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California couple strike gold with treasure trove find

A California couple out walking their dog struck it rich by unearthing a horde of buried gold coins, worth more than $10 million according to experts. The so-called Saddle Ridge find is believed to be the most valuable treasure trove ever discovered in the United States, according to Kagin's Inc, which specializes in ancient gold coins. The couple, named only as John and Mary, spotted a partially buried can jutting out of the ground -- and after further digging found seven more, with more than 1,400 gold coins.

China reaffirms ban on housing sales on rural land: media

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has reinforced a ban on selling property built by villages or farmers on rural land, state media reported on Monday, dashing hopes for a quick policy change after a top-level party meeting. The Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development have jointly issued an urgent circular ordering a halt to sales of "small-property-rights housing", which is built on rural land without going through state planning, the Economic Information Daily said.

Alberta's ethics boss says it's OK for MLAs to lobby for personal interests

EDMONTON - An Alberta government backbencher who lobbied bureaucrats and fellow politicians to make legislative changes to benefit his company did nothing wrong, the province's ethics commissioner ruled Thursday. Ethics commissioner Neil Wilkinson, in a written judgment, said that while Peter Sandhu wanted changes to lien rules to benefit his home-building company, it was not a conflict of interest because other home-building companies would have benefited as well.

DC mayor vows to end tax lien squeeze that costs homes

The mayor of Washington pledged Tuesday to put an end to shoddy tax practices that have led to the seizure of homes in the nation's capital. Mayor Vincent Gray is "appalled" to find out that the city has been "kicking senior citizens out of their homes for as little as $150 in unpaid property taxes," the mayor's spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro, told AFP. "We're going to do what we can do to fix that now." On his Twitter account, the mayor condemned the tax practices, revealed in a Washington Post investigative report, as "unacceptable".

Fieldwood Energy sets price guidance on $2.63billion loan

By Natalie Wright NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil and gas outfit Fieldwood Energy set price guidance on its new $2.625 billion loan backing its $3.75 billion purchase of Apache Corporation's <APA.N> Gulf of Mexico Shelf business, sources told Thomson Reuters LPC. A $900 million, five-year first-lien term loan is guided at LIB+300, with a 1 percent Libor floor and a 99 original issue discount. The first-lien term loan will have 101 soft call protection for six months.

Judge says speeder won't lose bike for breaking 200 km/h on Vancouver Island

VICTORIA - A B.C. Supreme Court justice has turned down an application by the government to seize the motorcycle of a man clocked going more than three times the speed limit. The decision is being lauding by the man's lawyer who said it could have been used as a precedent for the government to seize property for the simple act of speeding. Jason Alan Dery was clocked driving his Ducati motorcycle at more than 200 kilometres an hour in a 60 kilometre-an-hour zone on July 2, 2011 while on a road near Victoria, B.C.

FAM Real Estate Investment Trust buys office complex for $39 million

TORONTO - FAM Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:F.UN) said Monday it has signed a deal to buy an office complex in Mississauga, Ont., for $39 million. The complex known as the Promontory is located on a 4.5 hectare site and includes 159,752 square feet of Class A office space. The property is 100 per cent leased with the top five tenants representing 88 per cent of the base rent. The trust said there were no major tenant leases expiring before December 2015.

Empire State Building owners get third offer to buy landmark

By Ilaina Jonas NEW YORK (Reuters) - One of New York City's largest landlords, Thor Equities LLC, has offered more than $2.1 billion in cash to buy the Empire State Building, the real estate firm's broker said on Thursday. It was the third unsolicited offer for the landmark skyscraper, which is set to become the centerpiece of a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

Banks seized more U.S. homes in May, RealtyTrac report shows

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Banks seized more U.S. homes in May as a greater number of Americans found themselves entering the foreclosure process, suggesting lenders were drawing down the pipeline of distressed properties, a report from RealtyTrac showed on Thursday. Banks repossessed 38,946 homes, an increase of 11 percent from the previous month. The number of homes hit with default notices for the first time grew by 4 percent.

Vt gov signs novel law to protect companies from so-called patent trolling

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law Wednesday a novel measure aimed at protecting companies from so-called patent trolling, the practice of making deceptive claims of patent infringement in the hopes of collecting licensing or settlement money.
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