Sisters Blew Whistle on Katrina Claims

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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) _ Who are the moles? The question was like a parlor game for employees of State Farm Insurance Co. after Hurricane Katrina, one they nervously played during coffee breaks or in the parking lot after work.

Seattle Firm Warned BP About Pipeline

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SEATTLE (AP) _ An engineering firm raised a red flag more than four years ago about BP's monitoring of its Alaska oil pipelines, documents show.

Chad Orders 2 Oil Companies to Leave

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Merger to Create Italy's Largest Bank

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ROME (AP) _ Banca Intesa SpA and Sanpaolo IMI SpA said Saturday they agreed to merge, creating Italy's biggest bank in what one official hailed as a sign of vitality in the economy.

No Consensus on Fed's Next Move on Rates

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ After two-plus years, is the pain from the long march of higher interest rates over for good? Borrowers finally got a reprieve this month when the Federal Reserve decided to halt a campaign that produced the longest stretch of rate increases in recent history.

U.S. Beef to Make Comeback Soon in Japan

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TOKYO (AP) _ A Japanese restaurant chain plans to resume serving U.S. beef soon at dozens of its branches nationwide, company officials said Saturday. It would be the first to do so since Tokyo eased an import ban over concerns about mad cow disease.

Judge Blocks Northwest Employees' Strike

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge blocked Northwest Airlines flight attendants from going on strike Friday, handing a victory to the airline just hours before a planned strike action that could have devastated the cash-strapped company.

Bernanke Warns Against Protectionism

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned lawmakers to avoid the temptation to impose protectionist trade policies as the United States grapples with fierce competition from globalization.

Oil, Gas Prices Rise on Storm Fears

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A relatively weak storm hundreds of miles south of Puerto Rico captured the attention of energy traders Friday, sending oil and natural-gas prices higher on fears that it could strengthen and threaten Gulf of Mexico production by next week.

Dow Closes Down 20, Nasdaq Finishes Up 3

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street ended a lackluster session mostly lower Friday after a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke failed to give investors any hints about interest rate policy despite their concerns that the economy might be slowing too fast. The major indexes finished the week with losses.