*Israel sees 7- day halt while tunnel hunt continues. *Economically hit Hamas wants Gaza blockade lifted. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed regional proxies to nail down a Gaza ceasefire on Friday as the civilian death toll soared, threatening to spread Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed to the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.» Read More
NEW ORLEANS-- A landfill executive awaiting trial on charges he conspired with his brother-in-law to embezzle nearly $1 million from a New Orleans- based construction management company was indicted Thursday on new charges stemming from an alleged tax fraud scheme.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose Friday after the company reported new clinical study data for its potential drug telotristat, which treats a condition caused by tumors in the gastrointestinal tract. Lexicon shares gained 12 cents, or 5 percent, to $2.51 in morning trading.
THE PURCHASE: Ecolab Inc. is buying specialty chemical company Champion Technologies in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $2.2 billion. THE DETAILS: The cleaning, food safety and pest-control services company said Friday that it will pay approximately $1.7 billion in cash and issue about 8 million shares of its stock as part of the acquisition.
Two people familiar with the negotiations said F1 was in talks with NBC for U.S. broadcast rights and the contract would not be renewed with Speed. NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did a spokesman for Speed.
HONOLULU-- A rail project shut down by court order will cost Honolulu more than $114 million, according to the head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.
TOPEKA, Kan.-- Kansas' former labor secretary tangled with Gov. The emails obtained by The Associated Press this week through an open records request are the first evidence to come to light afterward that Brownlee was at odds with another high-ranking administration official.
GENEVA-- Apple Inc. has struck a deal with Switzerland's national rail company to license the use of its iconic station clocks for the iOS 6 operating system, which is used by iPhone and iPad mobile devices.
LONDON-- Upbeat earnings from JP Morgan Chase& Co. and a strong U.S. consumer confidence survey helped shore up markets Friday, though investors remained cautious after buying up stocks aggressively the previous day.
PRAGUE-- Iraq has agreed to buy 28 Czech-made military airplanes in a deal worth $1 billion (775 million), part of a broader effort by Baghdad to rebuild military capabilities destroyed during the U.S.-led invasion of the country, officials said Friday. Iraq only has a few planes and is unable to defend its air space.
RENO, Nev.-- Pershing County officials are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Burning Man organizers who say a new county festival ordinance is unconstitutional and could put the annual counter-culture event in Nevada's Black Rock Desert out of business.
MADRID-- Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica has agreed to sell its call center business Atento to private equity group Bain Capital for 1 billion to lower debt. Telefonica SA is trying to reduce its debts worth 58 billion through the sale of non-essential businesses.
Stocks rose on Friday after a government report showed that inflation was tame in September, which will leave consumers with more money to spend if the trend holds up. The Labor Department said Friday that wholesale prices rose 1.1 percent in September. This week saw mixed results from U.S. corporations like Alcoa, Safeway and Yum Brands.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Workday rocketed higher Friday in their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. That's a bigger bump than the 71 percent first-day gain by casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. in February and the 41 percent first-day gain for shares of real estate listing site Trulia Inc. last month.
NEW YORK-- A group of retailers and trade groups has launched a last-ditch effort to stop a settlement worth at least $6 billion that Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and major banks have agreed to pay retailers for alleged fee fixing. The proposed settlement, which was disclosed in July, is expected to be submitted to the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn by Oct. 19.
CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- Federal health officials on Thursday urged a renewed focus on diabetes prevention efforts in West Virginia, where more than one in 10 adults has the disease. The Appalachian Regional Commission sponsored a roundtable discussion attended by health professionals and representatives of state and other agencies.