• Japan trade gap narrows, but returns to deficit in April

    Updated: 24 min ago

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade balance reverted to a deficit in April but narrowed sharply from the previous year as the plunge in oil prices cut fuel import costs. The 53.4 billion yen ($439.6 million) deficit in April for the world's third-biggest economy compared with a 227.4 billion yen surplus in March, the first in several years. But it was down nearly 94 percent from April 2014, when the deficit was 825.5 billion yen, the Finance Ministry reported Monday. Exports rose 8 percent year-on-year to 6.55 trillion yen ($53.9 billion) while imports dropped 4.2 percent to 6.6 trillion yen ($54.3 billion). Strong demand for machinery and cars pushed exports to the U.S., Japan's biggest market, up 21 percent from a year

  • Hawaii groups plant coconut trees, protest against Monsanto

    Updated: 44 min ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Demonstrators planted coconut trees and waved signs in rallies across the Hawaiian Islands as part of an international day of protests against agriculture business Monsanto. The protesters on Saturday complained about the effects that companies like the Monsanto Company have on the community when they spray fields with chemical pesticides. They say they want agribusiness companies to stop using Hawaii as a testing ground for pesticides and genetically modified foods. "Get off the island," said Diane Marshall, a Honolulu teacher. "I would like to see them close up shop." Monsanto issued a statement saying it realizes people have different points of view about food and agriculture, and it's committed to

  • Protester leaves Shell ship north of Seattle; 1 remains

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — One of two protesters who affixed themselves to an Arctic oil-drilling support ship parked north of Seattle left the vessel Sunday, but the other remained suspended from its anchor chain in an effort to draw attention to climate change and the risks an oil spill could pose in the remote waters off northwestern Alaska. Protester Matt Fuller requested help getting down from the Arctic Challenger in Bellingham Bay about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, and the Coast Guard said it obliged. The Arctic Challenger is part of a fleet Royal Dutch Shell expects to use to conduct exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska this summer — plans that have drawn large protests in Seattle, where a massive, floating dr

  • John Nash: A life of great struggle and even greater success

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Born to an electrical engineer, and later a precocious and dashing young man who attained an Ivy League education, John Nash seemed destined for a life of stunning success. That he achieved, winning a Nobel Prize in 1994, but not without a struggle with mental illness that would make him a household name even more so than his achievements in mathematics. Nash had read the classic "Men of Mathematics" by E.T. Bell by the time he was in high school. He planned to follow in his father's footsteps and studied for three years at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh — now Carnegie Mellon University — but instead followed his passion for math.

  • Nigerian cellphone provider needs fuel to prevent shut-down

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's leading cellphone provider said Sunday it urgently needs diesel to prevent shutting down services countrywide — the latest business hit by a months-long fuel crisis in Africa's biggest oil producer. Many aircraft have been grounded with foreign airlines diverting to other African countries to fuel for flights abroad. Some radio stations have been silenced. Nigeria's woefully erratic electricity supply keeps businesses dependent on diesel generators. Nigeria produces more than 2 billion barrels of petroleum a day, but imports almost all refined fuel because its refineries aren't maintained.

  • New Census numbers show Casper population exceeding 60,000

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Casper has exceeded 60,000 in population for the first time in its history thanks largely to active oil drilling in the area, and a state economist says he believes the recent downturn in oil prices won't cause the large population losses that the city and state experienced in past boom-to-bust cycles. New numbers released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau estimate that Casper gained nearly 400 residents during the year ending July 1, 2014, putting it just over the 60,000 mark by 86 people. Cheyenne remains the most populous city in the state with an estimated 62,845 residents. Laramie is No. 3 at 32,081, followed by Gillette with 31,971, Rock Springs with 24,045 and Sheridan with 17,916.

  • YouTube's 1st decade shows sharing free content pays off

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — YouTube's legacy extends beyond its pioneering role in the Internet's video revolution. The 10-year-old site provided a stage for exhibitionists, narcissists and activists to broadcast their opinions, show off their talents, expose abuses or just pass along their favorite clips of movies, TV shows, music, cute kittens and other interests. The rampant sharing on YouTube quickly attracted a massive audience that loved watching what they wanted when they wanted, even if much of the material was being contributed by amateurs. YouTube's rapid rise demonstrated that influential media hubs could be built around free content supplied by an Internet service's users.

