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  • WASHINGTON/ TORONTO, Dec 12- The U.S. Congress has cleared the way for global miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton to swap land with the government, which will allow them to build a long-delayed $6 billion copper mine in Arizona. The land swap, first proposed nine years ago, was tucked into the annual defense policy bill passed by the Senate on Friday and the House last...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 12- "Will they or won't they?" Client notes from Goldman Sachs, Citi and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch this week deal with expectations for the removal of the wording, roughly agreeing that however close the call is, it is more likely than not that the phrase will go away. "They are going to remove it; I don't think is going to keep it in there just because of what...

  • US: Drugs trafficked alongside Wal-Mart-bound food Friday, 12 Dec 2014 | 1:16 PM ET

    PITTSBURGH— Prosecutors say Pittsburgh drug traffickers smuggled bricks of cocaine alongside food bound for Wal-Mart. They say they came across two of the men in Somerset County driving a tractor-trailer carrying about 42 pounds of cocaine and pallets of Wal-Mart- bound groceries. Wal-Mart says the truck belonged to an outside carrier.

  • Family settles polygamist towns lawsuit for $3M Friday, 12 Dec 2014 | 11:21 AM ET

    SALT LAKE CITY— A family that was awarded a $5.2 million judgment over a denied water hookup in two polygamous towns along the Utah- Arizona border has settled for less than half that amount to avoid an appeal. Ronald and Jinjer Cooke will get about $2 million from insurers and utility companies representing Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, according to a...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 12- London zinc steadied on Friday from six-month lows plumbed the session before, with a reading on China's industrial health later expected to underline decelerating demand for metals. *Three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange had slipped 0.2 percent to $2,192 a tonne by 0130 GMT, after ending up 0.7 percent in the previous session when it fell...

  • Dec 11- Freeport McMoRan Inc operations at its sole U.S. copper smelter have returned to normal production levels after it completed repairs on an electric furnace damaged in a fire at the Arizona facility, a spokesman said on Thursday. Freeport, the largest U.S. miner by market value and revenue, resumed processing copper concentrate at the site on Dec 7, said Eric...

  • Freeport resumes processing at sole U.S. copper smelter Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 3:44 PM ET

    Dec 11- Freeport McMoRan Inc resumed processing copper concentrate at its sole U.S. copper smelter on Dec 7, a spokesman said on Thursday, after completing repairs on a damaged electric furnace in the Arizona facility. "Operations have returned to normal production levels," Eric Kinneberg said in an email. Freeport temporarily shut the smelter in November after a...

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar, stocks rebound on strong U.S. data Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 11:41 AM ET

    *Wall St gains on view stocks can weather oil price plunge. NEW YORK, Dec 11- The dollar and global equity markets rebounded on Thursday after three days of losses, spurred by strong U.S. retail sales and declining jobless claims, signaling an economy that can weather slumping oil prices and a likely interest rate hike next year. 'said Sean McCarthy, regional CIO for...

  • US STOCKS-Wall St rallies on data after three-day slump Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 11:15 AM ET

    *Starboard Value takes stakes in Office Depot, Staples. NEW YORK, Dec 11- U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, bouncing sharply from a three-day drop, as data pointed to a strengthening economy that could weather the impact of a steep drop in oil prices. said Sean McCarthy, regional CIO for Wells Fargo Private Bank in Scottsdale, Arizona.

  • Ohio senators pass lethal injection drug bill Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 1:26 AM ET

    COLUMBUS, Ohio— Ohio is weighing changes to its lethal injection law that are meant to restart executions, but the updated law will undoubtedly lead to lawsuits that will make carrying out the next scheduled procedure on Feb. 11 impossible, a prosecutor said Thursday. The Summit County prosecutor's office is not counting on Ronald Phillips' execution happening,...

  • Congressman's Native American remark causes outcry Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 6:16 PM ET

    Paul Gosar's reference to American Indians as "wards of the federal government" has struck a harsh chord with tribal members and legal experts in the days following a discussion about a controversial Arizona land deal that would make way for the country's largest copper mine. The Arizona Republican was responding to concerns from Phil Stago of the White...

  • Passengers, airlines can't afford late 1st flight Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 11:09 AM ET

    DALLAS— For years, Southwest was the most punctual of big U.S. airlines, so its tumble toward the bottom of government rankings for on-time arrivals was stunning. Southwest officials needed to fix an ill-fated decision to squeeze more flights into the schedule. "If you're late out of the driveway in the morning, you're probably going to be a little bit late to work,"...

  • Ohio lawmakers debate execution drugmaker bill Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 9:28 AM ET

    COLUMBUS, Ohio— Companies providing Ohio with lethal injection drugs would have their names shielded for at least 20 years, under a bill scheduled for a possible vote that lawmakers say is needed to restart executions in the state. Ohio hasn't executed an inmate since January, when Dennis McGuire gasped and snorted for 26 minutes before dying, during a procedure...

  • Obama announces $1B for early childhood education Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 6:09 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Declaring early childhood education "one of the best investments we can make," President Barack Obama on Wednesday followed up on a promise to expand early education opportunities for tens of thousands of children by announcing $1 billion in public-private spending on programs for young learners. He said the investments announced at a daylong...

  • With future uncertain, Colorado shields its water Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014 | 4:10 PM ET

    DENVER— With demand increasing across the West, Colorado is drawing up a strategy to keep some of the trillions of gallons of water that gushes out of the Rocky Mountains every spring— most of which flows downstream to drought-stricken California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. He referred to the Colorado River Compact of 1922 that covers water allocations to...

  • US Border Patrol: Female agents wanted Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014 | 12:44 AM ET

    TUCSON, Ariz.— The U.S. Border Patrol is on a hiring spree for a very specific type of agent: a female one. The agency's southwest region includes Arizona, Texas and California. That's a concern for Juanita Molina, executive director of the Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group in Tucson.

  • US Border Patrol: Female agents wanted Monday, 8 Dec 2014 | 6:01 PM ET

    TUCSON, Ariz.— The U.S. Border Patrol is on a hiring spree for a very specific type of agent: a female one. The agency's southwest region includes Arizona, Texas and California. That's a concern for Juanita Molina, executive director of the Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group in Tucson.

  • Sen. McCain vows Jones Act will be repealed one day Friday, 5 Dec 2014 | 3:37 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 5- Senator John McCain said a more than 90- year-old law that requires ships servicing coastal businesses to be built and mostly staffed by U.S. crews will be repealed sooner or later if lawmakers keep fighting the trade restriction. The Department of Homeland Security issued a rare waiver of the act in 2012 when superstorm Sandy led to fuel...

  • These states- Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, North and South Carolina, Georgia and California- accounted for about half of the total job growth in the 12 months to September, according to RBC Capital Markets. The shift bodes well for D.R. Horton Inc, the largest U.S. homebuilder, and rivals Lennar Corp and PulteGroup Inc, each of which gets a large part of its revenue...

  • *Apple briefly crosses $700 bln market cap, ends lower. NEW YORK, Nov 25- U.S. stocks ended little changed on Tuesday as the U.S. economy grew more than expected last quarter but soft readings on consumer confidence and house prices kept major indexes in a tight range. "We did get that great GDP number noting earth-shattering but confirmation the U.S. economy is really...