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Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

Report: ESPN president resigned over cocaine extortion plot

LOS ANGELES - The former president of ESPN said he resigned from the sports network after an extortion plot by someone who sold him cocaine.

John Skipper told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Thursday that the drug seller, whom he did not name, tried to extort him in December. He said he hadn't had dealings with the seller before, and previously had been "careful" about buying cocaine.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 03:02 PM

Pot tourists can smoke it where they buy it in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO - The smoke was thick and business brisk at the Barbary Coast Dispensary's marijuana smoking lounge, a darkened room that resembles a steakhouse or upscale sports tavern with its red leather seats, deep booths with high dividers, and hardwood floors.

"There's nothing like this in Jersey," said grinning Atlantic City resident Rick Thompson, getting high with his cousins in San Francisco.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 02:56 PM

Ram pickups recalled to fix rusting fuel tank strap

DETROIT - Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 300,000 older Ram pickup trucks worldwide because the fuel tanks can sag.

The recall mainly affects trucks in cold-weather U.S. states and Canada where salt is used to clear snow from roads.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 02:36 PM

Strong harvest and currency rates linked to farmers buying more new machinery

CALGARY - Western Canadian farmers are using proceeds from a good harvest last year to buy more new agricultural equipment after years of settling for used as prices of U.S.-made machinery rose due to the stronger American dollar.

Both Cervus Equipment Corp. and Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc. are reporting increased earnings thanks to higher profit margins and manufacturers' incentive payments on sales of new equipment in 2017 versus 2016.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 02:21 PM

BMO stops allowing credit and debit cards for cryptocurrency purchases

TORONTO - The Bank of Montreal has stopped allowing customers to use its credit cards to buy cryptocurrency such as bitcoin.

The bank says it no longer allows retail consumers to buy cryptocurrencies using Mastercard-branded credit or debit cards.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 01:39 PM

Ben & Jerry's maker ditches London HQ for sole Dutch base

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods multinational whose vast stable of brands includes Dove, Knorr and Ben & Jerry's, has opted to have its sole headquarters in the Netherlands rather than Britain, ending a dual structure that goes back nearly 90 years.

The company said Thursday that the decision to pick Rotterdam over London is part of a raft of structural changes that will turn it into "a simpler, more agile and more focused business."

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 12:57 PM

Trump confirms CNBC contributor Kudlow to be economic aide

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that he has picked CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow as his top economic adviser and said the country is in line for a long run of upbeat financial news.

The United States "will have many years of Great Economic & Financial Success, with low taxes, unparalleled innovation, fair trade and an ever expanding labour force leading the way!" the president tweeted.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 11:02 AM

WSP Global Q4 beats revenue expectations but profit falls on U.S. tax charge

MONTREAL - Engineering firm WSP Global Inc. beat analyst expectations with revenue of $1.48 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, versus $1.33 billion a year earlier, but net earnings came up short at $30 million, compared with $56 million a year ago.

The Montreal-based company recorded a $16-million non-cash income tax charge to account for lower U.S. corporate taxes but said the change announced by the Trump government late last year will benefit its bottom line going forward.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 11:00 AM

Norbord to suspend production at B.C. OSB mill due to wood shortage

TORONTO - Norbord Inc. says it is going to temporarily suspend production at its oriented strand board mill in 100 Mile House, B.C., due to a shortage of wood.

The company says the wildfires last summer that damaged the logging areas surrounding the mill and severe weather conditions this winter have combined to hurt its ability to secure a sufficient wood supply.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 10:50 AM

Builders optimism slides for third consecutive month

NEW YORK - A new survey reveals fading optimism among homebuilders, and a downward revision in sentiment from February suggests a more sustained perception of deterioration.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index for March was 70, the group said Thursday, and a downward revision for February, from 72 to 71, means that sentiment among builders has declined for three consecutive months.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 10:47 AM