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  • Global markets rally for 2nd day after Fed pledge

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stocks rallied for a second day Friday after the Federal Reserve’s reassurance it was in no hurry to hike interest rates. But shares of Sony Corp. dropped as a hacking scandal rocked its American movies unit. KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent to 6,507.42 France’s CAC 40…

  • HK court: Property tycoon guilty of corruption

    HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong jury found a billionaire property developer and a former top government official guilty of corruption Friday after a high profile trial that amplified anger at the city’s elite. The property magnate Thomas Kwok was convicted of conspiracy for making HK$8.5 million ($1.1 million) of payments to city official…

  • 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…

  • German consumer confidence on the rise

    BERLIN (AP) — German consumer confidence is continuing to improve, supported by expectations of increasing economic strength and a greater willingness to make purchases. The GfK research group said Friday its forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 9 points for January from 8.7 points in December. GfK says consumers still have uncertainty over ongoing international…

  • EPA expected to treat coal ash waste like garbage

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmentalists and industry experts widely expect the first federal standards for the waste generated from coal burned for electricity to treat the ash like household garbage, rather than a hazardous material. The Obama administration is under court order to unveil the rule Friday, ending a six-year effort that began after a massive…

  • Poll: Americans skeptical of commercial drones

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans 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, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. By a 2-1 margin, those who had an opinion opposed…

  • Hack attack spurs call for more NKorea sanctions

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Suspicions that North Korea was behind a destructive hacking attack against Sony Pictures and a threat against movie theaters are intensifying calls for tougher U.S. steps to cut that country’s access to hard currency and declare it once more as a state sponsor of terrorism. At first glance, U.S. options for responding…

  • 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 access to participants who…

  • Best of the season’s 39 bowl games

    The College Football Playoff era is here and as the bowl season starts, it feels a bit like a New Year’s three-for-one special: Three big games instead of one. There’s still a bit of controversy just like there was in the BCS — ask Baylor and TCU — but most college football fans believe the…

  • 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…

  • US agriculture has big appetite for Cuba trade

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. agriculture has a big appetite for freer trade with Cuba. From wheat to rice to beans, the industry stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of President Barack Obama’s plan to ease economic and travel restrictions imposed against the communist-ruled island. Agricultural exports have been among the few exceptions to…

  • 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…

  • Lava slows but still on track to hit Hawaii market

    HONOLULU (AP) — Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. The molten rock was 1,200 to 1,300 yards away from the edge of Pahoa Marketplace on Thursday and had advanced about 165 yards from the previous…

  • Brazil graft cases: Beginning of impunity’s end?

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A federal investigation into a kickback scheme at Brazil’s state oil company has, so far, ensnared 30 executives. In Sao Paulo, prosecutors accuse 33 businessmen of running a “cartel” to profit from the city’s subway system. And in perhaps the most stunning turn of all, the oil and mining tycoon…

  • 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…