Around the Business World
Consumer spending strong in April: WASHINGTON – Consumers spent at a strong pace in April but much of their money went to fill up their gas tanks. Soaring gas prices sent consumer confidence plunging while an inflation gauge closely watched by the Federal Reserve rose by the largest amount in 13 months. The newest economic data depicted an economy slowing from the sizzling growth of the first three months of the year but one that was also being buffeted by rising inflation pressures. The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending jumped 0.6 percent last month, the biggest increase since a 0.8 percent rise in January.Stern regains control of master tapes: NEW YORK – Shock jock Howard Stern regained control of the master tapes from the last 20 years of his terrestrial radio program in a settlement of the contentious lawsuit brought by his former bosses at CBS Radio. Stern’s new employer, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., agreed to pay $2 million to CBS Radio, CBS Corp.’s large radio subsidiary, in return for the rights to the classic recordings, according to a statement released by both sides.London Times to launch U.S. edition: LONDON – Rupert Murdoch’s London-based The Times newspaper said it will launch a U.S. edition next month as part of a push to make the paper an international brand, entering a competitive New York market at a challenging time in the newspaper industry. The 64-page U.S. edition will go on sale for a sample price of $1 in New York and New Jersey on June 6. The launch of the U.S. edition also coincides with the start of the World Cup in Germany on June 9, which is expected to be heavily featured in the newspaper’s coverage.FDA approves nnew chicken pox vaccine: WASHINGTON – A new and more potent version of the chickenpox vaccine has won federal approval to prevent shingles, the often excruciatingly painful disease that can strike the elderly when the chickenpox virus emerges after lying dormant for decades. The Food and Drug Administration licensed the vaccine, Zostavax, to reduce the risk of shingles in adults 60 and older. The Merck & Co. Inc. vaccine is only for adults who previously have had chickenpox. There are roughly 1 million new U.S. cases of shingles each year. It typically affects the elderly, though anyone with a weakened immune system is vulnerable.Colorado bankruptcy filings slowing: DENVER – Bankruptcy filings in Colorado have fallen nearly 80 percent this year following sweeping federal changes that limit personal bankruptcy filings. There were 2,244 total bankruptcy cases filed through April, according to figures from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Colorado. That is down 78 percent from 10,225 in the first four months of 2005. An overhaul of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that took effect Oct. 17 made it more difficult to erase debt, and cases rose sharply in September and October in anticipation.Vail, Colorado
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