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  • BOSTON/ WASHINGTON, Aug 22- A cyber attack at a firm that performs background checks for U.S. government employees compromised data of at least 25,000 workers, including some undercover investigators, and that number could rise, agency officials said on Friday.

  • BOSTON, Aug 22- A cyber attack at a company that performs background checks for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security compromised data of at least 25,000 government workers, and that number could rise, an agency official said on Friday.

  • Deals only a click away for back-to-school season Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 | 12:56 PM ET

    NEW YORK— It's mid-August, and parents are scrambling to outfit their kids with backpacks, gadgets and jeans as the clock winds down toward the first day of school. "It's a lot easier to find a deal," said Michael Londrigan, dean of academic affairs at LIM College, a fashion college in New York.

  • TVA board votes to retire Memphis coal plant Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 | 11:28 AM ET

    The TVA said the plant consumes about 7,200 tons of coal daily. TVA already has announced plans to shut down coal-fired boilers at plants in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. The U.S. government-owned utility supplies power to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

  • Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 | 8:22 AM ET

    Family Dollar has rejected a takeover bid from dollar-store competitor Dollar General, saying it would be too hard for the deal to pass antitrust regulators.

  • Dollar Tree 2Q profit falls 2 percent Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 | 7:50 AM ET

    RICHMOND, Va.— Dollar Tree Inc. said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell more than 2 percent on costs related to its planned acquisition of rival discounter Family Dollar even though shoppers spent more at its discount stores.

  • Bank of America settlement likely to benefit few Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 | 12:40 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Bank of America's record $16.65 billion settlement for its role in selling shoddy mortgage bonds— $7 billion of it geared for consumer relief— offers a glint of hope for desperate homeowners. "It is certainly better than nothing," said Bruce Marks, chief executive of the nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

  • Parks Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 6:55 PM ET

    PITTSBURGH— The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands.

  • 17 ag operations in Virginia get federal funds Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 3:03 AM ET

    RICHMOND, Va.— Seventeen agricultural operations in Virginia will receive federal funding aimed at expanding their operations and creating new products. In Virginia, nine of the businesses will receive $200,000 apiece.

  • Aug 20- Departures and primary losses for 28 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have created opportunities for a new wave of conservative and Tea Party- backed candidates. The Republican nominee to replace him is Gary Palmer, a fund raiser for a conservative think tank in Alabama who is backed by the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 20- As the first U.S. oil condensate exports head to Asia from the Gulf Coast, crude producers and refiners are exploring ways to get around a century-old law that makes it three times more expensive to ship by water between U.S. ports than to sail to a foreign port.

  • FOND DU LAC, Wis., Aug 20- Glenn Grothman is a fiery conservative who wants to slash welfare programs and crack down on illegal immigrants who he says will "destroy" America. And if U.S. House Speaker John Boehner wants to keep his job next year, he had better be sure Grothman and his fellow House of Representatives newcomers are happy.

  • AP Exclusive: US changing no-fly list rules Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 | 2:31 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Obama administration is promising to change the way travelers can ask to be removed from its no-fly list of suspected terrorists banned from air travel. In response, the Justice Department said the U.S. will change the process during the next six months.

  • New trail connects visitors to Virginia oysters Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 | 11:41 AM ET

    RICHMOND, Va.— Riding a wave of growth and popularity of the state's aquaculture, Virginia officials on Tuesday announced the creation of the Virginia Oyster Trail to connect travelers to the state's oyster industry.

  • Defense grills plant manager in salmonella trial Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 | 11:18 AM ET

    He was indicted along with his former boss, Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell, and two others. It also charges Stewart Parnell and the plant's quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, with obstructing justice.

  • Q&A: How 1 US factory owner fought cheap imports Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 | 10:09 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Much of U.S. manufacturing has been decimated in the past decade by less expensive imports from China, but it didn't necessarily have to be that way, according to a compelling new book by journalist Beth Macy.

  • Analysis: Congress can still do deals when it must Monday, 18 Aug 2014 | 1:04 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Washington may be a sea of dysfunction, but the current Congress is offering a few reminders about how a bill becomes a law: compromise. However, when it came to improving veterans' health care, overhauling job training programs, authorizing water projects and "unlocking" cellphones for use in other networks, Congress managed to get the job done.

  • Patient advocates say insurers avoiding the sick Monday, 18 Aug 2014 | 6:36 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Ending insurance discrimination against the sick was a central goal of the nation's health care overhaul, but leading patient groups say that promise is being undermined by new barriers from insurers.

  • Dollar General enters bidding for Family Dollar Monday, 18 Aug 2014 | 6:22 AM ET

    Dollar General, the nation's largest dollar-store chain, started a bidding war on Monday when it offered approximately $8.95 billion for rival Family Dollar. It was an attempt to trump Dollar Tree, which agreed to acquire Family Dollar for $8.5 billion made last month.

  • Disabilities in kids rise; not physical problems Monday, 18 Aug 2014 | 12:01 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Disabilities among U.S. children have increased slightly, with a bigger rise in mental and developmental problems in those from wealthier families, a 10- year analysis found. Disadvantaged kids still bear a disproportionate burden.