Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Now arriving on time: Your flight and suitcase

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ U.S. airlines are more punctual and less likely to lose your bag than at any time in more than two decades.

Travelers still have to put up with packed planes, rising fees and unpredictable security lines, but they are late to fewer business meetings and are not missing as many chances to tuck their kids into bed.

Nearly 84 percent of domestic flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled time in the first half of the year â¿¿ the best performance since the government started keeping track in 1988.

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Google fined $22.5M for latest privacy breakdown

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ Google is paying a $22.5 million fine to settle the latest regulatory case questioning the Internet search leader's respect for people's privacy and the integrity of its internal controls.

The penalty announced Thursday by the Federal Trade Commission matches the figure reported by The Associated Press and other media outlets last month. It's the most that the FTC has ever fined a company for a civil violation.

The rebuke resolves the FTC's allegations that Google Inc. duped millions of Web surfers who use Apple Inc.'s Safari browser.

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US economic outlook brightens on jobs, trade data

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The outlook for the U.S. economy brightened a little Thursday after new data pointed to improvement in hiring and greater exports.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, the Labor Department said. Economists noted that the level suggests the modest job creation in July could carry over into August.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $42.9 billion in June from $48 billion in May, the Commerce Department said in a separate report. That's the lowest level in 18 months.

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