• Court endorses Illinois electricity surcharge

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois regulators can force electricity customers to help pay for the $1.6 billion FutureGen clean-coal project, a state appeals court said in a ruling Tuesday. The 2-1 decision handed down by the Illinois Appellate Court OKs a state plan to charge electricity customers an estimated $1 to $1.40 a month to help pay for the long-delayed project. FutureGen would refit a western Illinois coal plant with technology to remove carbon dioxide before the coal is burned and store the CO2 underground. Ken Humphreys is CEO of the FutureGen Alliance, a group of five coal companies working with the U.S. Department of Energy on the long-planned project. Humphreys said the decision "will keep the FutureGen 2.

  • Apple post biggest earnings gain in nearly 2 years

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's growth prospects are looking brighter as anticipation builds for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, a model that is expected to cater to consumers yearning for a bigger screen. The latest evidence of Apple's mounting momentum emerged Tuesday with the release of the company's fiscal third-quarter report. Earnings rose at the highest rate in nearly two years as Apple Inc. sold 35.2 million iPhones during the period. The iPhone shipments climbed 13 percent increase from the same time last year, even though many people are believed to be holding off on new device purchases until the next version comes out this fall.

  • Plane crash bodies removed from war zone

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner finally reached Ukrainian government-held territory Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the full-scale investigation demanded by world leaders. Five days after the plane was blown out of the sky, refrigerated railcars bearing victims' bodies — gathered up after several days in the sun — rolled out of the war zone and into a weedy railyard in the city of Kharkiv. The dead will be flown to the Netherlands, the homeland of most of the victims, for identification. The Dutch government declared Wednesday a day of national mourning as the country prepared for the arriva

  • LinkedIn to buy ad tech company Bizo for $175M

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — LinkedIn Corp. is spending $175 million to buy Bizo, a provider of advertising technology and measurement services aimed at professionals. LinkedIn said Tuesday that it is paying 90 percent in cash and the rest in stock for San Francisco-based Bizo. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Founded in 2008, Bizo lets marketers target professionals with ads they want them to see, and helps measure the effectiveness of the ad campaigns. LinkedIn, a professional networking service based in Mountain View, California, has more than 300 million users. The deal comes a day after Yahoo Inc. announced that it is buying Flurry Inc., which helps companies make mobile apps and design mobile ad campaigns.

  • At least 21 dead in Iraq checkpoint car bombing

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide driver rammed his explosive-laden car into a police checkpoint in the Iraqi capital killing 21 people, including more than a dozen civilians en route to a Shiite shrine in the final days of the Islamic holy month. At least 13 people killed in the attack were civilians, according to police and hospital officials. At least 35 people were wounded — more than half of them civilians. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak with the media. The attack occurred at the entrance to Baghdad's Khazimiyah district, where many cars were en route to the Imam Al-Khadim Shrine in the lead up to the Eid feast commemorating the end of Ramadan.

  • Oops! EPA goes off topic, tweets about Kardashian

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency's fight to clean up water pollution got a splash of pop culture Tuesday, thanks to an Internet flub involving reality TV star Kim Kardashian. The verified Twitter account for the EPA's Office of Water mistakenly published a message Monday night about an online game, "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," in which players walk red carpets, attend photo shoots and get dolled up like a Kardashian. An agency spokeswoman said the off-topic tweet was done by an intern. The government's tweet was removed within hours from the @EPAwater account, but not before a tweet from the account of Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the 88-year-old co-author of the Clean Water Act, poked fun by asking what

  • Jakarta governor wins Indonesian presidency

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo, who captured the hearts of millions of Indonesians with his common man image, was declared the winner Tuesday of the country's presidential election, calling it a victory for all of the nation's people. A former furniture exporter known to most as "Jokowi," Widodo was the first candidate in a direct presidential election in Indonesia with no ties to the former dictator Suharto, who ruled for 30 years before being overthrown in 1998. "This is a victory for all Indonesian people," Widodo, who received 53 percent of the vote, according to the Election Commission, said in a televised speech. "We hope this victory will pave the way to build Indonesia to be an independent econom

  • 11 parents of Nigeria's abducted girls die

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — In the three months since Islamic extremists kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, 11 of their parents have died, town residents say. The town where the girls were kidnapped, Chibok, is cut off by militants, who have been attacking villages in the region. Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies brought to the Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month, said a health worker who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals by the extremists. At least four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses that the community blames on trauma due to the mass abduction 100 days ago, said community leader Pogu Bitrus,

  • Judge approves 1st settlement in 38 Studios case

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A judge on Tuesday approved the first settlement in the lawsuit brought by the state's economic development agency over the collapsed video game company founded by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. In a 35-page ruling, Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein approved a $4.4 million settlement between the agency formerly known as the Economic Development Corp. and lawyer Antonio Afonso Jr. and his firm, Moses Afonso Ryan. Several parties to the suit had objected. Afonso and the firm were among the 14 defendants named in the EDC's complaint, which alleges fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, among other things. The EDC's board in 2010 approved a $75 million loan guarantee

  • Amid sanctions, France in warship sale to Russia

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — France says it will go ahead with the sale of a warship to Russia despite calls for an arms embargo against the country, highlighting how Europe's strong business ties are hindering its ability to punish Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. Western powers say Russia is supporting the insurgents in eastern Ukraine who allegedly shot down a Malaysian Airliner last week, killing all 298 people on board. European Union foreign ministers met Tuesday to consider more sanctions against Russia but agreed only to impose more asset freezes on individuals, leaving economic relations untouched. Some countries, like Britain, argue the plane crash has raised the stakes and Europe should not go soft on Russia.

