Ambulances and helicopters took at least 30 people from a burning chemical plant after an explosion Thursday in Louisiana, officials said. Early tests did not indicate dangerous levels of any chemicals around the plant in Geismar, southeast of Baton Rouge, but area residents were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed, said Jean Kelly, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Dashboard technology that lets drivers text and email with voice commands — marketed as a safer alternative — actually is more distracting than simply talking on a cellphone, a new AAA study found. Automakers have been trying to excite new-car buyers, especially younger ones, with dashboard infotainment systems that let drivers use voice commands to do things like turning on windshield wipers, posting Facebook messages or ordering pizza.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide additional money to help rebuild the small Texas town where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and a school, and killed 15 people. According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, FEMA said it reviewed the state's appeal to help but decided that the explosion "is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration."
A tire maker whose main market is in India is buying Ohio's Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. for $2.2 billion and making a commitment to maintain the company's three U.S. manufacturing plants and retain its management operation in Ohio, Cooper's chief executive said Wednesday.
Chrysler Group is recalling 6,900 heavy-duty Ram pickup trucks from the 2012 model year because part of the front axle could fracture and cause them to lose power. The automaker said Wednesday that the front prop shaft, which connects the engine to the axle, can bind or fracture.
General Motors Co.'s European Opel unit says it will start assembling cars for Russia and other eastern markets in Belarus next year. Germany-based Opel said GM signed an agreement Thursday to start building its Corsa model at facilities owned by partner Unison in Belarus. The cars will be sold in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Kaeser Compressors, Inc., a leading worldwide manufacturer of industrial air compressors, blowers, and related equipment, opened a new factory-direct facility to support Kaeser's industrial and commercial customers in the greater Philadelphia area.
Chief executives for the largest U.S. companies are more optimistic about sales over the next six months and plan to add more workers. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that its April-June quarterly survey found 32 percent of its members expect to expand payrolls in the next six months.
General Motors says it's making progress cutting costs to improve profit margins. The company's product development chief, Mary Barra, tells analysts GM is saving money by using the same parts on many vehicles. It also has moved parts suppliers closer to factories to cut shipping costs.
Italian carmaker Fiat says it will temporarily stop production at some European car plants in the coming days due to insufficient deliveries of plastic parts. Fiat said in a statement Wednesday that more than 5,500 vehicles can't be completed due to missing components from the Italian supplier Selmat, creating an "unmanageable" backlog.
Plant chief Takeshi Takahashi told journalists given a tour of the plant Wednesday that workers have cleaned up much of the debris in their work areas, but that the priorities are keeping the plant stable and working toward shutting it down — a process that operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates will take 40 years.
BP says the United States saw its biggest-ever annual increase in oil production in 2012, while the world's demand for energy grew at a slower pace than the year before. In its annual Statistical Review of World Energy released Wednesday, BP PLC says the U.S. produced 8.9 million barrels a day, up 13.9 percent from 2011.
British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC says it dismissed one employee and a second has resigned in the wake of a scandal over misrepresented data in a research paper published in 2010. The company says its investigation of recent allegations of questionable data has established that some information in the paper had been misrepresented.
Although it took most proponents by surprise, the deal was in the bag before President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived at the California desert retreat where they announced it over the weekend. And for China, it came only after a change in financial incentives made it more lucrative to get on board.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed lawsuits Tuesday against discount retailer Dollar General Corp. and a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina over their use of criminal background checks to screen out job applicants or fire employees.