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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Business economists expect 2013 will be another year of sub-par growth for the U.S. economy, reflecting uncertainty stemming from the budget battles in Washington and Europe's on-going debt problems. But they think the economy will improve as the year progresses and by 2014 will grow at the fastest pace in nine years.
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI has changed the rules of the conclave that will elect his successor, allowing cardinals to move up the start date if all of them arrive in Rome before the usual 15-day transition between pontificates. Benedict signed a legal document, issued Monday, with some line-by-line changes to the 1996 Vatican law governing the election of a new pope. It is one of his last acts as pope before resigning Thursday.
LOS ANGELES — Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” a film about a fake movie, has earned a very real prize: best picture at the Academy Awards. From the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Jack Nicholson to help present the final prize. “There are eight great films that have every right, as much a right to be up here as we do,” Affleck said of the other best-picture nominees. In share-the-wealth mode, Oscar voters spread Sunday’s honors among a range of films, with “Argo” winning three trophies but “Life of Pi” leading with four.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Joe Mauer thought the scoreboard radar reading of 96 mph on a pitch from Kyle Gibson was a little low. “It seemed like it was 106,” Mauer said Sunday. “He was throwing the ball at a good angle. It was the first time I’ve caught him, so it was good to see him. It’s been pretty good to get to know these guys. Once we get out into a game, you start to get a better idea about the guys.” Gibson struck out two and gave up one hit in two innings, but the Minnesota Twins lost to the Tampa bay Rays 10-7 in 10 innings.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A big first for Danica Patrick, but an even bigger second for Jimmie Johnson. Patrick made history up front at the Daytona 500 Sunday, only to see Johnson make a late push ahead of her and reclaim his spot at the top of his sport. It was the second Daytona 500 victory for Johnson, a five-time NASCAR champion who first won “The Great American Race” in 2006.
MINNEAPOLIS — Jarrett Jack has been a rock-steady pro for eight years now, the kind of reliable performer contending teams crave. Even though he is still coming off the bench for Golden State, he’s found himself in more of a starring role lately, and he showed the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday that he is equally comfortable as the leader of a playoff-caliber unit. Jack had 23 points and eight assists to rally the Warriors to a 100-99 victory over the Timberwolves.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, Kevin Durant added 27 and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-111 on Friday night. The Thunder avoided losing four in a row for the first time since April 2009, near the end of their first season in Oklahoma City, but made little progress in getting their defense back in order.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- Futurists have long proclaimed the coming of a cashless society, where dollar bills and plastic cards are replaced by fingerprint and retina scanners smart enough to distinguish a living, breathing account holder from an identity thief. What they probably didn't see coming was that one such technology would make its debut not in Silicon Valley or MIT but at a small state college in remote western South Dakota, 25 miles from Mount Rushmore.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google is adding a new and more expensive touch to its line of Chrome laptops in an attempt to outshine personal computers running on software made by rivals Microsoft and Apple. The Chromebook Pixel unveiled Thursday includes a nearly 13-inch display screen that responds to the touch or swipe of a finger. That duplicates a key feature in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8, a dramatic makeover of the world's leading operating system for PCs.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- During her 10 years as a Utah state trooper, Lisa Steed built a reputation as an officer with a knack for nabbing drunken motorists in a state with a long tradition of teetotaling and some of the nation's strictest liquor laws. Steed used the uncanny talent - as one supervisor once described it - to garner hundreds of arrests, setting records, earning praise as a rising star and becoming the first woman to become trooper of the year.