WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time this year, the economy slowed in several U.S. regions this spring. High gas prices weakened consumer spending, and the Japan crises reduced manufacturing output. Four of the 12 Federal Reserve bank regions suffered slower growth in April and May, compared with earlier this year, a Federal Reserve survey said Wednesday.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Pressed hard by outraged farmers, the European Union farm chief on Wednesday increased his offer of compensation for the E. coli outbreak to €210 million ($306 million). EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos had initially proposed €150 million ($219 million) to the struggling farmers, who have tons of unwanted produce rotting in fields and warehouses as Europeans shun vegetables, fearing they are contaminated with a deadly strain of E.
German automaker Volkswagen is making its mid-size Passat sedan affordable and accommodating for more American car buyers. The four-door, five-passenger, 2012 Passat is bigger than ever, with more back-seat legroom and a bigger trunk than in the Toyota Camry. Front-seat legroom of more than 42 inches is impressive, too, also exceeding Camry's.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has finalized a deal with Russian automaker Sollers to build and sell cars and other vehicles in Russia, a key part of Ford's ambitious overseas growth plan. Ford said Wednesday that the two companies have lined up $1.4 billion in long-term financing from Vnesheconombank, the Russian development bank, for the 50-50 joint venture called Ford Sollers.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A congressional committee is traveling to South Carolina later this month to hold a hearing over a federal labor lawsuit that claims Boeing Co. moved manufacturing facilities from Washington state to avoid unionized workers. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government planned to announce Wednesday that it will hold a June 17 hearing in North Charleston, home to Boeing's new 787 passenger aircraft assembly line.
BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) — General Motors Co. is investing $49 million in its Bedford, Indiana, plant, a move that will help to create or keep 91 jobs. Wednesday's news is part of an effort GM announced May 10 to create or retain about 4,000 jobs by investing $2 billion in 17 factories in eight states.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A North Carolina air filter manufacturing company says it will put its northeast production facility in upstate New York, creating 180 new jobs. State economic development officials say Flanders Corp. will invest $7 million in the Columbia County town of Greenport, near Albany.
KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — State regulators have issued $200,000 in fines against Chrysler for safety violations found during the investigation of a worker's death at a central Indiana factory. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration's investigation began in January after 62-year-old Claude Brock Jr.
SHANGHAI (AP) — China is giving its biggest, state-owned rare earths miner and producer a monopoly for the northern part of the country in reforms aimed at bringing the strategically important sector that's crucial to advanced manufacturing under tighter control. The Ministry for Industry and Information Technology said in a statement seen Wednesday on its website that Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and Ford are trying to reassure investors that their sales and profits will keep growing despite a weaker U.S. economy and slower auto sales Carmakers have been hit with a string of bad news this spring, from the March 11 earthquake in Japan that left dealers short on cars to rising gas prices and unemployment.
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — A massive, eight-alarm fire tore through a 112-year-old mill in northern Rhode Island on Tuesday, leaving one firefighter injured, forcing some residents to be evacuated and leaving hundreds without power, officials said late Tuesday. Firefighters were called to a blaze at the former Alice Mills Rubber Manufacturing Plant in Woonsocket, just miles from the Massachusetts state line at about 7:30 p.
CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say one employee is severely burned and three others are hospitalized after a substance ignited in a chemical-storage room at Intel's plant in Chandler. They say the flash fire occurred in a self-contained room containing petroleum-based solvents used for cleaning.
OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (AP) — They look like harmless fun — fluffy, inflated castles, ships and slides filled with children jumping around carelessly, their parents letting their guard down a bit during playtime. But an accident that sent three of the huge toys aloft on a breezy afternoon on New York's Long Island, left a woman seriously injured and hurt 12 other people is drawing attention to the little-known hazards of the inflatable playthings sometimes called "bounce houses" and the inconsistent regulations covering them.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Workers at a recycling plant in northern New Jersey figuratively turned guns into plowshares Tuesday, accepting more than 900 illegal weapons that will be shredded and melted for use in the creation of a "Peace Angel" statue. The statue will be donated to the New York City Police Department's lower Manhattan headquarters.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Tuesday called for China to disclose all its government subsidy programs as Beijing backed down in a trade dispute between the world's two leading economies over clean energy technology. Washington filed a case with the World Trade Organization in December over grants provided by the Chinese government to wind turbine manufacturers that used key components made in China rather than purchasing imports.
LONDON (AP) — An expert at the World Health Organization says time is running out for German investigators to find the source of the world's deadliest E. coli outbreak, which has spread fear across Europe and cost farmers millions in exports. German officials are still seeking the cause of the outbreak weeks after it began May 2.
LONDON (AP) — Stocks mostly recovered Tuesday as investors awaited a key speech from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke for any insights into U.S. monetary policy following a run of weak economic news. Fears over the global economy have risen in recent weeks after a raft of underwhelming economic indicators, particularly out of the U.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it wants to expand its global sales by 50 percent by the middle of this decade, mostly through growth in Asia. The company planned to present its plans at a meeting for investors later Tuesday in New York. Ford sold 5.3 million vehicles last year, but wants to sell 8 million in the next five or six years.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said Tuesday that he is concerned about the U.S. government's high deficit and what he called a jobless economic recovery. The government needs a plan to pay down the roughly $14 trillion deficit, Akerson told reporters before the company's annual shareholder meeting in Detroit.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Steve Jobs re-emerged from his latest medical leave Monday to show off Apple Inc.'s latest innovations and sustain the hope that he eventually will return to dream up more ways to reshape technology. The highlight, as usual, came at the end of Jobs' presentation. He was onstage for less than 30 minutes during a nearly two-hour event that primarily featured his subordinates.