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Top News & Analysis North America

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  • ALBANY, N.Y.— New York state is giving low-cost electricity to 15 businesses around the state as part of a program to use affordable power as an economic development tool. The list of businesses includes Amazon LLC in New York City and Bausch& Lomb in Rochester. Other companies are in the Mohawk Valley, the Southern Tier, long Island and western New York.

  • LOS ANGELES— Beaches along the Santa Barbara County coast remained open to swimmers, surfers and sunbathers Friday as the Coast Guard worked to determine whether an oil slick that materialized just offshore this week was simply the result of natural ocean-floor seepage. That's the conclusion Jordan Clark, professor of earth science and environmental...

  • Iran is keen to recover market share that evaporated under U.S. and European Union sanctions designed to keep its exports at around 1 million bpd, down from 2.5 million bpd in 2011. Under the accord reached in Vienna on July 14, Iran will be subject to longer-term restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the removal of U.S., U.N. and European sanctions.

  • A blockade in Portland, Oregon, that included environmental protesters dangling from a bridge unsuccessfully attempted to keep a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving for oil drilling in the Arctic. Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other companies want to tap into U.S. Offshore Alaska offers some of the most prolific, undeveloped hydrocarbon basins in the world,...

  • LONDON, July 31- Martin Sorrell's WPP and buyout firm Providence agreed on Friday to buy British marketing group Chime Communications for 374 million pounds in a bid to turn the smaller group into a global sports marketing agency.

  • SEATTLE— Menu prices are up 21 percent and you don't have to tip at Ivar's Salmon House on Seattle's Lake Union after the restaurant decided to institute the city's $15- an-hour minimum wage two years ahead of schedule. Seattle's law, adopted last year after a strong push from labor and grassroots activists, bumped the city's minimum wage to $11 beginning April 1,...

  • *Asia stocks set for July loss after worst China drop in 6 years. SINGAPORE/ TOKYO, July 31- Asian shares inched higher on Friday but were still set to post a loss for July, led by China's biggest monthly drop in six years. Financial spreadbetters predicted Britain's FTSE 100 to open 2 to 4 points higher, or up 0.06 percent, Germany's DAX to gain 2 to 3 points, or almost flat...

  • PORTLAND, Ore.— Authorities used boats, personal watercraft, poles and their bare hands to remove protesters in kayaks and hanging from bridges who had tried to block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker bound for an Arctic drilling operation. The Fennica left dry dock Thursday afternoon and made its way down the Willamette River toward the Pacific Ocean soon after...

  • LOS ANGELES— Katy Perry's dream of owning a hilltop convent near Hollywood is going to have to wait a while longer. The convent, which Perry has wanted to buy to be her personal residence for several years, is in the middle of a legal fight between a group of elderly nuns and the archbishop of Los Angeles over who has control of the sale and its proceeds.

  • Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla shocked investors in June when he said the island's debt- totaling $72 billion- was unpayable and required restructuring. Puerto Rico has flagged that it will likely skip a $58 million payment due Aug. 1 on its Public Finance Corporation debt, which has weaker investor protection than some other bonds.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil as soon as Monday the final version of a sweeping- and controversial- regulation to cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector. Among other things: The EPA is expected to push back the rule's start date by two years to 2022, according to a slide posted by the agency briefly on its...

  • SAINT-ANDRE, Reunion— A barnacle-encrusted wing part that washed up on a remote Indian Ocean island could help solve one of aviation's greatest mysteries, as investigators work to connect it to the Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished more than a year ago. The surprise discovery of the debris on a rocky beach stirred hopes and emotion among families of the...

  • LAHAINA, Hawaii, July 30- Pacific Rim trade ministers neared the final spurt of negotiations on an ambitious free trade pact on Thursday, but differences over farm exports and monopoly periods for next-generation drugs kept them short of an elusive final deal. Ministers from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would cut trade...

  • MIAMI— U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday will call on Congress to end the trade embargo the U.S. has imposed against Cuba since 1962.. The position, which the Democrat outlined already in her 2014 book "Hard Choices," puts her in line with President Barack Obama, who moved in December to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and has...

  • *Wheat down more than 18 pct for July. *Corn set for monthly loss of more than 10 pct. "The dryness issues in parts of Europe, Canada and Argentina remain but that is not leaving the market on the precipice of new crop downgrades," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note to clients.

  • PORTLAND, Ore., July 30- An icebreaking vessel key to Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic departed Portland, Oregon, late on Thursday, navigating between a narrow gap of environmental activists dangling from a bridge after a two-day human blockade. Several Greenpeace activists appeared to bow to orders from police to lower themselves into...

  • PALO ALTO, California— Microsoft says its' new Windows 10 operating system is now running on more than 14 million computers, two days after the software was released as a free download. Microsoft says it's releasing the software in waves to make sure downloads go smoothly. In a blog post late Thursday, Microsoft said it has not yet delivered Windows 10 to everyone...

  • SYDNEY, July 31- U.S. soybeans held steady on Friday, though the oilseed was heading for a fourth consecutive weekly loss, as the market weighed up whether signs of growing export demand would start to erode ample supplies more quickly. *Corn touched a five-week low of $3.75-3/ 4 a bushel on Thursday. *Wheat fell to a five-week low of $4.93-1/ 4 a bushel on Thursday.

  • SAO PAULO, July 30- The lawyer behind the plea bargain deals that helped investigators unearth a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal at Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras said on Thursday she closed her law firm because she felt threatened by a congressional committee. A congressional committee investigating Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as...

  • *Investors warily eye China shares after previous session's drop. Investors kept a wary eye on China, where stocks dropped on Thursday after state media reported that banks were investigating their equities exposure in the wake of the recent dramatic rout there. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.1 percent in early...