• Dutch seek to harness energy from salt water mix

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch researchers are seeking to add a new, largely untapped renewable energy source to the world's energy mix with the opening of a "Blue Energy" test facility on Wednesday. Blue energy takes advantage of the difference in salt concentration between sea water and fresh water to produce electricity. Rik Siebers of REDstack BV, the company overseeing the project, said the goal is to improve the technology to the point where it will be profitable to build blue energy plants commercially in the 2020s. Siebers said blue energy will one day have its own niche. "For wind turbines you need wind, and solar panels work in the day, but water is always flowing," he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

  • The UN, child rights, parents and sexuality education

    Susan Roylance, Deseret News | Updated: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    As the U.N. celebrated the 25th anniversary of the treaty on the Rights of the Child, many countries spoke out on the rights of the parents to determine the sex education of their children, and a recognition of religious and cultural values.

  • Pepsi gets Super Bowl campaign started early

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl 49 is still more than two months away, but Pepsi is drumming up an audience for the halftime show. Pepsi has been a long-time Super Bowl commercial sponsor and is sponsoring the halftime show for the third time. It will feature singer Katy Perry. Super Bowl 49 is slated to be played Feb. 1, 2015, in Phoenix and will be broadcast on NBC. It is starting its marketing blitz for the show with an ad placed during the NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving Day. It depicts a Blake Shelton concert that Pepsi sponsored for veterans on an aircraft carrier near Corpus Christi, Texas. The town was selected because it is in the middle of the country.

  • US new home sales up 0.7 percent in October

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes edged up modestly in October, led by a big jump in activity in the Midwest. New home sales advanced 0.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The result followed a smaller 0.4 percent gain in September and put sales at the highest point since May. The strength last month stemmed from a big 15.8 percent increase in sales in the Midwest and a smaller 7.1 percent rise in the Northeast. Those increases offset a 1.9 percent fall in sales in the South, which accounts for half of the new-home market, and a 2.7 percent drop in the West. The median price of a home sold in October was $305,000, up 16.5 percent fro

  • Real estate companies at odds over similar marks

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    FARGO, N.D. (AP) — An ongoing spat between North Dakota and Minnesota real estate companies with similar names and signage is playing out in federal court. The dispute involves The Real Estate Company Inc., of Dickinson, North Dakota, and The Real Estate Company of Detroit Lakes Inc., of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. In July 2012, the Minnesota business asked permission of the Dickinson group — and offered and a bottle of Scotch — to allow one of its agents to work under the name in the Fargo area. The Dickinson company rejected the request and demanded that its counterpart change its logo.

  • At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The federal program that requires weeks of monitoring for travelers from African countries with Ebola is turning a month old. And so far, no cases of the disease have turned up. The program tracks people for 21 days if they've arrived from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone or Mali. The idea is to see whether symptoms of the disease appear. Each state chooses its own method of monitoring. Most tracking is done through daily phone calls. More than 2,600 people have been tracked under the program, which reaches the one-month mark on Thursday.

  • US pending home sales slip in October

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes fell slightly in October as tight credit and lagging wages remained financial hurdles for would-be homebuyers. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 1.1 percent in the past month to 104.1. The index remains below its 2013 average but is 2.2 percent higher than last October. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale. The number of contract signings rose in the Northeast but fell in the Midwest, South and Western regions of the U.S.

  • Some immigrants get benefits under Obama's actions

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Many immigrants in the United States illegally who apply for work permits Under President Obama's new executive actions would be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits upon reaching retirement age, according to the White House. Under Obama's actions, immigrants who are spared deportation would be eligible to obtain work permits and a Social Security number. As a result, they would pay into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. No such "lawfully present" immigrant, however, would be immediately entitled to the benefits because like all Social Security and Medicare recipients they would have to work 10 years to become eligible for retirement payments and health care.

  • Netflix sues Yahoo CIO for alleged kickbacks

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix is suing a former company vice president who is now chief information officer at Yahoo, accusing him of receiving money from vendors he hired to work with the video streaming company. Netflix says in the lawsuit that two companies paid Michael Kail commissions of up to 15 percent after he secured contracts with them. To date, Los Gatos, California-based Netflix says it paid the companies a combined total of more than $3.7 million. Netflix says it was not aware of the payments until after Kail left in August for Yahoo. At Yahoo Inc., based in Sunnyvale, California, Kail oversees data center operations and reports to CEO Marissa Mayer. Yahoo and Netflix Inc. declined to comment. Kail did not imme

  • Man paralyzed by police urges retrial decision

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Defense attorneys for a young black man paralyzed after being shot by a white city police officer during a traffic stop contend his life is being endangered by a prosecutor's delay in deciding whether to retry him on some criminal counts. Attorneys for Leon Ford, 21, of Shaler Township, made that argument in a motion filed Wednesday, seeking to force the hand of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. Ford, who has a pending federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the three white officers involved, has been a focus of recent demonstrations in the city flowing from the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Ford's supporters plan another rally focusing on his case Friday at P

