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Oil refineries are key to turning crude into petroleum products that can be exported. Exports of gasoline, diesel, distillate, propane and other petroleum products soared to a record 4.3 million barrels a day in December, more than twice the 2.1 million barrels a day of petroleum products that the U.S. imported on average last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. (Associated Press)

GRAY: Exporting oil could boost energy markets at home

Allowing in the competition would lower the price, provide cleaner air, and permit more efficient vehicles. We can achieve this even while maintaining America’s connection to global energy markets. We can export gas and oil without substantially increasing their price at home.

Rosneft opened a field of super-light oil in the Kara Sea, where the deposits reportedly exceed 750 million barrels. Its partnership with Exxon Mobil Corp., however, is put on hold because of U.S. sanctions against Russia over its military aggression in Ukraine. (Rosneft Press Service via Associated Press)

U.S. sanctions against Russia stymie Western oil companies’ Arctic aspirations

- The Washington Times

The latest U.S. sanctions against Russia over Ukraine are starting to crimp not only the Russian economy but also major Western oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., companies that have invested heavily in helping Russia tap into huge stores of oil buried offshore in remote Arctic waters and under the vast wilderness in eastern Siberia.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making his first visit to Washington, D.C., this week. He had a private dinner with President Obama Monday night, though the White House wouldn't say whether intellectual property reform was on the agenda. (Associated Press)

Modi pressed to address intellectual property reforms

- The Washington Times

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that his nation is “open for business,” but some U.S. industry leaders remain troubled by India’s policy toward intellectual property rights and question whether the new leader, making his first visit to Washington this week, will follow through on his promise to address the problem.

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FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, file photo, attendees walk in front of an EBay and PayPal display area at the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone trade show, in Barcelona, Spain. PayPal is splitting from EBay Inc. and will become a separate and publicly traded company during the second half of 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

What's PayPal's first solo move?

- Associated Press

PayPal's impending split from long-time partner eBay Inc. will ratchet up its appeal to online retail competitors such as Amazon.com and give it the freedom to aggressively take on new mobile pay challenger Apple Pay. For eBay, the challenge will be how to drive revenue without its fastest-growing division.

Jindal administration rewrites LSU hospital deals

- Associated Press

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.

New Hampshire budget surplus $7M short of target

- Associated Press

The first year of New Hampshire's two-year budget ended with a $19.5 million surplus, balancing the books for year one but leaving the state $7 million short of the expected rollover into the second year.

Kansas tax collections $21M short in September

- Associated Press

Kansas reported Tuesday that its tax collections fell $21 million short of expectations in September which could expand a predicted budget shortfall as Republican Gov. Sam Brownback faces a tough re-election battle over income tax cuts he engineered.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, right, talk with employees at Empire Bucket as Walker campaigns in Hudson, Wis., Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Gov. Walker, Democrat Burke cool to tax shift idea

- Associated Press

Neither Gov. Scott Walker nor Democratic challenger Mary Burke embraced a conservative think tank's suggestion Tuesday that more Wisconsin goods and services should be subject to the state sales tax, including health club memberships, groceries and trips to the hair salon.

Eagle Mountain officials say city's water is safe

- Associated Press

Tests have confirmed there are no contaminants in Eagle Mountain's water supply after someone broke into the city's reservoir, authorities said Tuesday.

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2014, file photo, a Uniformed Secret Service police officer stands outside the White House in Washington. The intruder who climbed a fence made it farther inside the White House than the Secret Service has publicly acknowledged, the Washington Post and New York Times newspapers reported Monday, Sept. 29. The disclosures came on the eve of a congressional oversight hearing with the director of the embattled agency assigned to protect the president's life. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach

- Associated Press

Under withering criticism from Congress, the director of the Secret Service on Tuesday admitted failures in her agency's critical mission of protecting the president but repeatedly sidestepped key questions about how a knife-carrying intruder penetrated ring after ring of security before finally being tackled deep inside the White House.

Follow-up shows improvement in BabyNet

- Associated Press

South Carolina's program for infants and toddlers with disabilities has improved some in the past three years, but performance evaluations of BabyNet's providers continue to lag and rural shortages continue, according to a Legislative Audit Council report released Tuesday.

FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2014, file photo, Randy Chapman, left, of California, and John Krisel, of New York, walk on The Boardwalk after they checked out of the closing Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. A bankruptcy court auction for Revel, the failed luxury casino-hotel on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Revel auction off till Monday; $98M top bid

- Associated Press

The bankruptcy court auction of Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel will resume on Monday with a Canadian firm having submitted the high bid thus far.

Minnesota news in brief at 7:58 p.m. CDT

Associated Press

The alleged leader of an American Indian gang that prosecutors say spread violence and drugs through Minnesota and other states has been sentenced to 43 years in prison.

Former NBA player George seeks new fraud trial

- Associated Press

A former NBA player convicted of wire fraud in an alleged real estate Ponzi scheme is seeking to have his conviction thrown out and claiming prosecutorial misconduct, among other allegations.

A man walks up the stairway leading to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.  A patient in the hospital is showing signs of the Ebola virus and is being kept in strict isolation with test results pending, hospital officials said Monday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

- Associated Press

Federal health officials on Tuesday confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., a patient who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas and a sign of the far-reaching impact of the out-of-control epidemic in West Africa.

This image provided by the Department of Health and Humans Services shows the Open Payments page of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. From research grants to travel junkets, drug and medical device companies paid doctors and leading hospitals billions of dollars last year, the government disclosed Tuesday in a new effort to spotlight potential ethical conflicts in medicine. Industry spent nearly $3.5 billion on such payments in the five-month period from August through December of 2013, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which released data on 4.4 million payments. (AP Photo/HHS)

Drug and device firms paid $3.5B to care providers

- Associated Press

From research grants to travel junkets, drug and medical device companies paid doctors and leading hospitals billions of dollars last year, the government disclosed Tuesday in a new effort to spotlight potential ethical conflicts in medicine.

FILE - In these Aug. 27, 2014 file photos, Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley, left, and incumbent Democrat Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, right, deliver their closing remarks at the conclusion of a debate in Norwich, Conn. Both men are set to debate again Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, and Thursday night, Oct. 2  at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

Malloy, Foley spar over jobs, agree on casinos

- Associated Press

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley may disagree about the direction of Connecticut's economy, but they showed some signs of similarity Tuesday, agreeing the state does not need more casinos, legalized marijuana or higher taxes.

Indiana casinos want wagering, admission taxes cut

Associated Press

A legislative committee is weighing requests from Indiana casino operators for cuts to the state's wagering and riverboat admission taxes as they try to stem the loss of gamblers to competitors in neighboring states.

Miss. agencies begin budget requests for FY16

- Associated Press

Leaders of Mississippi government agencies are appearing before lawmakers this week to request money for fiscal 2016, which begins July 1.

Lawmakers, business group fight over pay equity

- Associated Press

The top lobbyist for Wisconsin's chamber of commerce defended the group Tuesday from accusations by Democratic lawmakers and others that a graphic on its website was offensive and indicated the business organization was against pay equity for women.

Illinois-owned planes to be sold in online auction

Associated Press

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services plans to relist six state-owned airplanes for sale on an online auction site after a previous attempt to lure buyers brought bids for only two planes, state officials said.