National briefs: AT&T cuts data prices

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NEW YORK -- AT&T Inc. is cutting mobile-phone subscription charges for the second time in two months, seeking to hold on to smartphone customers amid a price war with T-Mobile US Inc.

The price reduction, effective Monday, comes a day after T-Mobile said it will double to 1 gigabyte the amount of data allotted to its $50-a-month Simple Choice package. AT&T cut its shared data plan for families by $40 last month as it seeks to keep pace with T-Mobile's aggressive pricing strategy.

Bank whistle-blower settles

NEW YORK -- A Louisiana man who helped federal prosecutors make their case against JPMorgan Chase's mortgage lending practices has earned $63.9 million for his efforts.

The government will pay the amount to Keith Edwards, the whistle-blower who originally sued the bank last year, according to a filing Friday in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Last month, the bank agreed to pay $614 million to settle charges that it had violated rules at the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which insure mortgages made by lenders. The bulk of the settlement, $564.6 million, went to the FHA.

Mr. Edwards sued the bank in January of last year under the False Claims Act, a law that aims to encourage whistle-blowers to come forward by paying a portion of whatever money the government gets.

Boeing finds plane cracks

CHICAGO -- Boeing said Friday that it had discovered tiny cracks in the wings of about 40 Dreamliners currently in production. It was the latest setback for the advanced airliner, although the plane maker said it was confident the problem did not involve any of the 787s in service.

Fixing each plane could take one to two weeks, the company said, and might result in some delivery delays.

Bail set for Fla. woman

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A Florida judge set bail Saturday at $1.2 million for the pregnant woman accused of trying to kill her three children last week by locking them in a minivan that she drove into Daytona Beach's 4-foot-high surf.

Ebony Wilkerson, 32, remained in custody as of Saturday afternoon, according to Volusia County jail records. The mother from South Carolina was charged Friday with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse causing great bodily harm.

Investigators say that on Tuesday afternoon Ms. Wilkerson locked the doors of a black Honda Odyssey, rolled up the windows and told her three children to close their eyes as she took them to a "safer place" far away from her allegedly violent husband.

Sen. Paul wins straw poll

OXON HILL, Md. -- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., won a presidential straw poll at a prominent conservative conference Saturday, capturing 31 percent of the vote among no fewer than 10 potential candidates.

The straw poll, conducted at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, is hardly predictive of future presidential success. Indeed, Mr. Paul's father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, won the poll in 2010 and 2011 but never came close to winning his party's nomination.

But the win by the younger Mr. Paul reflected the enthusiastic reception he has received at the three-day conference. When he took the stage Friday, a capacity audience filled with college-age Republicans repeatedly rose to their feet as he made the case for his brand of libertarian-infused conservatism.


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