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Oil price keeps rising as industry eyes Iran-US conflict

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) — The global benchmark for crude oil has risen above $70 a barrel for the first time in over three months. Analysts believe the U.S. economy can withstand this jump in oil prices without a serious hit on growth. But they caution that this benign outcome could be jeopardize by a widening conflict with Iran. The rise in prices has occurred after an American drone strike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

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Lyft's good-guy image tainted by sexual assault lawsuits

NEW YORK (AP) — Lyft's reputation as the good guy in the ride-hailing industry is under threat after dozens of women filed suit against the company in recent months. The women say they were sexually assaulted by company drivers and that Lyft did not do enough to keep them safe. They claim the company did little or nothing when incidents were reported, either. Rival Uber has tried to reclaim its reputation after reports of assaults and has been applauded recently by safety advocates for its transparency in dealing with the issue.

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Japan vows to improve border checks, bail after Ghosn escape

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's justice minister is vowing to strengthen border checks and review bail conditions after former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn fled the country despite supposedly stringent surveillance. Masako Mori told reporters at a news conference that the ministry has already acted to prevent a recurrence but declined to give details. Ghosn skipped bail and showed up in Lebanon a week ago, saying he could not get a fair hearing in Japan, where he was awaiting trial on financial misconduct allegations.

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CES Gadget Show: Surveillance is in - and in a big way

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The CES gadget show this year is all-in on surveillance technology — from the face scanner that will check in some attendees to the cameras-everywhere array of digital gadgets. Travel through the sprawling Las Vegas consumer tech conference, and you'll find devices that see, hear and track the people they encounter. Some also analyze people's looks and behavior. The gadgets bring convenience but also serve as powerful spying tools.

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Boeing's checklist of 737 Max fixes grows with wiring issue

DALLAS (AP) — You can add a potential electrical short circuit to the list of safety risks that Boeing must address before regulators let the grounded 737 Max fly again. Meanwhile, Boeing's costs due to the Max crisis came into sharper focus as American Airlines said it has reached a deal over compensation for grounded planes. The Federal Aviation Administration recently asked Boeing to review the potential impact of all the changes it's making to the plane. Boeing discovered that bundles of electrical wiring in the plane were too close together and might cause a short circuit that could cause a fire.

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US restricts exports of AI for analyzing satellite images

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. tech companies that build artificial intelligence software for analyzing satellite imagery are facing new restrictions on exporting their products to China and elsewhere. The Commerce Department says the new export rules take effect Monday. They target emerging technology that could give the U.S. a significant military or intelligence advantage. The rules could affect a growing sector of the tech industry using algorithms to analyze satellite images of crops, trade patterns and other changes affecting the economy or environment.

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Another major US dairy, Borden, seeks bankruptcy protection

DALLAS (AP) — Borden is filing for bankruptcy protection, the second major US dairy to do so in as many months. American refrigerators are increasingly stocked with dairy substitutes like soy and almond milk, hammering traditional milk producers like Borden, which was founded in 1857. Dean Foods, the nation's largest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy protection in November. Both dairies are based in Dallas. Borden Dairy Co. — whose smiling mascot Elsie the cow first appeared on milk cartons in the 1930s — says it will continue operations during its financial restructuring.

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Federal judge holds freelancers to new California labor law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge will not temporarily exempt freelance journalists and photographers from a broad new California labor law that they fear could put some of them out of business. U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez denied the temporary restraining order sought by two freelancers' organizations while he considers their objections to the law requiring that many be treated as employees instead of independent contractors.

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Gold climbs on war worries; US stocks shake off early loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks shook off an early loss and managed modest gains on Wall Street as traders remain cautious about rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Gold touched its highest price in nearly seven years Monday and oil prices added to their big gains from Friday after a U.S. drone killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Oil producers and big internet companies rose, making up for losses by industrial companies and banks.

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The S&P 500 climbed 11.43 points, or 0.4%, to 3,246.28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 68.50 points, or 0.2%, to 28,703.38, and the Nasdaq composite rose 50.70 points, or 0.6%, to 9,071.46. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2.39 points, or 0.1%, to 1,663.26.

Associated Press

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