  • After a decade online, YouTube is redefining celebrity

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a meet-and-greet worthy of an A-list star. Outside the three-story bookstore at the outdoor shopping mecca known as The Grove, hundreds of mostly young women have formed a line that stretches past trendy clothing stores and spills out onto a nearby street. They're waiting to have Connor Franta, an affable 22-year-old Internet personality best known for delivering diary-like monologues on YouTube, sign a copy of his new memoir. The irony of a YouTube star drawing a massive crowd at a bookstore isn't lost on talent manager Andrew Graham. "A year ago, I went to New York and tried to get a book publisher to take a meeting with me," said Graham, who represents Franta and other mega-popular YouTubers

  • High-profile votes, fights preview Wolf's challenges in June

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — June is crunch time in the state Capitol and the challenges in front of Gov. Tom Wolf are becoming clearer in the Democrat's first go-round with budget negotiations. For Wolf, who took office in January, it will be perhaps the biggest test yet of his mettle, and an important sign of how successful he will be the rest of his term in persuading the state Legislature's huge Republican majorities to support his priorities. The last few days provided something of a preview of the battles awaiting Wolf's administration and how it might handle them.

  • Cleanup of oil spill at ND farm to take 2 more years

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The state Health Department says cleanup of a pipeline rupture that caused more than 20,000 barrels of crude to ooze across a northwestern North Dakota wheat field will take twice as long as the company had expected. The massive spill from a Tesoro Corp. pipeline that was discovered by a Tioga farmer in September 2013. The spill has been called the worst in state history. Tesoro had said the spill would take two years to clean up. State environmental scientist Bill Suess says it's now estimated to take at least four years. Tesoro says more than 6,000 barrels of oil have been recovered. Suess says the rest is being baked out of the soil. Tesoro blames a lightning strike for causing the ruptu

  • Northeast marinas scramble to repair damage from deep freeze

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    GLASTONBURY, Conn. (AP) — The deep freeze that gripped the Northeast last winter dealt a severe blow to marinas and yacht clubs: Ice snapped pilings in half, shredded wooden docks and left behind wreckage that many compare to the effects of a hurricane. After a scramble to get ready for the all-important Memorial Day weekend, most marinas are back in business, although many are behind schedule and still in need of costly repairs to operate at full capacity. Mindy Kahl, co-owner of Birbarie Marine on a river in Branford, Connecticut, said it is operating this weekend but nowhere near where it should be. Hardest hit were yards in rivers and coves that became choked with ice during a record-breaking stretch of frigid wea

  • Light on NC solar industry focused on ending preferences

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's rapidly-growing solar industry has an unwanted spotlight upon it from a cadre of fiscal conservatives at the General Assembly fixed on ending its preferential tax and energy policy treatments. "It's very simple: do you believe in subsidizing a special interest off the backs of our taxpayers or not?" Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender, a fierce critic of the state's solar policies, asked colleagues during a recent debate. Millis and like-minded Republicans are in a full-court press this year to freeze portions of a 2007 law that are raising over time the percentage of retail sales that electric utilities must originate from renewable energy sources and energy efficiencies, reaching 12.5 percent

  • Hawaii groups plant coconut trees, protest against Monsanto

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Demonstrators planted coconut trees and waved signs in rallies across the Hawaiian Islands as part of an international day of protests against agriculture business Monsanto. The protesters on Saturday complained about the effects that companies like Monsanto have on the community when they spray fields with chemical pesticides. They say they want agribusiness companies to stop using Hawaii as a testing ground for pesticides and genetically modified foods. "Get off the island," said Diane Marshall, a Honolulu teacher. "I would like to see them close up shop." In Waikiki, a man wore a gas mask in front of a statue of surfer Duke Kahanamoku to demonstrate the dangers of pesticides.

