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Unemployment aid: What's at stake for U.S. economy PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 07:34

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a million Americans lost their unemployment benefits late last month, when a temporary federal program expired. Congress is debating whether to restore the aid for three more months.

A bill to do so cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday. But final passage remains unclear. Democrats say extending the aid would boost hiring and economic growth. But many Republicans say the benefits discourage the unemployed from seeking work and would widen the federal budget gap.

Some questions and answers about what's at stake for the U.S. economy:

Q. Who's affected?

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California judge ups lead paint verdict to $1.15B PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 07:14

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A California judge has increased by $50 million the amount that paint makers will have to pay into a fund to remove lead paint from homes across the state.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg on Tuesday issued a final verdict ordering Sherwin Williams, National Lead and ConAgra to pay $1.15 billion after finding that the companies knew the paint was harmful to children.

A tentative ruling issued in December after a five-week nonjury trial had said the companies would have to pay $1.1 billion.

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Natural gas exports: Slow walk or 'danger zone'? PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 07:32

WASHINGTON (AP) — The debate over exporting liquefied natural gas is intensifying as the Energy Department considers an array of applications to ship the fuel to Japan, India and other countries where prices are far higher than in the United States.

Some large manufacturers that use natural gas say the department is moving too quickly to approve gas exports, pushing the United States into a "danger zone" that could raise prices and harm the economy. Environmental groups worry that tentative approval of several large export projects may accelerate a fracking boom they say could harm public health and the environment.

Industry groups, meanwhile, say the administration is moving too slowly, with just one of nearly two dozen proposed LNG export terminals given final approval in the past two years. Four other projects have received conditional backing.

"The Department of Energy's slow-walk of LNG export licenses violates our trade obligations" and could cause the U.S. to lose billions of dollars in the global gas market, said Margo Thorning, director of the Act on LNG campaign, an advocacy group that supports gas exports.

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Georgia banker accused of stealing millions seeks bond PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 07:10

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — A judge must decide whether a former Georgia banker accused of stealing millions from investors should be freed on bond after he spent the past 18 months eluding authorities.

Aubrey Lee Price is scheduled to appear Wednesday for a bond hearing before a federal magistrate judge in Statesboro. Authorities say the 47-year-old Price misspent, embezzled and lost $21 million before he vanished in June 2012, leaving letters that indicated he planned to commit suicide.

A Florida judge declared Price dead a year ago, but he was arrested last week during a traffic stop in south Georgia.

Price has been indicted in Georgia and New York on bank fraud charges. The bank where Price served as a director, the Montgomery Bank & Trust near Vidalia, closed after its assets were depleted.


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