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Gold, silver flat

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 2:18pm

The December gold contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed today at $1,242.70 an ounce -- down $1.70.

US appeals court blocks Trump birth control coverage rules

Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 1:55pm

A U.S. appeals court Thursday blocked rules by the Trump administration allowing more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control.

Facebook hosts offline privacy 'pop-up' in New York City

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 1:48pm

Wrapping up a year of privacy scandals and a host of other problems, Facebook hosted a one-day "pop-up" event in New York City's Bryant Park on Thursday, hoping to talk to users about their privacy settings, ad preferences and whatever else may be on their mind.

Billionaire builds beach access app after violating rules

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 1:29pm

A tech billionaire whose elaborate wedding in a redwood grove violated California rules has helped create a smartphone app that shows users a map of more than 1,500 spots where people can get to the coastline.

Lease sale in Alaska petroleum reserve draws modest interest

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 12:59pm

The federal government's attempt to sell oil leases in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska has again drawn a modest response.

The Latest: Tunnel agency could alter disputed decorations

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 12:52pm

The Latest on the dispute over holiday decorations at the Holland Tunnel into New York (all times local):

Toyota recalls pickups, SUVs to fix air bag, brake problems

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 12:14pm

Toyota is recalling nearly 143,000 SUVs and pickups worldwide to fix air bag and brake problems.

US budget deficit hits record $204.9 billion for November

Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 12:04pm

The federal budget deficit surged to a record for the month of November of $204.9 billion, but a big part of the increase reflected a calendar quirk.

Diageo to build new whiskey distillery in Kentucky

Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:48am

Spirits giant Diageo is taking a deeper plunge into bourbon and American whiskey production with plans for a new distillery in Kentucky.

EU leaders agree to prolong Russia sanctions over Ukraine

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:36am

A top European Union official says EU leaders have agreed to prolong economic sanctions against Russia over its destabilization of Ukraine.

With OK from Congress, US hemp market set to boom

Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:33am

Hemp is about to get the nod from the federal government that marijuana, its cannabis plant cousin, craves.

Solar industry blames tariffs for canceled, delayed projects

Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:33am

The solar industry is blaming tariffs for delays and cancellations of major solar energy projects.

Feds: US fishermen had good year aided by lobsters, scallops

Patrick Whittle, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:18am

U.S. commercial fishing generated more than $144 billion in sales in 2016, buoyed by growth in key species such as sea scallops and American lobsters, the federal government reported on Thursday.

A move to ban many vacation rentals in New Orleans

Kevin McGill, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:16am

A ban on "whole home" short-term vacation rentals in New Orleans was proposed Thursday by a City Council member, a move long-awaited by critics who say investors were driving up housing costs and marring the character of historic neighborhoods by buying up properties and renting them to out-of-towners.

Walker uses power next governor may not have to seal deal

Scott Bauer, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:13am

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker executed a $28 million deal Thursday to save nearly 400 jobs at a Kimberly-Clark Corp. plant, using powers that his Democratic successor would no longer have under legislation approved last week during a lame-duck session.

Apple to build new Austin hub, expand in other tech hotbeds

Michael Liedtke, Matt O'Brien and Will Weissert, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 11:11am

Apple plans to build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, that will create at least 5,000 jobs ranging from engineers to call-center agents while adding more luster to a Southwestern city that has already become a bustling tech hub.

Boy Scouts exploring "all options" to address fiscal woes

David Crary, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 10:59am

The Boy Scouts of America says it is exploring "all options" to address serious financial challenges, but is declining to confirm or deny a report that it may seek bankruptcy protection in the face of declining membership and sex-abuse litigation.

5 convicted in meningitis outbreak case; 1 acquitted

Alanna Durkin Richer, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 10:13am

Four former employees and an owner of the Massachusetts facility responsible for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people and sickened hundreds were convicted Thursday of fraud and other offenses.

Ethiopia sets 2022 for Nile dam's completion amid delays

Elias Meseret, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 13th - 9:39am

Ethiopia's controversial Nile River dam will not be completed until 2022, more than four years behind schedule, because of possible defects with the hydro-electrical plant's equipment, an official said Thursday.