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Plaintiffs suing the company also filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Manhattan bankruptcy court on Monday, seeking an order declaring that GM cannot use the bankruptcy protection to absolve itself from liabilities. The faulty ignition switch has been linked to at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles. GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009 as a different legal entity from the so-called old GM. Under those terms, the "new GM" shed liability for incidents predating its exit from bankruptcy, and any lawsuit involving pre-bankruptcy issues must be brought against what remains of old GM.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Facing a high prevalence of diabetes, many American Indian tribes are returning to their roots with community and home gardens, cooking classes that incorporate traditional foods, and running programs to encourage healthy lifestyles. The latest effort on the Navajo Nation, the country's largest reservation, is to use the tax system to spur people to ditch junk food. A proposed 2 per cent sales tax on chips, cookies and sodas failed Tuesday in a Tribal Council vote. But the measure still has widespread support, and advocates plan to revive it, with the hope of making the tribe one of the first governments to enact a junk-food tax.
KYIV, Ukraine - U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden warned Russia on Tuesday that "it's time to stop talking and start acting" to reduce tension in Ukraine. Standing alongside acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Biden called on Moscow to encourage pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine to vacate government buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty and "address their grievances politically." Biden said Russia needs to act "without delay," adding, "We will not allow this to become an open-ended process." Yatsenyuk was harsher in his characterization of Russia.
By Caroline Copley and Paul Sandle ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline agreed to trade more than $20 billion worth of assets on Tuesday to bolster their best businesses and exit weaker ones as the drug industry contends with healthcare spending cuts and generic competition. The deals, which include Novartis' purchase of GSK's cancer drugs and GSK's acquisition of Novartis' vaccines business, came just after a newspaper report that AstraZeneca Plc had turned down a $101 billion bid approach from Pfizer Inc, a story that sent shares up across the sector. In addition, Novartis is selling its animal health arm to Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly for about $5.4 billion in cash. That would make Lilly's Elanco unit the world's second-largest animal health business when that deal closes early next year.
(Reuters) - Comcast may divest about 4 million subscribers after its merger with Time Warner Cable and is working to reach an accord to sell a portion of those customers to Charter Communications, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday. Comcast is studying what could be a two-phase process, where Charter would first acquire up to 1.5 million subscribers directly from Comcast, the source said on condition of anonymity because discussions were continuing and a final agreement had not been struck. Comcast would then spin off the rest of the 2.5 million subscribers into a separate, publicly traded company, which Charter would take a minority stake in, the source added.
VANCOUVER - Canada's food safety system is being pushed beyond its limits, warns the union representing federal food inspectors, which singles out Vancouver area-consumers as potentially the most at risk. Some $35 million and 192 inspectors are on the food safety program's chopping block over the next two years, according to online documents posted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The agency has also disbanded a team of inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers from food fraud throughout Metro Vancouver. Having spoken to people within the CFIA and combed through the agency's internal documents, union officials say they've identified potential staffing and inspection weaknesses where health, financial and religious hazards could crop up.
By Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc on Tuesday raised its forecast for full-year revenue growth to reflect its acquisition of LEAP wireless in March and the popularity of a new handset pricing model that charges customers for devices separately from their wireless plans. Like other carriers, AT&T is seeking growth in a nearly saturated environment, making strategies such as alternate pricing plans more crucial to attract customers. The company raised its forecast for full-year revenue growth to at least 4 percent from 3 percent. A higher-than-expected 35 percent of wireless customers transferred to NEXT, its new pricing plan, boosting quarterly revenue 3.6 percent from the year-earlier quarter.
Network gear maker Juniper Networks Inc reported a higher-than-expected 10 percent rise in quarterly revenue as U.S. telecom carriers spent more to ramp up their networks to manage increasing data traffic on smartphones and tablets. U.S. consumers will download and upload more data on their smartphones in 2018 than they did on their laptops in 2013, according to a February report by Cisco Systems Inc . Juniper's revenue from telecom customers, including Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc , rose about 10 percent in the first quarter ended March 31. The telecom services business accounted for more than two-thirds of Juniper's total revenue.
By David Henry ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - The two men at the top of Citigroup Inc , the third-biggest U.S. bank and the most international, acknowledged on Tuesday that the company must do more to simplify itself. Asked at an annual meeting of shareholders whether Citigroup is too big to manage, Chairman Mike O'Neill said the task "is certainly harder" for its size and that the company has more years of work in a drive to reduce risk and complexity that started when the company was bailed out in the financial crisis. "We are making progress, but we are not where we want to be," O'Neill said. Chief Executive Mike Corbat said the bank is "a couple of years" from turning what he called an "amalgamation" of 35 local consumer banks around the world "into one truly global bank." The issue of Citigroup's complexity took on renewed importance last month when the U.S. Federal Reserve rejected the company's bid for permission to pay a higher dividend and return $6.4 billion to shareholders through buybacks.
HALIFAX - The U.S. government's decision to stall the Keystone XL pipeline project will harm American energy security and the economies of both the U.S. and Canada, says the federal finance minister. Joe Oliver said Tuesday that the U.S. administration's indefinite delay of the project hurts employment on both sides of the border. The U.S. State Department announced Friday that it wants to give federal agencies more time to review the $5.4-billion proposal by Calgary-based TransCanada (TSX:TRP). Oliver said the energy security of the U.S. depends on having multiple sources of oil.
VANCOUVER - In the midst of the heated debate over oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia, the federal environment minister has proposed improving the status of North Pacific humpback whales from threatened to "special concern." The whales have played a starring role in the campaign against oil pipelines and opponents accused the federal government Tuesday of removing a hurdle to the proposed multibillion-dollar Northern Gateway (TSX:ENB) pipeline. "What we're seeing is that the government is stripping the humpbacks of legal protection at the very time that the Enbridge pipeline and tankers project is posing a serious threat to their recovery and survival," said Caitlyn Vernon, of Sierra Club BC. But the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, or COSEWIC, an independent group of scientists responsible for assessments, first recommended the improvement in status three years ago.