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It's no longer safe to recline your airplane seat

NEW YORK (AP) — Squeezed into tighter and tighter spaces, airline passengers appear to be rebelling, taking their frustrations out on other fliers.

Three U.S. flights made unscheduled landings in the past eight days after passengers got into fights over the ability to recline their seats. Disputes over a tiny bit of personal space might seem petty, but for passengers whose knees are already banging into tray tables, every inch counts.

There are fights over overhead bin space, legroom and where to put winter coats.

Airlines today are juggling terror warnings in Britain, the Ebola outbreak in Africa and an Icelandic volcano erupting and threatening to close down European airspace. Yet, the issue of disruptive passengers has captured the world's attention.

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In light of celebrity hacks, how to protect data

NEW YORK (AP) — The circulation of nude photographs stolen from celebrities' online accounts has raised questions about the security of storing information over the Internet.

Apple acknowledged Tuesday that computer hackers broke into the accounts of several celebrities, a security breakdown that Apple blamed on the intruders' ability to figure out passwords and bypass other safeguards.

Apple says it found no evidence of a widespread problem in iCloud or its Find my iPhone service. Instead, the affected celebrity accounts were targeted by hackers who had enough information to know the usernames, passwords and answers to personal security questions designed to thwart unauthorized entries, according to Apple. Knowing this crucial information would enable an outsider to break into Apple accounts, including iCloud.

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Some fear auto industry returning to bad habits

DETROIT (AP) — Big discounts. Six- or seven-year loans, in some cases to buyers who would have been turned down in the past.

As the auto industry strives to sustain its post-recession comeback, car companies are resorting to tactics that some experts warn will lead to trouble down the road.

Vehicle discounts have risen 5.5 per cent from a year ago. More than a quarter of new buyers are choosing to lease, a historically high percentage. Auto company lending arms are making more loans to people with low credit scores. The industry is adding factory capacity. And the average price of a car keeps rising, forcing some customers to borrow for longer terms to keep payments down.

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Halliburton reaches $1B Gulf oil spill settlement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.

A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. That same judge has rulings pending on the extent to which parties, including Halliburton, were negligent in the deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. Those rulings could affect plaintiffs' decisions on whether to participate in the settlement, which was announced Tuesday.

Pending action by the Supreme Court over interpretations of an earlier BP settlement with businesses also comes into play.

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Survey: Foreign companies in China feel 'targeted'

BEIJING (AP) — Foreign companies in China feel increasingly targeted for unfair enforcement of anti-monopoly and other laws and might cut investment if conditions fail to improve, a U.S. business group said Tuesday.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China's report adds to mounting complaints about a flurry of investigations of global automakers, technology suppliers and other companies. It is a reversal for companies that welcomed plans unveiled by the ruling Communist Party in late 2013 to open the state-dominated economy to more private competition and adds to pressures at a time of slowing growth and rising competition from local rivals.

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Dollar General raises Family Dollar bid to $9.1B

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dollar General upped its bid for the rival Family Dollar chain and addressed an earlier roadblock, saying that it will more than double the number of stores it would shed to ease the antitrust concerns of its takeover target.

The newest bid is worth $9.1 billion, or $80 per share, up from $78.50 per share in the previous offer.

Family Dollar, based in Matthews, North Carolina, rejected the earlier bid in favour of a lower offer of $8.5 billion from Dollar Tree Inc., saying that regulators were less likely to stand in the way. Family Dollar said Tuesday that it has received Dollar General's latest bid and will review it.

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US manufacturing grows at fastest pace in 3 1/2 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew in August at the strongest pace in more than three years as factories cranked out more goods and new orders rose.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 59 from 57.1 in July, the ISM said Tuesday. That was the highest reading since March 2011. Any measure above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

Tuesday's ISM report coincides with other signs that manufacturing is helping drive the U.S. economy's improvement. Factories are benefiting from strong demand for aircraft, furniture, and steel and other metals. The boost from manufacturing has helped offset slower homebuilding, a slowdown in consumer purchases and weaker spending on utilities and other services.

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Revel casino follows Showboat, closes its doors

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City's newest casino — and its biggest, costliest flop — went out with barely a whimper.

Revel Casino Hotel opened a little more than two years ago amid high hopes of turning around Atlantic City's struggling casino market. But the $2.4 billion resort shut down Tuesday as its casino closed one day after the hotel checked out its last guest.

The property that debuted at sunrise on April 2, 2012, with its then-president joining New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in a blueberry smoothie toast, quietly ended operations in the early morning darkness as the last handful of gamblers, who never turned out in great enough numbers to keep Revel alive, filed out of the sleek glass tower.

It never lived up to the hype as the resort town's "Next Big Thing."

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PG&E penalized $1.4B for deadly pipeline blast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California regulatory judges issued a $1.4 billion penalty on Tuesday against the state's largest utility for a lethal 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighbourhood in flames, killing eight people and prompting national alerts about the oversight of aging pipelines.

The California Public Utilities Commission said the figure reached by two administrative law judges against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the San Bruno pipeline explosion represented the largest safety-related penalty it had ever imposed.

The amount of the penalty is meant to "send a strong message to PG&E, and all other pipeline operators, that they must comply with mandated federal and state pipeline safety requirements, or face severe consequences," judge Timothy J. Sullivan wrote in his order.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average fell 30.89 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,067.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 1.09 point, less than 0.1 per cent, to 2,002.28. The Nasdaq composite added 17.92 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,598.19.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $3.08 to close at $92.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest level since January. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $2.45 cents to close at $100.34 on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to close at $2.783 a gallon. Natural gas fell 17.5 cents on forecasts for milder fall weather to close at $3.890 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil rose 0.8 cent to close at $2.857 a gallon.

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