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NSA Chief Heckled at Hackers' Conference at Caesars

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Heckling at a hacker's conference didn't faze the head of the National Security Agency.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander remained unapologetic Wednesday in Las Vegas about methods the NSA uses to, in his words, connect the dots and go after bad guys who aim to kill people.

He told the tech-savvy audience in his keynote comments at the annual Black Hat conference at Caesars Palace that the ability to look for patterns in telephone and email communications has stopped terror attacks in the U.S. and other countries.

Alexander even drew laughter when a voice in the overflow crowd shouted that he should read the Constitution. Alexander said he had, and the heckler should, too.

He insisted that it wasn't true the spy agency listens to specific phone calls and reads emails.

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Linq Project Could Redefine Mega-Resorts

LAS VEGAS -- The Linq project is signaling a change in the way mega resorts attract visitors according to experts. Caesars Entertainment and others are finding ways to keep people at their properties.

The heart of the Las Vegas Strip will have a different feeling when visitors take a spin on the world's largest observation wheel. It's a sign the mega resort business model is evolving.

David Schwartz with the Center of Gaming and Research at UNLV said it's a battle for wallet share or how much money resort companies can get visitors to spend at their properties.

"The Linq is really an evolution for the Strip. It used to be 10 years ago. If you wanted to expand your presence, you'd build another huge mega casino," Schwartz said. "Now, that's not so, and you are going to add attractions."

Hotel Renovations, Additions Changing Strip Skyline

SLS Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- The great recession hit southern Nevada hard and most people are still feeling the effects.

However, hotel renovations and new additions to the Las Vegas skyline are moving forward, which is a sign that the city's economy is improving.

Companies continue to invest big in Las Vegas, hoping to keep the tourists coming back year after year.

Under Lady Liberty and just below the thrill seekers feeling the rush on the roller coaster, is construction.

New York-New York Hotel and Casino and the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino are both undergoing a transformation.

"There is actually a lot of excitement about what is going on in between New York-New York and Monte Carlo, as we seek to enliven, not only the space in between them, but really the streetscape that links all of them together," executive vice-president for MGM Resorts International Alan Feldman said.

Hard-Hat Tour of Newest Strip Attraction

LAS VEGAS -- It has been six years in the making but The Linq is slowly taking shape as the newest attraction to hit the Las Vegas Strip.

8 News NOW toured the construction site for the $550 million entertainment and shopping complex Tuesday.

By this time next year, project managers with Caesars Entertainment say they are confident The Linq will be fully up and running.

When tourists walk through the area between The Quad and the Flamingo, they will be able to eat, shop, play and take a ride on what will be the highest observation wheel in the world.

The final months of construction to turn what used to be a lonely service alleyway between two Strip hotels into a multi-million dollar outdoor entertainment complex are underway.

"All of the early pains of making that happen is past us now. We are seeing the fruit of our labor," executive project director for The Linq David Codiga said.

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Las Vegas Sands Appeals $70M Jury Award

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Las Vegas Sands Corp. asked a Nevada judge Tuesday to throw out a second jury verdict awarding a former consultant a $70 million settlement in a breach-of-contract case.

Attorneys for the largest U.S. casino company presented 12 reasons a district judge should grant a second retrial.

Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen says he helped Sands win a gambling license in the Chinese enclave of Macau. He first sued the company, which is owned by billionaire GOP super donor Sheldon Adelson, in 2004.

Suen said he was hired by Las Vegas Sands to curry favor with the Chinese government in the early 2000s and was successful. Sands holds that it would have won a gambling license in Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, without Suen's help.

Caesars Entertainment Makes Progress on the Linq

LAS VEGAS - The long-awaited Strip attraction the Linq is showing signs of progress. The shopping and entertainment complex is expected to change the skyline of the Strip, bringing in new attractions.

The Linq is a massive $550 million project by Caesars Entertainment located next to the Quad hotel. It will feature an open-air, pedestrian-only district packed with dining, entertainment and retail.

It will also feature a 550-foot observation wheel called "The High Roller". The ride will be the centerpiece of the Linq. It will include 28 glass-enclosed cabins with a perfect view of Las Vegas.

Tourists say they are excited about the new look and experience the Linq is expected to bring.

Wynn Earnings Fall Short as Macau Growth Stalls

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Wynn Resorts Ltd. says it made less money than expected in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, and its second quarter missed analysts' forecasts.

Excluding special items Wynn made $1.51 per share on revenue of $1.33 billion in the latest quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet forecast, on average, earnings of $1.57 per share on revenue of $1.34 billion

Revenue from Wynn's two properties on the recently sluggish Strip soared by 16.2 percent compared with last year. But revenue in the usually robust Macau market was up by just 2.6 percent, due in part to hotel renovations that limited the number of available rooms.

Total revenue was up by 6.3 percent.

Wynn shares rose 18 cents to $131.16 in afternoon trading.