. "I would expect planting to go a little better in the upper Midwest this spring than it will in the Ohio River Valley," Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told reporters at a spring outlook presentation. In the southern Midwest, including the southern tips of...

  • Atlantic City rejected by voters on new Monopoly games Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 3:10 PM ET

    Atlantic City is where the Monopoly board game began, but voters in a global contest to pick cities for new editions of the 80- year-old game have turned their attention elsewhere. According to results released Thursday— the 80th birthday of Monopoly— Atlantic City, whose streets provided the names for the game's squares when it was created in 1935, did not make...

  • March 19- Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia sued Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, saying the U.S. iron ore miner had breached terms of a loan agreement when it filed for creditor protection for its Canadian operations. Cliffs in January stopped production at its Bloom Lake mine in Quebec, where costs exceeded expectations, and started restructuring the Canadian...

  • COLUMBUS, Ohio— Nearly 1 million taxpayers have taken a new quiz used by the state to catch phony income-tax returns and most have passed it, the tax commissioner says. The Ohio Department of Taxation had to tweak some questions as it sought to cut down on those that people couldn't respond to because they were obscure or outside recent memory.

  • Inter Parfums to buy Rochas brand from Procter & Gamble Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 10:39 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Inter Parfums Inc. said Thursday that it will pay $108 million to buy the Rochas brand from consumer goods maker Procter& Gamble. The brand had sales of $46 million during the 2013 to 2014 financial year, Inter Parfums said. Inter Parfums, based in New York, creates fragrances for several brands, including Abercrombie& Fitch, Gap and Jimmy Choo.

  • March 19- Iron ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources Inc has been sued by Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia for about $52.6 million for breaching some debt terms related to its Bloom Lake mine in Quebec. Cliffs' application for creditor protection in Canada "constituted a default" under the loan agreement, accelerating the company's payment obligations, Scotiabank...

  • Rakuten buying OverDrive for $410 million Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 7:01 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Internet services company Rakuten Inc. will buy OverDrive Inc. for $410 million in cash in a move to expand its digital content with electronic and audiobooks. Tokyo- based Rakuten, which focuses on e-commerce and digital content, said Wednesday that the move will add a digital distribution platform, more than 2.5 million titles and relationships...

  • COLUMBUS, Ohio— American Electric Power has won state approval to remotely disconnect the electricity of some Ohio customers who haven't made payments. The remote disconnection procedure will take effect in August, The Columbus Dispatch reported. "That personal visit gives the customer one last shot to make arrangements to pay," said Dave Rinebolt, with Ohio...

  • A lawsuit filed in January accused Michael Hudson of stealing $3.3 million from Frisch's Restaurants Inc. in a multiyear embezzlement scheme. But The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the company now says an internal investigation with forensic accountants has revealed that Hudson actually stole $3.9 million over seven years. The company owns 95 Big Boy...

  • WASHINGTON— An uncharacteristic joint effort by House Speaker John Boehner and his usual nemesis, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, to resolve a gnawing problem about how Medicare pays doctors underscores the political victories each sees in finally sweeping the issue off the deck— if they can. They're unhappy that it increases costs for some Medicare...

  • House, Senate panels adopt balanced-budget plans Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 3:29 AM ET

    Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, the House Budget Committee called off a vote on a plan to remove restrictions on additional defense dollars, a proposal to placate lawmakers intent on easing the pain for the Pentagon. The failure of the GOP- led committee to approve its budget blueprint as scheduled was unprecedented in recent memory.

  • WASHINGTON, March 18- U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday proposed less aggressive federal budget cuts than their House counterparts, forgoing a massive revamp of the Medicare health system for seniors and setting up a conflict over defense spending. The Senate version would achieve a budget surplus a year later, in 2025, and assumes nearly $1 trillion in...