Midway Atoll now on Google Street View
HONOLULU - Internet users may now visit Midway Atoll on Google Street View.
Staff members of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument announced the feature this week after working with Google on the project over the summer.
The project team captured more than 9,200 panoramic images of the small atoll about 1,400 miles northwest of Honolulu.
Some of the photos show hundreds of seabirds sitting on grass fields. Others show historic buildings and airplane hangars dating to the years when Midway was a Navy base.
Midway is now a national wildlife refuge and is part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
Google has also taken its cameras to the Grand Canyon. Street View users may use it to see popular Grand Canyon hiking trails.
Sales of new homes surge to 2-year high
WASHINGTON - U.S. sales of new homes jumped last month to the highest level in more than two years, further evidence of a sustained housing recovery that could help lift the lackluster economy.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales rose 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000. That's up from a rate of 368,000 in August and the highest rate since April 2010, when a federal homebuyer tax credit inflated sales.
Sales have risen 27.1 percent in the past year. That's the strongest yearly gain since February, although sales are still well below healthy levels.
The figures suggest that the housing recovery is strengthening. The increase follows other reports that show home prices are rising more consistently, builders are starting to build more homes and sales of previously occupied homes are up in the past year.