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Money & Markets

Medicare drug plan finder can steer seniors to higher costs

WASHINGTON — Medicare’s revamped prescription plan finder can steer unwitting seniors to coverage that costs much more than they need to pay, according to people who help with sign-ups as well as program experts. Serving some 60 million Medicare recipients, the plan finder is the most ...

AMA calls for total ban on all e-cigarette, vaping products

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. The group adopted the sweeping stance at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for state and federal laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, ...

California sues e-cigarette maker Juul over ads, youth sales

WASHINGTON — California on Monday sued the nation’s biggest e-cigarette maker, alleging that Juul Labs deliberately marketed and sold its flavored nicotine products to teenagers. The lawsuit from California’s attorney general is the latest legal action against Juul, the ...

Ford Mustang SUV starts a blitz of new electric vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is unveiling its first all-electric SUV, marking the start of an avalanche of battery-powered vehicles coming from mainstream and luxury automakers during the next two years that industry analysts say will boost electric vehicle sales. The “Mustang Mach E,” which ...

White House seeks disclosure of actual health care prices

WASHINGTON — New rules from the Trump administration on Friday would require insurers and hospitals to disclose upfront the actual prices for common tests and procedures to promote competition and push down costs. But the sweeping changes face stiff pushback from the health care industry. A ...

Amazon appeals $10B Pentagon contract won by Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon is protesting the Pentagon’s decision to award a $10 billion cloud-computing contract to Microsoft, citing “unmistakable bias” in the process. Amazon’s competitive bid for the “war cloud” project drew criticism from President Donald Trump and its business ...

US budget deficit surges to $134.5 billion in October

WASHINGTON — The federal government, which ended the 2019 budget year with its largest deficit in seven years, began the new budget year with a deficit in October that was 33.8% bigger than a year ago as spending hit a record. The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit last ...

Pact reached to avert government shutdown through Dec. 20

WASHINGTON — A top House lawmaker announced Tuesday that Congress will pass a governmentwide temporary spending bill to keep the government running through Dec. 20, forestalling a government shutdown as the House turns its focus to impeachment hearings. Appropriations Committee Chairwoman ...

A Whole New World: Disney streaming debuts with hit brands

NEW YORK — Disney will sprinkle its pixie dust on the streaming arena Tuesday, as its Disney Plus service debuts with an arsenal of marquee franchises including Marvel and Star Wars, original series with a built-in fan base and a cheap price to boot. The $7-a-month commercial-free service ...

Iran discovers new oil field with over 50 billion barrels

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has discovered a new oil field in the country’s south with over 50 billion barrels of crude, its president said Sunday, a find that could boost the country’s proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad over U.S. sanctions. The announcement by ...

Trump pushes back on reports US will remove China tariffs

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed a Chinese official’s assertion that his administration has agreed to roll back some of the higher tariffs it’s imposed on Chinese goods. The Chinese official said Thursday that the two sides had agreed to a phased cancellation of ...

Hopes rise that lifting tariffs could allow US-China accord

BEIJING — The prospects for a preliminary breakthrough in the U.S.-China trade war improved Thursday after the two sides agreed to reduce some punitive tariffs on each other’s goods, though the full extent of the rollback wasn’t clear. A Chinese spokesman announced the development ...

Fewer protections come with digital payments like Apple Cash

NEW YORK — My desperation to see Ariana Grande in concert created the perfect trap. Instead of seeing her sing about love and loss, I got sucked into an online ticket scheme that cost me $75 and a big chunk of my pride. Con artists often get away with scams like these because digital ...

US woos Asia with plan to rival China’s ‘Belt and Road’

BANGKOK — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday the U.S. will invest and trade more in Asia as it rolls out an American plan to support “sustainable” projects in Asia as a counterpoint to China’s multibillion-dollar “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative. Ross is leading ...

US tells UN it is pulling out of Paris climate deal

WASHINGTON — The United States has begun the process of pulling out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that he submitted a formal notice to the United Nations. That starts a withdrawal process that does not become official for a year. ...

McDonald’s CEO pushed out after relationship with employee

NEW YORK — McDonald’s chief executive officer has been pushed out of the company after violating company policy by engaging in a consensual relationship with an employee, the corporation said Sunday. The fast food giant said former president and CEO Steve Easterbrook demonstrated poor ...

Warren vows no middle class tax hike for $20T health plan

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed $20 trillion in federal spending over the next decade to provide health care to every American without raising taxes on the middle class, a politically risky effort that pits the goal of universal coverage against skepticism of government-run ...

Apple TV Plus joins streaming wars, has Oprah but no catalog

LOS ANGELES — As the streaming wars near a fever pitch and viewers are targeted from every vantage point — Disney Plus has the Marvel and Star Wars brands! HBO Max counters with “Game of Thrones” and DC superheroes! — Apple TV Plus could be cast as the highly pedigreed and improbable ...

Freebies are the key hook in new ‘streaming wars’

If you make it free, will they come? Apple, Disney and AT&T’s WarnerMedia want to jump-start their challenges to Netflix by offering freebies and deep discounts on emerging streaming plans. That includes a free year of Apple TV Plus for customers of new Apple devices and a free year ...

A resurgence in Barbie sales helps lift Mattel’s 3Q results

NEW YORK — Mattel Inc., helped by the resurgence of Barbie and other iconic toys, on Tuesday reported third-quarter results that handily beat analysts’ forecasts and offered evidence that its multiyear turnaround is gaining momentum. Its stock soared 19% in after-market trading ...