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RNC chief: Gay marriage will burden small business

May 16, 2009 8:52 am | by RUSS BYNUM - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Republicans can reach a broader base by recasting gay marriage as an issue that could dent pocketbooks as small businesses spend more on health care and other benefits, GOP Chairman Michael Steele said Saturday.Steele said that was just an example of how the party can retool...

More air cargo gets security screening

May 16, 2009 7:31 am | by SHANNON DININNY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Thousands of boxes of Washington cherries will be loaded onto passenger planes in coming weeks, bound for Pacific Rim countries like Japan and Korea.Or so farmers hope.Growers and shippers of highly perishable crops like cherries worry that a new requirement that all cargo on...

Towns find obstacles to saying 'I do' to mergers

May 16, 2009 7:01 am | by DAVID PORTER - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CHESTER, N.J. (AP) — It's a response to the recession and dwindling state aid that seems deceptively logical: Neighboring towns can merge into one to streamline services and save money.Problem is, it's rarely done, though the concept is being studied in many states, including New Jersey. But to...

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Navajos largely unscathed by recession

May 16, 2009 6:56 am | by FELICIA FONSECA - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

TONALEA, Ariz. (AP) — Talk at the community center in this small Navajo town isn't as focused on the economy as it is in many places off the reservation.That's because the people living on the largest American Indian reservation have been largely unscathed by the recession.Most Navajos own their...

Thai PM says country getting 'back to business'

May 16, 2009 6:25 am | by JEREMIAH MARQUEZ - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

HONG KONG (AP) — Thailand's prime minister said his country is getting "back to business" after months of political and economic turmoil that has felled Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy.Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva met with investors, business leaders and officials in Hong Kong on Friday...

Tomato company at center of probe files Chapter 11

May 16, 2009 6:25 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — More than 1,000 workers are in danger of losing their jobs after the company at the center of a federal tomato price-fixing investigation filed for bankruptcy.Officials at SK Foods, which operates a factory processing ketchup and sauces in Lemoore, say they hope they can find...

European unions protest in Prague against crisis

May 16, 2009 5:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PRAGUE (AP) — About 20,000 labor unions members from the Czech Republic and other European countries rallied in Prague on Saturday to demand better protection for workers during the economic crisis and protested proposed measures against it.The protesters, joined by colleagues from Germany, Italy...

Fiat autoworkers march in Turin, fearing shutdowns

May 16, 2009 5:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ROME (AP) — Fiat autoworkers fearing factory shutdowns rallied Saturday in Turin near the company's headquarters.Thousands of workers marched from the Mirafiori factory in the northern Italian city to near the headquarters, where union leaders gave speeches.Among the marchers were many who came...

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Hot in recession: Chocolate, running shoes, Spam

May 16, 2009 4:59 am | by DEB RIECHMANN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not all doom and gloom in the U.S. economy. Some products are bucking the recession and flying off store shelves.Sales of chocolate and running shoes are up. Wine drinkers haven't stopped sipping; they just seem to be choosing cheaper vintages.Gold coins are selling like hot...

Califorina hedge fund manager arrested

May 15, 2009 10:31 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Beverly Hills hedge fund manager was arrested Friday on a charge he bilked investors out of $44.3 million, including $5 million he lost playing poker, the U.S. attorney's office said.Bradley L. Ruderman, 46, surrendered to FBI agents after being named in a wire fraud complaint....

Berkshire invests in Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, J & J

May 15, 2009 2:21 pm | by JOSH FUNK - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett's company found more bargains among beaten down marquee stocks during the first quarter as it added to its sizable investments in Wells Fargo & Co., US Bancorp and Johnson & Johnson.Berkshire Hathaway Inc. revealed those investments and several other changes to its...

Judge blocks 'robo-calls' selling car warranties

May 15, 2009 2:21 pm | by MIKE ROBINSON - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has issued two temporary restraining orders designed to stop what officials describe as a wave of deceptive "robo-calls" warning people their auto warranties are expiring and offering to sell them new service plans."Today the FTC has disconnected the people...

Initial public offerings to debut next week

May 15, 2009 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — The following is a list of initial public offerings planned for the coming week. Sources include Renaissance Capital, Greenwich, CT (www.ipohome.com) and SEC filings.

FDIC holds off on longer guarantee for some bonds

May 15, 2009 2:01 pm | by MARCY GORDON - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing objections from the Obama administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has delayed a plan to stretch the term of the government guarantee for bonds issued by banks that are backed by mortgages and other collateral.The FDIC in January proposed extending the guarantee...

Meltdown 101: Consumer price index by the numbers

May 15, 2009 2:01 pm | by MARTIN CRUTSINGER - AP Economics Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices overall were flat last month. But if you examine the details of the latest consumer price report, you'll find plenty of turbulence hidden beneath that surface calm.For starters, it was a good month to follow your mother's advice. Drink your milk, and don't smoke....

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