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Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to 'super PACs'

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new era of "super PACs" in state campaigns. District Judge Paul Crotty said the statutes could not survive First Amendment scrutiny in light of recent landmark Supreme Court decisions that have lessened restrictions on big-money political donors. He noted that personally, he disagrees with the high court.

Exclusive: Schwab withdraws lawsuits ban on clients

By Jed Horowitz and Suzanne Barlyn NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charles Schwab Corp has dropped a fight to require customers to waive their rights to participate in class action lawsuits, two sources said on Thursday. Schwab has agreed to pay a fine to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for violating the regulatory group's arbitration rules when it barred its 9 million clients in 2011 from joining class actions.

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Peru's Vargas Llosa to take secret of Garcia Marquez spat to grave CARACAS (Reuters) - Peruvian author and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa vowed on Thursday to honor until death a pact with his late Colombian counterpart Gabriel Garcia Marquez not to reveal the mystery of their famous decades-old enmity. The two Latin American literary greats were once friends, but stopped speaking to each other in 1976 when Vargas Llosa gave Garcia Marquez a black eye in a dispute - depending on who one believes - over politics or the Peruvian's wife.

Cricket: England post too good to turn down says Farbrace

England's new assistant coach Paul Farbrace admitted on Thursday that it was impossible turn down the job even though he will have mixed feelings when he faces former employers Sri Lanka next month Farbrace was lured away from his role as Sri Lanka coach by the opportunity to work as number two to new England head coach Peter Moores. The former Kent wicketkeeper met Moores and a handful of players at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough on Thursday just 24 hours after his release from Sri Lanka Cricket was completed.

Cricket: England post too good to turn down says Farbrace

England's new assistant coach Paul Farbrace admitted on Thursday that it was impossible turn down the job even though he will have mixed feelings when he faces former employers Sri Lanka next month Farbrace was lured away from his role as Sri Lanka coach by the opportunity to work as number two to new England head coach Peter Moores. The former Kent wicketkeeper met Moores and a handful of players at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough on Thursday just 24 hours after his release from Sri Lanka Cricket was completed.

B.C. Christian university makes pitch to Ontario lawyers to accredit law school

TORONTO - A policy forbidding intimacy outside heterosexual marriage at a Christian university in British Columbia was roundly criticized Thursday by Ontario lawyers debating whether its law school should be accredited in this province. Many members of the Law Society of Upper Canada's board of directors condemned the policy as "abhorrent," though a minority said they would still vote to allow graduates to practise in Ontario.

American Airlines and Southwest post strong 1Q profit, United Airlines continues to lose money

DALLAS - Even with the turbulence of severe winter storms and stubbornly high fuel prices, many of the major airlines are cruising and their stock prices are soaring. Mergers have reduced competition and made it easier for the airlines to limit the supply of seats and raise average fares. Extra fees bring in billions more each year. On Thursday, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines reported record profits for the first quarter, usually the weakest time of year for the airlines. That followed a rousing report from Delta Air Lines a day earlier.

Fearing privatization, postal workers protest Staples store pilot program as a 'dirty deal'

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Postal workers around the country protested in front of Staples stores on Thursday, objecting to the U.S. Postal Service's pilot program to open counters in stores, staffed with retail employees. Rallies were planned at 50 locations in 27 states. In New York, about 100 workers marched from the main office on 8th Avenue to a Staples store about five blocks away, carrying signs and chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Staples deal has got to go."

General Motors 1Q results worst since 2009 due to recall costs; CEO says sales holding up

DETROIT - The cost of recalling nearly 7 million cars and trucks sank General Motors' first-quarter profit, but the company's CEO said the much-publicized recalls have yet to cut into sales. GM on Thursday reported its worst financial results in more than four years, with profit falling 86 per cent to $125 million. The biggest contributor was a $1.3 billion charge to cover a series of recalls announced since early February, most notably 2.6 million small cars with defective ignition switches.

Ottawa proposes new target-benefit pension scheme instead of CPP changes

TORONTO - The best way to secure retirement for more Canadians is with a third option for pension plans, and not the way Ontario is approaching the problem by expanding the Canada Pension Plan, says Kevin Sorenson, minister of state for finance, on Thursday.
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