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Editorial Results (free)

1. Obama: No quick end to embargo on Cuba -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama praised the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba on Friday but said he doesn't expect it to bring overnight change on the island, a quick end to the U.S. economic embargo or the likelihood that he will soon visit the communist nation.

2. Sponsors pay big bucks to join college bowl games -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ready! Set! Hut, hut: This holiday season's blitz of college football bowl games will feature a reshuffled roster of corporate sponsors spending millions to thrust their names in front of fans watching on TV and in the stands.

3. Poll: Americans skeptical of commercial drones -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are skeptical that the benefits of the heralded drone revolution will outweigh the risks to privacy and safety, although a majority approve of using small, unmanned aircraft for dangerous jobs or in remote areas, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

4. Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack? -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools left behind and the involvement of at least one computer in Bolivia previously traced to other attacks blamed on the North Koreans.

5. Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers -

NEW YORK (AP) — Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to "buy low."

6. Haslam names Boyd to head economic development -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has named former higher education adviser Randy Boyd to become his new commissioner of economic development.

7. Cooking with special-needs children requires planning -

I received an email not long ago talking about teaching cooking skills to children with special needs. It was written by Beverly Palomba, a teacher for pre-K through high school for more than 20 years.

8. Davidson alums flock to watch favorite star shine -

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Friday night after Thanksgiving. Stephen Curry’s at the charity stripe. Swish! Golden State 18, Charlotte 10.

Curry ranks third in NBA free-throw percentage – .931. He’s made more foul shots than the two guys ahead of him combined.

9. Haslam names Boyd to head economic development -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has named former higher education adviser Randy Boyd to become his new commissioner of economic development.

10. Hit holiday parties for latest job opportunities -

December is my favorite time of year for networking. Sounds a little crazy, right?

The holidays are for family and loved ones. It’s a time of gift giving, cookie baking and sing-alongs. It’s a time to visit those you haven’t seen in over a year and, if you’re lucky, build snowmen with your children.

11. Fear drives US stocks higher -

In 2014, more than 600 hedge funds have disbanded. Even accounting for the carnage of 2009, this amounts to a record pace of “smart money” failures.

In the more pedestrian mutual fund realm, active money managers are having their worst year ever of relative performance.

12. Ad retargeting works, might spoil holiday surprise -

When you shop Amazon for a product and then see that same product in a Facebook ad days later, it is certainly not a coincidence.

It is a marketing strategy called ad retargeting, and it is dominating online advertising.

13. 31 viewpoints on how we spend our money -

That thing in the store … it was perfect. It was just the right size and color, a good fit, a decent price.

It spoke to you the minute you saw it, whispering promises of confidence and prestige. Surely, it would make someone happy – that someone, of course, being you.

14. INSBANK’s Gupton returns as senior VP, COO -

Green Hills-based INSBANK has named Scott Gupton as its senior vice president and chief operating officer. Gupton, who has nearly two decades of banking experience, will oversee INSBANK’s operations, marketing, human resources, information technology and corporate and regulatory reporting.

15. Freshman Barnett faces nation’s best in Iowa’s Scherff -

KNOXVILLE – Derek Barnett is spending most of the Christmas holidays away from his Nashville home, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Instead, Barnett is focused on football with his teammates at the University of Tennessee (6-6), which plays Iowa (7-5) in the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., now called the TaxSlayer Bowl.

16. Jake Locker: Nice guy who deserved better -

Jake Locker’s time with the Tennessee Titans has quietly come to an end. Sure, he’s officially a Titan until March, but Sunday’s shoulder injury vs. the Jets – and his upcoming surgery – ends a star-crossed four-year run.

17. Immigrants find room to grow in Nashville's public gardens -

With the growing season wrapped up for winter and the temperature hovering at 45 degrees on a recent Sunday, the community garden off Wedgewood Avenue looked to be draped in a brown afghan with just a few patches of green peeking through.

18. Clarksville, Ft. Campbell still big draw for veterans -

Clarksville has become one of the nation’s boom towns, thanks largely to retirees from military service.

Veterans have flocked to the area in recent years for the shopping and health care benefits available at Ft. Campbell.

19. More veterans calling Middle Tennessee home -

When Scott Ledermann, a military health care recruiter in Nashville, retired from the Army in October, it didn’t take him long to land a job with a local company.

Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, a company that has made hiring veterans a priority, scooped him up in no time. Now, he’s working in human relations at the company’s operations center in Donelson.

