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Mineral payments cut to 36 states

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The U.S. Department of Interior is cutting federal mineral payments to 36 states by a total of roughly $110 million this fiscal year. It’s part of the automatic federal spending cuts that started this month.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says his state will lose the most – at least $53 million over the next five months. Wyoming is the nation’s leading coal-producing state.

Western states that are home to the most energy production from federal lands will experience the heaviest cuts. The Interior Department is compiling a list of how much each state will lose.

A spokesman for Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue in Denver says the cuts total 5 percent of annual mineral revenue payments made to states from mineral production within their borders and offshore.

Agency easing rule on delinquent mortgages

WASHINGTON – A federal agency says it is easing rules for troubled borrowers to lower their monthly mortgage payments on loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the two government-controlled lenders, says borrowers who are at least 90 days delinquent on their mortgages won’t have to submit financial documents to qualify for a permanent loan modification if they make three on-time payments.

Borrowers may receive more favorable terms on their mortgages if they choose to provide the documents.

The agency says the program should help borrowers lower their payments and avoid foreclosure. It takes effect July 1.

Twitter’s ad revenue projected to double

SAN FRANCISCO – A research firm expects Twitter’s ad revenue to double this year as the online messaging service delivers more marketing pitches aimed at consumers using smartphones and tablet computers.

In a report issued Wednesday, eMarketer projected that Twitter’s worldwide ad revenue will climb from an estimated $288 million last year to $583 million this year. In 2014, eMarketer predicts Twitter’s ad revenue will approach $1 billon.

EMarketer believes mobile devices will account for more than half of Twitter’s ad revenue this year.

The research firm makes educated guesses about Twitter’s revenue based on market trends and data. Twitter, based in San Francisco, is privately held and doesn’t disclose financial figures.

Citizenship-for-cash returning to Grenada

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Grenada intends to revive a program that essentially allows investors to buy citizenship on the Caribbean island.

Governor General Carlyle Glean made the announcement during a Wednesday speech at the opening of parliament. He says it is part of a strategy to drum up revenue on the struggling island.

Glean says the government will review other nations’ citizenship-by-investment programs and decide the best way forward.

Newly re-elected Prime Minister Keith Mitchell had previously hinted that he planned to revive a citizenship-for-cash program that was suspended after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks due to fears that local passports could mistakenly be sold to terrorists.


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