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Business

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 ...

Biden backs off on TikTok ban in review of Trump China moves

The Biden administration is backing off former President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban the popular video app TikTok, asking a court to postpone a legal dispute over the proposed ban as the government begins a broader review of the national security threats posed by Chinese technology ...

Uber’s loss narrows, raising hopes for recovery

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Uber’s whittled its losses at the end of a topsy-turvy year that forced the ride-hailing service to rely more heavily on its food-delivery business after the pandemic dramatically reduced the number of people willing to hop into a car driven by a stranger. The ...

Dems attempt to push through school funding, wage increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats on Tuesday muscled past Republicans on major portions of President Joe Biden’s pandemic plan, including a proposed $130 billion in additional relief to help the nation’s schools reopen and a gradual increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 an ...

Dems propose $1,400 payments as part of Biden virus relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats on a pivotal House panel on Monday proposed an additional $1,400 in direct payments to individuals as Congress began piecing together a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that largely follows President Joe Biden’s proposal for battling the pandemic and ...

Sheriff: Hacker tried to taint Florida city’s water with lye

OLDSMAR, Fla. (AP) — A hacker gained unauthorized into a remote access software shared by workers at a Florida city’s water treatment plant in an unsuccessful attempt to fill the water supply with a potentially harmful chemical, authorities said. An unknown suspect breached a computer ...