[ {"id":"b059fd55-62df-592c-b347-0c40f44af524","type":"article","starttime":"1495668600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-24T18:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"national":"ap/national"},{"business":"ap/business"},{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Drugmaker paying $33M over recalled nonprescription meds","url":"http://qctimes.com/ap/national/article_b059fd55-62df-592c-b347-0c40f44af524.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/ap/national/drugmaker-paying-m-over-recalled-nonprescription-meds/article_b059fd55-62df-592c-b347-0c40f44af524.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/ap/national/drugmaker-paying-m-over-recalled-nonprescription-meds/article_b059fd55-62df-592c-b347-0c40f44af524.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By LINDA A. JOHNSON\nAP Medical Writer","prologue":"TRENTON, N.J. \u2014 Johnson & Johnson has reached a $33 million settlement with 42 states, including Illinois, resolving allegations the health care giant sold nonprescription medicines that didn't meet federal quality requirements. The settlement was announced Wednesday by attorneys general from the states. The case dates to 2009, when Johnson & Johnson began dozens of voluntary recalls of popular over-the-counter medicines for children and adults, including Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["business","health","consumer product manufacturing","consumer products and services","pharmaceutical manufacturing","health care industry"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"4c02ba62-ae4e-5cb6-bdf8-a57e1e0557d7","description":"In a settlement announced Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson will pay $33 million to 42 states, including Illinois, to resolve allegations the health care giant sold numerous nonprescription medicines that didn\u2019t meet federal quality requirements. The case dates to 2009, when Johnson & Johnson began dozens of voluntary recalls of popular over-the-counter medicines for children and adults, including Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl.","byline":"The Associated Press","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"429","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/c0/4c02ba62-ae4e-5cb6-bdf8-a57e1e0557d7/5926143640e85.image.jpg?resize=512%2C429"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"84","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/c0/4c02ba62-ae4e-5cb6-bdf8-a57e1e0557d7/5926143640e85.image.jpg?resize=100%2C84"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"251","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/c0/4c02ba62-ae4e-5cb6-bdf8-a57e1e0557d7/5926143640e85.image.jpg?resize=300%2C251"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"858","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/c0/4c02ba62-ae4e-5cb6-bdf8-a57e1e0557d7/5926143640e85.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"b059fd55-62df-592c-b347-0c40f44af524","body":"

TRENTON, N.J. \u2014 Johnson & Johnson has reached a $33 million settlement with 42 states, including Illinois, resolving allegations the health care giant sold nonprescription medicines that didn't meet federal quality requirements.

The settlement was announced Wednesday by attorneys general from the states. The case dates to 2009, when Johnson & Johnson began dozens of voluntary recalls of popular over-the-counter medicines for children and adults, including Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl.

Those and several other products made at J&J factories in Puerto Rico and suburban Philadelphia were recalled for issues including unpleasant smells that nauseated some consumers, tiny metal shards in liquid medicines and wrong ingredient levels. Many products weren't available in stores for several years, and Johnson & Johnson had to raze and rebuild a huge consumer-medicine factory in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.

In a statement, the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company said it was pleased to finalize the settlement and noted that the recalls had been precautionary.

The settlement requires Johnson & Johnson to pay a total of $33 million, which is being divided among the District of Columbia and the 42 states that joined in the case. The states not participating are: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

According to court documents, attorneys general in the 42 states sued Johnson & Johnson because they considered its marketing of substandard nonprescription medicines to be fraudulent or otherwise illegal. The products, which also included St. Joseph aspirin, Sudafed, Pepcid, Mylanta, Rolaids, Zyrtec and Zyrtec Eye Drops, did not meet U.S. quality requirements for drug manufacturing.

Along with embarrassing public recalls of tens of millions of bottles of the medicines between 2009 and 2011, Johnson & Johnson in 2009 also conducted a \"stealth recall\" of Motrin packages that resulted in a Congressional investigation. The company paid secret shoppers to quietly buy Motrin packages from convenience stores and other retailers without identifying themselves or acknowledging that some Motrin tablets had been found to not dissolve properly.

The settlement also includes an agreement that Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit must follow correct procedures for resolving any manufacturing issues with its nonprescription drugs and may not advertise on its website any product that has had a significant recall within the past year.