  • Obama administration sets stricter smog standard

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration took steps Wednesday to cut levels of smog-forming pollution linked to asthma, lung damage and other health problems, making good on one of President Barack Obama's original campaign promises while setting up a fresh confrontation with Republicans and the energy industry. In a long-awaited announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency said it prefers a new, lower threshold for ozone pollution of 65 to 70 parts per billion, but left open the possibility it could enact an even lower standard of 60 parts per billion sought by environmental groups. The current standard is 75 parts per billion, put in place by President George W. Bush in 2008. Meeting the stricter rules will cost in

  • Endangered orangutan born at Indiana zoo

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — There's a new, hairy baby at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. And she's especially rare. An endangered Sumatran orangutan gave birth to a healthy female on Saturday, and the newborn was first seen nursing Sunday, officials at the Indiana zoo said. Less than 7,000 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild, with about 320 in zoos worldwide. The birth was the first for the zoo's 19-year-old female orangutan, Tara, who zookeepers expected to give birth between mid-November and early December. Because she has never seen another female caring for an infant, officials were concerned she might not know how to care for her newborn, but "Tara is doing everything she should to care for her baby," animal

  • FBI data show thousands of gun sales beat checks

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (AP) — More gun sales than ever are slipping through the federal background check system — 186,000 last year, a rate of 512 gun sales a day, as states fail to consistently provide thorough, real-time updates on criminal and mental histories to the FBI. At no time of year is this problem more urgent. This Friday opens the busiest season for gun purchases, when requests for background checks speed up to nearly two a second, testing the limits of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. The stakes are high: In the U.S., there are already nine guns for every 10 people, and someone is killed with a firearm every 16 minutes. Mass shootings are happening every few weeks.

  • Hong Kong police arrest key protesters, clear site

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    HONG KONG (AP) — Police arrested key student leaders as they cleared the most volatile of Hong Kong's three pro-democracy protest camps on Wednesday, dealing a blow to the 2-month-old movement in the former British colony. On the second day of the operation, police in helmets swiftly removed metal barricades, tents, canopies and other obstructions in Mong Kok, a crowded, blue-collar neighborhood that has been the flash point of earlier clashes. Two other protest zones remain in place: a sprawling main camp next to government headquarters on the edge of the financial district and a smaller site in the Causeway Bay shopping district. Protesters scattered and traffic started flowing on Nathan Road after the clearance ope

  • Deere dips on shaky outlook for fiscal 2015

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Deere's fourth-quarter results were stronger than Wall Street expected but it says its farm equipment sales and profits will keep falling in its new fiscal year as the sector remains weak. Its shares slipped in midday trading on Wednesday. The world's biggest farm equipment supplier says its annual net income will drop about 40 percent and revenue from agricultural and turf equipment will fall further than it did in fiscal 2014. Falling commodity prices and lower farm income are hurting companies like Deere & Co., and in August, Deere lowered its outlook and said it would cut production in response to weak sales.

  • EPA chief unfazed by mercury limit court challenge

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is expressing confidence that the Supreme Court won't block its limits on mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. The high court has agreed to review a case claiming the EPA failed to consider costs when deciding whether to regulate certain pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. A federal appeals court upheld the rules in April. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency is "very confident" it will win the case. She says the Supreme Court is only examining a narrow issue. McCarthy says the government is on solid ground in regulating mercury. She says the agency is already working on implementation and ensuring compliance for the mercury rule.

  • Flood warning issued for part of Hall County

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Hall County in south-central Nebraska. The service says an ice jam has formed in a channel of the Platte River south of Interstate 80 near Grand Island. The service warns that floodwater could reach businesses on the south side of the interstate at Exit 312. The warning is scheduled to expire at 3 p.m. Saturday.

  • US 30-year mortgage rates slip to 3.97 percent

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates ticked down for the third straight week, a positive trend for potential homebuyers. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage declined to 3.97 percent this week from 3.99 percent last week. Rates are now about a half-point lower than at the beginning of the year. Long-term mortgage rates fell as low as 3.31 percent toward the end of 2012, partly because of the Federal Reserve's bond-purchase program, which was intended to keep rates low. That program has since ended. Rates have fallen in recent weeks amid economic slowdowns in Europe and China and the start of a recession in Japan.

  • US stock indexes hold near record; Deere slumps

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks aren't moving much in midday trading as indexes remain near record levels. Investors were looking over some mixed news on the economy Wednesday. Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose in October, but more people filed for unemployment benefits last week. Deere fell 1 percent after the company said its farm equipment sales and profits will keep falling. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,069 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,799. The Nasdaq composite rose 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,775. U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. Bo

  • Obama's immigration move disappoints businesses

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration left out some of the business community's top priorities, disappointing business leaders who might have stepped up to defend his policies in the face of Republican attacks. Months of lobbying by high-tech businesses failed to persuade the administration to make allotted but unused green cards available for foreign workers — probably the top item on the executive action agenda for business. And the administration only partially answered pleas to increase the length of time foreign students can stay in the U.S. before or after graduating to work in their fields. The administration announced plans to expand the program at some point in the future, bu