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  • Uber suspends operations in Portland for 3 months Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:09 PM ET

    PORTLAND, Ore.— Less than two weeks after the ride-hailing app Uber launched in Portland without officials' approval, the company said it is suspending operations for three months to work out its differences with the city. General manager Brooke Steger wrote in a blog post Thursday that Portland is working to update its regulations for private for-hire...

  • Hellmann's maker Unilever drops suit over 'Just Mayo' Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:52 PM ET

    Hellmann's mayonnaise maker Unilever has withdrawn its lawsuit against the maker of " Just Mayo." Unilever filed suit against Hampton Creek earlier this year claiming the name of the small California company's product amounted to false advertising. Unilever said Thursday that it decided to withdraw the lawsuit so that Hampton Creek can address its label...

  • Sides 'far apart' in US West Coast port negotiations Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 5:40 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES— While West Coast seaports struggle to keep up with billions of dollars of cargo, dockworkers and their employers apparently aren't close to a new contract nearly six months after their old deal expired. Longshoremen have continued to work without a contract at 29 ports from San Diego to Seattle that are a vital trade link with Asia, though their...

  • SAN FRANCISCO/ DETROIT, Dec 18- Google Inc is laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, sources said, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones. "It provides a much stronger foothold for Google to really be part of the vehicle rather than being an add-on," said...

  • Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 4:52 PM ET

    The hack, which a U.S. official has said investigators believe is linked to North Korea, culminated in the cancellation of a Sony film and ultimately could cost the movie studio hundreds of millions of dollars. "The Sony breach is a real wake-up call even after the year of mega-breaches we've seen," says Lee Weiner, Boston security firm Rapid7's senior vice...

  • Officials from the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union resumed negotiations on Thursday morning at the San Francisco headquarters of the association, said Craig Merrilees, a spokesman for the union. The waterfront cargo slowdowns have coincided with prolonged labor talks between 20,000 dockworkers and the...

  • Aer Lingus rejects bid by British Airways parent Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:24 AM ET

    DUBLIN— Irish airline Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover bid by the International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia. Those gains were sharply pared after IAG issued a statement confirming its proposal had been rejected by the Aer Lingus board, but the stock still finished Dublin trading up 9 percent at a...

  • 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's top utility regulator defends record Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:06 AM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— California's chief utility regulator ended the last scheduled public hearing of his increasingly embattled 12- year term Thursday with no explicit reference to the alleged back-channel dealings with the state's largest utility company that have marred his tenure. California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey's only...

  • 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...