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  • Foxwoods hiring of convict challenged in court

    MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) — The felony conviction of a former Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation official should have kept him from receiving a management job at the tribe’s Foxwoods Resort Casino, an attorney for another tribal member argued Thursday. The former tribal councilor, Steven Thomas, received the personnel position at the country’s largest casino last December…

  • Correction: Cuba-Travel story

    NEW YORK (AP) — NEW YORK (AP) — In a story Dec. 17 about travel to Cuba, The Associated Press reported erroneously the number of Americans who were authorized to travel to Cuba last year. The number was 124,000, not 170,000. A corrected version of the story is below: US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba…

  • Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

    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…

  • AP News in Brief at 5:58 p.m. EST

    Evidence in Sony hack ‘whodunit’ mostly circumstantial; US weighs a North Korea response WASHINGTON (AP) — The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools…

  • Plea hearing set for ex-manager in halal food case

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former manager at an Iowa-based halal food supplier is expected to plead guilty as part of a federal criminal investigation into the company’s exporting and marketing practices, according to court documents filed Thursday. Conspiracy charges filed against Philip G. Payne are the latest involving the Midamar Corp., which is…

  • Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

    HAVANA (AP) — The restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States unleashed expectations Thursday of even more momentous changes on an island that often seems frozen in a past of classic cars and crumbling Art Deco buildings. On the first full day after the surprise announcement, many Cubans expressed hope that it…

  • Icahn promises Taj Mahal casino $20M to stay open

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn pledged $20 million on Thursday to keep Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal casino open indefinitely, eliminating a plan to shut it down Saturday. In a letter dated Thursday, Icahn promised Trump Entertainment Resorts that he would provide enough money to keep the casino open throughout bankruptcy proceedings. It…

  • IRS head says budget cuts could delay tax refunds

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Budget cuts at the IRS could delay tax refunds, reduce taxpayer services and hurt enforcement efforts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday. About half the people who call the IRS for assistance this filing season won’t be able to get through to a person, Koskinen said. Once tax returns are filed, there…

  • NC AG orders company to forgive debts, pay refunds

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has ordered a company which he says set up near military bases and targeted military consumers with unfair practices to forgive debts and pay refunds. Cooper joins Virginia’s attorney general’s office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to file a complaint and judgment in federal court…

  • Amid scrutiny, Vegas hotelier wins gambling license

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The nightlife mogul who opened the SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino on the Strip has won a gambling license from Nevada regulators after intense scrutiny into his past business dealings and drug use. Sam Nazarian appeared before the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday. He said he was sorry for misleading…

  • Investors say ‘bye,’ but not ‘ciao,’ to stock pickers

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stock pickers might as well wear a scarlet “A.” “Active management” is becoming more of a taboo when it comes to mutual funds. Many investors are abandoning actively managed funds, wary of their high fees and recently disappointing performance. Instead, they’re funneling money into lower-cost index funds, which aim to match…

  • Questions and answers about traveling to Cuba

    NEW YORK (AP) — Don’t rush to book that flight to Cuba just yet. While the U.S. plans to restore diplomatic ties with the Caribbean island nation, globe-trotting tourists won’t be able to hop on a plane to Havana anytime soon. It remains illegal for most U.S. citizens to travel to — and spend money…

  • US announces protections for transgender workers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is now interpreting federal law to explicitly prohibit workplace discrimination against transgender individuals. That means the Justice Department will be able to bring claims on behalf of people who say they’ve been fired by a public employer based on gender identity. In defending lawsuits, the federal government also will no…

  • Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

    NEW YORK (AP) — Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to “buy low.” A growing number of retailers are using software that changes online prices based on demand, competition, inventory and other factors. The…

  • Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.80 percent

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year. The rates’ historically low levels could be a boon to potential homebuyers. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.80 percent this week from…