UK Firms Aviva, Friends Life in $8.8B Merger Talks

LONDON—Britain’s Aviva says it is in talks to buy another insurer, Friends Life for over 5.6 billion pounds ($8.8 billion) in a deal that would...

  • Mount Redoubt bellows steam as seen from Kenai, Alaska Thursday, March 26, 2009. The volcano on the west side of Cook Inlet erupted Thursday morning sending ash clouds an estimated 65,000 feet into the air and is expected to affect the towns of Kenai and Homer. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

    Volcano Eruptions in Alaska Could Cause Trans-Atlantic Chaos for Airlines

    A volcanic eruption in Iceland caused massive disruption throughout Europe in 2010. A huge ash cloud grounded more than 100,000 flights and delayed 10m passengers,... Read more

  • The Detroit skyline is seen on Nov. 7, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

    What Are the Costs of Detroit’s Rise From Bankruptcy?

    Earlier this month, we learned that the biggest municipal bankruptcy in history would also be among the swiftest. The emergency manager for Detroit filed for... Read more

  • In this Oct. 28, 2014 photo, customers shop at the Century 21 Department Store in Philadelphia. The Labor Department reports on October consumer prices on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Consumer Prices Unchanged; Zero Inflation

    WASHINGTON—U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in October as a fourth straight decline in gasoline costs helped to keep inflation at bay. The steady reading for... Read more

  • In this Oct. 23, 2014 photo, automotive service technology students work on a car at the Community College of Philadelphia, in Philadelphia. The U.S. Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits for the week ending Nov. 15 on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Unemployment Aid Applications Fall to 291,000

    WASHINGTON—The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits declined slightly last week, suggesting that job gains should remain solid. Weekly applications for jobless aid... Read more

  • Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a meeting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System at the Federal Reserve in Washington on Oct. 22, 2014. The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its October interest-rate meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Fed Sees Solid US Economy, Despite New Threats

    WASHINGTON—Federal Reserve policy-makers discussed a variety of economic threats at their October meeting — from turbulent financial markets to overseas weakness — but decided to move forward... Read more

  • James Swartz, director of World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc., points out the term "Play Safe and Enjoy!!!" on the package for the Catapencil, a combination pencil and slingshot, at Children's Franciscan Hospital in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. The consumer watchdog group has released its annual list of what it considers to be the 10 most unsafe toys as the holiday season approaches. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    Consumer Group Lists ‘Ten Worst Toys’ for Kids

    BOSTON—A bow that shoots illuminated arrows its manufacturer says can fly up to 145 feet and the “Catapencil” — a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style... Read more

  • Construction continues on a boutique apartment building on the southeast corner of Florida Ave. and 14th Street NW, in Washington, on Nov. 4, 2014. Construction of new homes fell slightly in October after a big surge in the previous month, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, but the weakness was largely driven by the volatile apartment sector. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    US Home Construction Drops 2.8 Percent in October

    WASHINGTON—Construction of new homes fell slightly in October after a big surge in the previous month, but the weakness was largely driven by the volatile... Read more

  • President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at the ConnectED conference in the East Room of the White House November 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

    Obama Wants US Schools Using 21st Century Technology

    WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama says the United States needs to bring its schools into the 21st century when it comes to technology. Obama says less than... Read more

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a press conference on the final day of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane on Nov. 16, 2014. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

    Are We Facing Another Financial Crisis?

    Taken at face value, David Cameron’s warning this week about risks in the global economy sounds like it might be wonderfully prescient. Here’s the country’s... Read more

  • Visitors look at displays of Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp at a car showroom in Tokyo on November 11, 2014. Shares in Japanese auto parts firm Takata plunged nearly 17 percent in Tokyo on November 10 following calls for a criminal investigation into an airbag defect that has been linked to at least four deaths. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

    Exploding Air Bag Company Rejects US Call for Wider Recall

    DETROIT—A showdown is looming between U.S. safety regulators and a Japanese company that makes air bags linked to multiple deaths and injuries. The National Highway... Read more

  • The Wall Street entrance of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. World stock markets were lackluster Wednesday Nov. 19, 2014 as investors digested a fall in Chinese home prices and Japan's scramble to overcome its economic malaise. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    Wall Street Stocks Drop Ahead of Latest Fed News

    U.S. stock indexes inched lower in afternoon trading Wednesday, ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting. Investors hoped... Read more

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo on Nov. 18, 2014. Abe said November 18 he was delaying an expected sales tax rise and dissolving the lower house of parliament after figures showed Japan was in a recession. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

    Abe Takes a High-Stakes Gamble in Calling an Early Election in Japan

    It may seem politically counter-intuitive for a prime minister to seek an early election just when the economy has gone into recession. But following his... Read more

  • Trader Sean Spain, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Stocks moved higher in late afternoon trading Tuesday, on track to deliver a record-high close for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    US Stock Index Notch Latest Records; Relief Over Japan

    Investors remained in a record-setting mood Tuesday, edging the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index to their latest all-time highs. Pharmaceutical... Read more

  • This undated photo provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows a crash test of a 2002 Honda CR-V, one of the models subject to a recall to repair faulty air bags. In a letter delivered Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are calling on regulators to issue a nationwide recall of cars with faulty air bags made by Takata Corp., questioning why automakers have been allowed to limit recalls to only certain locations with high humidity. (AP Photo/Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

    Safety Agency to Push for National Air Bag Recall

    DETROIT—U.S. safety regulators are demanding that automakers and Takata Corp. expand nationwide a recall of vehicles with certain driver’s side air bags equipped with inflators... Read more

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    Heating Costs Heading Up as Cold Grips Nation

    NEW YORK—The cold is back, and with it, rising heating bills. This winter was expected to bring much lower bills than last year because it... Read more

  • Former billionaire Eike Batista, a Brazilian tycoon once named No. 7 on Forbes' list of the world's richest people, attends a hearing at a federal criminal court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Batista went on trial Tuesday in an insider trading case that could make him the first person in the country to go to prison on such charges. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Brazilian Ex-Billionaire Eike Batista on Trial for Insider Trading

    RIO DE JANEIRO—Eike Batista, the flamboyant Brazilian tycoon once named No. 7 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, went on trial Tuesday in... Read more