U.S. consumer spending regained momentum in January as households ramped up purchases of a variety of goods, in a hopeful sign that economic growth was picking up after slowing to a crawl at the end of 2015. "The markets may have decided that the U.S. is headed for recession, but obviously no one told U.S. consumers," said Paul Ashworth, chief economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.
Scientists gave up Friday trying to contact robot lab Philae, stubbornly silent on the surface of a comet streaking through space -- closing a captivating chapter in an historic quest. Philae's comet host is moving further and further away from the Sun and its battery-boosting rays, and by this point "there is indeed little hope to still get a signal," project manager Stephan Ulamec told AFP. Comet-orbiting mothership Rosetta will continue listening for Philae for a month or two, until it can no longer spare the energy required.