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Business News at 2 p.m.


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WASHINGTON Of all the problems facing Americans nearing or in retirement, housing isn't supposed to be one. Yet after a collapse in home prices, the worst recession since the 1930s and some disastrous decisions to turn homes into cash machines, a rising number of older Americans are straining to make house payments. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 1,450 words, video. An abridged version of 880 words also sent.


FRANKFURT, Germany A look at the top things to look out for as the European Central Bank holds its policy meeting Wednesday: comments about the state of talks on Greece, new forecasts for Europe's economy and more. By David McHugh. SENT: 540 words, photo.



LONDON For the first time this year, consumer prices across the 19-country eurozone are rising, a development that eases concerns of a long-term economic stagnation. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 630 words, photo.


NEW YORK Wal-Mart is raising starting wages for more than 100,000 U.S. department managers and workers in its deli and other specialized departments. The moves mark the next wave of wage hikes by the nation's largest private employer, which has been under pressure from labor-backed groups for the treatment of its workers. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 640 words, photos.


LOS ANGELES Disney is launching a line of toys that combine high-tech wearable gadgets and old-school superhero role-playing to keep kids moving while engrossing them in sub-plots from "The Avengers," ''Star Wars" and "Frozen." By Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 700 words, photos.



WASHINGTON U.S. factory orders tumble in April, a sign that manufacturers are struggling amid a stronger dollar and cheaper oil. By Josh Boak. SENT: 400 words, photo.


NEW YORK U.S. stocks turn higher in early afternoon trading as energy stocks gain along with the price of oil. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 670 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.



WASHINGTON The makers of a pill intended to boost sexual desire in women will try again this week to persuade regulators that the drug warrants approval after two rejections. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 840 words, photo.

GEORGE ZIMMER-SECOND ACT Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer, who was ousted from the suit retailer two years ago, launches zTailors this week, a company that sends clothing tailors to homes or offices. SENT: 240 words.

TOYS R US-CEO The chairman and CEO of Toys R Us is retiring and will be succeeded by an executive with experience in taking companies public. SENT: 210 words.

CANADA-TOBACCO LAWSUIT A judge awards more than $15 billion Canadian (US$12 billion) to Quebec smokers in a case that pitted them against three giant tobacco companies. The case is believed to be the biggest class-action lawsuit ever seen in Canada. SENT: 480 words, photo.

ABU DHABI-ETIHAD Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates' national carrier, formally submits a document to the United States government rebutting allegations by U.S. carriers that it receives unfair subsidies. By Adam Schreck. SENT: 360 words, photos.

DENMARK-MAERSK LINE Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says it has ordered 11 huge container ships with an option to buy six more in a deal worth 12.3 billion kroner ($1.8 billion). SENT: 140 words.

MALAYSIA-MISSING PLANE Two Malaysian boys whose father was a passenger on the jetliner that vanished in March last year secured an out-of-court settlement in the tragedy's first legal case against Malaysia Airlines and the government. SENT: 300 words, photo.

COPPER THEFT Longtime New York City subway cops have seen copper thefts before, but last week's heist on a stretch of open-air tracks was particularly brazen: 500 feet of inch-thick cable stripped from the rails in the middle of the night. By Verna Dobnik and Jake Pearson. SENT: 700 words, photos.

NEW YORK CASINOS With new competition looming, a New York Indian tribe is expanding its gambling business with a small "The Wizard of Oz"-themed casino in a strip mall near Syracuse. By Michael Hill. SENT: 490 words.

PORTUGAL-AIRLINE PRIVATIZATION A senior Portuguese official has given the two bidders in the privatization of TAP Air Portugal three days to improve their offers, hinting the flag carrier's sale could be called off if they don't. SENT: 220 words.

WORKING WITH DISABILITIES More than two-thirds of American adults with disabilities are "striving to work," according to a national employment survey being released just before the landmark legislation protecting their rights turns 25. By Holly Ramer. SENT: 690 words.



DETROIT U.S. auto sales are stronger than expected in May, boosted by Memorial Day promotions and strong demand for new SUVs. By Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 700 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updates throughout day as automakers report sales.


FORD-INCREASED PRODUCTION Ford will shorten the traditional summer shut-down of some of its plants to meet strong demand for its vehicles. SENT: 160 words, photo.


WASHINGTON Members of a House subcommittee are expected to grill officials from Takata Corp. and U.S. regulators about the inability to pinpoint the cause of an air bag defect that has killed at least six people. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: Updating from hearing that begins at 2 p.m., 600 words by 5 p.m., photos.



SAN FRANCISCO The first "smart" home devices that can be controlled by Apple's voice-activated digital assistant, Siri, are going on sale this week, just days after rival tech giant Google announced its own software for Internet-connected home appliances and other gadgets. By Brandon Bailey. SENT: 460 words, photo.


SAN JOSE, Calif. Tesla Motors co-founder Ian Wright wants to electrify noisy, gas-guzzling trucks that deliver packages, haul garbage and make frequent stops on city streets. By Terrene Chea. SENT: 760 words, photos, video.

TURKEY-ERDOGAN-JOURNALISTS A media freedom watchdog calls on Turkey's president to stop "bullying" journalists after he accused a newspaper editor of espionage and threatened punishment for publishing images of what the paper said were Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants. SENT: 150 words.



HAVANA Airbnb in Cuba has its challenges including hosts who have no Internet access, apartments in rundown buildings where residents struggle to get materials for renovation and accommodations with no air-conditioning in 90-degree heat. Yet it's already booming. By Beth J. Harpaz. UPCOMING: 770 words, photos.


CUBA-REALITY CHECK Travel experts and upscale magazines have been urging travel to Cuba "before it changes," but U.S. visitors envisioning salsa in the streets and glamorous vintage cars should also be prepared to do without ATMs, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, seatbelts and toilet paper. By Beth J. Harpaz. SENT: 980 words, photos.


CUBA-TOURISM DREAMS A look at three ambitious Cubans, part of a small class of entrepreneurs, often highly educated and well-connected, who see increased tourism as the key to their dreams. By Beth J. Harpaz. SENT: 830 words, photos.



WASHINGTON The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned. By Jack Gillum, Eileen Sullivan and Eric Tucker. SENT: 1,500 words, photos, video.



WASHINGTON The Senate speeds toward passage of legislation to end the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities. But House leaders warn their Senate counterparts not to proceed with planned changes to a House version. By Ken Dilanian. SENT: 850 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Will be updated.



ATHENS, Greece Greece submits a proposal to its bailout lenders in a hope to get desperately needed rescue money, but the creditors were quick to say it still did not offer sufficient reforms. By Elena Becatoros. SENT: 800 words, photos.

SPAIN-ECONOMY Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is trumpeting news of a big drop in the number of unemployed citizens as a reason for voters to support his party in general elections he must call by the end of the year. SENT: 130 words.

INDIA-ECONOMY India's central bank cuts a key interest rate by a quarter percentage point, the third such reduction this year in support of government efforts to boost growth. SENT: 550 words, photos.

ISRAEL-ECONOMY Israel's central bank chief says demographic changes such as aging and the growth of Arab and ultra-Orthodox Jewish populations are threatening the country's long-term growth prospects and called for a continued increase in their employment. SENT: 350 words.

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Troubled transports

The Dow Jones Transportation average is trading more than 10 percent below its 52-week high. Should investors be concerned that the broader market may soon lose its upward momentum? UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Cracker Barrel increases dividend

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store shares rise after the restaurant chain reports a better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter profit and increases its quarterly dividend. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.