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  • China's wealth finds home in Washington state

    MEDINA, Wash. (AP) — Savvy Seattle-area real estate agents have gained an advantage by paying attention to the growing connections between China and Washington state. "I'm so glad my mother made me study Chinese," laughed property broker Janie Lee, after showing a client from Beijing a $4 million home in the suburb of Medina. "I've been using...

  • Gift Guide: Strong photo, video gear options

    ATLANTA (AP) — What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon, GoPro and Domke. ___ — Nikon D750 camera ($2,300 body only; $3,000 kit with 24-120mm lens): I couldn't find anything to complain about the D750 after spending a few weeks with it. The handsome digital single-lens...

  • Poll: Americans skeptical of commercial drones

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans say they are skeptical that the benefits of the heralded drone revolution will outweigh the risks to privacy and safety, although a majority approve of using small, unmanned aircraft for dangerous jobs or in remote areas. An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that by a 2-1 margin those who had an opinion opposed using...

  • EPA expected to treat coal waste like garbage

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmentalists and industry experts expect the first federal standards for waste generated from coal burned for electricity to treat the ash more like household garbage than a hazardous material. The EPA is expected to issue a rule Friday, ending a six-year effort that began after a massive spill at a Tennessee power plant...

  • How the AP-GfK Poll was conducted

    The Associated Press-GfK poll on drones was conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Dec. 4-8. It is based on online interviews of 1,010 adults who are members of GfK's nationally representative KnowledgePanel. The original sample was drawn from respondents recruited by phone or mail survey methods. GfK provides Internet...

  • It's law now: 'No Social Security for Nazis'

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday capped a swift and forceful response to an Associated Press investigation by signing into law a measure that bars suspected Nazi war criminals from receiving U.S. Social Security benefits. The AP's investigation, which was the impetus for the No Social Security for Nazis Act, found that...

  • Will artists skip studio support after Sony scandal?

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony's decision to cancel "The Interview" in the face of terrorist threats is already affecting the way Hollywood does business. It has outraged artists, killing their faith in studios to release edgy content. But it's also inspired a rare hush across a usually chatty industry as everyone from moguls to makeup artists takes...

  • Companies' data security in question after Sony hack

    ATLANTA (AP) — Companies across the globe are on high alert to tighten up network security to avoid being the next company brought to its knees by hackers like those that executed the dramatic cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment. The hack, which a U.S. official has said investigators believe is linked to North Korea, culminated in...

  • California's top utility regulator defends record

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's chief utility regulator ended the last scheduled public hearing of his increasingly embattled 12-year term Thursday with no explicit reference to the alleged back-channel dealings with the state's largest utility company that have marred his tenure. California Public Utilities Commission President Michael...

  • Sides 'far apart' in West Coast port negotiations

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — While West Coast seaports struggle to keep up with billions of dollars of cargo, dockworkers and their employers apparently aren't close to a new contract nearly six months after their old deal expired. Longshoremen have continued to work without a contract at 29 ports from San Diego to Seattle that are a vital trade link...

  • Louisville 1st-in-South to raise minimum wage

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville became the first city in the South to raise the minimum wage, joining 20 other local governments nationwide that have increased the hourly wage. The Louisville Metro Council voted Thursday night to raise the minimum wage to at least $9 per hour by 2017. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. The increase...

  • Hellmann's maker Unilever drops suit over 'Just Mayo'

    Hellmann's mayonnaise maker Unilever has withdrawn its lawsuit against the maker of "Just Mayo." Unilever filed suit against Hampton Creek earlier this year claiming the name of the small California company's product amounted to false advertising. The consumer-products giant, whose U.S. arm is based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, had said...

  • Contrite Vegas hotelier wins gambling license

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Los Angeles nightlife magnate who revamped Las Vegas' Sahara hotel and casino won a Nevada gambling license Thursday after explaining his drug use and curious business dealings, but not without limits and a promise that he'll remain under heavy scrutiny. Sam Nazarian's license expires in a year, bars him from being...

  • China pledges to speed entry of US pharmaceuticals

    CHICAGO (AP) — China promised Thursday to speed up imports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices from the United States and enforce its anti-monopoly laws equally among Chinese and foreign companies. Those commitments were announced at an annual trade meeting between the two countries that took place in Chicago. An assistant minister of...

  • Judge may toss 4 guilty pleas in inside-trade case

    NEW YORK (AP) — A judge said Thursday he's leaning toward tossing out four guilty pleas in an insider-trading case, the latest fallout from a recent appeals court ruling criticizing prosecutors' tactics. U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. notified attorneys of his plans in separate proceedings for five defendants. He said he believes...

  • Government selling last stake in Ally Financial

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is selling the last of its shares in Ally Financial Inc., the former financing arm of General Motors that was bailed out during the financial crisis. Detroit-based Ally said Thursday that the Treasury Department is selling its remaining 54.9 million shares. That amounts to about an 11 percent stake in the...

  • Uber suspends operations in Portland for 3 months

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Less than two weeks after the ride-hailing app Uber launched in Portland without officials' approval, the company said it is suspending operations for three months to work out its differences with the city. General manager Brooke Steger wrote in a blog post Thursday that Portland is working to update its regulations for...

  • Bankruptcy judge approves Nortel bondholder settlement

    DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved a $1 billion settlement between Nortel Networks Corp.'s U.S. unit and bondholders over opposition from the Canadian parent company. The judge said Thursday that the settlement resolves a major dispute in Nortel's bankruptcy saga, which has dragged on for nearly six years. The...

  • US regulators label MetLife as potential financial threat

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators have labeled insurer MetLife as a potential threat to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight. MetLife said Thursday that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated the company as "systemically important." As a result, MetLife must increase its cushion of...

  • 2 in meningitis outbreak case to be released

    BOSTON (AP) — Two men at the center of a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people around the U.S. will be released from custody, pending their criminal trials, a federal judge in Boston ruled Thursday. U.S. Magistrate Jennifer Boal issued an electronic order saying that the U.S. attorney's office had "not met its burden" in...

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