"}, {"id":"4140dfe4-ea76-53e7-bf52-2a2d8582b0d1","type":"article","starttime":"1495665866","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-24T17:44:26-05:00","lastupdated":"1495667908","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"national":"news/national"},{"sports":"sports"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Major sponsor pulls support from Alaska's Iditarod race","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_4140dfe4-ea76-53e7-bf52-2a2d8582b0d1.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/major-sponsor-pulls-support-from-alaska-s-iditarod-race/article_4140dfe4-ea76-53e7-bf52-2a2d8582b0d1.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/The-world-s-most-famous-sled-dog-race-has-lost-a-major-backer-and-Alaska-race-officials-are-blaming-animal-rights-organizations-for-pressuring-corporate-sponsors-like-Wells-Fargo-outsid/id-cf99806c75c14a9c862cf560c2bfbc44","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By RACHEL D'ORO\nAssociated Press","prologue":"ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) \u2014 The world's most famous sled dog race has lost a major backer, and Alaska race officials are blaming animal rights organizations for pressuring corporate sponsors like Wells Fargo outside the state.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","sports","animal rights","animal welfare","social issues","social affairs","iditarod trail sled dog race","sled dog racing","dogs","animals","corporate sponsorship","corporate news"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"4140dfe4-ea76-53e7-bf52-2a2d8582b0d1","body":"

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) \u2014 The world's most famous sled dog race has lost a major backer, and Alaska race officials are blaming animal rights organizations for pressuring corporate sponsors like Wells Fargo outside the state.

Wells Fargo spokesman David Kennedy says the banking institution's investment in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has declined since 2010.

He says he can't discuss specific reasons for dropping the sponsorship altogether.

Iditarod CEO Stan Hooley says there's no doubt the decision is related to \"misguided activists\" like PETA wrongly implying the Iditarod condones cruel treatment of the dogs.

PETA lauds the decision, saying it alerted the bank that five dogs connected to this year's race died, bringing the total dog deaths to more than 150 in the Iditarod's history.

"}, {"id":"5ec665e7-2f36-5cde-a8ee-04e08ae4d70c","type":"article","starttime":"1495665900","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-24T17:45:00-05:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"markets-and-stocks":"business/investment/markets-and-stocks"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"The 3 Biggest Opportunities for Activision Blizzard in 2017 and Beyond","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/article_5ec665e7-2f36-5cde-a8ee-04e08ae4d70c.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/the-biggest-opportunities-for-activision-blizzard-in-and-beyond/article_5ec665e7-2f36-5cde-a8ee-04e08ae4d70c.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/the-biggest-opportunities-for-activision-blizzard-in-and-beyond/article_f446194c-442d-5883-97c8-4e0dd48a697e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"newsfeedback@fool.com (John Ballard)","prologue":"Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) posted strong sales and earnings for the first quarter despite no new game releases, which spotlights the increasing importance of player engagement and growth. The company has been holding steady at 400 million monthly active users for its games since acquiring King Digital Entertainment in early 2016. Those users spent about 40 billion hours over the last 12 months playing the titles across its roster.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"201dcd18-bae0-5291-879b-4e815edb68fe","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"580","height":"387","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/01/201dcd18-bae0-5291-879b-4e815edb68fe/592614c6e5a6e.image.jpg?resize=580%2C387"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/01/201dcd18-bae0-5291-879b-4e815edb68fe/592614c6e5a6e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/01/201dcd18-bae0-5291-879b-4e815edb68fe/592614c6e5a6e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/01/201dcd18-bae0-5291-879b-4e815edb68fe/592614c6e5a6e.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"5ec665e7-2f36-5cde-a8ee-04e08ae4d70c","body":"

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) posted strong sales and earnings for the first quarter despite no new game releases, which spotlights the increasing importance of player engagement and growth. The company has been holding steady at 400 million monthly active users for its games since acquiring King Digital Entertainment in early 2016. Those users spent about 40 billion hours over the last 12 months playing the titles across its roster.

The company is focused on coupling high engagement levels with adjacent growth opportunities, including e-sports and advertising. Meanwhile, the growing distribution of digital in-game content further monetizes its titles, building an interactive entertainment powerhouse.

In-game advertising with hundreds of millions of players

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

The large, highly engaged player base presents the company with a major advertising opportunity. King, the new mobile development arm of Activision Blizzard, makes up the majority of the company's monthly active users with 342 million. CEO Bobby Kotick said during the first quarter earnings call:

We believe our initiatives for advertising in King mobile games is a large and untapped opportunity, and we're continuing to make progress with our testing and development of our ads platform, Ad King.

