In Brief


State agency certifies fuel from Sparks refinery for program

A refinery in Sparks that produces a cleaner-burning fuel made from a combination of low-sulfur diesel and natural gas has become the first of its kind in Nevada to win approval from state environmental regulators.

Officials for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection told The Associated Press on Monday that GDiesel fuel produced by the Reno-based Advanced Refining Concepts is now certified for the state’s alternative fuels program.

Division spokesman Vinson Guthreau says that means lab results show it will reduce the emissions of one or more regulated pollutants compared with conventional gasoline.

It also means it is available now for use by thousands of state, county and city vehicles in Clark and Washoe counties, including school buses, without requiring any modifications to the vehicles or their engines.


Casino proposal gains backing from preservation organization

A proposal to build a new casino near the Gettysburg battlefield has picked up support from a historic preservation association that aims to protect the battlefield from development.

Last week, the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association announced its support for the proposal to turn an existing conference center into a casino with 600 slot machines and 50 gaming tables near the historic Civil War site.

The national commander of the American Legion calls the proposal "a national disgrace" while the head of the local American Legion post has remained neutral.

The proposed Mason-Dixon Resort & Casino is competing with three other applicants for Pennsylvania’s final resort casino license .


Potash board votes to reject BHP Billiton takeover bid

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. said Monday that its board voted unanimously to reject BHP Billiton’s hostile $38.5 billion takeover offer as it doesn’t reflect the strong growth the company believes it is poised to enjoy.

The Canadian company said it’s in talks with several companies that have approached it or that it has initiated contact with.

BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, launched the $130 a share takeover last week after Potash directors rejected its behind-the-scenes efforts to get a deal from the board.

Some analysts say Potash may be trying to flush out a rival bidder, mentioning Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto and Chinese agribusiness SinoChem as potential suitors.


Hewlett-Packard joins Dell in bid battle to buy 3Par

The world’s two biggest personal computer makers are locked in a pricey struggle over which can move away from the PC business the fastest.

Hewlett-Packard Co. offered $1.5 billion on Monday for 3Par Inc., a company whose data-storage machines are designed for "cloud computing," or delivering services over the Internet. HP’s rival, Dell Inc., last week offered about $400 million less for 3Par, and many analysts and investors expect Dell to make a sweeter counteroffer.

HP’s offer comes just weeks after CEO Mark Hurd’s ouster over inaccurate expense reports and shows that the company is committed to keep growing through acquisitions.


Man accused of selling Disney secrets pleads guilty in court

A man accused of trying sell secrets about finances at Walt Disney Co. pleaded guilty Monday in federal court.

Yonni Sebbag, a citizen of Morocco, and his girlfriend, former Disney employee Bonnie Hoxie, were arrested in California last month in the insider trading case.

Sebbag, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud charges. He has been held without bail in Manhattan. Prosecutors say Hoxie obtained information on Disney’s quarterly earnings before they were made public and fed them to Sebbag. He’s accused of trying to sell the tips.

The charges carry a potential penalty of up to 25 years in prison.

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