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Stocks turn higher...Fed minutes suggest June rate hike unlikely...House panel votes to repeal meat label law

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are moving higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Stocks had been flat much of the day as traders looked over several earnings reports and waited for the Federal Reserve to release the minutes from its last policymaking meeting.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Minutes of last month's Federal Reserve meeting show Fed policymakers were split over whether the economy's winter weakness was temporary or might last longer. But they largely agreed that June would be too early to start raising interest rates. The Fed has kept its key rate near zero since December 2008. Its next meeting is set for June 16-17.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee has voted to get rid of labels on packages of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The House Agriculture Committee voted 38-6 to repeal a "country-of-origin" labeling law for meat. Today's vote comes two days after the World Trade Organization ruled against parts of it.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A group of California farmers is volunteering to give up a fourth of their available water this year, sharing a resource that has been all but guaranteed to them for more than a century. The offer being presented to the state Water Board today comes as California's "senior water rights holders" face an imminent threat of being included in the mandatory cutbacks that apply to most other water users in the state.

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — The Coast Guard says oil floating off the Southern California coast after a spill from a broken pipe now stretches about 9 miles. Three sets of floating booms have been deployed to try to keep the slicks from spreading, and boats are skimming oil from the sea surface. A broken onshore pipeline spewed thousands of gallons of oil down a storm drain and into the Pacific Ocean for several hours yesterday before it was shut off.

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