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  • Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:47 AM ET

    DETROIT— Ford Motor Co. has agreed to government demands to expand a driver's side air bag inflator recall to the entire U.S. Ford's action puts pressure on BMW and Chrysler, the only two automakers that haven't agreed to national recalls. Honda and Mazda already took their recalls national.

  • BRUCEVILLE- EDDY, Texas— Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies are combing the area around a remote Central Texas television studio where a morning meteorologist was shot in a parking lot after an argument. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the shooting occurred around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday outside KCEN-TV's rural studio on...

  • Feds: Uganda-based man counterfeited $2M in cash Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:47 AM ET

    PITTSBURGH— Federal authorities have charged a man with leading an international counterfeit money operation based in the African nation of Uganda, and shipping bogus bills to the Pittsburgh area and other locations in the United States. Gustafson was arrested Dec. 11 in Uganda and investigators seized sophisticated printers and other equipment...

  • Hackers who said they were incensed by the film attacked Sony Corp last month, leaking documents that drew global headlines and distributing unreleased films on the Internet. "Sony has no further release plans for the film," a Sony spokeswoman said on Wednesday when asked whether the movie would be released later in theaters or as video on demand.

  • Q&A: Drones might help show how tornados form Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:26 AM ET

    DENVER— Researchers say they've collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. The University of Colorado and University of Nebraska announced this week they have formed the Unmanned Aircraft System and Severe Storms Research Group to develop the program. Drones can take measurements at any...

  • Motiva backs off hydrocracker expansion at Texas refinery Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 3:19 PM ET

    HOUSTON, Dec 17- Motiva Enterprises has withdrawn its permit request to expand a hydrocracker and diesel hydrotreater unit at its Texas refinery, the largest in the United States. In a brief letter received by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month, Motiva asked, without explanation, to withdraw its August permit application for the...

  • You're going to see volatility here, "said Daniel Flynn, energy analyst at Chicago's Price Futures Group. Brent for February delivery was up $1.05 at $61.06 a barrel by 2:37 p.m. EST, after hitting a session high of $63.40. The biggest slide in oil prices since the 2008 financial crisis had accelerated after OPEC met in November, when Gulf producers resisted calls...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- Crude oil jumped nearly 5 percent on Wednesday as important chart support prices held fast after nearly a week of selling, leading to technical buying that turned the market around abruptly. "I think it was triggered by some short-covering, and once it gets going it feeds upon itself," said John Saucer at Mobius Risk Group in Houston.

  • New York to ban fracking; environmentalists cheer Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:57 PM ET

    ALBANY, N.Y.— Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits. New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has...

  • Bird flu found in wild birds in Washington state - USDA Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:18 PM ET

    Dec 17- Two strains of avian influenza have been confirmed in wild birds in Washington state, near the U.S. border with Canada, but there is no immediate cause for public health concerns, U.S. agriculture officials said on Wednesday. The other strain, H5N8, was found in captive gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds, the USDA said. Neither virus has been...

  • US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:11 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Cuba was once a haven for sun-seeking American tourists. President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday of plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba doesn't suddenly lift the ban on U.S. tourism. "Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean, so there's some exciting possibilities," said Roger Frizzell, spokesman for Carnival Corp. He said "some...

  • AP Interview: McConnell wants to stop coal rules Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:10 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., pledged on Wednesday to do all he can to stop President Barack Obama's coal plant regulations, saying a White House "crusade" has devastated his state's economy. McConnell takes over the Senate leadership and its new Republican majority in January. Asked if the Senate had any obligation to...

  • *FedEx shares fall after earnings, drags transports. NEW YORK, Dec 17- U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday on the heels of a three-session losing streak and ahead of the U.S. "I don't know that it really makes a huge difference because ultimately they will hedge anything they do in that regard by simply saying it is all data-dependent," said Randy Frederick, managing director...

  • Private investigator also sells gun-pouch purses Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 11:43 AM ET

    TACOMA, Wash.— Hours into a surveillance, two private investigators sat in the front seat of a car when the man working alongside Paula Summers asked if the paper Starbucks sack between them held cookies. She also has a small retail booth at South Tacoma Antique Mall, 8219 South Tacoma Way. Washington's rate of people with concealed-carry permits is higher than at...

  • Massachusetts couple sues Whole Foods, ranch Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 11:15 AM ET

    BOSTON— A Massachusetts husband and wife who blame their 8- year-old son's death on the ground beef they bought at a Whole Foods Market have sued the supermarket chain and the ranch they say produced and processed the meat. Melissa and Andrew Kaye, of Braintree, said in their suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston that the grass-fed beef they bought at...

  • Ohio gas well keeping 25 families out of homes Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:48 AM ET

    COLUMBUS, Ohio— A natural gas fracking well that is leaking uncontrollably has kept 25 families from their homes for three days in eastern Ohio. The families were evacuated from houses within a 1.5- mile radius of the well, located near the Ohio River, about 160 miles east of Columbus, the Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday. The well is operated by Triad Hunter, a...

  • Lethal injection drug bill clears Ohio Legislature Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:08 AM ET

    COLUMBUS, Ohio— The names of companies that provide Ohio with lethal injection drugs would be shielded under a proposal the state House is poised to vote on Wednesday. Problems finding supplies of lethal drugs have created a de facto moratorium on executions in Ohio, which a decade ago was one of the country's busiest death penalty states. Ohio executed just one...

  • 113th Congress ends with more fights than feats Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 1:16 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The tempestuous 113th Congress has limped out of Washington for the last time, capping two years of modest and infrequent legislating that was overshadowed by partisan clashes, gridlock and investigations. That was the fewest since at least 1947 and 1948, when what President Harry Truman dubbed "the do-nothing Congress" enacted over 900 laws.

  • Investors in beat-up oil bonds lean on banks for rescue Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 1:00 AM ET

    BOSTON, Dec 17- Independent oil exploration and production companies are leaning heavily on bank credit lines to survive plunging crude prices, making it a nervous time for U.S. funds holding their junk-rated debt. 'said Francis Bradley III, a Greenberg Traurig attorney in Houston who specializes in energy company financing deals. " U.S. mutual funds hold an...

  • Temporary tax breaks _ which ones affect you? Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 8:23 PM ET

    Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a bill extending more than 50 expired tax breaks through the end of 2014. They include:. —A tax credit for the production of wind, solar and other renewable energy. Nine states have no tax on wages: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.