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  • CHICAGO, July 1- Visa Inc said on Wednesday it is joining MasterCard Inc and American Express Co in barring its credit cards from being used to pay for ads on Backpage.com following a request from a Chicago sheriff who said the site is used by sex traffickers. Earlier this week, he asked both Visa and MasterCard to cut off any association with the Backpage.com "adult"...

  • ON BOARD AIR FORCE ONE, July 1- The White House on Wednesday said it believed all parties involved in negotiations over Greece's financial crisis wanted the country to stay in the euro zone.

  • NEW YORK, July 1- Two years after New York socialite Brooke Astor died in 2007, her son, Anthony Marshall, was convicted of bilking her of millions of dollars. Three states, most recently Missouri, have enacted laws that allow retail brokers to help curb scams against people with dementia. More than five million Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer's disease,...

  • HAVANA/ WASHINGTON, July 1- The United States and Cuba on Wednesday formally agreed to restore diplomatic ties that had been severed for 54 years, fulfilling a pledge made six months ago by the former Cold War enemies. "Cuba is encouraged by the reciprocal intention to develop respectful and cooperative relations between our two peoples and governments," Raul...

  • NEW YORK, July 1- U.S. crude oil inventories rose last week for the first time since April, while gasoline stocks decreased unexpectedly, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. "The crude build was definitely a surprise as was the Cushing build," said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors in Laurel Hollow, New York.

  • The cases, in Connecticut and Arizona, involve crackdowns on advantage players who say they use card-counting or other methods that shift the odds in their favor, but generally are not illegal. "You do not have a level playing field," said Stanford Wong, a Las Vegas- based gambling expert who advises readers of his newsletters to be aware that tribal properties are...

  • Because the products are not overseen by FDA regulators they could be contaminated or manufactured incorrectly. The agency notes that there are numerous FDA- approved ear drops, so "little or no impact on patients" is expected from removing the products from the market. Companies that want federal approval for their drugs must submit an FDA application for...

  • WASHINGTON— U.S. manufacturing growth improved in June, helped by a jump in employment. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose to 53.5 last month from 52.8 in May. "When it goes up like that, it's in anticipation of future orders," said Bradley Holcombe, chairman of I.S.M.' s...

  • WASHINGTON— U.S. construction spending posted a solid gain in May, pushing total activity to the highest point since the fall of 2008, with the strength led by a big jump in non-residential projects. Total construction spending increased 0.8 percent in May, following an even bigger 2.1 percent advance in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON— US construction up 0.8 percent in May, pushing total spending to highest level in 6 years.

  • WASHINGTON— U.S. businesses added jobs at a robust pace in June, a private survey found, evidence that rising consumer spending and a healthy housing market are supporting more hiring. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 237,000 jobs last month, up from 203,000 in May. That is the most since December, according to the ADP's tally.

  • The White House on Wednesday ended a long-standing ban on tourists taking photos or using social media during public tours of the building. "If you've been on a White House tour, you may have seen this sign," she says, holding up a placard that states "No Photos or Social Media Allowed. The White House said the more than 40- year-old ban was lifted because changes in...

  • WASHINGTON— The Institute for Supply Management releases its survey about June U.S. manufacturing production, orders and other activity at 10 a.m. Eastern Wednesday. Oil has stabilized at around $60 a barrel. It had plunged as low as $50 a barrel at the start of the year from roughly $110 in June 2014.

  • WASHINGTON— The Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in May at 10 a.m. Eastern Wednesday. CONSTRUCTION UP: Economists believe spending rose 0.6 percent, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet. Almost 60 percent of the real estate executives participating in a recent survey by the law firm Akerman LLP said they were more...

  • And if the industry is as predatory as the Education Department and many lawmakers suggest, why didn't they stop it? That's when an Education Department memo written under President George W. Bush suggested colleges wouldn't be severely penalized if they compensated college recruiters for getting students in the door. The top regulator on higher education...

  • WASHINGTON— In the first presidential race since Democrats cast the GOP nominee as an out-of-touch millionaire, Republican Jeb Bush is aggressively trying to flip the script. But they also show that Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton made more in speaking fees and book royalties alone in the past year and a half than Bush and his wife...

  • WASHINGTON— Exotic dancers hired as admissions counselors. Recruiters told to seek out "impatient" individuals who have "few people in their lives who care about them." It's a modest step, consumer advocates say, that will probably succeed in shutting down the most obviously fraudulent programs, often criminal justice and medical training programs that can cost...

  • *Greece misses 1.6 billion euro IMF loan repayment. *Eurogroup head urges Greece to change stance with creditors. *Fitch ratings agency cuts Greece to CC.

  • ATHENS, Greece— Eurozone finance ministers were set to weigh Greece's latest proposal for aid Wednesday, hours after the country's international bailout expired without a deal, cutting it off from vital financing and deepening fears over whether it will be able to remain in the eurozone. With its failure to repay the roughly 1.6 billion euros to the...

  • *Greece misses 1.6 billion euro IMF loan repayment. *Eurogroup head urges Greece to change stance with creditors. *Fitch ratings agency cuts Greece to CC.