Mar. 27 News Briefs


US home prices post 6.2 percent annual gain in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices posted another big gain in January, pushed higher by a shortage of homes for sale.

Standard & Poor’s says its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index climbed 6.2 percent in January from a year earlier. That nearly matches December’s 6.3 percent gain, which had been the fastest 12-month growth in nearly three years. The price of houses is easily outpacing wage growth and inflation.

Prices rose 12.9 percent in Seattle, 11.1 percent in Las Vegas and 10.2 percent in San Francisco. Chicago and Washington D.C. posted the weakest annual home-prices gains: 2.4 percent. Homes for sale are scarce. It would take 3.4 months to snap up the supply of available homes at the current sales rate, down from an average since 2000 of 6 months.

‘Truly alarming’: No babies for endangered right whales

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The winter calving season for critically endangered right whales is ending along the southeast U.S. seacoast and scientists are bracing for what would be the worst season in three decades — with no newborns spotted since December.

Survey flights over the Georgia and Florida coasts haven’t turned up any mother-and-calf pairs in four months. Researchers have recorded between one and 39 births each year since 1989. A zero-birth year would come at a terrible time. A total of 17 right whales washed up dead in the U.S. and Canada last year, far outpacing five births.

Waymo to buy 20,000 Jaguars for robotic ride-hailing service

NEW YORK (AP) — Self-driving car pioneer Waymo will buy up to 20,000 electric vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover to help realize its vision for a robotic ride-hailing service.

The commitment announced Tuesday marks another step in Waymo’s evolution from a secret project started in Google nine years ago to a spin-off that’s gearing up for an audacious attempt to reshape the transportation business.

The Jaguar deal will expand upon a fleet of self-driving cars that Waymo has been gradually building in partnership with Fiat Chrysler since 2015. The minivans will be part of a ride-hailing service that Waymo plans to launch in Arizona later this year. Jaguar will deliver its vehicles for Waymo’s ride-hailing from 2020 to 2022.