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  • SEATTLE— One of two protesters who affixed themselves to an Arctic oil-drilling support ship parked north of Seattle left the vessel Sunday, but the other remained suspended from its anchor chain in an effort to draw attention to climate change and the risks an oil spill could pose in the remote waters off northwestern Alaska. Protester Matt Fuller requested...

  • CHICAGO— When retailers open state-approved medical marijuana shops in Illinois later this year, they will face a distinct disadvantage in luring prospective patients across their thresholds: Marijuana will always be cheaper on the black market. Dispensary owners in Illinois are thinking, too, about Tupperware-style education parties, spa-like interior...

  • WASHINGTON— A different health care issue has emerged for Democrats, in sync with the party's pitch to workers and middle-class voters ahead of next year's elections. Jim McDermott, D- Wash., a congressional leader on health care. Since virtually all U.S. residents are now required to have health insurance by President Barack Obama's health care law, McDermott...

  • Eric Ross of the Backbone Campaign said on Saturday morning that Matt Fuller joined student activist Chiara Rose in suspending themselves from the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger, which is in Bellingham Bay. The Coast Guard cutter Osprey spent the night monitoring Rose but took no action, Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer said Saturday morning.

  • SEATTLE— An official with the state Department of Natural Resources says Seattle activists protesting Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic did some environmental damage to a popular dive park. KIRO radio reports activists left behind material used to anchor their protest barge when they sent kayaks out last weekend to protest the Shell oil rig in...

  • PORTLAND, Ore., May 22- Oregon Governor Kate Brown expanded the state's drought emergency to eight more counties on Friday amid a devastating West Coast drought and warned that water shortages could be imminent and a tough fire season may be ahead. The new Oregon counties listed in a drought emergency are Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Morrow, Umatilla...

  • LOS ANGELES— The labor dispute that hobbled international trade through West Coast seaports earlier this year officially ended Friday when the union representing dockworkers announced its members had ratified a five-year contract. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union voted 82 percent in favor of the deal, according to spokesman...

  • The oil pipeline leak that fouled a stretch of California coastline this week reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure: As U.S. oil production has soared, so has the number of pipeline accidents. "Tick, tick, tick," said Robert Bea, a professor emeritus in civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1995, there have been more...

  • LOS ANGELES— Richard Martinez thinks of his son every day, and with those thoughts come the constant reminder of a young life cut tragically short by a troubled man with a gun. Martinez had just gotten off the phone with his son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, on the night of May 23, 2014, when the sophomore English major at the University of California, Santa...

  • Expedia sells stake in Chinese travel service Friday, 22 May 2015 | 10:44 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Expedia sold its entire stake in eLong, a Chinese travel service, to a group of businesses based in China for roughly $671 million. Before the market opened, Bellevue, Washington- based Expedia said that it had sold its 62.4 percent share in eLong to a group that includes Ctrip.com International Ltd., Keystone Lodgings Holdings Ltd., Plateno Group Ltd. and...

  • LOS ANGELES/ BOSTON, May 21- McDonald's Corp shareholders defied executives at its annual meeting on Thursday, approving a proposal to make it easier to nominate directors to the board of the fast-food chain and taking its new CEO to task over wages, advertising and its food. McDonald's Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, who took the helm on March 1, is fighting on...

  • HOUSTON, May 21- A judge on Thursday denied Royal Dutch Shell's appeal of a ruling that a proposed oil-by-rail project at its Washington state refinery must undergo a full environmental review, just two weeks after a crude train derailment caused a fire in North Dakota. Shell had appealed a February ruling from a Skagit County Office of Land Use Hearings...

  • Instead, researchers from the nonprofit Vera Institute of Justice found those costs are sometimes covered by other county agencies or general funds, adding to the true costs of incarceration. The New York City Department of Correction, which runs the nation's second-largest jail system with about 11,000 average daily inmates, has a $1.1 billion budget.

  • CHICAGO, May 20- Thousands of McDonald's workers seeking a minimum wage of $15 per hour swarmed the fast-food giant's headquarters for the first of two days of protests to coincide with the fast-food chain's annual meeting on Thursday. Companies such as McDonald's Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc are raising starting pay and cities like Seattle and Chicago are...

  • Two shops in Tacoma and two in Everett sold marijuana to people under the legal age of 21 during checks conducted Friday through Monday, the Liquor Control Board announced. The Tacoma shops that failed were Mary Mart and Emerald Leaves; the Everett stores were Green City Collective and Purple Haze. None of the cited stores returned messages from The Associated...

  • SHANGHAI/ HONG KONG, May 20- Russell Investment Management and China's Ping An Insurance Group said they have terminated their investment joint venture after four years, the latest sign of friction between foreign fund managers and their Chinese partners. "Going forward, Russell Investments and Ping An Group have mutually agreed to change the ownership...

  • LOS ANGELES— Los Angeles is the latest and biggest city to endorse a hike in the minimum wage, adding to a string of successes for unions and advocates for the poor who have made it a primary objective as American wages stagnate. But even those who backed the City Council's vote for a $15- an-hour wage by 2020— more than double the current federal minimum requirement—...

  • PORTLAND, Ore.— Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive. Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each mile traveled on...

  • SEATTLE, May 20- Microsoft's plan to make its new version of Windows a mobile hit by letting it accept tweaked Apple and Android apps has met an obstacle: some of the software developers the company needs to woo just aren't interested. Windows phones accounted for just 3 percent of global smartphone sales last year, compared with about 81 percent for devices with...

  • ALBANY, N.Y.— Fast-food workers raised their voices across New York on Wednesday to demand a $15- an-hour minimum wage, calling on Gov. On Tuesday the Los Angeles City Council endorsed a plan to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Seattle and San Francisco have approved a series of increases to take their minimum wages to $15 within a few years.