- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

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FDA eases into regulating e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government’s move to regulate e-cigarettes is a leap into the unknown.

Proposed rules, issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration, tread fairly lightly. They would ban sales to anyone under 18, add warning labels and require FDA approval for new products.

Some public health experts say a measured approach is the right one. They think that the devices, which heat a nicotine solution to produce an odorless vapor without the smoke and tar of burning tobacco, can help smokers quit. Still, some wonder whether e-cigarettes keep smokers addicted or hook new users and encourage them to move on to tobacco. And some warn that the FDA regulations could have unintended consequences.

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US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The nation’s top telecoms regulator is proposing to allow a pay-for-priority fast lane on the Internet for movies, music and other services to get to people’s homes.

Under the proposal, an access provider could demand that high-traffic services such as Netflix pay for preferential treatment. The proposal would include safeguards to make sure the arrangements don’t harm consumers or stifle competition and free speech.

Consumer advocates say the proposed system would inevitably allow deep-pocketed Internet giants like Netflix, Google and Facebook to maintain their edge over startups because they can pay to ensure snappier connections and clearer, uninterrupted video.

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Manufacturers see better times for economy, jobs

NEW YORK (AP) - Companies are finally starting to spend some of the cash they’ve been sitting on, and that could mean a stronger economy and more jobs on the way.

U.S. industrial leaders such as General Electric, Honeywell and Caterpillar have been posting strong financial results in recent weeks and telling investors that orders are strong. Economists say that means other large companies are investing in expensive equipment they need to grow their business.

Big manufacturers have cut costs, slimmed down their operations and accumulated cash since the financial crisis. Now, finally, the economies of the U.S. and Europe are showing steady progress, which makes their customers more confident and willing to spend.

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