Right now, King is testing advertising in just seven titles, including Candy Crush, one of the top grossing mobile games.\u00a0Management expects mobile advertising to be a profitable growth driver starting this year. Mobile gaming is a $40 billion market that is growing much faster than console and PC gaming, so additional investment in the mobile space should pay off for shareholders long term.

The opportunity in e-sports

Don't tell Kotick that e-sports is not a profitable market\u00a0-- the man clearly has a vision. Overwatch League is unprecedented in its structure and scale, which naturally brings uncertainty when considering its long-term prospects.

Kotick sees e-sports reaching a similar scale as traditional sports leagues like the NFL and NBA in terms of revenue generation. One reason for this optimism: Unlike traditional sports leagues, e-sports is dominated by millennials, and this younger generation has grown up in a digital age of computing devices and video games. So, it seems only natural for a younger generation, and future ones, to embrace e-sports with as much passion as traditional sports.

The millennial demographic is also hard to reach for marketers, which bodes well for the company's advertising initiatives. During the call, Kotick reiterated, \"With hundreds of millions of people already watching e-sports and playing our games, over the long term, our goal is to create opportunities that we believe could be of a similar scale [to traditional sports leagues].\"

E-sports is estimated to cross $1 billion in total revenue within a few years. It's still relatively small but growing quickly. Overwatch League is ambitious as an attempt to make e-sports a worthwhile endeavor.

Upcoming games

Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: World War II will hit digital store shelves later this year.\u00a0Both titles come from two of the company's biggest franchises, so it's important for these games to sell well, in turn giving the company opportunities to offer additional in-game content and keep operating margins strong (expected to be 32% for 2017).

Image source: www.callofduty.com.

COO Thomas Tipple said, \"Destiny was the biggest new video game franchise launch of all time when it was released, and early leading indicators including pre-orders for Destiny 2 are very strong as well.\" The sequel has been available for pre-order for over a month, and demand is trending at the highest level in company history. Call of Duty: World War II is also receiving high interest in advance of its Nov. 2017 release. The newest entry in the first-person shooter series\u00a0is returning to the era that put Call of Duty on the map. Strong sales will give the company a much-needed reversal from the\u00a0poor performance of the science fiction based\u00a0Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Activision Blizzard has a history of offering conservative guidance and then raising it throughout the year. If the two new sequels\u00a0deliver, shareholders could see earnings beat management's full-year estimate of $1.80 per share. And with advertising and e-sports waiting in the wings, the company is prepared for what lies over the horizon.

Find out why Activision Blizzard is one of the 10 best stocks to buy now

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John Ballard owns shares of Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

"}, {"id":"9cc1b849-b891-5bb5-ab11-a07f0bfb8289","type":"article","starttime":"1495665722","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-24T17:42:02-05:00","lastupdated":"1495667911","priority":0,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"},{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"House approves bill seeking to upend EPA pesticide rule","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_9cc1b849-b891-5bb5-ab11-a07f0bfb8289.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/house-approves-bill-seeking-to-upend-epa-pesticide-rule/article_9cc1b849-b891-5bb5-ab11-a07f0bfb8289.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/The-House-passed-a-Republican-backed-measure-reversing-an-Environmental-Protection-Agency-requirement-that-those-spraying-pesticides-on-or-near-rivers-and-lakes-file-for-a-permit/id-5d1a86c792224b09a28ed285e58c7dbd","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By MICHAEL BIESECKER\nAssociated Press","prologue":"WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 The House on Wednesday passed a Republican-backed measure reversing an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that those spraying pesticides on or near rivers and lakes file for a permit.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","politics","business","government and politics","pollution laws and regulations","pollution","environmental concerns","environment","environment and nature","environmental laws and regulations","government regulations","lakes","freshwater pollution","water pollution","water quality","water environment","pesticide manufacturing","agrochemicals manufacturing","chemicals manufacturing","materials industry","bills","legislation","legislature"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"dbc9b39c-6d76-54fb-973f-e850138420cd","description":"FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2009, file photo, a crop duster sprays a field of crops just outside Headland, Ala. The House passed a Republican-backed measure reversing an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that those spraying pesticides on or near rivers and lakes file for a permit. The chamber voted largely along party lines on May 24, 2017, to approve the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act. The bill\u2019s sponsors say the rule requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act before spraying pesticides is burdensome and duplicative. EPA already regulates pesticide safety under a different law. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)","byline":"Dave Martin","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"324","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/bc/dbc9b39c-6d76-54fb-973f-e850138420cd/59260dd6c31aa.image.jpg?resize=512%2C324"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"63","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/bc/dbc9b39c-6d76-54fb-973f-e850138420cd/59260dd6c31aa.image.jpg?resize=100%2C63"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"190","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/bc/dbc9b39c-6d76-54fb-973f-e850138420cd/59260dd6c31aa.image.jpg?resize=300%2C190"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"648","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/bc/dbc9b39c-6d76-54fb-973f-e850138420cd/59260dd6c31aa.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"9cc1b849-b891-5bb5-ab11-a07f0bfb8289","body":"

WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 The House on Wednesday passed a Republican-backed measure reversing an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that those spraying pesticides on or near rivers and lakes file for a permit.

The chamber voted largely along party lines to approve the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. In the preceding floor debate, the bill's supporters said the rule requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act before spraying pesticides is burdensome and duplicative. EPA already regulates pesticide safety under a different law that gives the agency authority to place restrictions on when and where spraying can occur.

The current EPA rule was put in place after a lawsuit was filed by environmentalists and commercial fishermen. They claimed the agency was failing to adequately prevent pesticide contamination in protected waters. A federal appeals court agreed in 2009, forcing EPA to start requiring the permits.

Bill sponsor Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said the permit requirement places an unnecessary burden on farmers and local health officials fighting mosquito-borne diseases.

The bill \"eliminates a duplicative, expensive, unnecessary permitting process that helps free the resources for our states, counties and local governments better to combat the spread of Zika, West Nile virus and other diseases,\" said Gibbs, a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

Gibbs cited the support of CropLife America, a pesticide-industry trade group that spent $2.4 million on federal lobbying last year. Records show the group also made more than $260,000 in political contributions in 2016, some of it going to House members who spoke Wednesday in support of the bill.

Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the bill, which they derided as political favor to the chemical industry.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said in a floor speech that pesticide-maker Dow Chemical wrote a $1 million check to help support President Donald Trump's inaugural festivities. The company's chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, has been a staunch Trump supporter who now heads a White House working group on aiding manufacturing.

Last month, the Associated Press reported that Dow was pushing the Trump administration to ignore the findings of federal scientists who concluded that a family of widely used pesticides is potentially harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. That came after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains.

\"The Republicans are again bending over backward to help corporations and the wealthiest among us, while ignoring science and leaving hard-working families to suffer the consequences,\" said McGovern, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee. \"This administration's decisions have placed special interests and their financial contributions ahead of the health and safety of our citizens.\"

The bill now heads to the GOP-dominated Senate, where a similar version previously failed to pass under threat of a veto by then-President Barack Obama. Supporters now hope to send the measure to the desk of Trump, a Republican who has made rolling back government regulations a focus of his administration.

___

Follow Associated Press environmental writer Michael Biesecker at www.Twitter.com/mbieseck

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NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 A proposal to curtail the nation's food stamp program would pinch families struggling to pay for groceries and ripple through other areas of the economy, including supermarkets and discounters, as people shuffle their budgets.

President Donald Trump is proposing a roughly 30 percent reduction in the federal budget for the program formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. His overall budget proposal met a chilly reception from lawmakers, and is unlikely to be passed as is. But it suggests increasing work requirements for SNAP recipients, and says states should both share in the cost of the program and determine the level of benefits they provide. That would lead to fewer people in the program, or could reduce how much help they get.

Last year, more than 44 million people received an average of about $125 a month in SNAP benefits, totaling about $66.6 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. How any cuts would play out across industries would depend on how people adjust to pay for food, how reliant a retailer is on SNAP spending and other factors.

Here's a look at what we know.

WHO USES SNAP, AND WHERE ARE THEY SHOPPING?

SNAP households are already on extremely tight budgets. To qualify, a family of four's take-home pay can be no more than $2,025 a month, while a two-person household can earn no more than $1,335.

More than 260,000 locations were authorized to accept SNAP credits last year. Superstores such as Wal-Mart and Target got 52 percent of redemptions, supermarkets like Kroger got 30 percent, and convenience stores got about 6 percent, according to the USDA . The rest was split among other kinds of stores.

