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  • Microsoft CEO pivots sharply with 18,000 job cut Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 | 8:30 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES— Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its 39- year history Thursday, outlining plans to cut 18,000 jobs in a move that marked the CEO's sharpest pivot yet away from his predecessor's drive for the company to make its own devices.

  • AP NewsAlert Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 | 8:17 AM ET

    REDMOND, Wash.— CORRECTS: Microsoft to cut up to 18,000 jobs over next year.

  • SEATTLE, July 17- Microsoft Corp is set to cut more than 6,000 jobs in an announcement expected early Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter, as it trims its newly acquired Nokia phone business and reshapes itself as a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software company.

  • *Gaza death toll hits 216 after more air strikes. GAZA/ JERUSALEM, July 16- Israeli shelling killed four Palestinian boys on a Gaza beach on Wednesday, an incident the military called tragic, and Israel and Hamas said they would cease attacks for five hours on Thursday for a humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations.

  • Seattle taxi drivers attend charm school classes Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 4:23 PM ET

    SEATTLE— Some Seattle-area taxi drivers are trying charm school as a way to improve their customer service and fight off competition from other ride services. KOMO-TV reports that about 130 drivers from Yellow Cab sat in a classroom Tuesday to listen to hospitality management instructors from South Seattle College.

  • House votes to allow marijuana-related banking Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 4:02 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— The House voted Wednesday in support of making it easier for banks to do business with legal pot shops and providers of medical marijuana.

  • Apple may refund $400M in digital book settlement Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 1:55 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— Apple will refund up to $400 million to consumers ensnared in a plot to raise the prices of digital books unless the company gets a court to overturn a decision affirming its pivotal role in the collusion. The settlement bill emerged in a Wednesday court filing made a month after attorneys suing Apple notified U.S.

  • State's unemployment rate drops to 5.8 percent Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 1:19 PM ET

    OLYMPIA, Wash.— Washington state officials said Wednesday that the state's unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent last month, the lowest it has been in six years. Numbers released Wednesday by the state's Employment Security Department show that June's jobless rate was down from May's rate of 6.1 percent.

  • UPDATE 1-Starbucks opens in Colombia, home of Juan Valdez Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 12:53 PM ET

    July 16- Starbucks Corp opened its first shop in Colombia on Wednesday, 43 years after the world's biggest coffee chain first started buying beans from the country famous for its premium arabica coffee named after fictional coffee farmer Juan Valdez.

  • Pets' amenities rising trend for homebuilders Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 9:43 AM ET

    Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling homes in 27 developments from Florida to California and is believed to be the first to offer a pet suite as an option in every one. Standard Pacific, based in Irvine, decided to offer pet suites after conducting livability studies with homeowners.

  • Make room Juan Valdez: Starbucks opens in Colombia Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 8:18 AM ET

    On Wednesday, Starbucks made its much-anticipated debut in the country synonymous with coffee after decades of roasting Colombia's Arabica beans for billions of java lovers the world over. But will Colombians answer Starbucks' siren call and ditch a popular local chain bearing the bushy-whiskered coffee farmer's name?

  • Nordstrom ads feature models with disabilities Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 8:05 AM ET

    NEW YORK— It's not easy to find models with disabilities in ads for the fashion and beauty industry— unless you look in the Nordstrom catalog. This summer's Nordstrom Inc. catalog includes among others a woman in a wheelchair modeling boots and a man with a prosthetic leg modeling Nike running shoes.

  • Senate Republicans block bill on contraception Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | 1:33 AM ET

    Republicans blocked a bill that was designed to override a Supreme Court ruling and ensure access to contraception for women who get their health insurance from companies with religious objections. But Democrats hope the issue has enough life to energize female voters in the fall, when Republicans are threatening to take control of the Senate.

  • Correction: Amazon-Drones story Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 | 3:41 PM ET

    NEW YORK— In a story on July 11 about Amazon seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones, The Associated Press misstated the year that Congress gave the FAA a deadline for granting drones access to U.S. skies. Congress set the September 2015 deadline in 2012, not last year. Amazon asks FAA for permission to fly drones.

  • Groups seek ban of oil in older railroad tank cars Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 | 3:06 PM ET

    SEATTLE— Two environmental groups are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to immediately ban shipments of volatile crude oil in older railroad tank cars, citing recent explosive oil train wrecks and the department's own findings that those accidents pose an "imminent hazard."

  • Review: Systematic errors led to bridge collapse Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 | 11:50 AM ET

    OLYMPIA, Wash.— Insufficient route planning, a distracted pilot driver and an inadequate permitting process by the state of Washington all played a part in last year's Interstate 5 bridge collapse north of Seattle, which sent two cars into a river below, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.

  • In Seattle, delivering legal pot illegally Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 | 2:14 AM ET

    While delivery services have existed for years to supply medical marijuana patients, the rise of similar businesses geared toward serving recreational users in Washington and Colorado highlights how the industry is outpacing the states' pot laws.

  • Seattle council passes new rules on rideshare cars Monday, 14 Jul 2014 | 7:43 PM ET

    SEATTLE— The Seattle City Council on Monday passed new rules regulating rideshare companies, allowing them to operate in the city without a limit on the number of cars. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray last month brokered a deal that eventually led to the repeal of the old ordinance and to Monday's legislation.

  • NEW YORK, July 14- A $6 billion takeover to create the biggest oil producer in the Bakken shale may also open up new opportunities for some big traders who ship oil from North Dakota and Montana to market.

  • Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall told reporters late on Sunday that Boeing was performing "satisfactorily" on the KC-46 tanker program, but several events- including water damage caused by a sprinkler malfunction at the company's Everett, Washington plant- meant costs were higher than expected.