20. Putin accuses West of trying to sideline Russia -

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday to fix Russia's economic woes within two years, voicing confidence that the plummeting ruble will recover and promising to diversify Russia's gas-dependent economy.

21. Why the Fed thinks US economy still needs its help -

WASHINGTON (AP) — If you didn't know about the lingering damage from the Great Recession, the U.S. economy would appear remarkably strong.

The unemployment rate is a close-to-healthy 5.8 percent. Inflation is unusually low. Crashing oil prices are rewarding consumers with a tax cut of sorts.

22. Hemlock permanently closing $1.2B plant in Tennessee -

CLARKSVILLE (AP) — Hemlock Semiconductor Group is permanently closing its idled polysilicon plant in Clarksville, citing global trade disputes that have led to an oversupply of the compound used in solar energy panels.

23. Analysis: After 53 years, time is right for US and Cuba -

MEXICO CITY (AP) — After 53 years of hostility between the United States and Cuba, the timing to make amends was perfect for both governments.

The breakthrough in US-Cuban relations came with the release of American Alan Gross and an unnamed US intelligence agent, and the freeing of three jailed Cuban agents. The longtime enemies announced they would move toward full diplomatic relations, and Washington said it would ease economic and travel restrictions.

24. Haslam names Lipscomb's McQueen new education commissioner -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday named a top education official at Lipscomb University to be the next Education Department commissioner.

The Republican governor announced Wednesday that Candice McQueen will replace Kevin Huffman, who was heavily criticized during an overhaul of the state's education system. He announced last month that he was leaving for the private sector.

25. Obama: time to boost travel, commerce with Cuba -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says his changes to U.S. policy with Cuba will make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, and to use their credit and debit cards in the country.

Obama also says that more resources should be able to reach the Cuban people, so he's significantly increasing the amount of money that people in the U.S. can send to them.

26. US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama abruptly announced the U.S. is re-establishing long-broken diplomatic relations with Cuba on Wednesday, declaring an end to America's "outdated approach" to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.

27. Fed promises 'patient' approach to rate hikes -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is signaling that it's edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows because of a strengthening U.S. economy and job market. But it is promising to be "patient" in determining when to raise rates.

28. Alcohol calorie counts to be on menus by next year -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't want to be confronted with the number of calories in that margarita or craft beer? Then avoid the menu and order at the bar.

New menu labeling rules from the Food and Drug Administration will require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to list the amount of calories in alcoholic drinks, along with other foods, on menus by next November. The idea is that people often don't know — or even think about — how many calories they are imbibing.

29. Stocks gain most in more than a year on Fed, oil -

NEW YORK (AP) — A pledge from the Federal Reserve to remain "patient" when deciding when to lift interest rates gave the stock market its biggest gain in more than a year.

Stocks rose from the open on Wednesday, led by gains for the energy sector, as oil prices showed signs of stabilizing after their big slump in recent months. The market's gains were extended after Fed policymakers released a statement following the end of its most recent policy meeting.

30. FedEx misses Street 2Q forecasts, but profit jumps 23 pct -

FedEx's second-quarter earnings soared 23 percent, but the package delivery company missed Wall Street forecasts due partially to a lower-than-expected benefit from falling fuel prices.

FedEx also said Wednesday that a jump in plane maintenance blunted gains the company reaped from managing costs, lowering its pension expense and growing its export package revenue.

31. Apple wins class-action iPod lawsuit -

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — After just a few hours of deliberation, a jury in California found in favor of Apple on Tuesday in a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit over the price of its iPod music players.

32. Defense, tourism among winners in spending bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Michigan boot-maker, potato farmers and more than 1,200 contractors that supply parts for a next-generation fighter plane are among the many winners in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress.

33. New Tennessee AG opposes Supreme Court gay marriage hearing -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let a ruling stand that upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

The November decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marked a rare victory for gay marriage opponents. But because it conflicts with decisions in other circuits, legal observers believe it could push the Supreme Court to take up the issue of gay marriage, possibly as soon as this spring.

34. US home construction drops 1.6 percent in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new homes fell slightly in November, reflecting weakness in construction of single-family homes.

Builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million homes and apartments last month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That was a decline of 1.6 percent from October when construction activity had posted a 1.7 percent gain.

35. Senate may confirm up to 88 federal judges -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Impeded no more by Republican blocking tactics, Democrats are on track to win confirmation of up to 88 of President Barack Obama's top judicial nominations this year, a total that would be the highest for any president in two decades.

