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Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

3M to pay $850 million to settle suit over chemical disposal

MINNEAPOLIS - 3M Co. has agreed to pay the state of Minnesota $850 million to settle a major case alleging the manufacturer damaged natural resources and contaminated groundwater by disposing of chemicals over decades, Minnesota's attorney general announced Tuesday.

The state was seeking $5 billion from Maplewood, Minnesota-based 3M in a case that focused on the company's disposal of chemicals once used to make Scotchgard fabric protector and other products. The lawsuit, filed in 2010, alleged 3M damaged Minnesota's natural resources, including more than 100 miles of the Mississippi River. The state also said the chemicals contaminated drinking water, harmed wildlife and posed a threat to human health.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 06:35 PM

Walmart's bruising battle with Amazon saps its 4Q results

NEW YORK - Walmart is getting bruised in its battle with online leader Amazon.

The world's largest retailer on Tuesday reported a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as it wrestled with slower e-commerce sales during the busiest time of the year. The results underscore the company's challenges in a fiercely competitive retail landscape.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 06:28 PM

Aquaculture project could lift status of US salmon farming

PORTLAND, Maine - A Norwegian firm's plan to build one of the world's largest inland salmon aquaculture facilities in Maine has a chance to raise American salmon farming's status on the international stage, people who follow the industry say.

Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a facility that would produce more than 60 million pounds of salmon per year. The state typically produces between 18 and 35 million pounds of the fish per year, and production has ebbed and flowed, said Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 06:27 PM

Trump plan: Less health insurance for lower premiums

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration Tuesday spelled out a plan to lower the cost of health insurance: give consumers the option of buying less coverage in exchange for reduced premiums.

The proposed regulations would expand an alternative to the comprehensive medical plans required under former President Barack Obama's health law. Individuals could buy so-called "short-term" policies for up to 12 months. But the coverage would omit key consumer protections and offer fewer benefits, making it unattractive for older people or those with health problems.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 06:27 PM

British Columbia to eliminate medical service plan premiums in 2020

VICTORIA - A premium long viewed as a financial irritant in British Columbia that is paid by individuals and families for health care will be eliminated on Jan. 1, 2020.

The provincial government had already announced it was cutting medical service plan premiums in half on Jan. 1, 2018, and in the provincial budget it took the next step to eliminate them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 06:27 PM

Latvian ECB official won't resign, rejects bribes report

LONDON - Latvia's official on the European Central Bank's top policymaking council rejected calls to resign Tuesday amid suspicions of bribery and an Associated Press report on allegations of extortion and connections to money laundering.

Ilmars Rimsevics, who was detained Saturday and released on bail two days later without charge, was defiant, dismissing the allegations against him as a smear campaign by commercial banks.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 06:20 PM

Pengrowth appoints Pete Sametz as CEO to replace retiring Derek Evans in March

CALGARY - Pengrowth Energy Corp. says it has appointed Pete Sametz as president and CEO to replace Derek Evans, who is retiring as of March 14.

Chairman Kel Johnston says Sametz was selected for his extensive experience in steam-driven oilsands and heavy oil operations key skills, given Pengrowth's Lindbergh oilsands project in eastern Alberta.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 06:12 PM

Pacific Mall tackles counterfeit, pirated good sales after U.S. report

TORONTO - A Toronto-area mall's management says they're taking measures to stop imitation goods from being sold there after a U.S. government report claimed it was among the world's most notorious sources of such products.

Markham, Ont.-based Pacific Mall management says in a statement that they are deeply disturbed and disappointed by a recent report suggesting its vendors sell imitation goods.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 05:28 PM

Federal budget looks ready to help protect more lands, inland waters, oceans

OTTAWA - The federal government appears poised to commit what some believe could be a significant amount of cash in next week's budget to protect more of Canada's lands, inland waters and oceans.

Federal insiders say the government feels its climate-change financing has largely been dealt with, so Ottawa will likely shift its funding focus to other international obligations on the environment, including protected spaces.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 05:18 PM

QuickFacts on B.C. housing plan in Tuesday's budget

VICTORIA - Here are some facts on the British Columbia government's plan on housing affordability from Tuesday's budget:

Increases the foreign buyers tax from 15 to 20 per cent and expands it to areas outside of Vancouver as it will apply to the Fraser Valley, central Okanagan and the Nanaimo and Capital regional districts, which includes Victoria.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 05:16 PM