Money & Markets

Weather, flights aid post Thanksgiving travel efforts

NEW YORK - Tens of millions of Americans returning home after the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend Sunday had cooperative weather and mostly efficient airport operations to thank for smooth traveling conditions.Besides a winter storm that will bring freezing rain and snow to the central Plains ...

Billions promised to boost clean energy tech

PARIS - Government and business leaders are banking on clean energy technology to fight global warming, kicking off this week's high-stakes climate change negotiations by pledging tens of billions of dollars for research and development. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, ...

How Black Friday played out around the country

NEW YORK - Black Friday, the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, isn't always what people expect.In Colorado, for instance, marijuana stores got into the act. In Arizona, families skipped the spending frenzy to go hiking. And in Chicago, shoppers snapped photos of demonstrators ...

Swiss court convicts ex-HSBC employee for leaking bank data

GENEVA - A Swiss court has convicted in absentia a former employee with international bank HSBC for economic espionage and sentenced him to five years in prison.Herve Falciani, 43, was on trial for leaking bank data that led to a worldwide wave of tax evasion probes against prominent clients ...

3 Chinese brokerages now under investigation

BEIJING - Three of China's biggest securities firms are under investigation in a fresh aftershock from this summer's market plunge.Shares in Citic Securities Ltd. and Guosen Securities Ltd. fell Friday by the 10 percent daily limit after both said they were being probed by regulators. A third ...

Jack White’s opens record store in Detroit

DETROIT - Rocker Jack White has opened a Third Man Records store in his hometown, the Motor City.The Grammy-nominated White - the singer, guitarist, drummer and producer who rose to acclaim in the duo The White Stripes - was on hand Friday for the satellite location's grand opening just north ...

Russia strikes back at Turkey with economic sanctions

MOSCOW - Russia plans to retaliate against Turkey for the downing of a warplane by imposing sanctions, cutting economic ties and scrapping major investment projects.Since the plane was shot down Tuesday on the Syria-Turkey border, Russia has already restricted tourism, left Turkish trucks ...

Source: Alibaba in talks to buy Hong Kong’s SCMP newspaper

HONG KONG - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in talks to buy Hong Kong's leading English language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, a person with knowledge of the potential deal said Thursday.The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were ongoing, said Alibaba ...

Thai poultry producers accused of labor abuses

BANGKOK - Poultry exported to Europe from factories in Thailand is sometimes prepared in conditions that violate labor rights, two Scandinavian groups promoting corporate responsibility charged Thursday. The claim comes as Thailand's seafood industry is reeling from allegations that its ...

Projects stall after feds allow ocean fish farming

SAN DIEGO - Some 90 percent of seafood consumed by Americans is imported - a fact that the Obama administration vowed to start turning around by expanding fish and shellfish farms into federal waters.Yet nearly two years since the first permit was issued, the United States still has no offshore ...

Skin care drug prices up 401 percent since 2009

WASHINGTON - The cost of prescription skin treatments has skyrocketed since 2009, as the burden of escalating drug prices increasingly weighs on family budgets. Retail prices have surged 401 percent since 2009 for brand-name drugs for skin conditions, according to research published in JAMA ...

Better batteries to beat global warming: A race against time

WASHINGTON - One of the key technologies that could help wean the globe off fossil fuel is probably at your fingertips or in your pocket right now: the battery.If batteries can get better, cheaper and store more power safely, then electric cars and solar- or wind- powered homes become more ...

Washington project ensures forest stores carbon for decades

SEATTLE - Half a small forest still standing near Mount Rainier faced clear-cutting before an effort in Washington state saved the decades-old trees and allowed Microsoft to help finance the project to offset its carbon footprint.The effort by two environmental groups keeps 520 acres of Douglas ...

Why government and tech can’t agree about encryption

NEW YORK - Your phone is getting better and better at protecting your privacy. But Uncle Sam isn't totally comfortable with that, because it's also complicating the work of tracking criminals and potential national-security threats.For decades, tech companies have steadily expanded the use of ...

Middle class optimism buoys US consumer sentiment

WASHINGTON - Americans were more optimistic about their incomes and personal finances this month, particularly among lower and middle-class households, lifting consumers' outlook.The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, released Wednesday, rose to 91.3 in November from 90 in the ...

US new-home sales rebound in October

WASHINGTON - Sales of new homes recovered in October after suffering a steep drop in September, returning to this year's trend of an improving market for real estate developers and builders.The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales climbed 10.7 percent last month to a ...

New federal catfish inspection rule finalized

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Catfish and other ray-finned fish species will undergo a new inspection process starting in March.The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service released its final rule Wednesday on the new process.Under the rule, the agency will conduct inspections at U.S. processing and ...

US consumer confidence falls in November

WASHINGTON - Confidence in the economy eroded this month as Americans became more worried about the job market.A business research group said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 90.4 in November, down from 99.1 in October. The index is at its lowest level since September 2014.The ...

Thanksgiving travel 2015: Cheap gas, fears of terrorism

LOS ANGELES - That other Thanksgiving tradition - congested highways and jammed airports - is getting underway with gas prices low and terrorism fears high.An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long holiday ...

Emails reveal Coke’s role in anti-obesity group

NEW YORK - A nonprofit founded to combat obesity says the $1.5 million it received from Coke has no influence on its work.But emails obtained by The Associated Press show the world's largest beverage maker was instrumental in shaping the Global Energy Balance Network, which is led by a ...