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Stocks slightly higher...Health care rule would ban gender identity bias...Judge approves settlement in Apple, Google wage case

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 3, 2015 at 12:51 p.m.



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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. and global stocks have made modest gains today, helped by comments from European Central Bank policymakers, who said they were willing to provide more stimulus to the region's economy, if needed. A rebound in oil prices lifted energy stocks. Now traders will be turning their attention to tomorrow's August jobs report as they try to guess whether the Federal Reserve raises interest rates this month.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration wants to add gender identity to the list of anti-discrimination protections under the new health care law. It's part of a broader proposed regulation released today by the Department of Health and Human Services. The law already prohibits bias in medical care on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The new rule wouldn't require insurers to cover gender transition surgery.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has approved a $415 million settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple, Google, Intel and two other Silicon Valley companies illegally conspired to prevent their workers from getting better job offers. The settlement will pay more than 64,000 technology workers about $5,800 apiece. The lawsuit accused Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems of forming a secret cartel that agreed not to recruit each other's workers.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have charged three people with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme they say was built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel that they never developed. Prosecutors say the three lied to investors that their "biochar" technology and "carbon-negative" housing in Tennessee made millions, but they had almost no earnings and used the money to repay earlier investors and for themselves.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut factory that produced Ovation guitars for nearly a half century before closing last year will be making the renowned instruments once again. Fender Musical Instruments Corp. closed the New Hartford facility in June 2014, citing market conditions. More than 40 workers lost their jobs. Fender sold Ovation in December to Drum Workshop of Oxnard, California. The new owners have decided to resume production at the plant with six workers, who will begin turning out new instruments in a few weeks.

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The Associated Press

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