By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - The largest U.S refinery workers strike since 1980 passed its 18th day on Wednesday but talks between union and oil company representatives over safety and pay restarted after a gap of a week and went into the night, according to a union text message. "Industry responded to the information request and engaged in discussions into the evening," the text message to United Steelworkers union (USW) members read. Bargaining continues tomorrow." Talks between the USW and lead oil company negotiator Royal Dutch Shell Plc had been on hold as the company drew up a response to an information request and a counterproposal from the union. "Shell resumed negotiations with the USW on Wednesday and continues to work towards reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement," spokesman Ray Fisher said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington National Cathedral has finished the first phase of work to repair damage from a 2011 earthquake, but the church must still raise $22 million to complete exterior repairs.
HAUULA, Hawaii (AP) — The managers of Hawaii's state parks are turning to social media to counter online photos and statements encouraging people to visit a waterfall where a landslide killed eight people more than 15 years ago.
The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to sue the Ferguson, Missouri, police department over allegations of racially discriminatory practices unless the police force agrees to make changes, CNN reported on Wednesday. The network, citing sources, said the Justice Department would not charge the white Ferguson police officer involved in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August but was expected to outline allegations of discriminatory Ferguson police tactics. The department would file suit if Ferguson police did not agree to review and change those tactics, CNN reported. The shooting of Brown last August by officer Darren Wilson led to months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and galvanized critics of the treatment by police and the U.S. criminal justice system of blacks and other minority groups.
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion devastated a section of a refinery on Wednesday morning, shaking nearby homes, raining down ash and injuring four people. Experts said the disruption to production would likely drive up gas prices in California.
By Daniel Wallis DENVER (Reuters) - Opponents of Colorado's marijuana legalization are expected to file a federal lawsuit on Thursday that will seek to shut down the state's new industry and which they say will accuse participants of violating racketeering laws. Voters in Colorado chose to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by adults in a landmark 2012 ballot, even as the drug remains federally outlawed. Washington state has also legalized recreational pot, while Alaska and Oregon are following suit.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maritime companies locked in a contract dispute with West Coast dockworkers took their case directly to rank-and-file longshoremen on Wednesday, as negotiators struggled to reach a deal and break the cargo gridlock that has stalled billions of dollars of international trade.
Low temperatures gripped much of the South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday, freezing and refreezing snow and ice and making roads hazardous for those who'd ventured out. In many areas, the cold was expected to stay for days.