36. Insurers ease 'Obamacare' deadline -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Barack Obama's health care law, the insurance industry says it will give customers more time to pay their premiums for January.

37. An early rally fizzles, leaving US indexes lower -

NEW YORK (AP) — Sudden twists in the price of oil and currency trading turned the stock market into a roller-coaster ride on Tuesday.

Major indexes opened lower as falling oil prices and a plunge in the Russian ruble weighed on markets. Less than an hour later, crude oil recovered and oil and gas producers surged, driving the Dow Jones industrial average up as much as 246 points in the morning.

38. Why oil is down by half, what it means for you -

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil has fallen by nearly half in just six months, a surprising and steep plunge that has consumers cheering, producers howling and economists wringing their hands over whether this is a good or bad thing.

39. Fed likely to note gains but signal no rate hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A resurgent U.S. economy has emerged from a long struggle with high unemployment and weak growth. And the Federal Reserve seems poised to recognize the sustained improvement.

In a statement it will issue after a policy meeting ends Wednesday, the Fed may no longer say it plans to keep a key interest rate near zero for a "considerable time." If so, the Fed would be signaling that it's moving closer to raising rates — eventually.

40. Response to Gov. Haslam's proposed Medicaid deal -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Reaction to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee:

"When a state has an opportunity to take power away from the federal government and institute real conservative reform, that is an opportunity that must be taken seriously. Governor Haslam has negotiated a deal which returns tax dollars back to Tennessee while using conservative principles to bring health insurance to more Tennesseans." - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville.

41. US homebuilder sentiment slips in December -

U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects heading into next year, even as their overall sales outlook remains favorable.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday slipped this month to 57, down one point from 58 in November.

42. Factory output eclipses pre-recession high -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing output in November surpassed its pre-recession peak, as auto production kicked into a higher gear.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production rose 1.1 percent last month, up from a 0.4 percent improvement in October. Manufacturing output has risen 4.8 percent over the past 12 months. It's now above the previous high set just before the downturn began in December 2007.

43. Identity theft victims face months of hassle -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As soon as Mark Kim found out his personal information was compromised in a data breach at Target last year, the 36-year-old tech worker signed up for the retailer's free credit monitoring offer so he would be notified if someone used his identity to commit fraud.

44. Google researching use of color in business -

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Google is one of the major U.S. corporations researching the power of color in the working world, in everything from workspaces to marketing and branding.

Meghan Casserly, spokeswoman for the U.S.-based organization built around the popular search engine, says Google is still early in its research but has already found "a clear link between color and satisfaction with a person's work area," which in turn can boost employee creativity and productivity.

45. UAW rival eyes membership at VW plant -

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A labor group seeking to rival the United Auto Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee says it won't submit its list of members to the management until next month.

Supporters of the American Council of Employees told the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1A8PcA2) for Sunday's editions that they want a voice under the new labor policy Volkswagen announced in November that requires a minimum of 15 percent of workers to qualify for regular meetings with management and access to plant meeting space.

46. Wealth gap widens between whites and minorities -

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The economic recovery has not been equal among the races, according to a Pew Research Center study released Friday.

The study found that the wealth gap between white households and minorities has widened in recent years.

47. Cheaper gas, food lower US producer prices -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Falling gas and food costs pushed down overall U.S. wholesale prices last month, evidence that cheaper oil worldwide is limiting inflation.

The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index fell 0.2 percent in November, after rising by the same amount in October. In the past 12 months, producer prices have risen just 1.4 percent, the smallest yearly increase since February.

48. Poll: Half of Republicans back limits on carbon -

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Republicans take control of Congress next month, top on their agenda will be undoing environmental regulations they claim will harm the economy, chief among them President Barack Obama's plans to limit heat-trapping carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.

49. Senate to take up $1.1T bill to keep govt running -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A battle between the Senate's old school veterans and new-breed freshmen such as tea partier Ted Cruz and liberal Elizabeth Warren is taking shape Friday as leaders push for passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill needed to keep the government running.

50. Ramsey: Medicaid expansion 'sellable' in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE(AP) — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says that if fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam succeeds in his negotiations with President Barack Obama's administration on a special Tennessee deal for Medicaid expansion, the result could be "sellable" to skeptical state lawmakers.

51. White House swings behind huge $1.1T spending bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders narrowly quelled a revolt among their conservatives Thursday, then worked to overcome Democratic opposition to legislation to provide $1.1 trillion in government spending and chart a new course for selected, highly shaky pension plans.