  • Hawaii groups plant coconut trees, protest against Monsanto

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Demonstrators spent Saturday planting coconut trees and waving signs in rallies across the Hawaiian Islands as part of an international day of protests against agriculture business Monsanto. The protesters complained about the impacts that companies like Monsanto have on the community when they spray fields with chemical pesticides. They say they want agribusiness companies to stop using Hawaii as a testing ground for pesticides and genetically modified foods. "Get off the island," said Diane Marshall, a Honolulu teacher. "I would like to see them close up shop." In Waikiki, a man wore a gas mask in front of a statue of surfer Duke Kahanamoku to demonstrate the dangers of pesticides.

  • Pipeline that leaked wasn't equipped with auto shut-off

    Yesterday

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil on the California coast was the only pipe of its kind in the county not required to have an automatic shut-off valve because of a court fight nearly three decades ago, a county official said. The original owner of the pipeline skirted the Santa Barbara County requirement by successfully arguing in court in the late 1980s that it should be subject to federal oversight because the pipeline is part of an interstate network, said Kevin Drude, deputy director of the county's Energy and Minerals Division. Auto shut-off valves are not required by federal regulators. "It's the only major pipeline that doesn't have auto shut-off," Drude said. "For us, it's routi

  • Nigerian airlines cancel flights amid fuel crisis

    Yesterday

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian airlines grounded flights Saturday and radio stations were silenced as a months-long fuel shortage aggravated by striking oil tanker drivers worsened in Africa's biggest oil producer. Vehicles also were grounded. Normally bustling roads in Lagos, a metropolis of 20 million, were half-empty and gas stations closed Saturday. One station owner said he had fuel but strikers are threatening to set fire to any stations selling it. He insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals. Police were arresting black marketers selling fuel at roadsides at four times the regulated 87 naira (40 cents) a liter.

  • Dayton vetoes agriculture-environment and jobs-energy bills

    Yesterday

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov, Mark Dayton vetoed two major budget bills ahead of a Saturday night deadline for final action on measures that passed before the end of the legislative session, but he proposed a temporary tax cut in return for a scaled back version of his proposal for universal preschool for all 4-year-olds. While Dayton signed a state government finance bill, he vetoed an agriculture-and-environment budget bill that contained his top environmental initiative, a requirement that farmers plant buffer strips to keep agricultural chemicals out of drainage ditches, streams and other waters. It also included money to combat the bird flu crisis.

  • 2 people chained to Shell ship north of Seattle

    Yesterday

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Two people have chained themselves to a support ship that is part of Royal Dutch Shell's exploratory oil drilling plans and currently moored in Washington state. Eric Ross of the Backbone Campaign said on Saturday morning that Matt Fuller joined student activist Chiara Rose in suspending themselves from the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger, which is in Bellingham Bay. Rose suspended herself from the ship with a climbing harness on Friday night. The Coast Guard cutter Osprey spent the night monitoring Rose but took no action, Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer said Saturday morning. "We're really most concerned for her safety and the safety of everyone involved," Shearer said.

  • About 162,000 U-Haul vehicle trailer hitches recalled

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — About 162,000 trailer hitches sold at U-Haul outlets are being recalled because of weak steel that could cause the parts to break. The recall, announced Saturday, covers two types of hitches made by Wisconsin-based Curt Manufacturing between July 2014 and January 2015 and sold under the "U-Haul Power Tow" brand. They were sold only at U-Haul stores and online. Curt Manufacturing said a Chinese company, Shandong Jiyang Machinery, changed the way it cleaned steel during the hot-rolling process, reducing the steel's strength. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that if owners don't also attach safety chains for the trailers, the defective hitches could mean a trailer breaking away fr

  • What we know right now about the deadly Amtrak derailment

    Yesterday

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nearly two weeks after a deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia killed 8 people and injured more than 200 others, investigators are still trying to piece together what led the train to enter a sharp curve at more than double the 50 mph speed limit. The National Transportation Safety Board has ruled out the locomotive being hit by a bullet and is now focused on whether the engineer was using his cellphone while operating it. Funerals have been held. Lawsuits have been filed. And all but a few of the most seriously injured remain hospitalized. Here are a few key questions and what we know right now: ___ WAS THE ENGINEER USING HIS CELLPHONE AT THE CONTROLS? That's what the NTSB is trying




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