Spain premier gets backing for budget in key political test

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s parliament is set to pass the national budget proposal for 2018 on Wednesday, giving the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy some breathing space as it battles Catalan separatism. Basque nationalist lawmakers have made a last-minute U-turn...
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Record number of Brits get German citizenship before Brexit

BERLIN (AP) — German officials say the number of British nationals who received German citizenship hit a new high last year that is likely linked to the U.K.’s 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. Brexit has prompted British citizens to seek passports from the...
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US sales of new homes slipped 1.5 percent in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes fell 1.5 percent in April as buying plunged in the West. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 662,000. So far this year, new-home sales are 8.4 percent higher...
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Lingering limbo: Businesses uncertain about tax law impact

NEW YORK (AP) — Five months after massive federal tax changes became law, many small business owners still don’t know whether they’ll be winners or losers. Mike Kaeding would like to know how his real estate development and management company will be affected by...
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Stocks slip after weak economic data from Europe

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling Wednesday morning after a weak finish the day before, and energy and industrial companies are taking some of the worst losses. Investors are concerned about the European economy after a measure of business activity fell to an 18-month...
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Digital Life: Cutting back on a constant smartphone habit

NEW YORK (AP) — Why are we checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, then Facebook again when we just wanted to check the weather? Turns out, smartphone addiction is by design. Think of the constant stream of notifications, color schemes in apps and all the...
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United Technologies plans to hire 35,000 people

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) — United Technologies plans to hire 35,000 people and invest more than $15 billion in the U.S. over the next five years. The company said Wednesday that the investment will go toward research and development and capital expenditures. United...
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Markets Right Now: Stocks open lower on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local): 9:35 a.m. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street following a late slide the day before. Technology companies, energy companies and banks led declines in early trading Wednesday. Hewlett...
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Hawaii geothermal plant plugs wells as lava flows nearby

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Production wells at a geothermal plant under threat by lava flowing from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano have been plugged to prevent toxic gases from seeping out. Lava from a nearby, new volcanic vent entered, then stalled, on the 815-acre (330-hectare)...
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