How Cutting-Edge Technology & Science Are Powering The Future TPM Idealab

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend millions of dollars to help farmers and ranchers improve pastures in five Midwestern states to provide food for the nation's struggling honeybees under a program to be announced Tuesday.

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — NASA has scrubbed a test off the California coast involving recovery of a mock-up of its newest space capsule after it was discovered that the cables weren't strong enough to handle the turbulence.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, by far the company's largest acquisition and bigger than any that Google, Microsoft or Apple have ever done.

The world's biggest social networking company said Wednesday that it is paying $12 billion in Facebook stock and $4 billion in cash for WhatsApp. In addition, the app's founders and employees — 55 in all — will be granted restricted stock worth $3 billion that will vest over four years after the deal closes.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project.

Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route. Stacy agreed with opponents' arguments that law passed in 2011 improperly delegated the decision-making power to Heineman to give the company eminent domain powers within the state. Stacy said the decision should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia company involved in last month's chemical spill is heading back to bankruptcy court.

Freedom Industries will return to the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse for a 10 a.m. hearing Friday. The company wants to hire experts and environmental consultants to assess the circumstances surrounding its Jan. 9 spill.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arctic isn't nearly as bright and white as it used to be because of more ice melting in the ocean, and that's turning out to be a global problem, a new study says.

With more dark, open water in the summer, less of the sun's heat is reflected back into space. So the entire Earth is absorbing more heat than expected, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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BATH, Maine (AP) — Some of the Navy's futuristic weapons sound like something out of "Star Wars," with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds.

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PRIMM, Nev. (AP) — A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West.

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