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Business

Biden urges Dems to rally behind $1.9T virus bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden urged Senate Democrats on Tuesday to rally behind a $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill and stood by his proposed $1,400 payments to individuals, even as some party moderates sought to dial back parts of the package. “He said we need to pass this bill ...

Target powers through a pandemic; 2020 sales growth explodes

NEW YORK (AP) — Target will plow $4 billion into its business each year for the next several years to redo its stores, add new ones and speed up delivery as the discounter aims to keep up with increasingly demanding shoppers shaped by the pandemic. As part of the investments announced ...

Stocks rally on Wall Street, S&P 500 has best day since June

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rallied on Wall Street, pushing the S&P 500 to its biggest gain in nine months. The 2.4% jump in the benchmark index Monday followed back-to-back weekly losses and came as investors were relieved to see long-term interest rates easing lower in the bond market. ...

AI panel urges U.S. to boost techology skills amid China’s rise

An artificial intelligence commission led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is urging the U.S. to boost its AI skills to counter China, including by pursuing “AI-enabled” weapons — something that Google itself has shied away from on ethical grounds. Schmidt and current executives from ...

Dems near relief bill OK by House, ponder wage plan rescue

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $1.9 trillion package aimed at helping the country rebuild from the pandemic seemed headed toward House passage Friday, even as Democrats searched for a way to revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage. A virtual party-line House vote was expected on the ...

Lawsuits filed against auto insurers over rates in pandemic

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Class action lawsuits were filed in Nevada against 10 major auto insurance companies on Tuesday, contending that the companies charged excessive insurance premiums during the pandemic by failing to account for a drop in driving and crashes. The lawsuits acknowledge that ...

Judge approves bankruptcy plan for Belk chain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A judge approved Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans for North Carolina-based Belk on Wednesday, creating a new infusion of capital and cutting the debt load for the beleaguered department store chain. The judge approved the plan during a hearing in Houston, The Charlotte ...

Board leaders of Texas’ grid operator resign after outages

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Four board leaders of Texas’ embattled power grid operator said Tuesday they will resign following outrage over more than 4 million customers losing power during a deadly winter freeze last week. All of the board directors stepping down, including Chairwoman Sally ...

Utility: Much more power cut than necessary Mardi Gras night

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The utility company serving New Orleans appears to have cut three times as much electricity as it needed to during emergency winter weather blackouts, slashing power to roughly 26,000 families and businesses on Mardi Gras night, company executives said Tuesday. Officials ...

Late gains reverse most of an early slide on stock market

A late-afternoon burst of buying on Wall Street helped reverse most of a stock market sell-off Tuesday, nudging the S&P 500 to its first gain after a five-day losing streak. The benchmark index eked out a 0.1% gain after having been down more than 1.8% earlier. The Nasdaq lost 0.5% as ...

Stocks fall as investors mull inflation concerns, recovery

Stocks mostly fell in afternoon trading on Monday, adding to the declines that started last week as investors continue to be concerned about rising interest rates and the potential for inflation down the road. The S&P 500 was down 0.3% as of 2:57 p.m. Eastern, pulled down by technology ...

A Biden edge in COVID-19 bill: Dems reluctant to wound him

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic leaders have a potent dynamic on their side as Congress preps for its first votes on the party’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill: Would any Democrat dare cast the vote that scuttles new President Joe Biden’s leadoff initiative? Democrats’ thin 10-vote ...

After long wait, New Jersey moves ahead on recreational pot

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A recreational marijuana marketplace, cannabis decriminalization and looser penalties for underage possession of the drug and alcohol became law Monday in New Jersey, more than three months after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question to legalize adult use of ...

Cities hit hard by storms face new crisis: No water

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Southern cities slammed by winter storms that l eft millions without power for days have traded one crisis for another: Busted water pipes ruptured by record-low temperatures created shortages of clean drinking water, shut down the Memphis airport on Friday and left ...

Texas prices for lodging, necessities skyrocket

Hotel rooms for $1,000 a night. Gasoline prices spiking. Even bottled water prices doubling or tripling overnight. Officials in Texas say the winter storm that knocked out power and water to millions of residents is providing an opportunity for some unscrupulous merchants to take advantage ...

“Mr. Kitty” goes virtually to Washington over GameStop saga

The social media movement that made a beloved icon of GameStop enthusiast Keith Gill continued to rally behind the YouTube personality known as Roaring Kitty as he testified to Congress on Thursday about his role in last month’s stock market frenzy. “Today, the world shall know his ...

‘A complete bungle’: Texas’ energy pride goes out with cold

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Anger over Texas’ power grid failing in the face of a record winter freeze continued to mount Wednesday as millions of residents in the energy capital of the U.S. remained shivering with no assurances that their electricity and heat — out since Monday in many homes ...

Furniture store offers shelter after winter storm in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — For Tina Rios, her family and hundreds of other people, shelter from the winter storm that has left much of Houston without power or heat came from an unusual place: a furniture store. Sitting at one of the many tables on display Wednesday inside Gallery Furniture’s ...

Muted Mardi Gras: Closed bars, barricaded Bourbon Street

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Music blared from the courtyard of a French Quarter restaurant on Mardi Gras morning but nobody was there to hear it until Tom Gibson and Sheila Wheeler of Philadelphia walked out of their hotel’s nearly empty lobby. “We were expecting a little bit lower key than the ...

Japan begins vaccination drive, but why so late?

TOKYO (AP) — Japan rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination campaign Wednesday after the government gave belated first approval to a shot co-developed by Pfizer Inc. that the U.S. and many other countries started using two months ago. Some in Japan, where relatively rare side effects from ...