52. Labor board OKs personal use of company e-mail -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board says employees can use their company email accounts for union organizing and other workplace-related purposes, if they do it on their own time.

The ruling could give unions a powerful organizing weapon.

53. Why rift on derivatives is blocking US budget bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the heart of the impasse in Congress over a must-pass spending bill is a provision involving the sorts of high-risk investments that ignited the 2008 financial crisis.

The dispute occurred after Republicans inserted into the bill a provision to relax the regulation of investments known as derivatives. Democrats, led by their House leader, Nancy Pelosi, have demanded that the provision be removed. They argue that it would let big banks gamble with depositors' federally insured money and could make it likelier that banks, if undone by their risky bets, would need another taxpayer bailout.

54. Obama promotes trade, tax fix, innovation -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday declared himself "much more optimistic" than he was last year about completing a major trade deal with Pacific Rim countries.

At the same time, the president acknowledged to executives on his advisory export council that a tough sales job will be necessary on a commerce issue certain to put him at odds with fellow Democrats during the last two years of his presidency.

55. Dow drops more than 300 as oil continues to plunge -

NEW YORK (AP) — What a difference a week makes. Seven days after closing at record levels on the back of a strong employment report, the stock market slumped to its worst weekly loss in two and a half years.

56. Bill would require racial profiling ban in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) — All of Tennessee's law enforcement agencies would have to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling, under legislation introduced in the General Assembly.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown and Democratic Rep. John Deberry of Memphis.

57. Teen retailers get the cold shoulder for holidays -

NEW YORK (AP) — Being a teen can be tough, but catering to one is even more difficult.

Teen retailers are learning that lesson the hard way this holiday season.

The longtime CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch on Tuesday abruptly retired just a week after the retailer posted an 11.5 percent quarterly sales drop and slashed its annual profit forecast. And American Eagle and Aeropostale gave dismal forecasts for the quarter that includes the holiday shopping season after each posted weak sales for the fall.

58. Retail sales report boosts US stock market -

NEW YORK (AP) — An encouraging report on U.S. consumer spending pushed stocks sharply higher Thursday. The energy sector rose after crude oil prices stabilized.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 214 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,747 as of 12:09 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 28 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,054 and the Nasdaq composite rose 73 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,757.

59. Spending bill teeters amid Democratic discontent -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growing opposition among Democrats and persistent opposition from the tea party Republicans has left a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill teetering as many lawmakers find more in the measure to dislike than like.

60. Survey shows Internet's broadening political role -

NEW YORK (AP) — Would-be 2016 presidential candidates take note: the Internet may potentially make or break your campaign.

More Internet users than ever view online efforts as key to political campaigns, according to a survey released Thursday by the University of Southern California.

61. Higher ed officials told to find other funding sources -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Faced with flat revenue projections, higher education officials will have to find ways to cover costs at their institutions because the state won't be able to help them anytime soon, a top economist said Wednesday.

62. ‘Mr. Charlie’ makes welcome visit to Bonas -

I’m hoping all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did. I’m always thankful that our families can still get together and visit for extended times. Work, school, and the stress of the day-to-day stuff goes away for a while, and we just enjoy each other. That’s something to be thankful for.

63. Debonair detective good role model for new year -

My early New Year’s resolution is to be more like Christopher Foyle. Demeanor-wise and wisdom-wise. No, I won’t be wearing a vest.

“Foyle’s War” is a British detective series created by Anthony Horowitz. As World War II rages, Inspector Christopher Foyle (played by Michael Kitchen) investigates crimes from his headquarters in Hastings, England. He never raises his voice. He’s never puzzled by an inconsistency. Obvious lies from the devious don’t faze him one bit.

64. Don’t stop your job search during the holidays -

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to stop looking for work over the holidays. Once Thanksgiving rolls around, our priorities shift.

We decide companies aren’t hiring anyway, and we move on to other things.

65. US riding high compared to other economies -

The Eurozone, Japan and select emerging markets all seem to be struggling economically with low inflation levels, poor policy responses and low demand.

Meanwhile, the U.S. keeps posting surprisingly strong economic numbers.

66. 8 social media missteps to avoid -

Social media can be an effective marketing channel, and the cost to entry – the hard cost, that is – is relatively low.

Consider, though, your annual salary multiplied by the number of hours you and your team spend on social media each year, and you will no doubt want to ensure that you are getting the most out of that significant time investment by avoiding these common missteps.

