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Feb 22, 2014

Facebook’s big buy, WhatsApp messaging app, back up after outage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – WhatsApp, the rapidly expanding mobile messaging app, suffered an outage for more than three hours on Saturday, frustrating users just days after its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion.

“WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime…,” WhatsApp tweeted to its more than 1 million Twitter followers on Saturday around 5:48 p.m. EST (2248 GMT).

Feb 20, 2014

USDA Census shows bigger farms, older farmers

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The proportion of U.S. farms
with annual sales and government payments of $1 million or more
doubled in the five years through 2012, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture said on Thursday, even as the total number of farms
fell.

The figures were part of the USDA’s “Census of Agriculture,”
which surveys all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who
operate them every five years. Results of the Census form the
backbone of U.S. agricultural policy.

Feb 13, 2014

Bridgestone to plead guilty for auto parts price fix-scheme -DOJ

WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Japan’s Bridgestone Corp
has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $425 million
criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices on
certain automotive parts, the U.S. Department of Justice said on
Thursday.

The case involved anti-vibration rubber parts sold in the
United States and elsewhere to Toyota Motor Corp,
Nissan Motor Corp, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd,
Suzuki Motor Corp, Isuzu Motors Ltd and
certain of their subsidiaries and affiliates.

Feb 10, 2014

USDA cuts U.S. corn, wheat ending stocks on export demand

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Projected U.S. corn ending
stocks for 2013/14 continue to tighten on strong export demand,
the U.S. Agricultural Department said on Monday, a bullish jolt
that helped Chicago corn futures reach their highest levels in
four months.

U.S. wheat carryout was also lower on the month on rising
exports. Projected U.S. soybean ending stocks were unchanged
from January but Brazil’s crop and projected exports were
raised, giving the report a bearish edge.

Jan 31, 2014

Ability to transport U.S. oil, gas lags booming output: Energy Secretary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The energy boom of the last decade that has boosted oil and gas production in the United States has outpaced the development of critical infrastructure to transport the raw and refined materials, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Thursday.

Reflecting on a spate of accidents involving freight trains pulling tank cars full of volatile crude oil in Canada and the United States, Moniz said that infrastructure development was key, even beyond a reconsideration of rail regulations now under way by U.S. authorities.

Jan 31, 2014

Ability to transport U.S. oil, gas lags booming output – Energy Sec

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The energy boom of the last
decade that has boosted oil and gas production in the United
States has outpaced the development of critical infrastructure
to transport the raw and refined materials, U.S. Energy
Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Thursday.

Reflecting on a spate of accidents involving freight trains
pulling tank cars full of volatile crude oil in Canada and the
United States, Moniz said that infrastructure development was
key, even beyond a reconsideration of rail regulations now under
way by U.S. authorities.

Jan 30, 2014

U.S. working to mitigate propane shortages -Energy Sec. Moniz

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The Department of Energy is
continuing to look for ways to mitigate propane shortages in
parts of the country that have caused prices of the heating oil
to reach record highs, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said
on Thursday.

“We are in direct communication with the Department of
Transportation, the Department of Commerce, and the Domestic
Policy Council at the White House so we can bring whatever we
can to bear on this issue,” Moniz said in an interview with
Reuters Insider.

Jan 23, 2014

U.S. groups ask Syngenta to hold back on GM corn barred by China

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Two leading U.S. grain groups
have asked Syngenta AG, the world’s largest crop
chemicals company, to suspend the commercialization in the
United States of two genetically modified (GM) strains of corn
not currently approved in China.

The National Grain and Feed Association and North American
Export Grain Association wrote to Syngenta, asking the company
to hold back on its Agrisure Viptera and Duracade corn varieties
until China and other U.S. export markets have granted
regulatory approval.

Jan 14, 2014

U.S. senators ask Target CEO for information on data breach

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators sought answers from the chief executive of Target Corp as questions mounted in Washington about the company’s response to the hacking of credit and debit cards of millions its customers during the holiday shopping season.

“We ask that Target’s information-security officials provide a briefing to committee staff regarding your company’s investigation and latest findings,” said John Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Claire McCaskill, who heads a Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection.

Jan 10, 2014

USDA lowers U.S. corn carryout, raises wheat stocks

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – U.S. quarterly corn stocks
were below expectations after dry weather late in the growing
season trimmed yields and feed use picked up, the U.S.
Agricultural Department said on Friday in a report supportive to
corn prices.

Chicago corn futures jumped by more than 3 percent on
the report while soybeans pared gains and wheat fell
by almost 3 percent to new contract lows as traders focused on
rising U.S. and world stockpiles.

    • About Ros

      "Ros Krasny is Boston Bureau Chief, leading coverage of the New England scene. She was previously a regional Federal Reserve correspondent based in Chicago, and spent many years writing about agricultural commodity markets with Bridge News and Knight-Ridder Financial news."
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