NEW YORK, Dec 13- A U.S. federal judge on Friday approved an estimated $5.7 billion class action settlement between merchants and Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc over credit card fees despite objections from thousands of retailers who complained it was inadequate.» Read More
WASHINGTON-- The Federal Reserve structured its latest stimulus program around the purchase of mortgage bonds after members agreed that helping a nascent housing recovery was a good way to lift the broader economy. The Fed has already purchased more than $2 trillion in bonds since the 2008 financial crisis.
FALLING DEMAND: Orders to U.S. factories fell in August from July, mostly because of a sharp drop in volatile aircraft orders. Orders dropped 5.2 percent, the biggest decline in more than three years. Aircraft orders plunged 102 percent.
The figures released Thursday by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities highlight some of the complexities within an overall trend of rising college costs. The list price at private colleges remains substantially higher than at publics _ $29,230 this fall compared to a bit over $8,000 last year at public institutions.
WASHINGTON-- A federal strike force has charged 91 people, including a hospital president, doctors and nurses, with Medicare fraud schemes in seven cities involving $429 million in false billings. The law enforcement effort focused on fraudulent Medicare schemes in Baton Rouge, La.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles and Miami.
Tensions between Syria and Turkey gave oil prices their biggest jump in two months Thursday, while refinery outages boosted wholesale gasoline prices. Oil settled at $91.71 per barrel, up by $3.57, or 4 percent, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices rose after Turkey's military fired on targets in Syria for the second day.
CARLETONVILLE, South Africa-- Carrying a piece of paper threatening him with eviction from a workers' hostel, Robert Asanda pointed to thousands of fellow striking miners who had gathered atop a hill in a symbolic act of defiance against their gold-mining employers in South Africa.
NEW YORK-- The Public Theater unveiled its four-year, $40 million face-lift on Monday with some Shakespeare, some hippies and some veteran stage stars including Vanessa Redgrave, Liev Schreiber and Mandy Patinkin.
WASHINGTON-- The AFL-CIO says it has registered more than 450,000 new voters from union households over the past 18 months, part of an ambitious push to swell the ranks of Democratic-leaning voters and help President Barack Obama win reelection.
Avery Dennison Corp.' s shares plunged Thursday after 3 M Co. dissolved plans to buy its office and consumer products business. THE SPARK: Avery Dennison and 3 M announced Wednesday that the maker of Post-It notes would not move forward with the deal. 3 M had agreed in January to buy the division for $550 million.
BUFFALO, N.Y.-- First Niagara Financial Group says it's realigning some staffing and will do away with 180 positions as it recruits for 250 others. The bank says it's hired 2,700 people over the past two years, including 1,200 from its recent purchase of 195 HSBC branches in New York and southwestern Connecticut.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina-- The flagship of Argentina's navy has been ordered held in Africa by a judge answering a complaint from a U.S. hedge fund. Courts in the United States and Britain have granted judgments worth $1.6 billion to the hedge fund, but it and other bondholders are still suing for billions more and Argentina has refused to pay.
NEW YORK-- Marriott International Inc. is offering a mixed forecast for travel demand around the globe. Marriott expects revenue per room, a key performance measure for hotel companies, to rise 5 to 7 percent in North America in the current quarter, but only 3 percent elsewhere.
ABILENE, Kan.-- Discount retailer Alco Stores Inc. said Thursday that a key measure of revenue fell 3.8 percent because of slower consumer spending and drought. The company, formerly known as Duckwall-Alco before changing its name in July, said total revenue for the five weeks ending Sept. 30 fell 0.3 percent to $40.2 million.
The world's most luxurious designer brands are abandoning Argentina rather than comply with tight new government economic restrictions, leaving empty shelves and storefronts along the capital's elegant Alvear Avenue, where tourists once flocked to see the latest in fashion.
Custom-mixed medicines like the steroid shots suspected in a meningitis outbreak have long been a source of concern, and their use is far wider than many people realize.
FORT WORTH, Texas-- American Airlines says it has finished inspecting 48 planes and fixing loose seats on some of them. A spokeswoman said Thursday that engineers were still determining how many planes needed repairs. The airline says all the planes are back in service.
Starbucks is making an app for that. A similar option will also be available on Square, a new payment app that Starbucks customers will be able to use starting in November.
DENVER-- SM Energy Co. said Thursday that it has promoted Javan Ottoson, the oil and gas company's chief operating officer, to president. SM Energy said the promotion recognizes Ottoson's contributions to the company over the years. Shares of the company, which is based in Denver, increased 15 cents to $53.07 in midday trading Thursday.
NO GLOWING REPORT: The EU Energy Commissioner says the cost of necessary improvements at the 145 nuclear reactors in the European Union could amount to billions over the coming years. CORE CRITICISM: The report criticized authorities for not using appropriate standards to assess risks.