The USDA doesn't specify how much is spent at specific retailers. But in 2013, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told the Wall Street Journal that it gets about 18 percent of total SNAP benefits. That would have been about $13.43 billion in 2012.

WHAT HAPPENED WITH PREVIOUS SNAP CUTS?

It's complicated. Since food is a fixed cost, retailers have said that people used money intended for other purposes to pay for groceries after a recent pullback in the program.

\"They're paying cash or on a credit card if they didn't have the food stamps. And then they will give up on something else,\" Kroger's CEO at the time, Dave Dillon, said in December 2013. That was after the SNAP benefits that were expanded during the recession returned to their previous levels.

But how companies are affected can vary and it's difficult to pinpoint the impact of any one change on sales, which can be affected by weather, competitive pressure and other factors. After the 2013 rollback in benefits, Wal-Mart blamed a 0.4 percent quarterly sales decline on the reduction, though the sales figure was down for the company's entire fiscal year.

Last year, the SNAP program also underwent cuts when 22 states reinstated a three-month limit on benefits for unemployed adults who aren't disabled or raising children and don't meet certain work requirements. That limitation had been waived by some states during the recession.

Dollar General, which has said it gets about 5 percent of its sales from SNAP benefits, compared the impact of the reduction last year to what happened in 2013. \"Our traffic slowed tremendously then, very similar to as it did now,\" Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said last summer.

WHAT CHANGES FOR RETAILERS?

Trump's proposal suggests that retailers pay a fee for authorization to accept food stamps. Companies currently don't pay to participate, which the proposal says fails to recognize \"the significant portion of a retailer's revenue that SNAP can represent.\"

The proposed budget estimates the fees would raise about $2.4 billion over 10 years. It doesn't spell out how the fee would be calculated.

Imposing a fee could result in smaller stores or chains deciding not to seek authorization, said Craig Gundersen, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Illinois who has received financial support from the Walmart Foundation and grants from the agency that administers the food stamp program. That would reduce the number of places where people who use SNAP could get groceries.

The National Grocers Association said the fee proposal \"raised a red flag.\" It otherwise declined to comment on how its members might be affected by the proposed changes, but said the SNAP program plays \"an important role in providing a safety net to those in need.\"

HOW DO SNAP CUTS AFFECT THE LARGER ECONOMY?

The government's overall SNAP spending declines when the economy improves and fewer people rely on the program. It's a situation that is the \"best possible outcome,\" said Stacy Dean, vice president of food assistance policy at the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Dean said cutting benefits when people's financial situations are not improving could mean they use money they otherwise would have spent on needs like clothing or even medicine to make up for the gaps in their food budget. So there's still an impact to the overall economy, she said.

Putting off other purchases could affect other departments at superstores or separate retailers.

A report by the USDA in 2010 also said that boosting SNAP benefits during economic downturns starts a \"multiplier process\" in transactions and consumption. It found that boosting SNAP expenditures by $1 billion was estimated to increase economic activity by $1.79 billion.

Trump's proposal could have more significant effects than the rollbacks in 2013 and last year, said Gundersen. He said shifting costs partially to states would be unprecedented and likely lead to cutbacks. That's because states may decide they can't afford to fund benefits during tough economic times, or cut benefits for other reasons.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has asked to ban the purchase of candy and soda with food stamps. LePage has expressed optimism that his push could gain traction under Trump's administration.

___

Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi

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WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 The health care bill that Republicans recently pushed through the House would leave 23 million more Americans without insurance and confront many others who have costly medical conditions with coverage that could prove unaffordable, Congress' official budget analysts said Wednesday.

Premiums on average would fall compared to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul \u2014 a chief goal of many Republicans \u2014 but that would be partly because policies would typically provide less coverage, said the report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

In some areas of the country, people with pre-existing medical conditions and others who were seriously ill \"would ultimately be unable to purchase\" robust coverage at premiums comparable to today's prices, \"if they could purchase at all,\" the report said.

Democrats jumped on the report as further evidence that the GOP effort to repeal Obama's 2010 law \u2014 a staple of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and those of numerous GOP congressional candidates for years \u2014 would be destructive. It comes three weeks after the House passed the legislation with only Republican votes, and as Senate Republicans try crafting their own version, which they say will be different.

