President Obama delivered his most forceful push for action on global warming, declaring that his administration would impose tighter pollution controls on coal- and gas-fired utilities and establish strict conditions for approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. ¶ Obama also announced that the government would take climate change into consideration in its everyday operations. The shift could affect decisions on a range of issues, including bridge heights, flood insurance rates and how the military gets electricity overseas. ¶ The actions make clear that the president will bypass Congress in seeking to reshape the federal government and the nation’s electricity sector. ¶ Shares of U.S. coal companies plunged ahead of his announcement of limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
MF Global chief executive Jon S. Corzine was sued by federal regulators accusing him of enabling the unlawful use of about $1 billion of his customers’ funds in a desperate attempt to save the failing brokerage firm. The CFTC is seeking to ban Corzine and Edith O’Brien, the firm’s assistant treasurer, from the futures industry and impose penalties for their role in the company’s collapse.
Maurice “Hank” Greenberg can keep up his lawsuit challenging the U.S. bailout of his former company, American International Group, without shareholder derivative claims on behalf of the insurer, a judge ruled. Greenberg and other shareholders “have adequately alleged that they conveyed a portion of the economic value and voting power to the government and as a result suffered a direct and substantial impact to their own property rights,” said Judge Thomas Wheeler of the Federal Claims Court.
Barnes & Noble will stop making Nook tablets in-house and will look for manufacturing partners for the devices. While the company will continue to develop and make e-ink readers, it will no longer make its own devices for the growing but crowded tablet market dominated by Apple and Amazon.
U.S. Bank and a non-bank partner will refund about $6.5 million to U.S. military personnel because of auto lending practices that regulators said were deceptive, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.
Google will publish weekly security data reports on malware and phishing scams.
Microsoft will support Oracle software on its cloud-based platforms, a tie-up aimed at improving the rivals’ chances against nimbler Web-based computing companies chipping away at their traditional businesses.
Paula Deen lost more of her empire: Days after the Food Network said it would not renew the celebrity cook’s contract in the wake of revelations that she used racial slurs in the past, Smithfield Foods dropped her as well. QVC, JCPenney, Sears, Target, Home Depot and WalMart all followed suit.
Monster Beverage was cited in a lawsuit by the mother of a teen boy as the cause of his death. It alleges that Alex Morris, 19, would not have died of cardiac arrhythmia had he not downed two cans of the energy drink a day for the three years before he died.
Coca-Cola Life, the world’s largest soda maker’s newest offering, is sweetened with sugar and the naturally occurring, no-calorie sweetener stevia.
Hostess is betting on a sweet comeback for Twinkies when they return to shelves July 15. The company that went bankrupt after an acrimonious fight with its unionized workers last year is back up and running under new owners and a leaner structure.
The two McDonald’s restaurants in the United States that were serving food prepared according to Islamic law have stopped several weeks after a $700,000 settlement over a lawsuit that alleged the items weren’t consistently halal.
Men’s Wearhouse escalated a public battle with founder and former pitchman George Zimmer. The company said its board parted ways with Zimmer because he had difficulty “accepting the fact that Men’s Wearhouse is a public company with an independent board of directors and that he has not been the chief executive officer for two years.” One bone of contention: He wanted to sell the company to an investment firm. Customers turned to social media outlets to express their outrage at his ouster.
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus plans to raise as much as $100 million by returning to the stock market with an initial public offering. The plan comes eight years after private-equity firms TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus bought Neiman Marcus for $5.1 billion.
Taxing calories is one way to make headway against the nation’s obesity problem, according to research.
Sprint Nextel shareholders voted in favor of a sweetened $21.6 billion takeover offer from SoftBank, ending a contentious battle for the No. 3 U.S. wireless service provider. Japan’s SoftBank, which fought Dish Network to buy Sprint, just needs FCC approval to close the deal.
Applied Predictive Technologies, based in Ballston, has received a $100 million minority investment from Goldman Sachs that might be one of the largest Washington area technology investments this year. APT’s computer software crunches reams of data to help Subway, Wells Fargo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and other clients understand how best to price, sell and market their wares.
Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, reported that its third-quarter earnings fell 3 percent to $909 million. Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant said profit fell because last year’s U.S. drought required more seed to be shipped from South America in the quarter, and the company didn’t pass on the higher costs to customers.
Nike’s profit rose 22 percent to $668 million, with strength in North America offsetting weakness in Europe and China.
Smith & Wesson reported fourth quarter profit of $25.2 million, double a year ago profit of $12.5 million. Full-year profit rose to $78.7 million, nearly five times the prior year’s $16.1 million. Annual sales were $587.5 million — also a record — and up 42.6 percent from the prior year.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first three months of the year, revised down from a 2.4 percent annual rate. The steep revision occurred mostly because consumers spent less than previously estimated, a sign that higher taxes could be damping growth.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the world can withstand the Federal Reserve’s tightening of monetary policy.
European Union governments and lawmakers reached agreement on the bloc’s seven-year budget, as the continent’s economic crisis forced the first spending cuts in E.U. history. Leaders of the European Parliament accepted a $1.3 trillion subsidies package for 2014-20 as long as the governments allow some spending to be shifted between annual budgets.
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) laid out the first substantial plan to redesign the nation’s mortgage market, nearly five years after the government spent more than
$100 billion to rescue the system. Their legislation would replace mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a new government agency that would shift more of the risks of mortgage lending to the private sector.
The Senate confirmed Allison M. Macfarlane for a new term as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She pledged to make the commission transparent and open to public engagement.
Marc Rich, the commodities trader who fled the U.S. to avoid federal indictments during the 1980s before President Bill Clinton pardoned him two decades later, died at 78. The businessman with a taste for flamboyant neckties and Cuban cigars was celebrated for inventing the spot-oil market and later became one of the most wanted white-collar fugitives in American history for 17 years. After leaving the U.S., he founded a commodities trading company that became the forerunner of Glencore Xstrata.
— From news services and staff reports
Plus interest! The estate of Ms. Edith Windsor’s late wife, Thea Spyer, paid that in taxes. Had they been a heterosexual married couple, there would have been no tax due, but by virtue of the Defense of Marriage Act the federal government did not recognize their marriage as valid for tax purposes. The Supreme Court found the provision unconstitutional last week, with wide-ranging consequences for gay equality.