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Egg production improves in Iowa

Egg production improves in Iowa

DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa egg farms are gradually recovering from the bird flu that destroyed 25 million of the state’s egg-laying hens this spring.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a report Monday that Iowa egg production during October was 753 million eggs. That’s up 2 percent from September but down 47 percent from a year ago.

Iowa, typically by far the nation’s leading egg producer, fell behind Ohio where hens laid 18 million more eggs last month. Nationally, nearly 7.8 billion eggs were produced in October.

That’s down 9 percent from a year ago.

Wholesale egg prices remain about a dollar a dozen higher than a year ago in some markets but the USDA expects prices to fall below that level by the second half of next year.

Board sends money to research centers

IOWA CITY (AP) — Iowa regulators are transferring money that they had withheld for months from university research centers that study alternative energy and global warming.

Monday’s reversal by the Iowa Utilities Board comes after critics said the board was violating the law by hanging on to $5.1 million that it collected from utilities.

The money is designated by law to support the Iowa Energy Center at Iowa State University and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa. It is typically transferred by mid-September.

But the board, under new chairwoman Geri Huser, had said it wouldn’t transfer any funding until the centers answered its questions about how their previous funding has been spent.

On Friday, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office called on the board to transfer the funding.

Ground delays at

US airports rising

NEW YORK (AP) — An Associated Press analysis finds airplanes spent an average of 23 minutes, 32 seconds taxiing between gates and runways during the first nine months of this year.

That’s the longest it’s been since the Bureau of Transportation Statistics started tracking taxi times in 1995. It’s a 50-second increase over last year. The top offender is Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Of all the additional time, one of out of five extra minutes can be traced back to delays at O’Hare. Planes in Chicago spent an average of 1 minute and 18 seconds extra navigating taxiways.

US home sales slump in Oct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought homes in October, a sign that rising home values may be pushing more would-be buyers to the real estate market’s sidelines. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 3.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million. The decline comes after strong growth in home-buying for much of 2015, bolstered by steady job gains and low mortgage rates. Home purchases have advanced 3.9 percent from a year ago.

Nestle confirms labor abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Impoverished migrant workers in Thailand are sold or lured by false promises and forced to catch and process fish that ends up in Nestle SA’s supply chains.

The unusual disclosure comes from Geneva-based Nestle SA itself, which in an act of self-policing planned to announce the conclusions of its yearlong internal investigation on Monday. The study found virtually all U.S. and European companies buying seafood from Thailand are exposed to the same risks of abuse in their supply chains.

Nestle, among the biggest food companies in the world, launched the investigation last year after reports from news outlets and non-governmental organizations tied brutal and largely unregulated working conditions to their foods.

Ford stops using Takata bag inflators

Ford Motor Co. will not be using air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. in future vehicles, another blow to the troubled Japanese parts supplier as the auto industry continues to shun its product.

Ford joins Honda, Toyota and Nissan is deciding against putting the inflators in cars, trucks and SUVs now under development.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least eight people have been killed worldwide and hundreds injured.

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