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  • Vermont unemployment rate drops to 3.4 percent Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 10:12 AM ET

    MONTPELIER, Vt.— The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percent last month to 3.4 percent, the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the country. Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says Vermont is growing private sector jobs and people are finding work.

  • Mont. gov proposes $45 million in oil-patch grants Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 10:00 AM ET

    Steve Bullock proposed a $45 million grant program Thursday to ease strains on water and sewer systems in eastern Montana towns that have struggled to keep pace with the demands of the fast-growing Bakken oil patch. That's why folks like in Glendive are already working on projects that we can be a part of. "

  • Chobani to expand offerings amid competition Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 9:49 AM ET

    Later this year, the Norwich, N.Y.- based company will also introduce savory dips, Chief Marketing Officer Peter McGuinness said in a phone interview. But competition has been increasing, with General Mills and Danone investing more heavily in their Greek yogurt brands.

  • April 18- Procter& Gamble Co is planning to offer a new kind of razor, with a swiveling ball hinge and a pricey tag, to move forward with its strategy to push premium products, according to the Wall Street Journal on Friday. The company's Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller had in January blamed a movement by the Movember Foundation for weak razor sales.

  • 'The Boondocks' back for final 'offensive' season Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 8:43 AM ET

    NEW YORK— The brash animated series "The Boondocks" returns Monday to Adult Swim for its fourth and final season without Aaron McGruder, the man who spawned it, but with its brashness intact. Martin Luther King Jr. awakening from a decades-long "coma" into a modern world that both disturbed and disappointed him for its lack of social progress.

  • Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs for rust problem Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 8:41 AM ET

    DETROIT— Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts. The recall covers SUVs from the 2001 through 2004 model years. The SUVs were originally sold or registered in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear snow and ice from roads.

  • Ohio prison food vendor fined $142,000 Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 8:30 AM ET

    Philadelphia- based Aramark Correctional Services did not meet staffing requirements several times this year at three prisons, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

  • *PetroChina to triple spending from $500 mln past few years. BEIJING, April 18- Chinese state energy giant PetroChina plans to spend more than 10 billion yuan on shale gas this year, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as domestic competition heats up after rival Sinopec announced a commercial find.

  • Florida unemployment rate ticks up slightly Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 6:39 AM ET

    However, Florida led the nation with the addition of 22,900 jobs in March. Unemployment in some of the state's larger counties was static, as rates in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Palm Beach and Duval counties remained unchanged.

  • Chinese trade group to mediate shoe factory strike Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 6:30 AM ET

    BEIJING— Chinese police hauled away dozens of workers Friday to break up a march on a factory complex targeted by tens of thousands of laborers striking against the world's largest maker of athletic shoes, while a government trade union said it would mediate the labor dispute.

  • Stillwater Mining production up, but VP resigns Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 6:12 AM ET

    BILLINGS, Mont.— Montana's largest mining company says its precious metals production rose modestly while recycled metal volumes dropped sharply in the first quarter of 2014.. Stillwater Mining Co. reported that platinum and palladium production from the company's two mines in the Beartooth Mountains increased by more than 3,000 ounces.

  • Metro-North: Railroad has implemented reforms Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 6:07 AM ET

    NEW HAVEN, Conn.— Metro-North, the nation's second-largest commuter railroad, has been fined $552,000 over the past decade for safety violations and defects, U.S. There were 139 violations since 2004, Blumenthal said, citing data he received from the Federal Railroad Administration.

  • *Hopes for Ukraine initiative dent safe-haven bids. LONDON, April 18- Gold was heading for a 1.8 percent weekly fall on Friday, dented by hopes that diplomatic efforts can calm violence in Ukraine and by strengthening U.S. economic data.

  • *BP pays billions in compensation but some claims still unpaid. April 18- Four years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over.

  • Asia stocks rise in abbreviated trading Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 5:11 AM ET

    Markets in Europe, the U.S. and many countries in Asia were closed for the holiday. On Thursday, global stocks were subdued after Google and IBM reported weak results, even though General Electric was optimistic and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley beat expectations.

  • Mo. Senate panel endorses penny transportation tax Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 5:01 AM ET

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1- cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. The lone "no" vote on the Senate panel was Republican Sen.

  • TOKYO, April 18- Core consumer prices in Tokyo, a leading indicator of nationwide inflation, probably rose the most in 22 years in April after an increase in Japan's sales tax drove up prices across the board, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

  • *Four-way talks end with call for end to Ukraine violence. KIEV/ SLAVIANSK, Ukraine April 18- Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm.

  • ANKARA, April 18- Turkey will seek a discount in the price of gas it buys from Russia in talks with the deputy head of state-controlled Gazprom next week when he visits Ankara, Turkey's energy minister said on Friday.

  • Grant money increases for Michigan specialty crops Friday, 18 Apr 2014 | 4:02 AM ET

    LANSING, Mich.— Michigan could receive nearly $2 million in federal block grants for specialty crops as a result of the U.S. farm bill. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says $66 million is available nationwide to state departments of agriculture for specialty crops.

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