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Tech Life

In the Region

Arbitration for American, pilots

American Airlines and its pilots' union will begin arbitration hearings March 9 if the sides do not reach a contract before then, the union said on its website. A new contract would cover pilots at both American and US Airways, which merged last December. A key issue will be integrating seniority lists. When US Airways merged with America West in 2005, the two pilot groups were never fully integrated because of legal disagreements related to seniority. They have remained separate at US Airways, which is the dominant carrier at Philadelphia International Airport. - Linda Loyd

Scaife heirs seek trust details

A judge gave children of the late billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife until Jan. 16 to file documents in their quest to have trustees detail how money was spent from a $210 million trust their father controlled. Scaife's children believe they were entitled to any remaining money in the trust after their father died July 4. Attorneys for both sides appeared in court in Pittsburgh. Documents filed by the fund's trustees indicate the fund was exhausted by the time Scaife died, with much of the money going to fund the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other Pittsburgh-area newspapers Scaife owned. - AP

Three N.Y. casino sites OKd

Three economically distressed communities in upstate New York were selected as sites for casinos, a panel announced. The state's Gaming Facility Location Board chose sites in Sullivan, Schenectady, and Seneca Counties, and decided not to recommend a fourth license amid an increasingly saturated gambling market. While casinos were once limited to Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and a handful of reservations, most Americans are now within a few hours' drive of a gambling facility. - AP

Raw Deal included 'fillers'

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company admitted his role in adding "fillers" to dilute supplements sold by his company, Raw Deal. Barry Steinlight pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The 69-year-old Hackettstown, N.J., resident faces up to five years in prison. Prosecutors say Steinlight admitted that the gross sales for his North Jersey-based company were between $7 million and $20 million during the scheme. He will forfeit more than $1 million. - AP


Uber vows safety focus

Taxi alternative Uber is responding to public concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for criminal convictions by promising to focus on rider safety. Uber's head of global safety wrote in a blog post that in 2015 the company will "build new safety programs and intensify others." The blog referenced a case in India in which a driver was accused of raping a passenger. A lawsuit filed by California prosecutors says the company's safety checks of drivers fall short. - AP

FedEx: Port delays hurting

Protracted labor talks at the busiest U.S. container shipping ports are leading to delayed deliveries to some retailers, and may result in a lot of gift cards under Christmas trees, FedEx Corp. said. The backlog has already caused FedEx to shift resources and limit shipments from some customers to avoid a last-minute surge just before Christmas, the company said. The cargo congestion has been building for months as the Pacific Maritime Association and 20,000 dockworkers, represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, debate work contracts and have cut the pace of loading and unloading ships. - Bloomberg News

Sprint accused of 'cramming'

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it sued cellphone carrier Sprint Corp. over billing for unauthorized charges, a practice known as "cramming." The agency said Sprint failed to oversee third-party companies, allowing illegal charges to be put on customers' bills for items like cellphone ring tones they did not want or sign up for. Sprint profited from the billing system, receiving up to 40 percent of the revenue from the charges. Sprint disputed the government's allegations. - AP

U.S., Canada in steel flap

A U.S. requirement that American steel be used to update an Alaska ferry terminal is causing some tension with Canadian officials. The terminal is in British Columbia, but the land is leased to the State of Alaska. Most of the construction funding would come from the Federal Highway Administration, which has "Buy America" requirements for steel, iron, and manufactured products. The Canadian ambassador to the U.S. says requiring the steel for the project to be produced in the United States is unacceptable. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has pledged to work toward a solution. - AP

Record cyber thefts in Japan

Cyber criminals stole a record $16 million from accounts at Japanese lenders in the six months ended in June, according to Japan's National Police Agency. Of 133 related arrests in the first half of the year, Chinese nationals made up the largest group with 83, or 62 percent, almost double the arrests of Japanese. - Bloomberg News

Survey: China stabilizing

China's economy stabilized this quarter as services bolstered growth and manufacturing held up, making broad stimulus unwarranted, according to a private survey. The economy bottomed in the second half, according to the China Beige Book survey, published by New York-based CBB International. Companies and workers are doing better, driven by services, and the real economy doesn't need the "extra juice" of stimulus, the report said. - Bloomberg News