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  • Figures on government spending and debt Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 4:06 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Figures on government spending and debt.

  • WASHINGTON— Republican senators advanced legislation Thursday that would ease rules on smaller banks and other requirements of the landmark law reining in Wall Street and the financial industry after the 2008 crisis. But it received no support from Democrats, making its chances of Senate passage slim. Now tables have been turned by last November's...

  • IRETON, IOWA/ CHICAGO, May 21- Measures to control the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history are not being enforced at several farms at its epicenter in northwestern Iowa, potentially increasing the risks that the disease could spread further, spot checks by Reuters show. In visits to six affected sites in Iowa last week, a Reuters reporter found procedures at...

  • Correction: McDonald's Shareholders-Salaries story Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 2:43 PM ET

    OAK BROOK, Ill.— In a May 20 story about a protest outside of McDonald's corporate headquarters near Chicago, The Associated Press erroneously reported that about 100 protesters were arrested. Protesters call for $15 an hour outside McDonald's headquarters ahead of shareholder meeting. OAK BROOK, Ill.— Hundreds of protesters marched near McDonald's suburban...

  • NYC mayor picks Karen Hinton as his new press secretary Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 2:42 PM ET

    NEW YORK— After a three-month search, Mayor Bill de Blasio has hired a new press secretary— and she has ties to his frequent political rival, Gov. Hinton, 56, worked with de Blasio at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during President Bill Clinton's administration, serving as senior adviser to the HUD secretary, Cuomo. Hinton— who later founded her...

  • Obama sees trade vote as "big step forward" Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 2:40 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama says his trade agenda took "a big step forward" Thursday when it cleared a key Senate hurdle. The legislation would let Obama negotiate trade deals that Congress can accept or reject, but not change. The president says the trade deal is "going to open up access to markets that too often are closed," even as those other countries are...

  • IRS refunds $10M to tax preparers who paid to take test Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 2:18 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— The IRS is refunding a total of $10 million to thousands of tax preparers who paid to take a competency test, the agency announced Thursday. A federal court struck down IRS regulations in 2013 that sought to require some tax preparers to get training and take a test. "The IRS remains committed to the principle that all persons who prepare federal tax...

  • DETROIT, May 21- Prosecutors in Detroit have joined the U.S. federal probe into Takata Corp's defective air bag inflators that are linked to at least six deaths globally. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division, Fraud Section in Washington "are jointly handling the criminal...

  • Amtrak says the system will be ready by year's end throughout the Northeast Corridor, which stretches from Boston to Washington, with the exception of some track owned by commuter railroads in New York. Democrats want Congress to give Amtrak the entire $2 billion in subsidies the railroad requested for the budget year that starts Oct. 1. They say GOP lawmakers...

  • Listeria: FDA finds problems at Ohio ice cream plant Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 11:32 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— A government investigation of Ohio- based Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams found inadequate testing and cleaning in its Columbus plant that had become contaminated with listeria. The Jeni's recall came as Texas- based Blue Bell Creameries also shut down and recalled all products after listeria in its products was linked to three deaths.

  • State Department employee is accused of sending threatening emails to college-aged women in the U.S. from his computer at the U.S. Embassy in London, authorities said. Authorities apprehended him last week at Atlanta's airport as he prepared to board a flight back to London after visiting relatives in Georgia. Investigators say he began working at the London...

  • Gauge of US economy jumps 0.7 percent in April Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:25 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— An index designed to predict the future health of the economy rose in April by the largest amount in nine months, a sign that the economy is beginning to accelerate from a sharp slowdown during the winter. The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.7 percent last month, the biggest advance since a 1 percent rise last...

  • DETROIT, May 21- Prosecutors in Detroit have joined the U.S. federal probe into Takata Corp's defective air bag inflators that are linked to at least six deaths globally. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division, Fraud Section in Washington "are jointly handling the criminal...

  • Manufacturing in Philly area grew at a slower pace in May Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:19 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Manufacturing growth in the Philadelphia region slowed a bit in May, one of several recent signs the U.S. economy is barely improving after an anemic start to the year. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said Thursday that its index of factory activity slipped to 6.7 in May from 7.5 the previous month. The survey covers manufacturing in eastern...

  • Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.84 percent Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:15 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged slightly lower this week after rising for three straight weeks. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30- year fixed-rate mortgage ticked down to 3.84 percent this week from 3.85 percent a week earlier. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes fell 3.3...

  • US home sales slide in April amid listing shortage Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:02 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in April due mainly to relatively few listings and rising prices, providing evidence of the housing sector's uneven recovery. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of existing homes fell 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. April marked the second straight...

  • WASHINGTON— More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, though the number of applications remains at a historically low level that is consistent with a healthy job market. Weekly applications increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. "Despite a string of disappointing data, we continue to get signs that the...

  • WASHINGTON— Applications for US unemployment benefits rose last week yet remain at historically low levels.

  • The report intends to draw attention to how pervasive Chinese censorship could affect writers outside the country as China takes an increasingly prominent place in the global publishing industry. China will be the regional focus of this year's BookExpo America in New York next week, with a delegation of hundreds of state writers and publishers.

  • BEIJING, May 21- A Chinese university denied on Thursday U.S. espionage charges filed against three of its staff who are among six Chinese people the United States has accused of stealing technology often used in military systems. The U.S. Justice Department announced the charges against the six on Tuesday, the third time in as many years that U.S. authorities...