Among the stories Friday from The Associated Press:

Among the stories Friday from The Associated Press:



WASHINGTON Despite a U.S. economy that's now in its seventh straight year of expansion, Federal Reserve officials declined to raise interest rates from record lows. So what will it take for the Fed to finally raise rates? By Josh Boak. SENT: 650 words, photos.



BEIJING The Federal Reserve chief's rare comments on China reinforce unease its weakening economy might be headed for a deeper slump. But many experts still think fears of a China crisis are overblown. By Joe McDonald and Paul Wiseman. SENT: 840 words, photos.


LARES, Puerto Rico Tourists used to flock to this town in the lush green mountains of western Puerto Rico to visit coffee plantations, shop for crafts and sample the latest creation at the most famous ice cream shop on the island. But the ice cream shop has closed, as have 25 percent of all businesses and one-third of the farms in Lares, a town that is feeling the effects of the Puerto Rico economic crisis more deeply than perhaps anywhere else in this struggling U.S. territory. By Danica Coto. SENT: 960 words, photos.



WASHINGTON An index of future U.S. economic health edges up slightly in August after a flat reading in July. The outcome in both months signals economic growth could be moderating. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 10:45 a.m.


NEW YORK U.S. stocks are opening lower as investors consider the implications of the Federal Reserve's decision to hold off raising interest rates. SENT: 140 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.



WASHINGTON With the public concerned about the high cost of new medications, a policy center often aligned with the Obama administration is urging disclosure and consumer education, among other things, to curb prescription costs. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 720 words, photo.

ITALY-ALITALIA Alitalia says CEO Silvano Cassano quits after less than a year in the job, which has been focused on restructuring the once-failing Italian airline under the ownership of Emirates-based Etihad. SENT: 130 words.

JOHNSON CONTROLS-JOB CUTS Auto parts maker Johnson Controls plans to cut 3,000 salaried employees from its global workforce over the next two years as part of a cost-reduction push. SENT: 140 words.

CHINA-SINOPEC China's ruling Communist Party says it is stripping the former general manager of the country's largest oil refiner of party membership and handing him over to prosecutors after an internal investigation found evidence of corruption. SENT: 140 words.


RUSSIA-MEDIA The Russian subsidiary of a major German publishing house sells all of its media assets in Russia to comply with a new law. SENT: 240 words.



WASHINGTON The U.S. issues new regulations to ease travel and trade opportunities in Cuba for U.S. citizens. By Bradley Klapper. SENT: 730 words.

SPAIN-CATALONIA INDEPENDENCE Spain's main banking associations warn that a victory for Catalonia's secession drive would create severe banking problems for the new Mediterranean nation left outside the European Union. SENT: 320 words.

INDIA-JOB CRUSH About 2.3 million people respond to north Indian state's posting for 368 low-level office jobs. SENT: 350 words, photos.

FINLAND-STRIKE A one-day strike in Finland halts public transportation and shuts down ports nationwide as workers protest against government cutbacks aimed at trying to drag the Nordic country out of a three-year economic downturn. SENT: 360 words, photos.