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Texas governor makes little progress on Cuba business trip

Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 8:31pm

Gov. Greg Abbott enjoyed dinner and a private concert in Havana but made little progress in finding opportunities for Texas businesses on the second day of a three-day trip to Cuba.

Rising cigarette taxes tied to lower infant deaths, study finds

Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 7:48pm

When it costs more to smoke, fewer babies die, according to a new study that links rising cigarette taxes with declines in infant mortality, especially among blacks.

Facebook CEO to donate nearly $45B to charities

Brandon Bailey, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 6:14pm

Talk about birth announcements: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife said they'll devote nearly all their wealth — roughly $45 billion — to good works in celebration of their new baby daughter, Max.

Congress reaches deal on 5-year transportation bill

Joan Lowy, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 5:10pm

The House and Senate have reached agreement on a 5-year, $281 billion transportation bill that would increase spending to address the nation's aging and congested highways and transit systems — a legislative feat that lawmakers and President Barack Obama have struggled throughout his administration to achieve.

Demand for farm loans surges amid low crop, cattle prices

Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 4:20pm

The nation's net farm income is the lowest since 2002, and with another year of low commodity prices, demand for agriculture loans is surging as farmers struggle to make ends meet.

Brazil's economic downturn deepens with further GDP drop

Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 3:10pm

Latin America's largest economy has shrunk even more than expected, increasing fears about the well-being of a nation hammered by falling commodity prices and a massive corruption scandal.

Cybersecurity bill would add secrecy to public records laws

Tami Abdollah, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 2:10pm

A proposed law meant to encourage companies to share information about cyberthreats with the U.S. government includes measures that could significantly limit what details, if any, the public can review about the program through federal and state public records laws.

Report: Drug maker was focused on profits, not patients

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 2:00pm

The makers of a breakthrough hepatitis drug put profits before patients in pricing the $1,000 pill that's become a symbol of the excessive cost of medications, Senate investigators said Tuesday.

US agency lowers safety rating of Thai aviation

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 8:01pm

The United States has downgraded the safety rating of Thailand's aviation industry in a move that could hamper operations of Thai airlines worldwide.

The Cosmopolitan casino-resort agrees to union contract

Kimberly Pierceall, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 5:10pm

Five years after workers first sought union representation and two years after angry labor protests led to arrests, the Culinary Union has brokered a deal with The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas to represent the casino-resort's more than 2,000 workers.

Digital rights group alleges Google invades student privacy

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 5:10pm

Google is being accused of invading the privacy of students using laptop computers powered by the Internet company's Chrome operating system.

Swift Communications buys Park City newspaper in Utah

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 5:00pm

Swift Communications is buying The Park Record newspaper in Utah.

AP Interview: UAW exploring new strategies at Volkswagen

Erik Schelzig, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 5:00pm

Frustrated in past attempts to organize its first foreign automaker in the South, the United Auto Workers union is taking a new approach at Volkswagen's plant in Tennessee.

Here is the latest Utah news from The Associated Press

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 4:10pm

A man accused of kidnapping and killing a 6-year-old girl will be sent to the state mental hospital rather than stand trial in her death. A judge in West Jordan ruled today that 44-year-old Terry Lee Black is not mentally competent for trial, though the court is expected to review the decision in about a year.

IRS: Won't use phone-tracking technology without warrant

Tami Abdollah, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 4:00pm

Internal Revenue Service criminal investigators will not continue to use cellphone-tracking technology without first seeking a warrant, the IRS commissioner told Congress in a letter made public Tuesday.

The Latest: Jury recesses without verdict ex-coal CEO trial

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 3:20pm

The latest in the federal trial of Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy. All times local:

Gulf oil spill: Judge fines minority owner $159M

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 3:10pm

A federal judge says a minority owner of the well that spewed 130 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 must pay $159.5 million in Clean Water Act fines.

Nevada agency left Social Security data vulnerable

Michelle Rindels, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 2:11pm

The Nevada agency that ensures mobile homes are safe has been collecting Social Security numbers even though it's not allowed to, and hasn't been encrypting them or taking other precautions against hackers and thieves, according to state auditors.

Grain mixed livestock lower

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 1:51pm

Grain futures were mostly higher Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Gold down, silver up

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 1st - 1:51pm

The December gold contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed today at $1063.80 an ounce -- down $2.00.