- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

AP source: Bank of America nears $16B-$17B settlement with US over sale of securities

WASHINGTON (AP) - Bank of America is nearing a $16 billion to $17 billion settlement to resolve an investigation into its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis, a person directly familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The deal with the bank, which must still be finalized, would be the largest Justice Department settlement by far arising from the economic meltdown in which millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. It would follow earlier multibillion-dollar agreements reached in the last year with Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced, cautioned that some details still needed to be worked out and that it was possible the agreement could fall apart.

But the person said the two sides reached an agreement in principle following a conversation last week between Attorney General Eric Holder and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

The person said the tentative deal calls for the bank to pay roughly $9 billion in cash and for the remaining sum to go toward consumer relief.

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Nigeria authorities rush to obtain isolation tents in anticipation of more Ebola infections

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - Nigerian authorities rushed to obtain isolation tents Wednesday in anticipation of more Ebola infections as they disclosed five more cases of the virus and a death in Africa’s most populous nation, where officials were racing to keep the gruesome disease confined to a small group of patients.

The five new Nigerian cases were all in Lagos, a megacity of 21 million people in a country already beset with poor health care infrastructure and widespread corruption, and all five were reported to have had direct contact with one infected man.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization began a meeting to decide whether the crisis, the worst recorded outbreak of its kind, amounts to an international public health emergency. At least 932 deaths in four countries have been blamed on the illness, with 1,711 reported cases.

In recent years, the WHO has declared an emergency only twice, for swine flu in 2009 and polio in May. The declaration would probably come with recommendations on travel and trade restrictions and wider Ebola screening. It also would be an acknowledgment that the situation is critical and could worsen without a fast global response.

The group did not immediately confirm the new cases reported in Nigeria. And Nigerian authorities did not release any details on the latest infections, except to say they all had come into direct contact with the sick man who arrived by plane in Lagos late last month.

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Debate over who’s first in line for experimental Ebola drug even though little is available

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