By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - The billionaire backer of a long-shot effort to break California into six separate states submitted signatures to state officials on Tuesday aimed at putting his proposal before voters in 2016. Timothy Draper, a founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in Twitter, Skype and Tesla, among other companies, has been agitating for months for a ballot initiative to chop the most populous U.S. state into smaller entities. "Today, we turn in 1.3 million signatures that say we are ready to make a change," Draper said. “The proposed ballot measure to divide California into six new states needs to be called out for what it is - a craven attempt to divide California along strict socioeconomic lines," said Paul Song, executive chairman of the progressive activist group Courage Campaign.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Line Corp., the operator of a popular mobile messaging app, has submitted an IPO application to the Tokyo Stock Exchange but might also seek a New York listing, its parent company Naver Corp. said Wednesday.
A United States judge has halted the execution of a former methamphetamine dealer who was convicted of murdering three people with ties to the drug trade who he feared would inform on him to police. John Middleton, 54, met a standard for mental incapacity "showing that he is incompetent to be executed" and that a hearing should be held, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry wrote in an opinion issued a little more than an hour before the execution was due to take place. Middleton was scheduled to die by lethal injection after midnight on Wednesday at a state prison in Bonne Terre, but a flurry of rulings and appeals eventually staved off the execution. They had argued that his mental incapacity meant he was not competent to be executed.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — As candidates for attorney general, Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow vowed to root out fraud and uphold the laws of Utah with the highest integrity. They served a combined 13 years as attorney general while holding significant political sway and ambitions for higher office.
DENTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas community that sits on a large natural gas reserve could become the first city in the state to partially ban hydraulic fracturing, with city leaders in Denton set to vote early Wednesday on a citizen-led petition to outlaw new permits for the drilling method.
The United States is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine, a shift in strategy that reflects the Obama administration's frustration with Europe's reluctance to take tougher action against Moscow, according to U.S. and European officials.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A handful of new wildfires, some started by lightning, grew dramatically Tuesday in central Washington, and several threatened homes even as firefighters made progress against a destructive Oregon blaze.
DENTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas community that sits on a large natural gas reserve could become the first city in the state to ban hydraulic fracturing, with city leaders in Denton set to vote late Tuesday on a citizen-led petition to outlaw new permits for the drilling method.
By Jennifer Chaussee SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Water regulators in California approved tough new conservation measures on Tuesday to limit outdoor water use, including daily fines of up to $500 for using a hose without a shut-off nozzle. "We are facing the worst drought impact that we or our grandparents have ever seen," said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. "An emergency requires action, and today’s announcement is a much-needed response to California’s drought emergency," said Ed Osann, senior policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which supported the regulations. California is in the third year of a catastrophic drought that has diminished the Sierra Nevada snow pack, which normally feeds the state's rivers and streams with cool water.
By Michael Hirtzer CHICAGO (Reuters) - An ethanol plant in Nebraska corn country is pumping out fuel made from sugar beets, and corn farmers are suing to stop it - a small-town dispute that offers an unusual take on the debate over the market-distorting impact of sugar and corn subsidies. The dispute in Aurora, population about 4,400, brings into conflict two of the largest U.S. farm programs, one promoting sugar production and the other corn-based ethanol. Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc, a privately held Illinois firm, is reaping profits producing ethanol with cheap sugar, thanks to a U.S. Agriculture Department subsidy of beet sugar. Local corn farmers, who benefit from a government rule that forces oil companies to blend ethanol into gasoline, say in court documents that Aventine's action violates an agreement to use their grain exclusively as a feedstock for the firm's recently reopened plant in Aurora.