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Quiet New Year gives breathing room after UK-EU Brexit split

LONDON (AP) — A steady trickle of trucks rolled off ferries and trains on both sides of the English Channel on Friday, a quiet New Year's Day after a seismic overnight shift in relations between the European Union and Britain. The busy goods route between southeast England and northwest ...

Chewy sends pet paintings to keep customers from straying

NEW YORK (AP) — Danielle Schwartz didn't ask for an oil painting of her cat. But she loves the portrait of Stinky that hangs in her upstate New York home, a surprise gift from an unlikely place: an online pet store. It's one of the more than 1,000 free paintings that Chewy sends to select ...

Service Credit Union renews sponsorship of nonprofit Step Up Parents

Step Up Parents is thrilled to announce that Service Credit Union will continue as an official sponsor in the new year. Step Up Parents, based on the seacoast of New Hampshire, provides financial assistance to kinship caregivers throughout the state who are raising the children of parents ...

US stocks rise in afternoon trading as 2020 winds down

U.S. stocks are broadly higher in afternoon trading Wednesday as the effort to develop and distribute vaccines to fight the virus pandemic ramps up. The gains put the market back on positive footing following a modest pullback on Tuesday. Britain has authorized the use of a COVID-19 vaccine ...

New Year’s Eve event in Vegas sparks worries on virus spread

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A New Year's Eve event at a canopied casino-mall in Las Vegas expected to be attended by at least 14,000 people could be a superspreader event that overruns hospitals, members of Nevada's coronavirus task force said Tuesday. Nevada COVID-19 response director Caleb Cage said ...

Prosecutors seek 9-year prison term for Samsung chief Lee

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday requested a nine-year prison term for Samsung's de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong, during his bribery retrial, where Lee apologized and vowed not to be implicated in similar allegations in an apparent plea for leniency. The case is ...

US sanctions Venezuelan judge for conviction of oil managers

MIAMI (AP) — The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the Venezuelan judge and prosecutor behind the conviction on corruption charges of six American oil executives. The six employees of Houston-based Citgo were lured to Caracas just before Thanksgiving in 2017 on the pretense of ...

Some Hawaii hotel officials expect tourism to recover slowly

HONOLULU (AP) — Some hotel executives don't expect a quick recovery for Hawaii's tourism industry. Visitor figures in November were about 77% lower than the same month in 2019, with just 183,779 total travelers, according to data released Monday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Jerry ...

British lawmakers approve post-Brexit trade deal with EU

LONDON (AP) — Britain's House of Commons voted resoundingly on Wednesday to approve a trade deal with the European Union, paving the way for an orderly break with the bloc that will finally complete the U.K.'s long and divisive Brexit journey. With just a day to spare, lawmakers voted ...

EU, China leaders seal long-awaited investment deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — Top European Union officials and Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a business investment deal Wednesday that will open big opportunities to European companies, but has the potential to irk the new American administration. Amid concerns about the human rights situation ...

Chinese court upholds prison terms in Lego counterfeit case

BEIJING (AP) — A court in China has upheld a six-year prison sentence for a Chinese entrepreneur who made unlicensed copies of Lego toy blocks valued at 300 million yuan ($46 million). The Higher People's Court in Shanghai also upheld a 90 million yuan ($14 million) fine imposed on the ...

NYC public relations impresario Howard Rubenstein dies at 88

NEW YORK (AP) — Public relations veteran Howard Rubenstein, who for decades polished and protected the images of New York celebrities and power brokers from George Steinbrenner to Donald Trump, has died. He was 88. Rubenstein died Tuesday at home "in peace and in no pain," his son Steven ...

US home contract signings at record levels in November

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes declined last month, but was still a record high for November when a seasonal slowdown traditionally seeps into the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its index of ...

From Zoom to Quibi, the tech winners and losers of 2020

We streamed, we Zoomed, we ordered groceries and houseplants online, we created virtual villages while navigating laptop shortages to work and learn from home. In many ways, 2020's pandemic-induced isolation threw our dependence on technology into overdrive, snipping away at our real-life ...

Arbitrator rules that FAA chief aided retaliation case

A U.S. Labor Department judge says the head of the Federal Aviation Administration helped Delta Air Lines retaliate against a pilot who raised safety concerns while he was an executive with the airline. An administrative law judge for the department ruled that Stephen Dickson and other Delta ...

Anchorage retracts plan to buy hotel for homeless shelter

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage has backtracked on a proposal to purchase a hotel and convert it into a homeless shelter and resource center. The city announced the change on Wednesday involving its plan to purchase the Americas Best Value Inn & Suites property because of the "costly ...

US stocks hit records after Trump signs $900B aid package

Stocks began the final week of 2020 with more gains Monday, nudging the major U.S. indexes to record highs. The S&P 500 climbed 0.9%, powered by gains in technology, communication services and consumer discretionary stocks. Companies that were hit the hardest by the pandemic, including ...

Pipeline opponents sue to shut down Minnesota construction

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Opponents of a pipeline project that crosses three states have asked a federal court to halt construction in Minnesota on allegations that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to address several environmental issues when it approved a water quality permit. Two Minnesota ...

Consumers still want to get outdoors as temperatures plunge

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Over the summer, people looking to get out of the house snapped up boats, bicycles and patio furniture, figuring they were safer socializing and being active outdoors than inside. Now that temperatures are dropping, they're buying snowshoes, skis, boots and winter ...