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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Risk and reward at the dawn of civilian drone age

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The dawn of the age of aerial civilian drones is rich with possibilities for people far from the war zones where they made their devastating mark as a weapon of choice against terrorists.

The unmanned, generally small aircraft can steer water and pesticides to crops with precision, saving farmers money while reducing environmental risk. They can inspect distant bridges, pipelines and power lines, and find hurricane victims stranded on rooftops.

Drones â¿¿ some as tiny as a hummingbird â¿¿ promise everyday benefits. But the drone industry and those eager to tap its potential are running headlong into fears that the peeping-eye, go-anywhere technology will be misused.

Since January, drone-related legislation has been introduced in more than 30 states, largely in response to privacy concerns. Many of the bills would prevent police from using drones for broad public surveillance or to watch individuals without sufficient grounds to believe they were involved in crimes.

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Cyprus sends rumbles through shaky banking system

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) â¿¿ This week's deal to rescue Cyprus and its banks from financial collapse has renewed fears about Europe's shaky financial system and where trouble might next appear.

Many banks across Europe have been struggling for more than three years as losses on government bonds and bad loans piled up. Some governments, meanwhile, have taken on more debt trying to prop up their lenders to the point where they have needed bailing out themselves.

In Cyprus's case, its banking sector became much bigger than the country's government could afford to rescue â¿¿ seven times the size of the country's economy. When the banks were hit by large losses and Cyprus could not afford to bail it out on its own, the country turned to the other 16 European Union countries that use the euro.

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