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Solar energy to power iconic Vegas welcome sign PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 07:14

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Officials in Las Vegas are harnessing the power of the sun to light the city's iconic welcome sign.

Elected officials and project leaders flipped a switch Wednesday linking solar panels on 25-foot towers to the glittering neon "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.

The project was headed by the Green Chips and Clean Energy Project nonprofit organizations, and funded by the Consumer Electronics Association, electric utility NV Energy, the Las Vegas Centennial Commission and Bombard Renewable Energy.

The new power source is the latest upgrade for the sign designed by Betty Willis and installed in 1959 in a traffic median on the Las Vegas Strip.

A parking lot for private vehicles and tour buses was expanded in 2012 to make access to the sign safer for picture-takers.


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Airlines go on a record new jet shopping spree PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by SCOTT MAYEROWITZ, AP Airlines Writer   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 07:05

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Capt. Paul Wannberg glides an old Boeing 757 over the New Mexico desert, lining up with the runway. A computerized voice squawks elevation warnings. Forty feet. Thirty. Twenty. Ten. Touchdown.

Outside the cockpit window sit nearly a hundred airplane carcasses, perfectly lined up. They are jets that nobody wants anymore. And — after 26,057 takeoffs and landings — this 24-year-old American Airlines plane is about to join them.

"This is my first time here, and it's a sad place," First Officer Robert Popp tells the control tower. Airlines used to store planes in the desert during slow travel months. Sometimes, unwanted jets would be sold to carriers in Russia or Africa. Today, a man on the other end of the radio responds, "they're chopping them up."

Airlines are on the largest jet-buying spree in the history of aviation, ordering more than 8,200 new planes with manufacturers Airbus SAS and The Boeing Co. in the past five years. There are now a combined 24 planes rolling off assembly lines each week, up from 11 a decade ago. And that rate is expected to keep climbing.

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Food companies cut 6.4 trillion calories PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 07:07

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of the nation's largest food companies have cut calories in their products by more than 6.4 trillion, according to a new study.

The study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that between 2007 and 2012 the companies reduced their products' calories by the equivalent of around 78 calories per person per day. The total is more than four times the amount those companies had pledged to cut by next year.

Seventy-eight calories would be about the same as an average cookie or a medium apple, and the federal government estimates an average daily diet at around 2,000 calories. The study said the calories cut averaged out to 78 calories per day for the entire U.S. population.

The 2010 pledge taken by 16 companies — including General Mills Inc., Campbell Soup Co., ConAgra Foods Inc., Kraft Foods Inc., Kellogg Co., Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Hershey Co. — was to cut 1 trillion calories by 2012 and 1.5 trillion calories by 2015.

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U.S. Chamber lobby seeks major push on immigration PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 16:34

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of the US Chamber of Commerce says the nation's biggest business lobby intends to "pull out all the stops" to pass an overhaul of immigration laws. That would place the chamber on the side of President Barack Obama on one of the White House's top legislative priorities of the year.

"We're determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted," Chamber President Tom Donohue said Wednesday, during his annual "State of American Business" address.

Donohue cast his organization as both an ally and an adversary of the administration on Wednesday. He indicated support for Obama's stance on immigration and also the president's push for global trade agreements.

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