S.C. declared disaster area because of rains
CHARLESTON All of South Carolina was declared a federal disaster area Wednesday as a result of the heavy rains that have inundated the state since late last winter. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack notified Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday that her request for a disaster designation has been approved, meaning farmers who suffered crop losses because of the heavy rains can qualify for low-interest loans.
Making smartphone in Texas doesn’t jack up price
NEW YORK A research firm says Motorola’s new Moto X phone doesn’t cost more to make simply because it’s assembled in Texas. The Moto X is the first smartphone to carry the “Made in the U.S.A.” designation. Labor costs are higher in the U.S. compared with Asian factories, where phones are typically made. But researchers at IHS say that overall cost for parts and labor is cheaper than Samsung’s Galaxy S4, by about 5 percent. IHS says the Moto X is just 9 percent more expensive to make than that for Apple’s iPhone 5. Labor is a small part of a phone’s overall cost.
General Motors won’t leave the driving to us
MILFORD, Mich. General Motors says that before the end of this decade it will begin selling cars that can almost drive themselves. The automaker says a system, called “Super Cruise” will use radar and a camera to steer cars, keeping them between the lane lines. The radar also will keep cars a safe distance from cars head of them. GM and other automakers already offer radar-guided cruise control systems that keep their cars safely behind other traffic. They also have systems that warn drivers if they’re drifting out of their lanes. But until recently, GM says engineers haven’t been able to steer with computers.
Regulators may ease risks banks take
WASHINGTON Regulators want to ease a rule that would require banks to share some risk in the complicated mortgage investments that helped cause the financial crisis. Under the proposal advanced Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve, banks could exempt relatively safe mortgages from the value of those securities.
The Associated Press contributed.