- - Sunday, April 17, 2011

GASOLINE

Gallon now costs $4 in 6 states, D.C.

NEW YORK | Add New York to the growing list of states where gas prices are topping $4 per gallon.

On Sunday, the Empire State became the sixth state to top $4 for the average price of a gallon of gas, joining Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii and Illinois, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge. The average price of gas also rose to more than $4 per gallon in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

The next states to join the list could be Michigan, which has gas for $3.95 per gallon on average, and Indiana, where the average price is $3.94. Nevada, Washington and Wisconsin are close behind.

The national average for gas has increased for 26 straight days, and is now at $3.83 per gallon. That’s up 29 cents from a month ago. Retail surveys suggest motorists are reacting to higher prices now by buying less fuel. Still, the government expects pump prices to keep climbing this summer.

BLACKBERRYS

Maker says UAE policy will hit other phones

DUBAI | The maker of BlackBerry devices says tighter restrictions on the popular gadgets proposed by Emirati authorities would likely apply to other smartphones too, raising new questions about data freedom in the Gulf Arab nation.

The United Arab Emirates’ telecommunications regulator has outlined plans to limit access to the Blackberry Enterprise Server system, which provides the most secure form of communication on the handheld devices. Many international companies and government agencies use it to keep emails and other data safe.

Only organizations with 20 or more BlackBerry accounts could use the service under the UAE’s proposed new rules. Others would need to rely on a less-secure system that analysts say is easier for authorities to monitor and could cause accessibility problems for corporate users. Barely six months ago, the federation backed down from a threat to impose a sweeping ban.

TAX CREDITS

IRS paid $513 million in undeserved tax credits

The Internal Revenue Service has paid out more than a half-billion dollars in home-buyer tax credits to people who probably didn’t qualify, a government investigator said Friday.

Most of the money — about $326 million went to more than 47,000 taxpayers who didn’t qualify as first-time home buyers, said the report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. Other credits went to prison inmates, taxpayers younger than 18 and people who did not actually buy homes.

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