The Federal Communications Commission approved rules Tuesday aimed at giving consumers a greater choice of cell phones and wireless devices after a pivotal airwaves auction slated for next year. The auction is expected to raise as much as $15 billion. The new provisions will also include the creation of a shared public safety network that commissioners hope will solve communication issues experienced by emergency workers.

Small companies in Texas will soon be permitted to offer on-premises child care without the need to obtain a commercial licence. The move is seen as a boon to busy parents reluctant to stray far from their children and pressed for time to drop off them off at day care centers before work.

The Internet Archive, a non-profit, is funding an ambitious project to establish an online catalog of every book in every language ever published. Dubbed the Open Library, the project is calling on other libraries to donate their catalogs. But some librarians take issue with the project's plan to allow users to edit catalogues themselves. The idea is similar to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia.

Myspace, a social-network website, has removed profiles of 29,000 convicted sex offenders from its site. The number was up from 7,000, a figure given in May. With more than 80 million profiles on the site – many of them from minors – Myspace's critics have called for new laws to make such sites safer for children.

North Dakota will ship 100 tons of seed potatoes to Cuba, marking the first time in decades that the communist nation has bought US seed potatoes. Despite an established trade embargo with Cuba, a 2001 federal law allows cash sales of US agricultural goods and medicine to Cuba.

Spending on English instruction to must be quadrupled to more than $4 billion a year for the next six years, says a report by the Migration Policy Institute. English skills are crucial to assimilation and to the economic future of the United States, says the report.

The San Diego Zoo says a giant panda is expecting her fourth cub sometime in August. The zoo said Tuesday that 16-year-old Bai Yun was put on the "24-hour birth watch" after officials detected a fetus and fetal heartbeat through ultrasound images July 18. Additional tests confirmed the pregnancy was going normally. The Panda's first baby, Hua Mei, which was born in August 1999, has given birth to three sets of twins since 2004, including a pair in July.

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