By Edward McAllister NEW YORK (Reuters) - A recovering economy and cheaper prices at the pump have boosted U.S. gasoline demand in recent months, following five years of decline, a change that some experts say could continue into 2014. People are driving further, tempted back behind the wheel by a 40-cent per gallon fall in gasoline prices since September. Pump prices on Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday were the lowest in three years, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week.
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court in New York has given developers and builders of high-rises and other buildings added protection from lawsuits over property losses linked to terrorism, in a case stemming from the September 11, 2001 attacks. A divided panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Consolidated Edison Inc and its insurers could not pursue damages for negligence over the crushing of the utility's electrical substation beneath the original 7 World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the attacks. Con Ed argued that negligence by companies controlled by Larry Silverstein, the developer and leaseholder, and the constructor Tishman Construction Corp caused the 47-story tower to collapse, resulting in the substation's destruction. Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler nevertheless concluded that the building, which was completed in 1987, "would have collapsed regardless of any negligence ascribed by plaintiffs' experts" to its design and construction.
By Andrea Shalal-Esa WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force may have to cut funding for research and development unless Congress reverses a law requiring across the board spending cuts, the No. 2 Air Force acquisition official said. Lieutenant General Charles Davis, military deputy to the Air Force's top weapons buyer, said Pentagon leaders were determined to protect funding in new technologies, but the Air Force would have to cut funding in that area somewhat to ensure the readiness of its forces if sequestration stayed in effect. The Pentagon is bracing for additional mandatory cuts in military spending in fiscal 2014, which began October 1, although lawmakers are working on a budget deal that could ease the extent of those cuts.
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge is refusing to require jurors in the next phase of the Jodi Arias trial to reveal their Twitter usernames so their accounts can be monitored for communications about the case.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Recordings of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting show town dispatchers calmly responding to a janitor, a teacher and others and assuring them help is coming.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wags and barks speak volumes when it comes to understanding what a dog is saying, but there are also clues in a dog's eyes, ears, nose or the tilt of its head. Are humans getting the right messages?
DALLAS (AP) — A few weeks after Bryce Reed proclaimed he would personally protect a Texas town devastated by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion, he was arrested by federal agents who said he collected materials to make a pipe bomb, driving suspicion that he might have been behind the blast.
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A gleaming addition to Miami's waterfront will greet the art world elite as they jet into town this week for the 12th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach: a $131 million art museum the city hopes will anchor its burgeoning cultural scene. "Our cultural infrastructure has evolved," said Thom Collins, director of the Perez Art Museum of Miami (PAMM), which will open officially on Wednesday. We needed to give them something that addresses our main competition, the beach." From sprawling, shaded verandas dotted with greenery, the Herzog & de Meuron-designed waterfront museum offers stunning vistas of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami's high rises. CULTURAL RENAISSANCE Since the first Art Basel Miami Beach, a spinoff of the fair held for decades in the Swiss city of the same name, Miami has undergone a cultural renaissance.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Recordings of several 911 calls made from inside Sandy Hook Elementary during last year's school shooting are being released under court order Wednesday after a legal fight by The Associated Press.
President Barack Obama urged Americans not to be discouraged by the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov on Tuesday and vowed to fix whatever glitches remain as he sought to restore confidence in his leadership. Obama used a speech at the White House to address criticisms of the law and accuse his Republican opponents of attempting to gain politically from the problems surrounding his central domestic policy achievement. Obama, whose job approval ratings have sunk as problems mounted around the healthcare system's website, said repairs to the website have now made it work well for the vast majority of users and that "we're are going to keep on working to fix whatever problems come up." "Do not let the initial problems with the website discourage you because it's working better now," Obama told an audience of supporters of the law. "And it's going to keep on working better over time." Obama is struggling to contain the political damage from the troubled rollout of the new health law.
By Joseph Lichterman DETROIT (Reuters) - The Detroit Institute of Arts has between $452 million and $866 million of artwork that is owned or partially owned by the city, Christie's, the auction house said on Tuesday. Detroit was declared eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy restructuring on Tuesday, and it is possible that the city may seek to monetize some of the artwork. Christie's was retained by the city to appraise city-owned works as part of Detroit's bankruptcy case.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wintry storm pushing through the Rockies and Midwest is bringing bitterly cold temperatures and treacherous driving conditions blamed in at least six deaths as it threatens crops as far south as California.