Around the business world |

Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Economy moves ahead at strong clip: WASHINGTON – The economy sprang out of a year-end rut and zipped ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 5.6 percent annual pace, the fastest in 2 1/2 years and even stronger than previously thought.WTO talks start with squabbling: GENEVA – The squabbling began even before the talks did. The world’s most powerful trading nations gathering in Geneva to hammer out a long-delayed global trade treaty spent most of the first day finger-pointing, leaving little apparent hope of a breakthrough when official talks begin Friday.Tenet agrees to pay settlement: WASHINGTON – Tenet Healthcare Corp. agrees to pay $725 million and waive its right to pursue $175 million in certain past Medicare payments to settle federal investigations into the hospital operator’s alleged overbilling of Medicare before 2003.BP accused of propane price fixing: WASHINGTON – U.S. Regulators say that BP PLC’s alleged propane price-manipulation scheme in 2004 worked liked this: traders at BP Products North America Inc. bought massive quantities of propane to be delivered over a pipeline that starts in Texas and then deliberately withheld supplies from the market, forcing buyers to pay an unnaturally high premium. BP denies the charge, but there’s no refuting that prices for propane, used by millions of mostly rural U.S. households, climbed more than 50 percent during what was a mostly mild winter. By Business Writer Brad Foss. Dupont nailed for campaign shenanigans: PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch accepted campaign contributions from the chief negotiator for DuPont Co. at the same time he was in talks with the company to drop it from the state’s landmark lawsuit against former lead paint companies, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.Offshore drilling back on the front burner: WASHINGTON – Republicans are pushing for a House vote on ending a 25-year offshore drilling ban, a move that could open 19 billion barrels of oil and vast untapped natural gas reserves.Africa plaguued by brain drain: NAIROBI, Kenya – Nurse Carolyne Mujibi went to work in Kenya’s largest hospital after her father died there – from nursing neglect, she believes. Now she is preparing to leave for the United States, hoping for greater job satisfaction and more material rewards, and joining a brain drain that experts worry is only making it harder for Africa to pull itself out of poverty. Mujibi is among thousands of nurses and other health professionals leaving East Africa’s largest economy.Vail, Colorado

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