*Fighting escalates in Libya before UN talks. SINGAPORE, March 4- Brent held above $60 a barrel on Wednesday supported by a hike in Saudi crude prices and strikes on oil facilities in Libya. In a move widely seen as a vote of confidence by Saudi Arabia in demand recovery, the OPEC kingpin raised the official selling prices for its oil deliveries to Asia and the United...» Read More
CARRINGTON, N.D.-- The U.S. Treasury Department has provided $3.4 million to a group of 36 North Dakota cities to support loans to small businesses. Every $1 in federal money must be matched with $10 in private sector investment, which will lead to $34 million in private sector funding.
NEW ORLEANS-- The U.S. Department of Energy says it needs more time to consider an environmental group's objections to a Texas company's plans to build an export terminal for liquefied natural gas in southwest Louisiana.
NEW YORK-- Mayor Michael Bloomberg will spend at least $10 million of his personal fortune promoting moderate candidates around the country in the final weeks before Election Day, he announced Wednesday, adding himself to the list of wealthy Americans pouring millions of dollars into the 2012 election.
LONDON-- Barclays PLC has set aside another 700 million pounds to compensate customers who bought payment protection insurance which they didn't need. The unscheduled announcement came ahead of the bank's third-quarter earnings report due on Oct. 31.
NEW YORK-- The stock market headed slightly lower on Thursday, following a leap in claims for unemployment benefits and weak results from American Express. The increase suggested that layoffs were increasing, however the Labor Department noted that there were technical reasons behind the swing, mainly delayed figures from one large state, California.
WASHINGTON-- The average U.S. rate on a 30- year fixed mortgage has fallen to near its record low set earlier this month. The rate on the most popular mortgage dipped to 3.37 percent from 3.39 last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. Two weeks ago, the rate reached 3.36 percent, its lowest level on records dating to 1971..
LOS ANGELES-- Celebrity charity work has been around as long as celebrity itself. "Beethoven was doing charity concerts," says Myrlia Purcell, founder of LooktotheStars.org, a website that tracks celebrity charity events around the world. Good thing Annie Lennox is around.
LOS ANGELES-- The Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom will soon be filled with flowers, chiffon, fine china and crystal stemware for a starry black-tie ball costing couples as much as $20,000 to attend.
ALBANY, N.Y.-- The nation's two largest breast cancer charities have adopted guidelines for fuller disclosure by those selling pink products and services in their names, New York's attorney general said Thursday.
Though expectations have diminished in recent days that the 27- nation EU will agree on the terms of a banking union, investors are keen to hear updates on the economic fate of Spain, as well as Greece, which appears to be near to securing its next batch of bailout cash.
CHICAGO-- As Chicago struggles to quell gang violence that has contributed to a jump in homicides, a top elected official wants to tax the sale of every bullet and firearm _ an effort even she acknowledges could spark a legal challenge.
BISMARCK, N.D.-- Dwight Thompson is a solid conservative businessman who will be voting for a Republican for president and a Democrat for Senate.
It cited a consultant's findings, indicating that between July 2008 and February 2012, the program generated an estimated $2 in economic activity in Alaska for every $1 in tax credits issued. Eighty-four percent of direct wages for qualified productions went to non- Alaska residents.
HARRISBURG, Pa.-- The union representing faculty at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities is taking the first step toward a possible strike. Union officials say delegates from each campus will meet Saturday in State College for a strike authorization vote.
Steve King of Iowa has little use for the Humane Society, particularly when it comes to laws designed to give calves, pregnant sows and hens a little more freedom on the farm.
BILLINGS, Mont.-- Owners of a proposed railroad serving southeastern Montana's coal fields have applied to the federal government to build an 83- mile line carrying up to 20 million tons of fuel annually.
PITTSBURGH-- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had an unusual standing-room-only crowd Wednesday, as lawyers debated a new law that regulates the state's booming natural gas industry. The Supreme Court currently has three Republicans and three Democrats, and cannot overturn a lower court decision on a 3-3 tie vote.
WASHINGTON-- A measure of U.S. economic activity designed to give signals about the future posted a solid gain in September, rebounding after a dip in August. The index is still signaling weak growth, however. The major areas of weakness came from a decline in the Institute for Supply Management's new orders index and in consumer confidence.
JACKSON, Miss.-- Mississippi has the nation's highest infant mortality rate, and experts are trying to change that by teaching people about healthy pregnancies and proper sleep conditions for babies. Yvonne Maddox, deputy director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health.
HARRISBURG, Pa.-- A state-run health insurance exchange is unlikely to be ready for a scheduled January 2014 rollout, Pennsylvania's top insurance regulator said Wednesday.