67. Congress relaxes whole grain standards for schools -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is taking some whole grains off the school lunch line.

A massive year-end spending bill released Tuesday doesn't allow schools to opt out of healthier school meal standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama, as House Republicans had sought. But it would ease standards that require more whole grains in school foods.

68. Old friends conspire to get Tennessee a better bowl -

KNOXVILLE – For all the tough times University of Tennessee football has endured in recent years, a turn for the better was bound to happen.

It certainly did early this week.

UT’s invitation to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville – now called the TaxSlayer Bowl – was a stunning coup for a 6-6 team that seemed destined for anything but a January bowl on the beach.

69. Titans’ on-, off-field decisions defy imagination -

When the Tennessee Titans hired Ken Whisenhunt in January, it brought a breath of fresh air to an organization that sorely needed a change.

But it hasn’t taken long for that breath of fresh air to quickly become stale and toxic.

70. Was lesson taught by the father or the son? -

All industries are loaded with personalities and characters and residential real estate is no exception. One of the most exciting is a mortgage loan officer known as Marty Maitland who is a twenty-something year veteran of the lending industry and a Nashville native who is currently working with BancorpSouth in Brentwood.

71. Ernest Tubb Record Shop: Where the stars really shop on Lower Broadway -

When Bob Dylan drops by, he generally goes right for “a handful” of Hank and Carter Family recordings, although on one Lower Broadway afternoon the old man from the North Country also is reported to have purchased a “Larry the Cable Guy” DVD.

72. Beautiful day for neighborhood mapmakers -

Like many other things on paper, maps have largely become extinct as interactive, digital versions have taken over.

But for students of history, as well as those with a keen interest in the neighborhoods and boundaries within cities, the paper map is an irreplaceable document.

73. Goat milk and smart marketing -

Maybe it was that last Facebook post that put them over the top. Or, maybe it was the #voteforgoats hashtag.

Little Seed Farm’s goats aren’t telling, but they do look a bit smug.

74. Government: Gas to average $2.60 next year -

The Energy Department again slashed its prediction for next year's average price of gasoline across the U.S., this time to $2.60 a gallon. That would be 23 percent below this year's projected average and the lowest full-year average since 2009.

75. Haslam questions UAW process at Volkswagen -

FRANKLIN (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, a longtime critic of the United Auto Workers' efforts to organize foreign automakers in the South, on Tuesday questioned the process by which the union qualified under a new labor policy at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

76. Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It's the new career trade-off: Around the country, areas with the strongest job markets increasingly have some of the costliest homes. And areas with the most affordable homes lack a solid base of middle class jobs that attract workers.

77. Fed proposing big US banks boost capital cushions -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are proposing that the eight biggest U.S. banks be required to further increase the amount of capital they set aside to cushion against unexpected losses.

The proposed requirements are aimed at lessening the chances of future taxpayer bailouts of troubled banks, while also encouraging the behemoths to shrink so they pose less of a risk to the financial system.

78. Time runs short for $1.1 trillion spending bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time running short, Republicans and Democrats reached for elusive agreement Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until the new year.

79. Court: No pay for Amazon warehouse security checks -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that warehouse workers who fill orders for retail giant Amazon don't have to be paid for time spent waiting to pass through security checks at the end of their shifts.

80. US job openings rise, hiring remains healthy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of available U.S. jobs rose in October to the second-highest level in 14 years, and companies kept hiring at a healthy pace, adding to evidence of an improving economy.

81. Ice bucket, Brazil elections popular on Facebook -

NEW YORK (AP) — Day after day, Facebook captures our best and worst moments, from the birth of a new baby to heated political spats. So what got discussed the most in 2014? The Ice Bucket Challenge and the death of Robin Williams, to name a few.

82. More Americans to buy homes with 3 percent down -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some Americans will soon be able to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3 percent, compared with the current minimum of 5 percent, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say.

83. Fuel to the fire? Fuel exports soar under Obama -

GARDI SUGDUP, Panama (AP) — Solar panels glisten from every thatched hut on this crowded island, one of the largest in this remote chain off the Panamanian coast. But the tiny emblems of green energy offer no hope against climate change.

84. E-cigarette tech takes off as regulation looms -

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Just a few years ago, early adopters of e-cigarettes got their fix by clumsily screwing together a small battery and a plastic cartridge containing cotton soaked with nicotine.

