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Fed raises rates...Stocks higher...Fuel economy improving...California drafts self-driving car rules



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, ending seven years of an extraordinary measure to combat the damage from the 2008 financial crisis. Fed officials voted unanimously to raise the key federal funds rate to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. Shortly after the Fed's announcement, Wells Fargo became the first major bank to announce it's raising its prime lending rate, up from 3.25 percent to 3.50 percent.

NEW YORK (AP) — The gains are not as big as they were at the open this morning, but the main stock indexes are moving higher again after the Federal Reserve made its long-expected move to raise interest rates. Fed officials made the move in response to a seemingly robust jobs market, with the nation's unemployment rate at 5 percent. But with inflation still below the Fed's 2 percent target, the central bank says any future rate hikes will be "gradual" and depend on further progress toward its inflation goal.

WASHINGTON (AP) — New cars and trucks averaged a record 24.3 miles per gallon last year. The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that fuel economy was up two-tenths of a mile per gallon in 2014, thanks to technical improvements that helped offset resurgent demand for larger vehicles. However, as falling gas prices help rekindle the popularity of SUVs, the prospect of future fuel economy gains appears uncertain.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California regulators have unveiled draft regulations for self-driving cars. No manufacturer has said the cars are ready yet, but the most aggressive suggest that could come in a few years. California's Department of Motor Vehicles says when that happens, the cars will have to have a licensed driver behind the wheel, at least until the technology is proven safe. Current, only the testing of prototypes is permitted on public roads.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is the latest state in which lawmakers are examining the booming fantasy sports betting industry and how it might be regulated. Lawmakers have proposed legislation to require league operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel to be licensed by the state Department of Justice. Industry supporters say it's a game of skill because bettors must know details about players and games. Detractors say it's basically gambling.

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The Associated Press

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