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  • NEW YORK— Pete Meegan had every intention of going back to college, but then he got a summer job in the Chicago trading pits and fell in love with the "roar" of the floor, the excitement of "4,000 people yelling,' Buy! ' "and decided no more classroom for him. On Monday, most futures pits in Chicago and New York, where frenzied buying and selling once helped set prices on cattle...

  • Its largest utility, Green Mountain Power, gets 9 percent of its mix from Seabrook, company spokeswoman Kristin Carlson said. But Vermont takes about a third of its power from the huge dams on the rivers of northern Quebec. All of it raises a question: Is greener-than-thou Vermont just exporting its energy problems?

  • A series of contests at Dartmouth College is about to find out. Dartmouth is seeking artificial intelligence algorithms that create "human-quality" short stories, sonnets and dance music sets that will be pitted against human-produced literature, poetry and music selections. That's the question, "said Dan Rockmore, director of the Neukom Institute for...

  • CORDOVA, Md.— Mike Geske wants a drone. Watching a flying demonstration on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Missouri farmer envisions using an unmanned aerial vehicle to monitor the irrigation pipes on his farm— a job he now pays three men to do. Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, says he would like to buy one for his Maryland farm to help him...

  • AUGUSTA, Maine— The $6.7 billion state budget may be in place, but Maine lawmakers don't get to clear off their desks just yet. While they plowed through nearly all of the remaining bills on their to-do list last week, lawmakers will be hauled back to Augusta later this month thanks to Gov. Roger Katz that's designed to force LePage to release more than $11 million in...

  • WASHINGTON— After July Fourth fireworks and parades, members of Congress return to work Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and a pending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the fall. Republicans are eager to avoid another Capitol Hill mess as they struggle to hang onto control of Congress and try to take back the White House next year.

  • VIENNA— Nine days into marathon nuclear talks, U.S. World powers and Iran are hoping to clinch a deal by Tuesday, setting a decade of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program and granting Iran significant relief from international sanctions. Kerry met for 3 ½ hours on Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as top diplomats from the five other...

  • 'Take the bailout', Greek voters say—just barely Saturday, 4 Jul 2015 | 4:36 PM ET
    A rally in support of a "NO" vote in Athens, Greece, July 3, 2015.

    Greek voters are torn on taking the bailout, with the 'yes' camp only marginally outweighing the 'no' voters, a poll showed.

  • FOLSOM, Calif.— A falling staircase that killed a tenant at a Northern California apartment building was due to be repaired after another set of steps collapsed a year ago, the Sacramento Bee reported. Permit applications were filed in recent months for landing repairs at The Legends at Willow Creek, and at least one staircase was propped up with temporary wooden...

  • BEIJING— More than two dozen companies in China are postponing initial public offerings and security companies are pledging more than $19 billion for a fund to stabilize the country's free-falling stock market. The 28 companies, which had obtained permission from China's securities watchdog for IPOs planned in Shanghai and Shenzhen, said they would...

  • SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Well before dice start tumbling at new upstate casinos, gambling operations in New York are evolving to stay competitive. And in central New York, the tribe that operates Turning Stone Resort Casino opened a second, smaller casino and added slot machines to its convenience stores. Licenses are pending for three new gambling resorts in New...

  • 3-day Milwaukee County bus drivers' strike ends Saturday, 4 Jul 2015 | 12:03 PM ET

    MILWAUKEE— Milwaukee County bus drivers have returned to work after a three-day strike over staffing and wages. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 President James Macon says the biggest sticking point is the county's plan to hire more part-time drivers, with fewer benefits than full-time drivers. On Friday, drivers rallied outside the apartment building...

  • They're popular in Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Marquette, especially as a way to visit small breweries. Laurie Ryan, owner of the Great Lakes Pub Cruiser in Grand Rapids, said the cost of liability insurance for her 15- seat trolley would double. In Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula, the owner of U.P.

  • Things to know Massachusetts' state budget delay Saturday, 4 Jul 2015 | 11:22 AM ET

    July 1 came and went without a final agreement between the House and Senate on how Massachusetts should spend roughly $38 billion over the next 12 months. The governor wanted a two-week interim budget, but the Legislature gave him one that would cover the entire month of July if necessary, which was seen as a possible sign that talks were progressing slowly.

  • DENVER— Opponents of gay marriage have proposed two Colorado ballot measures in response to the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide. One measure would redefine same-sex marriages in Colorado as civil unions. The ballot measures were filed Thursday by Gene Straub and D'Arcy Straub, both of Littleton, The Denver Post...

  • Concerns over US winter wheat may boost low crop prices Saturday, 4 Jul 2015 | 10:36 AM ET

    Normally, the flood of new grain coming in at harvest time drives down crop prices, and with prices already low when the harvest began, farmers in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas were worried. Wheat grower Vance Ehmke said cash prices at his local elevator in the western Kansas community of Dighton dipped as low as $4.50 a bushel last month but have risen to about $5.50 a...

  • Texas wants its gold back inside the state's borders Saturday, 4 Jul 2015 | 10:29 AM ET

    Texas has decided to start keeping its gold holdings within in its own borders. Texas is the only state that owns an actual stockpile of gold, according to public sector and financial industry experts— not just gold futures or investment positions, but approximately 5,600 gold bars worth around $650 million. But for the Texas comptroller's office, which has to...

  • One of the country's largest power companies, Southern Co., says it hopes drones can eventually identify storm damage in the Southeast and allow it to increase its routine inspections. "One of the biggest challenges is going out and assessing the system," said Andrew Phillips, who has directed drone research for the Electric Power Research Institute, an electric...

  • VIENNA— World powers and Iran have drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for the Islamic republic in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, advancing on one of the most contentious issues at their negotiations, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday. Officials had described sanctions relief as one of the thorniest...

  • WASHINGTON— As the Justice Department launches an investigation into possible collusion in the airline industry, experts say the government faces the burden of proving that carriers were deliberately signaling business decisions to each other. A particularly cold winter in the Northeast, for instance, might merit more flights to the Caribbean.