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  • California farmers strike a deal to cut water use

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators Friday accepted a historic offer from a group of farmers holding some of the state's strongest water rights to voluntarily reduce their water use by one-quarter to stave off deeper, mandatory cutbacks amid one of the worst droughts on record. Officials hope the deal will serve as a model for more...

  • Senate approves deal to avert construction halt at Denver VA

    DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Senate has approved a last-minute deal to avoid a construction shutdown at a troubled veterans hospital outside Denver. Senate approval came Friday. The House approved the agreement Thursday. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama, who's expected to sign it. The deal raises the spending cap on the project by...

  • Adult dating site investigating breach of user data

    PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — The operator of a popular adult dating website said Friday it's investigating a data security breach following reports that hackers stole names, email addresses and information about the sexual orientation or habits of up to 4 million members. Britain's Channel 4 news outlet reported that hackers posted some of the...

  • Timeline: Key steps among companies in animal welfare

    Major animal-welfare moves announced by food and retail companies since 2012: — FEBRUARY 2012: McDonald's Corp. requires its U.S. pork suppliers to outline plans to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls that limit movement. — AUGUST 2014: Nestle says it wants to get rid of the confinement of sows in gestation crates and egg-laying...

  • US stocks fall slightly on lower oil, mixed earnings news

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market capped a quiet week of trading on a down note. Major indexes fell from the start on Friday as oil drillers and other energy-related companies followed oil prices lower. Stocks spent much of the rest of the day drifting between losses and gains as investors considered a mixed bag corporate earnings and a slight...

  • Federal data: As oil production soars, so do pipeline leaks

    The oil pipeline leak that fouled a stretch of California coastline this week reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure: As U.S. oil production has soared, so has the number of pipeline accidents. Since 2009, the annual number of significant accidents on oil and petroleum pipelines has shot up by almost 60 percent, roughly...

  • Brownback signs bill regulating ride-hailing companies

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a compromise on regulations that ride-hailing company Uber says will allow it to stay in the state. Brownback signed the bill Friday in a ceremony on the Capitol grounds. The Legislature approved the measure Tuesday. Uber announced earlier this month that it had ceased operations in...

  • Murray Energy expects more than 1,800 coal mine layoffs

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Coal giant Murray Energy expects to lay off more than 1,800 mine workers, most from West Virginia. The St. Clairsville, Ohio-based company announced Friday it plans to lay off 1,417 West Virginia miners. Illinois would lose 162 jobs. Ohio would lose 249. The Monongalia County mine would be hit hardest, with 588...

  • Target settlement with MasterCard fails to get bank support

    NEW YORK (AP) — A $19 million deal between Target and MasterCard to settle lawsuits stemming from the retailer's massive pre-Christmas 2013 data breach has been scrapped, because it failed to get enough support from the affected banks and credit unions. While the rejection sends the companies back to the drawing board, advocates for the...

  • Business Highlights

    ___ Wal-Mart's push on animal welfare hailed as game changer NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart's push to get its suppliers to give farm animals fewer antibiotics and more room to roam is expected to have a big impact on the food industry, experts say. Though the steps are voluntary, Wal-Mart, which sells more food than any other store, has a history...

  • US gov't to review mystery of slow 1st quarter growth

    WASHINGTON (AP) — There's something strange about the U.S. economy in the first three months of every year: It frequently grows at a much slower pace than in the other nine months. The government agency charged with calculating the economy's growth rate now says it will adjust its methods in an effort to resolve the problem. At issue is how...

  • Correction: Earns-Liberty Media story

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — In a story May 8 about Liberty Media's earnings -- generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research -- the Associated Press reported erroneously the company's stock performance over the last 12 months. At that time, Liberty Media shares had risen 10.6 percent over the last 12 months. A corrected...

  • Egg prices surge to record on shortage caused by bird flu

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Egg prices reached record levels on Friday after a bird flu outbreak decimated the flock, leading to the death of more than 20 million egg-laying hens over the last month in the top producing state of Iowa. The virus spread appears to have slowed but not stopped. Federal officials are planning an aggressive educational...

  • Cruise ship that ran aground near Bermuda returns to Boston

    BOSTON (AP) — Passengers on a cruise ship that ran aground on a reef near Bermuda during a seven-day vacation shrugged their shoulders and said the mishap was no big deal as they disembarked Friday. The Norwegian Dawn, carrying nearly 3,500 passengers and crew, returned to the Black Falcon Terminal in Boston. Everyone had a story to tell — and...

  • Deere, Expedia are big market movers

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE Deere & Co., up $3.89 to $93.35 Solid sales of its construction equipment offset a global agricultural slowdown for the farming equipment maker. The company also raised its full-year outlook. Campbell...

  • Tuk-tuk taxi maker aims to make inroads in US

    DENVER (AP) — They're ubiquitous in Asia, swarming the bustling streets of Bangkok, New Delhi and Beijing. Now, a company that manufactures tuk-tuks — the three-wheeled motorized rickshaws that have moved the masses for more than a century and go by many other names in Asia, Africa and Latin America — aims to make inroads in the United States....

  • Regulators order pipeline testing, other steps after spill

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The company responsible for a pipeline that spilled thousands of gallons of oil along the California coast was ordered to take a series of steps before it can restart the line, federal regulators said Friday. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration required Plains All American Pipeline to remove the...

  • West Coast dockworkers union ratifies 5-year contract

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The labor dispute that hobbled international trade through West Coast seaports earlier this year officially ended Friday when the union representing dockworkers announced its members had ratified a five-year contract. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union voted 82 percent in favor of the deal, according...

  • Clinton appears to rule out return of ground forces in Iraq

    HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she sees "no role whatsoever" for U.S. ground forces in Iraq despite setbacks in the struggle against Islamic State militants. The existing U.S. policy of providing air support, intelligence, surveillance and training is the right one, Clinton said, in...

  • US stocks dip in quiet trading ahead of Memorial Day weekend

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing moderately lower in a relatively quiet day ahead of a holiday weekend. Trading volume was relatively light Friday ahead of the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 53 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,232. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost four points, or 0.2 percent, to...

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