85. Notre Dame to face No. 22 LSU in Music City -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Notre Dame will try to end its late-season slide when it faces No. 22 LSU on Dec. 30 in the Music City Bowl.

Notre Dame (7-5) looked like a College Football Playoff contender earlier this year when it won its first six games. But it closed the regular season on a four-game skid as injuries decimated its defense.

86. US trade deficit drops as oil imports hit 5-year low -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell slightly in October as exports rebounded while oil imports dipped to the lowest level in five years.

The deficit edged down 0.4 percent to $43.4 billion, a drop from a revised $43.6 billion in September, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

87. Job gains put US on pace for best growth since '99 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The resurgence in U.S. hiring accelerated in November and put 2014 on track to be the healthiest year for job growth since 1999.

The gain of a robust 321,000 jobs — the most in nearly three years — put further distance between a strengthening American economy and struggling nations throughout the developed world. The job market still isn't yet fully healthy. But its steady improvement raises the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates from record lows by mid-2015.

88. Apple says plaintiffs' iPods not covered by suit -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For want of an iPod, a billion-dollar lawsuit may be in jeopardy.

Apple attorneys have raised an eleventh-hour challenge that could derail a long-running, class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit is over Apple's use of restrictive software that kept iPods from playing digital music sold by competitors to its iTunes store.

89. US hiring was likely solid for 10th straight month -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers are thought to have hired at another robust pace in November in the latest sign that the United States is outshining struggling economies throughout the developed world.

90. Uber raises $1.2 billion, valued at $40 billion -

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite recent bad publicity over privacy violations and other problems, the ride-hailing app Uber has raised $1.2 billion in its latest round of funding from venture capitalists, valuing the company at $40 billion.

91. Four retailers in need of holiday cheer -

NEW YORK (AP) — The holiday shopping season is always a make-or-break period for struggling retailers.

But this year, the fight to grab shoppers has intensified, making it difficult for stores to use the season that accounts for about 20 percent of the retail industry's annual sales to bounce back.

92. Starbucks to push more food, offer mobile ordering -

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks plans to let customers across the U.S. order ahead on their smartphones over the next year, a move that should help shrink lines as it pushes more snacks, sandwiches and even wine.

93. Government terrorism insurance program faces lapse -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress races to its lame-duck finish, time is running out on a government program that provides a backstop to private-sector insurance against terrorist attacks.

The program was enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks and has been renewed twice. The market for insurance covering terrorist attacks — which is crucial for economic sectors such as real estate, hospitality and major sports leagues — dried up after the 2001 attacks.

94. Senators to NFL: Drop 'blackout' rule or we might -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators from both parties warned the National Football League Thursday to get rid of a 4-decade-old TV "blackout" rule or risk congressional action to restrict the league's lucrative antitrust exemption, which allows NFL teams to negotiate radio and television broadcast rights together.

95. Stocks rise after hiring surge; Dow misses 18,000 -

NEW YORK (AP) — A strong jobs report boosted U.S. and European stocks Friday, and leaving the Dow Jones industrial average just short of the 18,000 mark.

The main focus in the markets was the monthly hiring numbers. The Labor Department said U.S. employers added 321,000 jobs last month, the biggest burst of hiring in nearly three years, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8 percent.

96. Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.89 percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, a continuing boon for potential homebuyers.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage declined to 3.89 percent this week from 3.97 percent last week. It is now at its lowest level since May 2013.

97. From Blibber-Blubber to Black Bottom -

Nov. 28 was a highly celebrated day in my life. No, it wasn’t my birthday, or my anniversary, although those are important. (Well, not the birthday one, unless for some reason I start getting younger.)

98. Search for the positive in your workplace situation -

Thanksgiving week has come and gone. Let’s hope you took some time to reflect on what you’re thankful for at work.

Many people are searching for a different job. Maybe you don’t like your boss. Or, possibly your company has no room for growth.

99. 10 useless PR tactics to avoid in 2015 -

The explosion of the Internet and the ensuing 24/7 news cycle, combined with a significant reduction in reporting staff at most media outlets over the past decade, has created a perfect storm driving a significant shift in public relations tactics that are effective and worth your time.

100. Common sense advice for protecting your credit -

Your credit card was declined. Such an annoyance. You paid your bill, the expiration date was right, your signature was on the back and it should’ve worked.

Eventually it did, much to your relief, but that made you think. Is your credit report, your privacy, your identity safe from criminals? Find out if it is - and what you can do to keep it safe - by reading “Identity Theft Alert” by Steve Weisman.