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  • SIOUX FALLS, S.D.— Jessica Ries settles in behind the counter of Tip Top Tux and phones a couple to remind them of an upcoming fitting before their wedding. Dennis Daugaard has proposed a half-cent sales tax increase to help raise teacher pay, but his plan needs two-thirds approval in both the House and the Senate— a tough proposition in a legislature with an...

  • FREEPORT, N.Y.— When this Long Island village switched on its "ring of steel" last fall, it knew it was getting a potent policing tool. Police weren't prepared, though, for the firehose of less-valuable intelligence generated by the $750,000 system. "It is a tremendous amount of workload that has been increased due to this new technology," said Miguel Bermudez, police...

  • ALBANY, N.Y.— An upstate New York town that repeatedly found itself without power for days during a string of storms is planning a dramatic step by pulling its municipal buildings entirely off the electric grid. The decision by Nassau to rely on solar, wind, landfill gas and battery storage by 2020 puts the town of 5,000 near Albany on the leading edge of a national...

  • *Deal to boost tycoon Charoen's retail presence in Thailand. HONG KONG/ BANGKOK, Feb 7- France's Casino Group has agreed to sell its majority stake in Thai hypermarket operator Big C Supercenter for 3.1 billion euros excluding debt to Thailand's TCC Group, it said on Sunday. Casino announced a 4- billion-euro disposal plan in 2016, including the sale of its...

  • BELGRADE, Serbia— The Serb pilot who landed a jetliner in Somalia with a three-foot hole on its fuselage said Sunday he never doubted that it was caused by a bomb and describes the security surround the airplane at Mogadishu Airport as "zero." The blast sucked a male passenger out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing Tuesday in Somalia's...

  • EDEN, N.C.— Giant earthmoving machines beep and grind as they drop 17- ton scoops of coal ash and dirt into dozens of railroad cars lined up for two-thirds of a mile at a site along the Virginia- North Carolina border, where the country's largest electricity company was responsible for one of the worst spills of the toxic, liquefied waste in U.S. history.

  • BERLIN— German authorities have ordered the closure of Maple Bank after the Canadian-owned company was investigated for alleged tax evasion and money laundering. Maple Bank, based in Frankfurt, Germany, is part of Canada's Maple Financial Group. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority said Sunday that it has forbidden Maple Bank from making payments or...

  • Feb 7- Honda Motor Co's order that its U.S. dealers stop selling some 2.2 million of the automakers' most popular models is compounding financial and regulatory headaches for car dealers stuck with millions of vehicles that have potentially hazardous air bags or other safety defects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says this difference...

  • PARIS, Feb 7- French retail group Casino said on Sunday it had signed an agreement to sell its stake in Big C Supercenter for 3.1 billion euros excluding debt to Thailand's TCC Group. The sale will allow Casino to reduce its debt by 3.3 billion euros and will be realised by March 31, it said in a statement. A person with direct knowledge of the matter earlier told...

  • BOSTON— Tapping into Canadian hydropower is hardly a new concept in energy-starved New England. Among several plans yet to secure final approval are the $1.4 billion Northern Pass project, designed to bring 1,090 megawatts of Hydro- Quebec power through New Hampshire into southern New England and a 1,000- megawatt transmission line beneath Lake Champlain...

  • FRANKFURT, Feb 7- Volkswagen will offer generous compensation packages for the roughly 600,000 U.S. owners of diesel vehicles that emit an illegal amount of emissions, the head of its claims fund told a German paper. Volkswagen in December asked Feinberg-- who earlier headed the compensation funds for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill...

  • Feb 7- The rapidly spreading Zika virus is discouraging many Americans from traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean, with 41 percent of those aware of the disease saying they are less likely to take such a trip, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised pregnant women to avoid travel to areas with an active...

  • EXCLUSIVE-ZIKA VIRUS HAS DISCOURAGED TRAVEL TO LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN FOR 41 PERCENT OF AMERICANS WHO ARE AWARE OF DISEASE- REUTERS/IPSOS POLL.

  • Feb 7- Palm oil prices could jump more than expected to 2,700 ringgit per tonne in the second quarter, the highest since early 2014, as seasonally lower output and dry weather dent inventories across Southeast Asia, vegetable oils analyst Dorab Mistry said. Concerns that dryness linked to an El Nino weather pattern will lower fresh fruit bunch yields in top...

  • DUBAI, Feb 7- Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, one of the few Gulf aircraft leasing firms, expects to add 30-35 planes to its current portfolio of 97 with significant demand seen coming from Iran, the company's chief executive said on Sunday. Iran, which has emerged from years of sanctions that prevented it from legitimately buying aircraft, agreed with European...

  • SOUTH KOREA MILITARY RETRIEVES SUSPECTED FAIRING FROM NORTH KOREAN ROCKET- YONHAP.

  • *Malawi highlights perils of aid reliance without industrialising. LILONGWE, Feb 7- As she walks along a dirt road in central Malawi, Louise Abale carries her precious maize wrapped in a brightly coloured cloth and balanced on her head. Because of drought in Malawi and across southern Africa the grain has doubled in price in the space of a year, and now costs around...

  • DUBAI, Feb 7- Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Egypt slipped in early trade on Sunday, erasing some of their gains in the previous session after oil prices reversed and global markets sold off at the end of last week. Saudi Cement rose 2.0 percent after the company recommended a dividend distribution of 3.00 riyals per share for the second half of 2015, versus a...

  • *Britain's BP bets on Egyptian gas, Shell on major acquisition. LONDON/ HOUSTON, Feb 7- As oil and gas companies cut ever-deeper into the bone to weather their worst downturn in decades, boards have adopted contrasting strategies to lead them out of the crisis. Britain's BP is betting on offshore gas in Egypt, while Royal Dutch Shell has opted for an alternative route...

  • MANCHESTER, N.H., Feb 7- Republican contender Marco Rubio struggled at a presidential debate on Saturday at the worst possible time, potentially confounding his bid to emerge as Donald Trump's chief rival in New Hampshire and giving hope to three rivals desperate for a strong showing. While Rubio recovered later in the debate, the timing of his performance was...