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  • California gets more rain, 1 big mudslide Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:56 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES— The latest in a string of storms noisily marched across Southern California on Wednesday, hurling lightning bolts, coating mountains with snow and unleashing downpours that triggered a freeway-blocking mudslide before mostly moving on. It's about 2 feet deep, " Jeff Dean, a motorcyclist who was stranded, told KABC-TV. This time, the...

  • California power regulator to address allegations Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:06 AM ET

    California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey is due to chair a commission meeting amid an ongoing scandal over secret emails exchanges that show a cozy relationship with Pacific Gas& Electric Co. executives. Peevey has been under fire in connection to a series of emails describing alleged secrete negotiations between him and others at...

  • LOS ANGELES, Dec 17- Negotiators for shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports remain far from a deal with union dockworkers after seven months of contract talks, the companies said on Wednesday, again blaming the union for waterfront cargo slowdowns. The Pacific Maritime Association statement came a day before the companies were slated...

  • UPDATE 1-Uber plans tighter screening for drivers Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 8:39 PM ET

    Dec 18- Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc, which had a driver was accused of rape in New Delhi, said it was exploring adding new methods to verify drivers' credentials and make its service safer. In the United States, Uber's background-verification process includes checks of court records going back seven years; a multi-state criminal database; and the...

  • Dec 17- Oracle Corp reported a 3.5 percent increase in quarterly revenue on Wednesday, beating Wall Street's expectations, as sales at its closely watched cloud services business rose 45 percent. Investors have been carefully watching how Oracle beefs up its cloud divisions, which deliver software over the Internet. "Oracle has been going through a transition...

  • Uber plans tighter screening for drivers Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:17 PM ET

    Dec 18- Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc, one of whose driver was accused of rape in New Delhi, said it would add new methods to verify drivers' credentials and make its service safer. France, Spain and Thailand have banned some or all Uber services. The company's services have also been in New Delhi following the rape allegation.

  • Amid scrutiny, Uber vows bigger focus on safety Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 5:55 PM ET

    Last week, prosecutors in California, where Uber is based, filed a lawsuit alleging that the company exaggerates how comprehensive its driver background checks are. They do not, for example, require that drivers be fingerprinted— unlike drivers of regulated taxis in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Wednesday blog post did not mention the California lawsuit,...

  • The United States' commercial ties with Cuba were broken 54 years ago after Fidel Castro took over. Now U.S.- Cuba trade is poised to resume: President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced plans to re-establish diplomat relations with Havana, and economic ties are expected to follow. Gary Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar of the Peterson Institute for...

  • Dec 17- French telecom group Orange SA confirmed on Wednesday that it has been sued in California by San Francisco- based startup Telesocial in an intellectual property case, but said that the startup's claims were unfounded. Orange said Telesocial has already taken the company to two French courts including the Paris Court of Appeal based on the same...

  • Dec 17- A U.S. judge has dismissed Steve Wynn's lawsuit accusing prominent short-seller Jim Chanos of slander over an alleged statement that the casino mogul violated a U.S. anti-bribery law. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco ruled on Tuesday that Chanos was giving an opinion protected under the U.S. Chanos, founder of New York- based hedge fund...

  • Napster co-founder to invest on allergy research Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 5:59 AM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— Napster co-founder Sean Parker says he missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless of times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods. Parker announced Wednesday he is donating $24 million over the next two years to establish an allergy research center at the Stanford...

  • Fed rate wording boosts Asian stock markets Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 4:44 AM ET

    NEW YORK— The U.S. stock market had its best day in more than a year after the Federal Reserve said it would to remain "patient" in its approach to raising interest rates. "The Fed is going to be our friend for a very long time," said Burt White, chief investment officer for LPL Financial. That was the biggest gain for the index since October 2013.

  • California home prices cool their rise in November Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 5:10 PM ET

    The median sales price for new and existing houses and condominiums was $381,000, barely changed from $382,000 in October and up 5.8 percent from $360,000 a year earlier, CoreLogic DataQuick said. The San Francisco Bay Area's median sales price was $601,000, unchanged from October but up 9.3 percent from $550,000 in November 2013. CoreLogic DataQuick said...

  • Federal Reserve stared down a volatile global economy in October to keep its plans for an eventual interest rate hike on track, and is likely to do so again this week amid plunging oil prices and a potential currency crisis in Russia. According to the Bank for International Settlements, U.S. bank exposure to Russia has fallen from $43 billion at the start of 2013 to...

  • PG&E email alleges offer by California regulator Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 2:01 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— In a newly released email, a Pacific Gas& Electric Co. executive says a state official offered to write the utility a favorable opinion for a proposed gas rate hike. PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry says in the Jan. 14 email that California Public Utilities Commission member Mike Florio said he would write the opinion if PG&E did not like one written...

  • Robin Williams tops 2014 list of Google searches Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 3:00 AM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— Robin Williams' suicide seared into the world's collective mindset more than anything else this year, based on what people were searching for on Google. Other topics of worldwide intrigue on Google included the addictive smartphone game "Flappy Bird," bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, the Middle East extremist group ISIS, the hit Disney movie "...

  • Family of executed Ohio inmate sues expert witness Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 1:57 AM ET

    Dershwitz said Ohio had jeopardized his standing with the American Board of Anesthesiology in a news release it issued about the Jan. 16 execution of McGuire because it implied he consulted on the execution method, which is prohibited by the national board. The family also added drug distributor McKesson Corp. to the lawsuit, saying the company distributed...

  • Waterlogged Northern California gets more rain Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 1:48 AM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— A new storm dumped more rain on already waterlogged parts of Northern California causing minor road flooding, scattered power outages and airport delays. The storm dropped an average of between an inch and 2 inches of rain throughout the day in the Bay Area and Sacramento regions before heading to Southern California overnight, the National...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 15- A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday threw out a human rights lawsuit brought against Occidental Petroleum Corp over allegations that it played a role in killings carried out by the Colombian military in 2004.. A three-judge panel of the San Francisco- based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court judge's decision to...

  • LOS ANGELES, Dec 15- The union for 20,000 dockworkers and a group of their employers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports say they are making slow but steady progress in months-long contract talks seen by the shipping industry as a contributing factor in chronic cargo backups. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association,...