\"The report makes clear that Trumpcare would be a cancer on the American health care system,\" said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., using the nickname Democrats have tried pinning on the bill. Schumer said the legislation would end up \"causing costs to skyrocket, making coverage unaffordable for those with preexisting conditions and many seniors, and kicking millions off of their health insurance.\"

Trump's Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, dismissed the new analysis.

\"The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare's effect on cost and coverage,\" he said of the agency's report on Obama's law, \"and they are wrong again.\"

That was sharply different from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan's take.

\"This CBO report again confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit. It is another positive step toward keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.\"

The report said the House bill \u2014 named the American Health Care Act \u2014 would reduce federal deficits by $119 billion over the next decade.

Trump and Republicans celebrated House passage of the bill earlier this month in a Rose Garden ceremony, even as GOP senators signaled their opposition and signaled that the bill had little chance of becoming law.

The budget office raised concerns about a key legislative compromise that allowed the bill to narrowly pass the House on May 4, by a vote of 217-213.

To win needed votes after several embarrassing setbacks, Republican conservatives and moderates struck a deal that would let states get federal waivers to permit insurers to charge higher premiums to some people in poor health, and to ignore the standard set of benefits required by Obama's statute.

CBO said states adopting those waivers run the risk of destabilizing coverage for people with medical problems. The agency estimated that about one-sixth of the U.S. population \u2014 more than 50 million people \u2014 live in states that would make substantial changes under the waivers.

\"Over time, it would become more difficult for less healthy people (including people with preexisting medical conditions) in those states to purchase insurance because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly,\" the report said.

The new estimates will serve as a starting point for GOP senators starting to write their own version of the legislation as they consider changing the House's Medicaid cuts, tax credits and other policies.

"}, {"id":"0995d061-3f28-51c7-87b4-cb48030b0f37","type":"article","starttime":"1495665000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-24T17:30:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1495667824","sections":[{"national":"ap/national"},{"business":"ap/business"},{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Interactive experiences a big part of casinos' futures","url":"http://qctimes.com/ap/national/article_0995d061-3f28-51c7-87b4-cb48030b0f37.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/ap/national/interactive-experiences-a-big-part-of-casinos-futures/article_0995d061-3f28-51c7-87b4-cb48030b0f37.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/ap/national/interactive-experiences-a-big-part-of-casinos-futures/article_0995d061-3f28-51c7-87b4-cb48030b0f37.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By WAYNE PARRY\nAssociated Press","prologue":"ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. \u2014 Getting new customers involved in more interactive experiences is going to be a big part of the future for casinos in the United States and around the world, participants in a major gambling conference predicted Wednesday. Casino executives, digital experts and payment processors at the conference in Atlantic City agreed casinos need to offer new experiences that directly involve the next generation. This involves new, non-traditional products such as competitive video game contests, skill-based slots, and daily fantasy sports and sports betting in states that allow it.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["business","general news","sports","casino operators","hospitality and leisure industry","consumer services","consumer products and services","gambling industry","puzzle and game competitions","games","recreation and leisure","lifestyle","sports betting","sports business","fantasy sports","video games"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"44390cb1-f9e4-58a8-b6af-57dc01655457","description":"A competitive video game tournament under way at Caesars casino in Atlantic City, N.J., is one of several new interactive offerings that will be a big part of the future of casinos in the U.S. and around the world, participants at a major gambling conference in Atlantic City said on Wednesday.","byline":"The Associated Press","hireswidth":3648,"hiresheight":2736,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/43/44390cb1-f9e4-58a8-b6af-57dc01655457/59261389cc622.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"384","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/43/44390cb1-f9e4-58a8-b6af-57dc01655457/592608b709ecc.image.jpg?resize=512%2C384"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/43/44390cb1-f9e4-58a8-b6af-57dc01655457/592608b709ecc.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/43/44390cb1-f9e4-58a8-b6af-57dc01655457/592608b709ecc.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/43/44390cb1-f9e4-58a8-b6af-57dc01655457/592608b709ecc.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"0995d061-3f28-51c7-87b4-cb48030b0f37","body":"

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. \u2014 Getting new customers involved in more interactive experiences is going to be a big part of the future for casinos in the United States and around the world, participants in a major gambling conference predicted Wednesday.

