December 12, 2006 in Nation/World

MySpace may face regulation

The Spokesman-Review

Attorney General Bob McDonnell said Monday he will seek legislation requiring convicted sex offenders to register their online identities with the state to help MySpace and other online hangouts more easily block access.

If enacted, Virginia would be the first state to require registration of e-mail addresses and instant-messaging identities on the state’s sex offender registry, McDonnell’s office said.

Parents, school administrators and law-enforcement authorities have grown increasingly worried that teens are at risk on MySpace and other social-networking sites, which provide tools for messaging, sharing photos and creating personal pages known as profiles.

MySpace announced plans last week to develop technologies designed to help block convicted sex offenders by checking profiles against government registries, but the News Corp. site’s ability to do so is limited by the fact that users do not have to use their real names.


Corn prices hit 11-year high

Farmers are getting the best prices for corn in more than a decade amid strong demand for ethanol and feed, the Agriculture Department reported Monday.

Average corn prices for the year were forecast at $2.90 to $3.30 a bushel, up 10 cents from last month’s estimate, according to the monthly crop report.

The last time prices were as good was 1995, when the average was $3.24 a bushel.

Also in the crop report:

•The wheat price forecast dropped 10 cents to $4.15 to $4.45 a bushel. Production was unchanged at an estimated 1.8 billion bushels.

•Analysts raised the orange forecast 3 percent from last month’s estimate to 8.12 million tons. That’s still down 9 percent from last season’s hurricane-ravaged harvest.

Gas prices down slightly

The U.S. price of gasoline fell by less than a penny last week to an average of $2.29 nationwide.

The federal Energy Information Administration said Monday that U.S. motorists paid $2.293 a gallon on average for regular grade last week, an decrease of 0.4 cent from the previous week.

Pump prices are now 10.8 cents higher than a year ago and roughly 75 cents a gallon lower since the start of August.

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