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Corporate donations for Harvey, Irma disaster relief near $225 million

Corporate donations for Harvey, Irma disaster relief near $225 millionCorporate donations for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief funds totaled nearly $225 million by Friday and pledges continued to be made, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation said. Automakers and energy companies, some of them affected by the most powerful storm to hit Texas’ Gulf Coast in 50 years, are among the prominent corporate donors. Texas, the biggest oil-producing state, was pummeled by Harvey when it made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane and proceeded to dump more than 50 inches of rain on the Houston region.

U.S. judge will not disturb Wilmington Trust indictment linked to crisis

U.S. judge will not disturb Wilmington Trust indictment linked to crisisA federal judge in Delaware on Friday refused to let four former Wilmington Trust executives charged with bank fraud gather new evidence they hoped would prove that their indictment was tainted by false grand jury testimony and should be dismissed. U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews’ decision preceded a scheduled trial next month of the former executives and Wilmington, the first recipient of federal bailout money in the 2008-2009 financial crisis to be indicted. The former Wilmington executives are President Robert Harra, Chief Financial Officer David Gibson, Controller Kevyn Rakowski and Chief Credit Officer William North.

Hurricane Maria skirts Turks and Caicos as Puerto Rico endures fresh flooding

Hurricane Maria skirts Turks and Caicos as Puerto Rico endures fresh floodingBy Dave Graham and Robin Respaut SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) – Hurricane Maria, the second major hurricane to wreak havoc in the Caribbean this month, skirted by the Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday and was blamed for fresh flooding on Puerto Rico two days after ravaging the U.S. island territory. The storm, which ranked as the most powerful hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in 90 years, has killed at least 25 people there and on other Caribbean islands, according to government officials and local news media accounts. U.S. weather forecasters and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello warned that a dam on the rain-swollen Guajataca River in northwestern Puerto Rico was failing, causing flash flooding in the area.

Factbox: How U.S. multinationals in Puerto Rico are responding to Hurricane Maria

Factbox: How U.S. multinationals in Puerto Rico are responding to Hurricane Maria(Reuters) – Hurricane Maria has devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, another blow to its already precarious economic situation. Puerto Rico’s government owes $72 billion to bondholders, and an additional $50 billion in pension obligations to teachers and almost all other government employees. The following are responses from multinational companies on how they are dealing with the aftermath of Maria: WAL-MART STORES INC Phillip Keene, Wal-Mart’s director of corporate communications, said, “Like many businesses, we are working to assess any damage to our facilities as we are safely able to access them and working to connect with our associates to assess what their needs are so we can support as appropriate.

Kentucky psychologist gets 25 years in prison for $550 million disability fraud

Kentucky psychologist gets 25 years in prison for $550 million disability fraudAlfred Adkins, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves in Lexington, Kentucky, after a federal jury in June found him guilty of charges including conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud, the U.S. Justice Department said. Adkins, of Pikeville, Kentucky, was also ordered to pay over $93 million in restitution, the Justice Department said.

Trump's diplomatic dance on Iran: What's his next step?

Trump's diplomatic dance on Iran: What's his next step?As he considers what to do about the 2015 international agreement with Iran that he disdains, President Trump may be about to lob the ball into the international community’s court. Rather than pulling the United States out of the deal as he has long threatened, Mr. Trump may instead agree to stick with it at least for the coming months – and challenge the US partners in the seven-nation agreement to address what he sees as its grave shortcomings. Recommended: How much do you know about Iran?

Storm Maria pitches Puerto Rico barrio into sunken 'Venice'

Storm Maria pitches Puerto Rico barrio into sunken 'Venice'By Dave Graham and Robin Respaut CATANO, Puerto Rico (Reuters) – Wading through highways swamped by turbid waters that sloshed over scattered, sunken belongings, residents of this Puerto Rican barrio flooded by Hurricane Maria have begun emerging from their shattered homes. Lying southwest of the capital San Juan, the Juana Matos neighborhood in Catano municipality took a huge hit from Maria after the storm slammed winds of up to 155 mph (249 kmh) into Puerto Rico early on Wednesday, destroying or damaging an estimated 80 percent of housing in the working-class barrio. The storm, the second Category 5 hurricane to batter the Caribbean this month, claimed at least 32 lives across the region, including 15 in Puerto Rico, and shut down power and communications across the island of 3.4 million people.

Magnitude 5.7 earthquake hits off northern California: USGS

Magnitude 5.7 earthquake hits off northern California: USGS(Reuters) – A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck on Friday off the coast of Northern California in the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, but there were no reports of damage or injury. It was quickly followed by a second quake of 5.6 closer to shore, the USGS said. Both quakes struck west of the California town of Petrolia and were very shallow, amplifying their effects, but a USGS map showed that they were not widely felt along the coast.