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  • News Summary: Facebook now home to 1 billion users Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:49 PM ET

    ONE BILLION: More than a billion people now log into Facebook each month, up from 500 million in July 2010. ODD VIDEO: Facebook also released a video that, somewhat abstractedly, seeks to illustrate its ubiquity and utility in connecting people. It starts off with an empty red chair suspended over a forest and later proclaims that "chairs are like Facebook."

  • WA Supreme Court says pollution tax constitutional Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:48 PM ET

    OLYMPIA, Wash.-- Washington state's Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that the state's hazardous substances tax is constitutional.

  • SpaceX encore: 2nd private space station shipment Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:47 PM ET

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.-- A private company is headed back to the International Space Station. Forecasters said Thursday there's a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions for the 8:35 p.m. launch from Cape Canaveral. This is the California company's first official launch under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

  • Legal fight waged for right to Bill Monroe's name Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:46 PM ET

    Campbell "Doc" Mercer is throwing an annual festival celebrating the life and music of Bill Monroe but without the name of the "Father of Bluegrass Music" to promote it.

  • Okla., Colo. govs. report on 22-state CNG plan Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:45 PM ET

    OKLAHOMA CITY-- The governors of Oklahoma and Colorado say their effort to encourage manufacturers to produce compressed natural gas vehicles is gaining momentum. Mary Fallin and Colorado Gov. Fallin says dealerships representing Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and Honda have submitted more than 100 bids.

  • Farmers, shipyard workers protest in Greece Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:44 PM ET

    ATHENS, Greece-- Greek police clashed with shipyard workers protesting pay arrears Thursday after they broke into the Defense Ministry grounds, while hundreds of farmers on tractors tried to invade the country's second-busiest airport on Crete during an anti-austerity protest.

  • Fed open to linking rate hike to economic gauge Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:43 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- The Federal Reserve wants to find a clearer way to signal to the public when it might start raising interest rates. Most members agreed at the Sept. 12-13 meeting that linking a future rate increase to a level of unemployment or some other numeric target could be useful.

  • Calif gas prices spike 8 cents a gallon overnight Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:43 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO-- Landscaping business owner Sebastian Figueredo stood Thursday at a Union 76 gas station near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, holding his phone up high so he could get a photo of the price sign.

  • Florida Supreme Court hears tuition dispute Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:41 PM ET

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Florida Supreme Court justices had some sharp questions Thursday for both sides on whether the Legislature has the power to set state university tuition and fees rather than a board created to oversee the schools. Two lower courts have ruled that power lies with the Legislature.

  • News Summary: Google, publishers settle book suit Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:41 PM ET

    THE END: Google and a group of major book publishers have settle a legal tussle over digital copyrights after seven years. Both sides in the dispute indicated that publishers will have more control over the digital copies of the books that Google Inc. has been making for the past eight years.

  • McKenna, Inslee differ on plan for needy schools Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:40 PM ET

    SEATTLE-- A relatively obscure tax plan to equalize the way Washington homeowners pay for public schools got some time under the spotlight as the candidates for governor debated its merits.

  • CPS board president 'pleased' by contract vote Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:37 PM ET

    CHICAGO-- Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale says he's pleased that teachers ratified a new contract. The Chicago Teachers Union announced Wednesday night that 79 percent of the union's membership had voted in favor of the contract. Teachers walked off the job Sept. 10, idling about 350,000 students for seven days.

  • News Summary: Stocks rise after jobs report Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:33 PM ET

    BETTER, BUT: The stock market got a lift from the government's report that 367,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits for the first time last week. RETAIL SALES: Costco and other retail chains reported September sales that came in ahead of Wall Street's estimates. Costco, Dollar General and other retail stocks gained.

  • Euro rises after comments from ECB chief Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:31 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- The euro is rising against the dollar after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that Spain is making progress toward getting its finances under control. The euro rose to $1.3018 in late trading from $1.2899 late Wednesday. The British pound rose to $1.6185 from $1.6072.

  • Cracker Barrel furthers proxy fight Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:27 PM ET

    LEBANON, Tenn.-- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. on Thursday urged its shareholders to vote against the election of two activist shareholders to its board. His firm, Biglari Holdings Inc., owns the Steak `n Shake and Western Sizzlin restaurant chains.

  • News Summary: Drought crushes Hawaii beef industry Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:16 PM ET

    ALOHA BEEF: Nearly all the beef consumed in Hawaii arrives from the mainland, while Hawaiian cattle ranchers ship 40,000 live cattle each year to the mainland.

  • Summary Box: Sept. sales slow from Aug. Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:10 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- SEPTEMBER SALES: A tally of 22 major retailers, including Target Corp. and Macy's Inc., showed that September sales rose 3.9 percent compared with a year ago. That's slower than the 6 percent rise in August. BEHIND THE NUMBERS: But shoppers are still spending.

  • California gasoline price jumps 8 cents overnight Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:55 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO-- The cost of gasoline in California jumped 8 cents overnight and is poised to soar to the highest point this year in what analysts say is a supply problem fueled by refinery and pipeline outages.

  • Sears' holiday hiring to be flat from last year Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:52 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Sears Holdings Corp. said that its hiring of seasonal workers for the crucial winter holidays will be unchanged from a year ago.

  • News Summary: Gold hits 9-month high on ECB moves Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:50 PM ET

    GOLDEN MOVE: The price of gold hit a nine-month high after the head of Europe's central bank suggested that its bond-buying plan could benefit Spain. The bank also left its key interest rate for countries that use the euro at 0.75 percent to try to promote growth. DOLLAR'S IMPACT: Most commodities finished higher, in part because of a weaker dollar.