WALTONVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The nation's widest drought in decades is spreading, with more than half of the continental United States now in some stage of drought and most of the rest enduring abnormally dry conditions.
PG&E MEMO SAYS DOWNGRADING LEAKS COULD CUT COSTS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A Pacific Gas & Electric Co. memo from a few years before the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion suggested that managers might want to consider downgrading leaks found on natural gas lines, instead of fixing them.
SUNNYVALE (AP) - Yahoo is hiring longtime Google executive Marissa Mayer to be its next CEO, the fifth in five years as the company struggles to rebound from financial malaise and internal turmoil.
NEW YORK (AP) - The companies that determine Americans' credit scores are about to come under scrutiny by the country's new consumer watchdog.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. and the FBI are trying to figure out how needles got into turkey sandwiches served aboard four flights from Amsterdam. One passenger was injured.
When I wrote about the coming "Public Pension Wars" a few years ago, the responses ranged from astounded to angry. The very idea that a state or municipality could change pension contribution requirements - in the middle of an employee's career - was shocking.
NEW YORK (AP) - J.C. Penney's woes keep piling on. In the latest string of troubles, Macy's won a preliminary injunction against Martha Stewart Living that would prevent it from selling some of its products at the chain.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The chief executive of an Iowa-based brokerage firm admitted in a tell-all suicide note that he carried out an elaborate fraud scheme in which he embezzled at least $100 million from customers over two decades, federal investigators said Friday.
Q. I am about to turn 66 years old. I was planning to wait until age 70 to file for my Social Security benefits because I wanted to get the delayed retirement bonus you mention so often in your column. But I found an article on the web that encourages people like me to file at age 66 and then immediately suspend my benefits. That way, if I change my mind before age 70, I can go back and get retroactive benefits until age 66. What do you know about this?
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The company behind plans to build a scientific ghost town says it is pulling out of a deal to develop the make-believe city near Hobbs.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - While lawmakers in Congress continue fuming about uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team being made in China, a Philadelphia company is looking forward to seeing its locally-made apparel being worn by American rowers.
NEW YORK (AP) - Visa, MasterCard and major banks agreed to pay retailers at least $6 billion to settle a long-running lawsuit that alleged the card issuers conspired to fix the fees that stores pay to accept credit cards. As part of the settlement, announced late Friday, stores from Rite Aid to Kroger will be allowed to charge customers more if they pay using a credit card.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Gov. Susana Martinez's administration is on the verge of taking back New Mexico's $11 million supercomputer known as "Encanto" from the nonprofit group set up to operate it.
LONDON (AP) - Some 450,000 Yahoo users' email addresses and passwords have been leaked because of a security breach, the company confirmed Thursday, adding that just a small fraction of the stolen passwords were valid.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - As much as President Barack Obama wants your vote, he's not actually offering to pay your monthly bills.
MENLO PARK (AP) - No storm selfies, hookups, status updates. With Facebook and Instagram down for nearly an hour overnight, what were legions of users to do?
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple had another blowout quarter thanks to its new plus-sized iPhones, which helped the company smash sales records for the holiday season.
SUNNYVALE (AP) - Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is spinning off the company's $39 billion stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding in a move that wards off a potential shareholder rebellion.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - They were supposed to be saviors of downtown, drawing people by offering parking as plentiful as at any suburban shopping mall.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Calling it "ridiculous" and "baseless," IBM on Monday dismissed a report that said the technology giant plans to lay off 1 in 4 of its workers, or 100,000 people.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Big jumps in sales of its Surface tablets, cloud computing software and Lumia smartphones drove Microsoft's quarterly revenue above expectations, as CEO Satya Nadella continues to steer toward the mobile gadget market and shift Microsoft away from its traditional focus on the PC.
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks Corp.'s fiscal first-quarter earnings soared 82 percent as the coffee chain attracted more customers around the globe who snapped up an expanded offering of food and drinks over the holidays.
REDMOND, Washington (AP) - Microsoft will use an event today to offer a wider glimpse of the next version of Windows.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Coming off its best quarter yet, Netflix is accelerating its international expansion in hopes its original programming will hook millions more subscribers on the Internet video service.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department has reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after federal drug agents used information from her cellphone to set up a fake Facebook page in her identity, a tactic that raised privacy concerns and led to a federal government review of the ruse, according to court papers filed Tuesday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twitter said Tuesday that it plans to buy Indian mobile marketing company ZipDial as it tries to reach new users in developing regions.
NEW YORK (AP) - They cater to travelers, but Airbnb and other short-term rental sites are sparking debate over an issue few tourists are likely to unpack: affordable housing.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Cheap oil doesn't only mean cheaper gas in the tank. It means that a car dealer in Illinois is shuffling the inventory of models he'll be selling, that more students in Wisconsin may get school-provided iPads, that some planned projects in a Southern California city will get delayed, and that some expected oilfield hiring in North Dakota and Texas may not happen.
• AMAZON BRANCHING OUT FROM TV SERIES TO MOVIE PRODUCTION: SEATTLE (AP) - Amazon Studios is branching out from television series to movies, announcing plans to begin producing and acquiring original movies for theatrical release and, within weeks, video streaming.
ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) - Eastern Oregon and western Idaho already produce many of the nation's decorative pumpkins. Now an economic development official is exploring whether the area could support production of pumpkin seeds for healthy snack foods.