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Union agrees to concessions; papers closer to sale, 1st Ld-Writethru, ME

May 23, 2009 6:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The sale of three Maine newspapers and affiliated Web sites could move a step closer to completion, if a union representing editorial employees at the Portland Press Herald and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville votes for concessions.Blethen Maine Newspapers put those papers...

Iran's president faces campaign trail hurdles, ML

May 23, 2009 6:59 am | by ALI AKBAR DAREINI - Associated Press Writers - Associated Press | News | Comments

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Moments after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's underdog victory four years ago, the streets in scruffy south Tehran were in full celebration for their native son.Shops offered free sweets and tea. Women shouted prayers from open windows. The khaki-shirted basiji — the street vigilantes of...

2ND LD: Nurseries reopen, schools to resume classes in flu-affected areas+

May 23, 2009 6:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

OSAKA/KOBE, May 23 (Kyodo) — (EDS: ADDING WELFARE MINISTRY INFO IN 4TH-6TH GRAFS)Nursery schools and day-care facilities reopened Saturday in Hyogo Prefecture and schools will resume classes Monday in Osaka Prefecture under Japan's new policy of relaxing restrictions in areas hit by the new strain...

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HL:Cloak-and-dagger at StatsCan; is someone leaking secret data for profit?@

May 23, 2009 6:54 am | by Julian Beltrame@Associated Press | News | Comments

OTTAWA — Are journalists somehow managing to tip off market-influencing data while under lock-up in a dimly-lit room at the Statistics Canada campus?The intriguing question remains after the federal agency conducted two reviews — the latest coming after last week's inflation report — on rumours its...

Co. seeks $200M loan to build Miss. biofuel plant, 1st Ld-Writethru, MS

May 23, 2009 6:49 am | by TIMOTHY R. BROWN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Canadian company is seeking a $200 million federal loan to build its first U.S. biofuel plant in northeast Mississippi while working to complete a deal with a regional landfill to supply feedstock to the facility.Montreal-based Enerkem Inc. announced plans in March to build...

Pakistan's mystics in sights of Taliban, AS

May 23, 2009 6:48 am | by CHRIS BRUMMITT - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Worshippers still flock to the grave of Rahman Baba, a Muslim mystic revered by millions in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But they now pray at a mound of rubble and twisted steel — all that remains of his tomb since militants bombed it.The blast in March was the most...

Don't call ex-Vice President Cheney a has-been, 1st Ld-Writethru, US

May 23, 2009 6:48 am | by DEB RIECHMANN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dick Cheney refuses to be a has-been.The former vice president's voice appears to carry even more weight than it did in the waning days of the Bush administration.Some people want him to be quiet and disappear. Others are cheering the public relations tour that Cheney began...

New Calcasieu subdivision has Katrina cottages, LA

May 23, 2009 6:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — The first of 34 Katrina cottages are being built in a new Calcasieu Parish subdivision in an effort to permanently house families affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.The $3.92 million Fields Subdivision project began March 4. It's being managed by the Louisiana Recovery...

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UK expense scandal widens with duck hut disclosure, 2nd Ld-Writethru, EU

May 23, 2009 6:48 am | by GREGORY KATZ - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — A lawmaker at the center of Britain's growing expense account scandal said Saturday he has been humiliated by public revelations about his attempt to get taxpayers to pay for a duck hut on his country estate.Opposition Conservative Party legislator Peter Viggers' duck hut — used to...

What to do with doggy doo _ how 'bout a Powerloo?, 1st Ld-Writethru, MI

May 23, 2009 6:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LINDEN, Mich. (AP) — Necessity might be the mother of invention, but nastiness also played a big role in Curt Fournier's creation.Fournier, 34, of Linden, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit, developed the Powerloo and formed GreenDog LLC with fiancee Victoria Januszewski. It's an outdoor,...

Wis. budget writers meet in Saturday session, WI

May 23, 2009 6:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers are burning the weekend oil to work on the state budget.The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee is set to work Saturday morning.The current budget ends June 30. State government would continue to function at present funding levels if a new budget isn't...

Kenya politics provide punchline on TV puppet show, AF

May 23, 2009 6:38 am | by KATHARINE HOURELD - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The president snoozes in his office by a tottering stack of papers in his in-tray. The prime minister lounges in a toilet with a red carpet leading to its door. Cabinet ministers take pot shots at each other in a High Noon-style showdown.The stars of Kenya's new smash hit TV...

Obama treaty push hinges on global 'listening' net, EU

May 23, 2009 6:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

EDITOR'S NOTE — This is another in an occasional series on 2009 as a critical year for nuclear arms control, and the first of two stories on the test-ban treaty. A second report, looking at prospects for the treaty to come into force, will move for release Wednesday, May 27.By CHARLES J. HANLEYAP...

Manchin asks Obama to help WVa car dealers, WV

May 23, 2009 6:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Joe Manchin is asking President Barack Obama to help West Virginia's car dealerships.In a letter to Obama, the governor urged him to carefully consider the consequences of plans by General Motors and Chrysler to close a large number of their dealerships.Manchin said...

Former exec for fuel distributor claims fraud, 1st Ld-Writethru, MO

May 23, 2009 6:27 am | by DAVID TWIDDY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The former president of a Kansas-based gasoline distributor that filed for bankruptcy in February is claiming he and the company were victims of fraud.Crescent Oil Co. Inc. and its subsidiaries, based in Independence, Kan., filed for Chapter 11 protection after it went into...

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