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Lawmakers debate pay cutoff for budget gridlock

Mar 14, 2012

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even the top sponsor of a bill that would cut off lawmakers' pay if they can't — or won't — pass a budget blueprint admits many of his colleagues think it's just a political talking point instead of a serious idea.

And the measure doesn't have ...

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Bank surge sends Dow to highest level since 2007

Mar 14, 2012

By MATTHEW CRAFT, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average is at its highest level since 2007 after a day of encouraging signs for the economy: Retail sales were strong, the Federal Reserve was optimistic and most of the nation's biggest banks got a clean bill of health.

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Markets buoyant after Fed assessment

Mar 13, 2012

By PAN PYLAS, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Markets were buoyant Wednesday, a day after a fairly rosy assessment of the U.S. economy from the Federal Reserve boosted confidence about the state of the world's largest economy.

A seeming calm in Europe's debt crisis following Greece's successful ...

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Chinese premier urges political reforms

Mar 13, 2012

By CHARLES HUTZLER, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Premier Wen Jiabao warned Wednesday that ruinous turmoil that engulfed China in the past could re-emerge unless the country tackles political reforms, and he rebuked a populist fellow leader over a scandal that brought infighting among officials ...

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Fed: 15 banks pass stress test; Citi, 3 more fail

Mar 13, 2012

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER and PALLAVI GOGOI, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — All but four of 19 major U.S. banks got a green light Tuesday from the Federal Reserve to boost their dividends and take other steps that will make their stocks more attractive to investors. The Fed declared them strong ...

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AT&T seeks to settle _ quietly _ with iPhone user

Mar 13, 2012

By PETER SVENSSON, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T is offering to discuss a settlement with an iPhone user who won a small-claims case that alleged the company was slowing down his "unlimited" data service.

A law firm retained by AT&T Inc. also threatened in a letter dated Friday to shut ...

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CBO: Deficit estimate for 2012 hiked to $1.2T

Mar 13, 2012

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new estimate from congressional economists says the government will run a $1.2 trillion deficit for the budget year ending just a few weeks before Election Day. It would be the fourth straight year of trillion dollar-plus deficits.

The almost ...

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SEC charges 3 Thornburg executives with fraud

Mar 13, 2012

By MARCY GORDON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators have charged three executives of what was once the nation's second-largest mortgage company with civil accounting fraud.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said the executives conspired to conceal disastrous conditions at ...

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French minister: 2011 deficit drops to 5.3 percent

Mar 13, 2012

PARIS (AP) — France's finance minister says the country's deficit fell to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product last year, coming in slightly better than government expectations.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is facing a tough re-election campaign, has staked his credibility on meeting a series ...

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Italian leader says EU focus must be on growth

Mar 13, 2012

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Monti, flanked by German leader Angela Merkel, says European Union focus must be on economic growth, even as the acute financial crisis seems to be easing.

Monti, at a news conference with Merkel after the two held private talks in Rome Tuesday, said the EU must ...

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Fed upbeat on economy but will keep record rates

Mar 13, 2012

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER and MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The job market's gains may endure. Record-low interest rates will, too.

Those signals emerged Tuesday from the Federal Reserve after its latest policy meeting. The Fed sketched a slightly sunnier view than it did ...

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APNewsBreak: Irish airline ends nationality test

Mar 13, 2012

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press

DUBLIN (AP) — An Irish airline apologized Tuesday for forcing a Greek woman living in Ireland to complete a language test in her native tongue to demonstrate that her passport and nationality were genuine.

Aer Lingus announced in response to Associated Press ...

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Students seek to stop loan interest rate hike

Mar 13, 2012

By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of college students could be in for a shock this summer when the interest rate on a popular federally subsidized student loan doubles unless Congress acts.

College students on Tuesday delivered more than 130,000 letters to ...

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Unemployment rates fell in 45 states in January

Mar 13, 2012

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate fell in 45 U.S. states in January, a sign that nearly all of the country is benefiting from an improving economy and job market.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that only New York state reported a higher ...

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Fitch ratings agency upgrades Greece

Mar 13, 2012

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Fitch ratings agency on Tuesday upgraded Greece out of "restricted default" after Athens carried out the biggest debt writedown in history in a bond swap with private creditors. International debt inspectors, however, warned the country's recovery will be slower and harder ...

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Demand for iPad, rivals leads IDC to up forecast

Mar 13, 2012

By ANICK JESDANUN, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Thanks to strong demand for Apple's iPad and competing devices such as Amazon's Kindle Fire, worldwide shipments of tablet computers are likely to grow faster than expected this year, according to a newly revised forecast from a leading ...

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Product recalls

Mar 13, 2012

By The Associated Press, Associated Press

The following recall has been announced:

PLAY THEATER TOYS

DETAILS: Four-in-one dramatic play theater toys imported by Guidecraft Inc., of Winthrop, Minn., and manufactured by Mega Profit Trading Ltd., of China. The toys were sold at various catalogs,

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Justice backs new category of secret gov't files

Mar 13, 2012

By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the middle of Sunshine Week, when news organizations and advocacy groups promote government transparency, the Obama administration urged Congress on Tuesday to keep secret a whole new category of information even under the Freedom of ...

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Europe already struggling to stick by budget rules

Mar 13, 2012

By GABRIELE STEINHAUSER, Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — European countries are realizing how difficult it will be to adhere to the strict rules against overspending that they have chosen as their key policy response to the two-year old debt crisis.

At a meeting of in Brussels on Tuesday,

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US job openings fell in January from 3½ year high

Mar 13, 2012

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. jobs openings fell in January from a three and a half year high. The modest decline suggests hiring could continue at its healthy pace but may not accelerate.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers posted ...

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