Category: Business

US, Mexico square off on immigration as top officials meet

BY JOSH LEDERMAN – ASSOCIATED PRESS MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s mounting unease and resentment over President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown are looming over a gathering of U.S. and Mexican leaders Thursday that the U.S. had hoped would project a strong future for relations between neighbors. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were meeting with their Mexican counterparts in Mexico City before they were supposed to sit down with Mexican President Pena Nieto. But a top Mexican official suggested the meeting with Pena Nieto, announced days in advance by the U.S., might not...

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US musician makes mics in Russia using Kalashnikov machinery

NATALIA SUVOROVA – ASSOCIATED PRESS TULA, Russia (AP) — Claims of hacking by the Russian state may be feeding international tensions, but they’ve given Californian musician David Brown a great icebreaker when selling his line of Russian-made microphones. “We give free hacking lessons with these microphones,” he tells potential buyers in Los Angeles. “Watch what you say because they never turn off.” Brown, who’s often toured Russia with his band Brazzaville, teamed up with fan Pavel Bazdyrev in 2013 to start making top-end musical equipment in Bazdyrev’s home city of Tula, which is dominated by the Russian defense industry....

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Americans buy existing homes at fastest pace in a decade

BY CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER – AP ECONOMICS WRITER WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans shrugged off rising mortgage rates and bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007. Home sales rose 3.3 percent in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Steady job gains, modest pay raises and rising consumer confidence are spurring healthy home buying even as borrowing costs have risen since last fall. Some potential buyers may be accelerating their home purchases to get ahead of any further increases in mortgage rates. Buyers are...

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Edinburg EDC announces that $10 million TownePlace Suites by Marriott offers latest proof that Edinburg is becoming the “Destination City

Featured: TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Edinburg, whose owners, the Qube Hotel Group of Carrollton, Texas, hosted a grand opening on Friday, February 10, 2017, is the first of its type for the famous Marriott International brand, considered one of the top hospitality companies in the world, according to Ron Stewart of Dallas, Area Vice President, Lodging Development for Marriott International, Inc. “We have been watching Edinburg for a while. I have heard a lot of interesting things about what is happening with the growth, and among the most impressive things now, there have been some really big changes,...

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US stocks start week at new highs on deals and earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are breaking records again Tuesday. Energy companies are rising more than the rest of the market. Consumer goods giant Kraft Heinz is falling after it withdrew a $143 billion offer for competition Unilever, but several other food and household goods makers are rising as investors bet Kraft will make an offer for one of those companies instead. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 93 points, or 0.5 percent, to 20,717 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,361. The Nasdaq...

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Jumping Bank Stocks Push Us Indexes Higher; Bond Yields Rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank stocks rallied Tuesday on hopes that bigger profits are ahead, and the gains were enough to offset weakness elsewhere in the market and push U.S. indexes further into record territory. Bond yields rose after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank is still on track to raise interest rates gradually. KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,335 as of 3:36 p.m. Eastern time, close to its highest level of the day. It was earlier down as much as 0.3 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose...

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Aetna, Humana call off $34 billion deal

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Aetna and Humana called off a $34 billion proposal to combine the two major health insurers after a federal judge, citing antitrust concerns, shot down the deal. The announcement Tuesday comes several days after another federal judge rejected a tie-up between two other massive insurers. Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier Anthem is attempting to buy Cigna for $48 billion. Anthem has vowed to appeal that decision. Aetna, the nation’s third largest insurer, had announced its bid for Humana in 2015. The deal would have given Aetna the opportunity to significantly expand its presence in the fast-growing market...

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Up, up and away: Passenger-carrying drone to fly in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Up, up and away: Dubai hopes to have a passenger-carrying drone regularly buzzing through the skyline of this futuristic city-state in July. Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency, made the announcement on Monday at the World Government Summit. The drone – a Chinese-made EHang 184 – is an egg-shaped craft with four legs sticking out, each with two small propellers. The rider punches in a destination on a touch screen in front of the passenger seat, then the drone would fly there automatically. The drone, which has a half-hour...

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Super Bowl ad winners: Tide, T-Mobile

NEW YORK (AP) — The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons during a nailbiter Super Bowl 51 – and there were clear winners and losers off the field, too. Advertisers had to tread carefully this year in a divisive political climate. Some went for all out escapist humor like T-Mobile and Tide, while others tried to take a more serious tone like the American Petroleum Institute. With 30-second ads costing around $5 million, and more than 110 million people watching, it’s a huge gamble to advertise during the game even in a less politically charged atmosphere. Here are...

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US added a healthy 227K jobs last month; rate up to 4.8 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers stepped up hiring last month, adding a healthy 227,000 jobs, and more Americans began looking for work, a sign that President Donald Trump has inherited a robust job market. January’s job gain was the best since September, and it exceeded last year’s average monthly gain of 187,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate ticked up to a still-low 4.8 percent from 4.7 percent in December. But the rate rose for an encouraging reason: More Americans started looking for work, though not all of them found jobs immediately. The proportion of adults who...

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Wal-Mart opts for free, faster shipping on necessities

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is replacing a program that offered free shipping but had an annual fee with one that has a lower free shipping threshold and faster delivery as it hopes to answer Amazon’s powerful Prime membership success. The retailer says it will reduce shipping time to two days on 2 million of its most popular items including essentials like diapers and pet food as well hot toys and Electronics. Wal-Mart’s average shipping time has been three to five days. Starting Tuesday morning, it’s also reducing the spending necessary for free shipping to $35 from $50. Wal-Mart’s...

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Samsung says batteries caused Note 7 fires, delays new phone

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics says flaws in the design and production of batteries used in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, not its hardware or software, made it prone to catch fire. Samsung said Monday that it was responsible for not ensuring the design specifications given to its suppliers were failsafe but believed its investigation into the problem would help the entire industry counter overheating risks with lithium batteries. Analysts questioned if the world’s largest smartphone maker had really gotten to the bottom of the problem. The South Korean company delayed the launch of its next Galaxy...

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