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  • Disney unveils Star Wars toys amid marketing blitz Friday, 4 Sep 2015 | 12:06 AM ET

    NEW YORK— The release of the new Star Wars movie may still be months off, but Disney is unleashing its full marketing "Force" behind the launch of hundreds of toys and other items related to the film. Among the first cities was Hong Kong with toy stores open at midnight. Leaked images of action figures of characters that have not even hit the big screen— like Sarco Plank,...

  • DENVER— Federal regulators have recommended that a northwestern Colorado coal mine threatened with closure partly over its impact on global warming remain open. Jackson's ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by New Mexico- based WildEarth Guardians, which also has sued to challenge the San Juan coal mine in New Mexico and the Spring Creek mine near the...

  • PHILADELPHIA— Three people were charged Thursday with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel and "carbon-negative" housing developments, neither of which were ever fully developed, federal prosecutors said. Troy Wragg, 34, of Georgia; Amanda Knorr, 32, of Pennsylvania; and Wayde McKelvy,...

  • Supporters withdraw push for marijuana ballot measure Thursday, 3 Sep 2015 | 10:44 AM ET

    DENVER— Supporters of a proposed ballot initiative to allow marijuana use in some Denver clubs, bars and hotels are pulling the measure while they negotiate with city officials amid concerns that it could create "a bad chamber of commerce moment" if it passes. Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project said proponents of the ballot measure want to give the city...

  • AP survey: How cities are handling surge in oil trains Thursday, 3 Sep 2015 | 2:20 AM ET

    In the wake of a half-dozen fiery crashes this year, The Associated Press surveyed nearly a dozen cities with populations of more than 250,000 to gauge how prepared they are to respond to an oil-train derailment. —Variety of tabletop exercises and training exercises have taken place in and around Chicago involving railroads, first responders and government...

  • After a series of fiery crashes, The Associated Press conducted a survey of nearly a dozen big cities that, collectively, see thousands of tank cars each week, revealing a patchwork of preparedness. The AP surveyed emergency management departments in Chicago; Philadelphia; Seattle; Cleveland; Minneapolis; Milwaukee; Pittsburgh; New Orleans; Sacramento,...

  • US Muslims hope new billboards reclaim Islam's message Thursday, 3 Sep 2015 | 12:05 AM ET

    The New York- based Islamic Circle of North America has erected 100 billboards over the summer that feature statements such as: "Muhammad believed in peace, social justice, women's rights" and "Muhammad always taught love, not hate; peace, not violence." They are in cities including Boston; New York; Phoenix; San Diego; El Paso and Austin, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee;...

  • CHEYENNE, Wyo.— Two former shepherds from Peru are accusing key players in the sheep industry in the western U.S. of conspiring to keep wages low for foreign workers. Rodolfo Llacua and Esliper Huaman, represented by a Denver law firm called Towards Justice, are seeking to have their lawsuit treated as a class-action case seeking damages for current and former...

  • NEW YORK— Cookie and clothing makers, a fitness studio and an old-fashioned five-and-dime retailer have made the cut in a competition to win a Super Bowl ad. Ten small businesses are finalists in the contest sponsored by software maker Intuit Inc. that will give the winner a 30- second spot during Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. —AnaOno, Philadelphia, maker of lingerie for...

  • WASHINGTON, Sept 1- A multimedia, multi-state advertising blitz from industry groups opposing new national ozone standards reached Pennsylvania on Tuesday, part of their last-ditch attempt to scuttle the Obama administration's plans to issue new rules governing ground-level smog by Oct. 1. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent its...

  • The oil tank cars- a year ago sought-after to haul crude from North Dakota to New Jersey- now stand idle as a result of two converging trends: the reversal in U.S. shale oil production and the completion of new pipelines. Big rail lines, such as Berkshire Hathaway- owned BNSF Railways or Union Pacific are losing what used to be their fastest-growing source of new...

  • NEW YORK— Western Union said Monday that it is now offering money transfers out of Greece two months after that service was suspended. Western Union said customers in Greece can use its Paylink agent to send as much as 500 euros a month to other countries. The Greek postal service ELTA is also a Western Union agent, but the company said ELTA still cannot transfer...

  • The pieces are among millions held by the Illinois State Museum, a favorite stop for school groups and scientists looking to learn the history of a state that, millions of years before it went broke, was literally underwater. Bruce Rauner is targeting the 138- year-old museum and four satellite sites for closure, the latest in a series of cuts the former...

  • Oregon hemp farmer says startup going slow Saturday, 29 Aug 2015 | 11:39 AM ET

    Harvesting machinery is expensive, and there is no plant in Oregon to process the plants into fiber, seed and oil. This is the first year Oregon farmers can grow hemp, following the Legislature's approval in 2009. Growing hemp without a federal permit was banned in 1970 due to its classification as a controlled substance and relation to marijuana.

  • EPA: Clean water rule in effect despite court ruling Friday, 28 Aug 2015 | 2:37 PM ET

    The EPA says the rule, which took effect Friday in more than three dozen states, will safeguard drinking water for millions of Americans. The House has ignored a White House veto threat and passed a bill to block it, and a Senate committee has passed a measure that would force the EPA to withdraw and rewrite it. The senators— two Democrats and two Republicans— said in an...

  • Aug 28- Charles Schwab Corp's online trading platforms were temporarily unavailable, a spokesman for the brokerage firm said on Friday morning. The spokesman did not elaborate on the cause of the problem, and a customer service representative in Denver said Schwab did not have an estimate of when online access would be restored. Earlier in the week, discount...

  • DENVER— A man convicted of stabbing five people to death at a Denver bar and setting the business on fire will not be executed and instead will serve a lifelong prison sentence, a jury decided Thursday. It was the second time in a month that a Colorado jury has decided against execution for a mass killer. Earlier this month, jurors choose not to give the death penalty...

  • TORONTO, Aug 27- Freeport-McMoran Inc said on Thursday it will slash its mining capital budget by 25 percent next year and cut 10 percent of its U.S. mining staff, as the diversified miner and energy producer attempts to weather an ongoing slump in copper prices. Shares of Freeport-McMoran, which will also suspend operations and lower production at some U.S. mines,...

  • BILLINGS, Mont.— Members of a federal cleanup crew were initially trapped and unable to warn downstream communities that they had accidentally unleashed toxic waste water from a Colorado gold mine, according to government documents released Thursday. During that time, a trickle of water started by excavation work at the site grew to a torrent and 3 million...

  • SALT LAKE CITY— A legal battle over a hotly contested Utah law banning minimum prices for contact lenses is set to come before a federal appeals court on Thursday. Alcon Laboratories, Johnson& Johnson and Bausch& Lomb call the law a brazen overreach written specifically to help Utah- based discount seller 1-800 Contacts. The manufacturers are appealing a ruling...