  • Gaza blockade key to any Israel-Hamas truce deal

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Ibrahim Zain was driven from his home by Israeli tank fire this week, but says he'd rather endure more Israel-Hamas fighting than accept an unconditional cease-fire he fears will leave in place the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Like Zain, many Gaza residents say the closure, imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, is like a slow death: It prevents them from traveling, from importing cement to build homes and increasingly from earning enough to feed their families. "We want a good life or no life," said the unemployed 44-year-old father of nine whose small scrap metal business fell victim to the blockade last year.

  • Peace talks eyed after Israel, Hamas cease-fire

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a necessary step to avoid sustained violence. It's unlikely that Washington is ready to wade back into the morass of peace negotiations that broke off last April after nearly nine months of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. But the new round of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants who control Gaza has reached the level of violence that U.S. officials warned last spring would happen without an enduring truce.

  • Target debuts an image-recognition shopping app

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Target is introducing an app that lets users purchase items after scanning magazine ads with their smartphones. It's the latest offering from retailers looking to boost sales with the use of improving image-recognition technology. Starting this month, the app, called "In a Snap," will recognize images for Target's Room Essentials products in 10 home decor magazines including Architecture and Real Simple. A user can simply scan an image and when it is recognized by the app, the item gets added to a shopping cart for potential purchase. Apps that scan codes, such as QSR codes and UPC symbols, are fairly common, but an app that consistently recognizes images or objects has proven more difficult.

  • Protect yourself from identity theft

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — It's an almost weekly occurrence: On Tuesday, Goodwill said its computer systems may have been hacked, leading to the possible theft of customers' credit and debit card information. The nonprofit agency, which operates 2,900 stores in the U.S., said it is working with federal investigators to look into a possible breach. That follows news over the weekend that Vendini, an event ticketing service, had settled a class-action suit related to a data breach in 2013. For many people who had ordered tickets through the service, an e-mail about the settlement was their first notification that their information had been compromised. In the last year, major companies like Target, LinkedIn, eBay and Neiman Marcus have also b

  • European agency urges airlines to avoid Tel Aviv

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — The European Aviation Safety Agency says it "strongly recommends" that airlines refrain from operating flights to and from Tel Aviv. The recommendation by Europe's main aviation safety body came after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines they are prohibited from flying to Israel's Ben Gurion airport for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby. EASA's statement Tuesday didn't name a similar timeframe, but it said the agency would "monitor the situation and advise on any update as the situation develops." European airlines including Lufthansa, Air France and Alitalia say they have already suspended all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns.

  • UK announces inquiry for Russian spy death

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — The British government announced plans Tuesday for a wide-ranging public inquiry into the mysterious 2006 death of poisoned former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko. The decision, which comes at a time of rising tensions with Russia, is a breakthrough in the much-delayed probe because it means investigators can look into whether the Russian state was involved in Litvinenko's death. Here are key facts about the case. ___ WHO WAS ALEXANDER LITVINENKO? A former officer in the Russian intelligence service, Litvinenko fell out with the Russian government and became a strong critic of the Kremlin. He came to Britain in 2000 and obtained political asylum.

  • Verizon: We track you, you get free stuff

    Published: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    Are you comfortable having your location and Web browsing tracked for marketing purposes? If so, Verizon's got a deal for you, according to CNN Money. The wireless giant announced a new program this week called "Smart Rewards" that offers customers credit card-style perks like discounts for shopping, travel and dining. You accrue points through the program by doing things like signing onto the Verizon (VZ, Tech30) website, paying your bill online and participating in the company's trade-in program. The catch? Smart Rewards participants have to sign up for Verizon Selects, a program through which Verizon collects data on your location, Web browsing and mobile app usage for marketing purposes. That data is used in Verizon's "Precision Market Insights" business, which combines information on phone activity with demographic data to generate reports for marketers.

  • Is this Apple's new iWatch?

    Published: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    Apple was granted a patent for a smartwatch Tuesday, lending credence to rumors that the company will unveil a new "iWatch" this fall, according to CNN Money. In the patent filing, Apple (AAPL, Tech30) revealed a square smartwatch design, but it didn't disclose too many more details about the iWatch. Most of what the company revealed shows that the device may have many of the same features as its competitors' smartwatches -- a touchscreen, an accelerometer, a GPS receiver, Bluetooth, and alerts via vibration. The iWatch connects to a mobile device, displays notifications and allows users to accept or decline phone calls.

  • Infighting as split emerges among Syrian rebels

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Fighters of an al-Qaida affiliate seized a northern border town in Syria from rival rebels, activists reported Tuesday, as new infighting threatened opposition gains. The Nusra Front captured the town of Haram in northern Idlib province, said Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory. The town was seized after weeks of skirmishes between the Nusra Front and their one-time allies among the Western-backed rebel groups, who once united over seeking the overthrow of President Bashar Assad. A spokesman for some Western-backed groups, Hussam al-Marie, confirmed the infighting. Another rebel group, the Hazzm Movement, said earlier this week that they would no longer work with the Nusra Front.

  • Survey: Users unhappy with Facebook

    Published: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    Some Americans still love to hate Facebook and other social media services. That's according to an annual survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released Tuesday. Social media companies are the fourth-lowest scoring with consumers after Internet service providers, subscription television companies and airlines. The industry has a score of 71 on a 100 point scale, USA TODAY reports.