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Nation / World

Exec, Former FBI Agent, Qataris Sought to Free Peter Theo Curtis

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Washington — Last month, an American media executive arrived in Doha with a retired FBI agent known for his extensive contacts within the government of Qatar. The two men had come to meet with Ghanim Khalifa al-Kubaisi, the chief of Qatar’s intelligence service, to discuss the whereabouts of an American journalist, Peter Theo Curtis, who had been missing in Syria for nearly two years. After the pair had waited for …

How Kids’ Livestock Shows Became a Cutthroat Business

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tiffany LaRue, 17, had not been lucky with her pigs this year. One had its placenta detach, killing the embryos. Another was supposed to have been pregnant when they bought her, but wasn’t. Another, LaRue said, simply didn’t take. That left LaRue with one option if she wanted to show a pig at the West Virginia State Fair: Buy one from the pig …

Fracking Link to Birth Defects Probed

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New York — The first research into the effects of oil and gas development on babies born near wells has found potential health risks. Government officials, industry advocates and the researchers themselves say more studies are needed before drawing conclusions. While the findings are still preliminary, any documented hazards threaten to cast a shadow over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the process of …

A Living Legacy in Five Great Ways

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Washington — Tie-dyed sheets line the back of a classroom in Chevy Chase, Md., where a group of preteen girls sit discussing some of the weightier topics of adolescent life: Why do we feel the need to conform? …

Consumer News Updates: Internet Tax, FICO Scores

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In the bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to keep up with all the trends and issues that affect your wallet as a consumer. For example, did you know there’s potential for a new tax on your Internet service and that the formula for calculating credit …

S&P 500 Falls From Record High

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New York — The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell after reaching an all-time high as investors weighed comments from central bank leaders for clues to monetary policy amid rising geopolitical tension. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent to 1,988.40 as of 4 p.m. Friday in New York. …

Wheels: With the E250 BlueTEC, Mercedes-Benz parses wealth and luxury

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents a field of excellent automotive dreams. Thus, the “E” is appropriate. The lineup includes practical luxury, evidenced by the subject of this column, the diesel-fueled 2014 E250 BlueTEC Sport sedan. At the very top …

Nuts & Bolts: Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bottom line: It is hard to beat if you are shopping for luxury that makes sense. Compare with Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS and Lexus GS. Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent marks in all three. Head-turning quotient: Mercedes-Benz is to be congratulated for a clean, sleek, thoroughly …

Keep an Ear Out for Tech-Support Scams

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The phone rings. The voice on the other line informs you that your PC is infected with a virus that, fortunately for you, the caller’s well-known company can eliminate. Hmm, you think, that’s odd, since our family only uses Macs. Hopefully, you hang up and that’s the end …

U.S. Housing Recovery Appears Back on Track

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Washington — A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year. Housing has been a drag on an otherwise …

Bank of America’s Mortgage Aid Could Leave Homeowners With Tax Bill

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Washington — The $17 billion settlement that Bank of America reached with the Justice Department on Thursday sets aside billions in aid for some troubled homeowners. But those who accept the help could get hit with a hefty tax bill later. As part of the settlement, Bank of …

Yellen: Job Picture Hazy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jackson Hole, Wyo. — If anyone thought Janet Yellen might clarify her view of the U.S. job market in her speech here Friday, the Federal Reserve chair had a message: The picture is still hazy. Though the unemployment …

Maine Bills Would Aid Oldest Population

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Augusta, Maine — Building more affordable housing for Maine seniors and boosting Medicaid reimbursements to home care workers were among several policy ideas rolled out by House Speaker Mark Eves last week. The proposals are designed as a way to tackle challenges facing the state with the country’s …