Casino executives, digital experts and payment processors at the conference in Atlantic City agreed casinos need to offer new experiences that directly involve the next generation. This involves new, non-traditional products such as competitive video game contests, skill-based slots, and daily fantasy sports and sports betting in states that allow it.

These would allow casinos to bring in new customers and revenue, the executives and experts said.

\"I think all casinos, 10 years from now, will evolve and offer some sort of interactive experiences,\" said Seth Schorr, chairman of the Downtown Grand casino in Las Vegas.

His casino has gone in big for eSports, the new name for competitive video game contests.

\"Young people now consider video games a sport,\" he said. \"It's shocking; it took me a long time to get my head around that. I'm a 40-year-old casino owner who believes in the future of our industry. If I'm not going to take a risk for the future, who is?\"

Internet gambling is only offered in three states: New Jersey, by far the largest market; Nevada and Delaware. But other states are considering adding it. On Wednesday, Pennsylvania lawmakers moved a step closer to legalizing online gambling.

A prime opportunity for growth is the expansion of payment processing options for online gambling, said Joe Pappano, senior vice president of the payment processing company Vantiv Entertainment Solutions. Three years ago, when New Jersey offered the first internet bets, credit cards were used for only about 40 percent of transactions involving internet gambling. That figure has now risen to more than 80 percent, he said.

Casinos remain unsure whether daily fantasy sports and sports betting are potential friends or enemies, participants on a panel said.

States across the nation are grappling with how to regulate daily fantasy sports, in which players create a roster of real-life athletes who earn points based on their performances in games.

\"Based on public statements from casino executives, there is a desire to see if daily fantasy sports can be added to the mix because of the millennials issue,\" said Joseph Brennan, CEO of SportAD, a fantasy sports startup firm.

But, he cautioned, it might be difficult to compete with industry leaders like Draft Kings and Fan Duel \"that have spent billions of dollars to establish their brands.\"

Brennan said casinos are perfect partners for daily fantasy sports companies because of the existing player databases and the casinos' knowledge of their customers, their likes and gambling histories.

Sports betting is currently limited to just four states. On Wednesday, Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear New Jersey's appeal of a lower court decision that invalidated the state's sports betting plan.

Melissa Price is senior vice president of Caesars Entertainment, which was first in the nation to deploy skill-based slot machines at its Atlantic City casinos. Unlike traditional slot machines, which are solely dependent on luck, the amount of skill an individual player has can influence whether he or she wins.

\"Yes, it's true that there's less millennials playing slot machines,\" she said.

The company removed the 21 machines after six months because they were not generating enough money to cover the vendor fees, she said.

\"We all understood that we were learning and experimenting,\" she said.

And casinos have to constantly update their offerings and keep up with their customers' interests, said Vahe Baloulian, CEO of BetConstruct, which offers sports betting and online gambling software.

\"The time will come when we're saying, 'This generation is not playing on their mobile phones anymore; they're playing on something else we don't know about.'\"

"}, {"id":"3c2af9ed-92df-5b0e-b7cc-6691d533807b","type":"article","starttime":"1495664825","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-24T17:27:05-05:00","lastupdated":"1495666991","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"FDA: Controller for heart pump recalled over deaths","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_3c2af9ed-92df-5b0e-b7cc-6691d533807b.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/fda-controller-for-heart-pump-recalled-over-deaths/article_3c2af9ed-92df-5b0e-b7cc-6691d533807b.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Recall-issued-for-external-controllers-for-implanted-heart-pump-after-26-deaths/id-ab4eabd006284a69be49efb3528d43dc","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By The Associated Press","prologue":"Federal regulators say nearly 29,000 controllers for implanted heart pumps are being recalled after reports of 26 deaths linked to malfunctions.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","health"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"3c2af9ed-92df-5b0e-b7cc-6691d533807b","body":"

Federal regulators say nearly 29,000 controllers for implanted heart pumps are being recalled after reports of 26 deaths linked to malfunctions.

The recall covers the external power supply controller for the HeartMate II, made by Abbott Laboratories' Thoratec unit and distributed from July 2012 until last March. The ventricular assist device helps the heart's main pumping chamber circulate blood.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said 70 malfunctions have been reported, all after patients switched to a backup unit on their own. The FDA is warning users to only change the controller at a hospital.

The manufacturer recently notified customers about the recall and is giving patients new software and new controllers if needed.

"} ]