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  • MONTPELIER, Vt.-- In a state that has a long history of maple syrup production and fiercely protects the purity of its brand, Vermont producers are proud of their "fancy," "grade A dark amber" and "grade B" syrup.

  • Foundations from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh have provided more than $19 million for gas-drilling-related grants since 2009, according to an Associated Press review of charity data.

  • KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- In an age when people can choose among text messages, email, Facebook and old-fashioned stamps and printed cards, the chance to use the wrong method when sending your very best is quite high.

  • If you're like many Americans, your friends are texting their congratulations, sending you an e-card or clicking "Like" on your Facebook wall. The 25- year-old nanny from Kansas City, Mo., hears from friends largely through Facebook. " In consolidating its Kansas operations, Kansas City- based Hallmark plans to shed 300 jobs.

  • MADRID-- Thousands of people are marching in 56 Spanish cities to protest punishing austerity cuts they say will only increase unemployment and job insecurity in a country suffering from its second recession in three years and record high unemployment.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Retired social worker Jim Gillis was told his $36,000 Rhode Island state pension would increase by $1,100 next year to keep up with inflation. He and other retirees are challenging the pension changes in a court battle that's likely to have national implications as other states follow Rhode Island's lead.

  • LONDON-- Dozens of Britons who believe their phones were illegally tapped by journalists have written to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to consider tighter press regulation.

  • LOS ANGELES-- California motorists faced another day of record-breaking gasoline prices Sunday, though relief appeared to be on the way. A station in Long Beach had California's priciest gas at $6.65 for a gallon of regular, according to GasBuddy.com.

  • Jerry Brown last month signed legislation expected to save billions of dollars in coming years by increasing the retirement age for new employees, limiting annual pension payouts to $132,120 and requiring workers who are not contributing half of their retirement costs to pay more.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Retired social worker Jim Gillis was told his $36,000 Rhode Island state pension would increase by $1,100 next year to keep up with inflation. He and other retirees are challenging the pension changes in a court battle that's likely to have national implications as other states follow Rhode Island's lead.

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-- Qatar Telecom says it is paying $1.8 billion to substantially boost its stake in Kuwaiti telecommunications operator Wataniya. Qatar Telecom, or Qtel, didn't say who sold the shares. It has more than 83 million customers in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

  • TEHRAN, Iran-- Iran's parliament on Sunday abandoned its planned impeachment of a Cabinet minister over the free-fall of the country's currency, opting instead to look for more effective economic measures, like cutting spending.

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-- Gulf carrier Etihad Airways said Sunday a jump in passenger numbers flying aboard its fast-growing fleet drove third-quarter sales 19 percent higher to $1.3 billion. Like regional rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways, the airline is rapidly expanding its network, increasing the amount of cash it takes in.

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-- Just as Iran's currency was rattling near bottom after a stunning free fall, officials in Tehran opened a trade exhibition that included advanced engineering tools, heavy machinery and robotics.

  • WICHITA, Kan.-- Bombardier Learjet workers rejected a contract offer and voted to strike Saturday, moves that will have them walking the picket line starting early Monday, a machinists union spokesman said.

  • QUITO, Ecuador-- Ecuador's President Rafael Correa says his country will advise the North African nation of Tunisia on possible renegotiation of its debts. He says he will send a mission to explain what Ecuador did in 2009 when it renegotiated about $3 billion in debts after declaring many of them illegitimate.

  • MOGADISHU, Somalia-- Somalia's president has appointed a new prime minister, a businessman who worked as a government economist in the 1980 s. Abdi Farah Shirdon was named prime minister on Saturday. Shirdon studied economics at Somalia National University in the 1970 s.

  • QUITO, Ecuador-- Ecuador's President Rafael Correa says his country will advise the North African nation of Tunisia on possible renegotiation of its debts. He says he will send a mission to explain what Ecuador did in 2009 when it renegotiated about $3 billion in debts after declaring many of them illegitimate.

  • MADRID-- Several thousand people marched in downtown Madrid on Saturday to protest austerity measures they say will lead to cuts in cherished national health care and the privatization of public services. Spain is experiencing its second recession in three years, is burdened with an unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent and social unrest is on the rise.

  • The price of gasoline hit an all-time average high in California of $4.6140 a gallon Saturday, fueled by a reduced supply and a volatile market. AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report released Saturday said the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded across California rose 12 cents from its Friday mark of about $4.49.