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New York's transit authority cuts deal to end 2-year pay dispute

By Edward Krudy NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) struck a deal on Thursday to end a 2-year pay dispute with a more generous offer to workers than the years of pay freezes it had originally proposed, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo said. The MTA, a state-run agency, had previously insisted on 3 years of pay freezes, but the new deal struck with the help of the governor's office, which is eager to avoid a strike in an election year, offered an 8 percent pay rise over 5 years.

Obama budget would boost U.S. tax revenue, cut deficits: CBO

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request would boost U.S. tax revenue by nearly $1.4 trillion over 10 years if fully enacted, cutting deficits by $1.05 trillion while funding new spending, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday.

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with first child

By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chelsea Clinton announced on Thursday that she is pregnant with the first grandchild of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year," said Chelsea Clinton, 34, referring to her investment banker husband, Marc Mezvinsky, 36.

Business Highlights

___ China factories face new challenge as growth slows HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese manufacturers are discovering that being an efficient low-cost producer is no longer enough to prosper in the face of the country's slowing growth. Government priorities are changing, labour costs are rising and global demand is still weak. This puts pressure on manufacturers to move into more advanced production, consolidate into bigger entities or shift to cheaper inland regions to survive.

Mediterranean diet may slow diabetes progression

By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, eating lots of olive oil, fish and whole grains slows progression of the disease more than restricting fat, according to a new analysis. In a trial that followed participants for more than eight years, those following a so-called Mediterranean diet went significantly longer before needing diabetes medication and more of them had their diabetes go into remission, compared to those on a low-fat diet.

China's new breed of whistleblowers takes on big business

By Adam Jourdan SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese lawyer Hao Junbo wants to make you rich if you're a whistleblower after a bounty. For big business in China he's a headache, part of a small but fast-growing industry built around exposing corporate wrongdoing.

US-PEOPLE Summary

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87 MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian author whose beguiling stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for millions of readers and put magical realism on the literary map, died on Thursday. He was 87. A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez's masterpiece was "One Hundred Years of Solitude," a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

US city flushes reservoir after man urinates in it

The US city of Portland, Oregon, is ditching 38 million gallons of drinking water from a reservoir after a teenager was caught on camera urinating into it, officials said Thursday. The water -- enough to fill nearly 60 Olympic-size swimming pools, according to reports -- will be discarded despite tests finding no evidence of contamination. The 19-year old man, seen with two friends carrying skateboards in the early hours Wednesday, was filmed urinating through an iron fence into the reservoir in southeast Portland shortly after 1:00 am.

FDA approves 2nd Merck tablet to reduce immune response to allergies, this time for ragweed

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. - U.S. regulators have again approved a Merck Ragwitek tablets dissolve quickly under the tongue. Patients are to take one daily, from three months before ragweed season begins until it ends, for a few years. The Food and Drug Administration approved it for patients aged 18 through 65. Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck's tablet for spring grass allergies, Grastek, was approved Monday for patients aged 5 to 65. Both offer an alternative to medicines that just temporarily relieve symptoms or years of uncomfortable allergy shots.

Obama says talks offer hope diplomacy can work in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday talks between Russia and western powers aimed at ending tensions in Ukraine are promising but that the United States and its allies are prepared to impose sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. "There is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation," he told reporters at the White House.
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