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  • California farmers agree to drastically cut water use Saturday, 23 May 2015 | 3:09 AM ET

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid one of the worst droughts on record. The rare concession from the farmers is the latest indication of the severity of the water shortage...

  • BELLINGHAM, Wash.— A woman has chained herself to the Arctic Challenger, a support ship for Royal Dutch Shell's exploratory oil drilling plans, Bellingham police said. KCPQ-TV said the ship is anchored in Bellingham Bay, north of Seattle. Earlier, an official with Washington state's Department of Natural Resources said activists protesting Shell's plans for...

  • Congress passes 2-month highway, transit aid extension Saturday, 23 May 2015 | 1:46 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Congress sent President Barack Obama a bill to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states for another two months and prevent shutdown of summer construction projects. It's the 33rd time in more than six years that Congress has resorted to a temporary patch to keep transportation programs going, 12 bills specific to highway and transit...

  • Peru suspends civil liberties in region after 4th death Saturday, 23 May 2015 | 12:53 AM ET

    LIMA, Peru— Peru's government said it was suspending civil liberties in a southern coastal valley after a fourth death in violent anti-mining protests against a Mexican-owned copper mining project. One protester was killed and four injured Friday in clashes, which have escalated since farmers mounted resistance two months ago to the $1.4 million project...

  • Senate blocks House surveillance bill, 2-month extension Saturday, 23 May 2015 | 12:42 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Senate struggled unsuccessfully to prevent an interruption in critical government surveillance programs early Saturday, blocking a House-passed bill and several short-term extensions of the USA Patriot Act. Finally, McConnell announced early Saturday that the Senate would begin a weeklong Memorial Day break and return on Sunday, May 31,...

  • LOS ANGELES— A 10- square-mile oil slick off the coast of California is thinner than a coat of paint and it's becoming harder to skim from choppy waters, officials said Friday as more dead animals were discovered on the Santa Barbara coast. Federal regulators ordered Plains All American Pipeline to drain the pipe that leaked, test the metal in the damaged section...

  • Senate clears White House-backed trade bill Saturday, 23 May 2015 | 12:16 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for a highly unpredictable summer showdown in the House. Separate legislation to prevent parts of the anti-terror USA Patriot Act from lapsing on June 1 was caught in a...

  • WASHINGTON, May 22- President Barack Obama scored a major victory on Friday when the U.S. Senate voted to give him "fast-track" powers that would help wrap up negotiations on a 12- nation Pacific Rim trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia. The Senate voted 62-37 to approve the Trade Promotion Authority bill, or fast-track as it is known in...

  • Senate clears White House-backed trade bill Friday, 22 May 2015 | 9:23 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for a highly unpredictable summer showdown in the House. Senate passage of the trade bill capped two weeks of tense votes and near-death experiences for legislation the...

  • LOS ANGELES, May 22- Owners of an oil pipeline that burst in California this week must take numerous corrective measures, including an in-depth analysis of factors contributing to the spill and a plan to fix any flaws found, before they can restart the line, U.S. safety officials said on Friday. The corrective action order issued on Thursday by the U.S....

  • LAS VEGAS— A Nevada judge has decided a wrongful termination case against Macau- based Sands China Ltd. and Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson can stay in Nevada largely because of the influence Adelson wielded over the company, often from several thousand miles away. Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued her ruling Friday afternoon after...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to June 4 Friday, 22 May 2015 | 8:01 PM ET

    SINTRA, Portugal- European Central Bank board member Vitor Constancio chairs session 2 on "Structural Perspectives on European Employment, Productivity, and Growth in a Global Context" at an ECB forum on Central Banking "Inflation and Unemployment in Europe"- 0800 GMT. SINTRA, Portugal- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer participates in a panel...

  • SANTA BARBARA May 22- Government prosecutors are investigating the company at the center of the California oil spill for possible criminal sanctions, according to the district attorney of Santa Barbara- a city that helped spawn the modern environmental movement. Perhaps one of the worst places on Earth for a crude oil leak, Santa Barbara is a beautiful...

  • LOS ANGELES, May 22- Union dockworkers at all 29 U.S. West Coast ports have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a contract agreement reached in February with shipping companies and terminal operators to end months of labor strife that snarled trans-Pacific trade. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union voted 82 percent in favor of the new...

  • SPRINGFIELD, Va., May 22- Much about the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency remains classified, but the U.S. spy agency that maps and analyzes the earth is opening up more than ever, from sharing computer source code on a public website to tapping new sources of intelligence. The National Security Agency's page premiered this week, and the Defense...

  • Chris Christie's administration has reached a deal to pay $7.6 million to a firm the state contracted to help handle applications for its Superstorm Sandy housing recovery program. The state Department of Community Affairs reached the agreement on Thursday with Hammerman and Gainer Inc., also called HGI, department spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said.

  • CHICAGO/ NEW YORK, May 22- As a virulent avian influenza outbreak continues to spread across the Midwestern United States, some egg-dependent companies are contemplating drastic steps- importing eggs from overseas or looking to egg alternatives. A spokeswoman for Archer Daniels Midland Co said that as egg supplies tighten and prices rise, the food processing...

  • PORTLAND, Ore.— An Oregon medical marijuana patient who was badly burned in an explosion while he was legally using butane as a solvent to make hash oil is suing the makers and sellers of the fuel. Kevin Tveisme, 28, of Portland, was injured in 2013 when his furnace clicked on, igniting butane vapor. The explosion destroyed his garage and injured a friend, Joseph Westom,...

  • Correction: Earns-Liberty Media story Friday, 22 May 2015 | 5:47 PM ET

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo.— 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. ENGLEWOOD, Colo.— ENGLEWOOD, Colo.— Liberty...

  • WASHINGTON— 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. And on Friday, the government agency charged with calculating the economy's growth rate said it would adjust its methods in an effort to resolve the problem. Alec Phillips, an economist at...