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___ FDA eases into regulating e-cigarettes WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government's move to regulate e-cigarettes is a leap into the unknown. Proposed rules, issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration, tread fairly lightly. They would ban sales to anyone under 18, add warning labels and require FDA approval for new products.

US securities regulators are looking into GM recall case, company says in quarterly report

DETROIT - U.S. securities regulators are looking into General Motors' delayed recall of more than 2 million cars with a deadly ignition switch problem. GM disclosed in a quarterly report Thursday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has made inquiries about the recall. It also confirmed for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's office in New York and an unidentified state attorney general are conducting investigations. Congress and federal highway safety regulators also are investigating.

Payments volume growth, tax benefit contribute to 26 per cent rise in Visa's fiscal 2Q profit

Visa Inc.'s profit jumped 26 per cent in its fiscal second quarter from a year earlier as the company benefited from strong growth in payments volume, service revenue and a one-time tax gain. The latest earnings exceed Wall Street estimates, but revenue fell slightly short. Management said Thursday that revenue growth was hurt during the January-March quarter by a stronger U.S. dollar and one-time items.

UPS 1Q profit falls 12 per cent as winter storms raise costs, cut into revenue

DALLAS - First-quarter net income at UPS slumped 12 per cent as winter storms increased costs for the shipping giant and cut into its revenue. The Atlanta company said Thursday that the rough start to the year means that full-year earnings will come in at the low end of its earlier forecasts. Separately, UPS said that a new contract with the Teamsters union covering 253,000 employees will take effect on Friday. The 5-year deal is retroactive to last August and includes wage and benefit increases and a new base wage of $10 per hour for part-timers, the company said.

Differences between pension plan options

TORONTO - Defined-Benefit Plan — A traditional plan often offered in government and unionized workplaces which guarantees a set benefit based on earnings and years of service. — Employer manages the plan and is responsible for any shortfall needed to pay benefits, although in some rare cases employees will be asked to pool funds to make up the difference. — Early retirement often possible, although with reduced benefits depending on circumstances. Defined-Contribution Plan

Money matters: Alberta government passes $43-billion budget for 2014-15

EDMONTON - The Alberta government has officially approved its $43-billion budget for 2014-15. The document completed third reading Wednesday night and the governing Tories used their majority to pass it 33-20. The budget forecasts a $1.1-billion surplus in day-to-day spending, but infrastructure debt is pegged to hit $21 billion by 2017. The Opposition Wildrose has criticized Finance Minister Doug Horner for plunging Alberta back into the red less than a decade after former premier Ralph Klein paid off the province's $23-billion debt.

Newfoundland faces 'unacceptably high risk' of power outages in future

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Lack of generation capacity, equipment upkeep and training were factors as lights went out across Newfoundland last winter, says a new report flagging an "unacceptably high risk" of future blackouts. The interim report Thursday by Pennsylvania-based Liberty Consulting Group was prepared for the provincial Public Utilities Board as it investigates widespread system failures. Rotating and unplanned outages on the island for six days starting Jan. 2 affected up to 190,000 customers at one point.

Elections commissioner halts robocalls probe, says no evidence for charges

OTTAWA - A three-year probe into allegations of fraudulent federal-election robocalls in 2011 has come up empty, with investigators finding no proof of an orchestrated scheme or intent to deceive voters beyond one pocket of southwestern Ontario. Thursday's long-awaited report from commissioner of elections Yves Cote was immediately cited as vindication by the Harper government, which has long been under suspicion amid reports of non-party supporters being directed to the wrong polling stations in the 2011 vote that vaulted the Conservatives to majority power.

Prosecutorial discretion rarely used in immigration cases

Washington, Apr 24 (EFE).- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rarely makes use of prosecutorial discretion to close immigration cases, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse said Thursday). ICE invoked prosecutorial discretion in only 6.7 percent of cases between October 2012 and March 2014, according to TRAC's analysis of official statistics.

Wyoming natgas facility still ablaze after blast, supplies cut

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fire was still raging at Williams Companies Inc's natural gas processing plant in southwestern Wyoming on Thursday, a day after an explosion rocked the site, disrupting supplies in a hub in the Rockies. Gathering pipelines that run to the facility remained shut, interrupting nearly 1 billion cubic feet per day of output, about a quarter of daily supply at the Opal, Wyoming gas hub, according to the company and the state pipeline authority.
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