Business | page 17

MONDAY, JAN. 4, 2016

U.S. sues Volkswagen over emissions cheat

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department sued Volkswagen on Monday over emissions-cheating software found in nearly 600,000 vehicles sold in the United States, potentially exposing the company to billions of dollars in penalties for clean air violations. The civil complaint against the German automaker, filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency in U.S. District Court in Detroit, alleges the company illegally installed software designed to make its “clean diesel” engines pass federal emissions standards while undergoing laboratory testing. The vehicles then switched off those measures in real-world driving conditions, spewing harmful gases at up to 40 times what is allowed under federal environmental standards.

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General Motors invests in Lyft, forms partnership

DETROIT – The automotive industry is placing its biggest bet yet that using a device to hail a ride – with or without a driver – is the future of transportation. General Motors Co. said Monday it is investing $500 million in ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. and forming an unprecedented partnership that could eventually lead to on-demand, self-driving cars. It’s the largest investment yet by a traditional automaker in a new mobility company, and is an acknowledgment by GM that the transportation landscape is changing fast.

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Stocks sink around the world on first trading day of 2016

NEW YORK – The new year got off to an inauspicious start on Wall Street as stocks tumbled Monday in a global sell-off triggered by new fears of a slowdown in China and rising tensions in the Middle East. The Dow Jones industrial average clawed back from a steep early decline but still ended the day down 1.6 percent, its biggest drop in two weeks. Markets in Asia and Europe suffered heavier losses.

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Front & Center: Land Expressions

When Dave Nelson graduated from Washington State University three decades ago, the economy was emerging from recession and there weren’t many opportunities for freshly minted landscape architects. “I sent out 158 résumés,” he recalled. Eventually a Seattle company called Nelson ...

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SUNDAY, JAN. 3, 2016

Consumer Confidential: Battle with Bank of America provides a ‘Wonderful’ lesson

Jimmy Hawkins, who played little Tommy Bailey in the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” told me this week that he was battling Bank of America over an overdraft involving his 99-year-old mother’s checking account. Admittedly, this wasn’t a big deal. But how could I turn my back at this particular time of year on someone from the greatest Christmas movie ever?

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The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool Take If you're looking for a strong grower at a reasonable price, consider online travel giant Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN). In Priceline's last quarter, gross travel bookings - the total dollar value of travel services purchased by customers ...

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Why you should consider freezing your credit reports

NEW YORK (AP) – Freeze your credit reports before you get burned. That’s the message from security experts, consumer advocates and some state Attorneys General. They say more people should consider a credit freeze as a way to block identity thieves from opening new credit cards and other accounts in your name. They recommend a freeze even if your identity hasn’t been stolen.

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TUESDAY, DEC. 29, 2015

Twitter revises policy banning threats and abuse

SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter has revised its rules of conduct to emphasize that it prohibits violent threats and abusive behavior by users, promising a tough stance at a time when critics are calling for the online service to adopt a harder line against extremists. While the new policy unveiled Tuesday doesn’t substantively change what’s allowed, it may help Twitter answer criticism from politicians and others who say militant extremists are using the service and other social networks to recruit members and promote their violent agendas.

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Macy’s recalls Martha Stewart frying pans after injuries

NEW YORK – Macy’s is recalling two Martha Stewart brand frying pans after customers said small metal discs popped off the pans and caused bruises, burns and welts. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday that there were seven reports of metal discs flying off the frying pans and three reports of injuries. The metal discs cover the rivets that attach the pan to the handle.

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End of meat? Startups seek meat alternatives for the masses 

NEW YORK – Patrick Brown is on an improbable mission: Make a burger Americans love, minus the meat. Veggie patties have been around for decades, but Brown and others want to make foods without animal products that look, cook and taste like the real thing – and can finally appeal to the masses.

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MONDAY, DEC. 28, 2015

Fitbit CEO James Park shows off one of his devices June 18 as he poses for photos outside the New York Stock Exchange before his company’s IPO. The company’s app was the most downloaded on Apple’s app store on Christmas Day 2015.

Fitbit likely a hot seller for Christmas

NEW YORK – It was a very merry Christmas for fitness-tracking device maker Fitbit. The company’s app was the most downloaded on Apple’s app store Christmas Day, a sign that many people couldn’t wait to set up their Fitbit trackers after unwrapping them. It also suggests that Fitbit trackers were a hot seller during the holidays, despite increasing competition from Apple’s smartwatch and other wearable devices. Investors were pleased, sending shares of the San Francisco company higher Monday.

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Amazon holiday shipping, Christmas Eve deliveries set record

TRENTON, N.J. – Online retailer Amazon has been a prime beneficiary of more consumers doing their holiday shopping online and procrastinating. Amazon Prime, the company’s $99-a-year loyalty program that includes unlimited free two-day shipping, gained 3 million new members in the third week of December alone. Meanwhile, the number of Prime members shopping via mobile more than doubled this holiday season, Amazon said Monday.

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