Democrats won seven of 11 gubernatorial elections Tuesday, including in North Carolina, where Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue became the state's first female governor. In Washington State, Gov. Christine Gregoire easily won reelection in a rematch with GOP challenger Dino Rossi. In 2004, she prevailed by just 133 votes on a second recount in the closest governor's race in US history.

Google Inc. said Wednesday it is pulling out of a planned online advertising partnership with Yahoo Inc. in the face of a looming antitrust challenge by the government. Beleaguered Yahoo had counted on a deal that would permit Google to sell ads alongside search results on Yahoo's site to boost company revenues.

The Supreme Court briefly wrestled Tuesday with the first major broadcast indecency case to come before the justices in 30 years but gave no indications of where it's heading. At issue is whether even fleetingly uttered expletives are considered indecent.

An advancement in solar material is capable of harnessing 96.2 percent of sunlight that strikes it, a 30 percent improvement, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., said Monday. The scientists say a new type of reflective coating they've developed allows solar cells to soak up energy from the sun at nearly any angle. Currently, solar arrays must be mechanically reoriented throughout the day.

Verizon and other major cable operators are being investigated to ensure that they are treating customers fairly, the Federal Communications Commission said of its probe into pricing policies and various business practices. In part, the FCC is responding to consumer complaints about receiving reduced service while being charged the same or less.

The lawyer for six detained Chinese crew members on board the cargo ship that crashed into the San Francisco-Oak-land Bay Bridge a year ago is calling on federal authorities to let them go home. The men have been detained since the Cosco Busan sideswiped a bridge support in a heavy fog, causing the bay's worst oil spill (50,000 gallons) in 20 years. The sailors are being detained as material witnesses in criminal cases against the pilot and the ship's Hong Kong operator.

At Major League Baseball meetings in Dana Point, Calif., player agents have begun anticipating the possible tax consequences to their clients during the new Obama administration. Signing contracts before Obama's proposed tax hikes on the wealthy take effect could save highly paid free agents as much as $400,000. Above, sports agent Scott Boras speaks to reporters.

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