- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Cadillac to ditch Detroit for trendy NYC address

DETROIT (AP) - Cadillac wants a jolt from the city that never sleeps.

General Motors’ 112-year-old luxury car division, founded in Detroit and named for the city’s founder, is moving its headquarters to New York.

Cadillac, which has been steadily losing sales to its German rivals, wants to get closer to its ideal buyers. Executives and marketing staffers will set up shop in a loft office in Manhattan’s trendy SoHo neighborhood starting next year.

Cadillac will become a separate business unit, giving it more freedom to chase global growth. Most product engineering and design will remain in Detroit. Cadillacs will continue to be built at plants in Michigan, Texas, Canada, Mexico and China.

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FDA warns doctors to beware fake drug distributors

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. health regulators are trying to help doctors spot counterfeit and unapproved drugs by raising awareness of illegal operations that peddle bogus drugs to health professionals.

Federal prosecutors have recently uncovered rogue companies distributing foreign versions of Botox, fake cancer drugs and other unapproved or contaminated medicines in the U.S. Often those operations will entice physicians by faxing “too good to be true” flyers that offer 75 percent or more off pricey injectable drugs.

Beginning Tuesday the FDA will push back with its own educational campaign, faxing flyers to physicians across the country on how to recognize bogus offers and counterfeit drugs.

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Messaging app seeks to bring voices back to phones

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Longtime technology guru Ray Ozzie wants to bring back the emotions of the human voice to phones.

His mission began more than two years ago as Ozzie noticed people were increasingly communicating through texts, emails and social media posts instead of calling each other.

Ozzie, 58, Microsoft’s former chief software architect, hopes to orchestrate voice’s comeback through Talko, a mobile application being released Tuesday for the iPhone. A version for Android phones is expected in a few months.

Talko sends the equivalent of text messages in the form of a spoken word. Talko users can record a voice message and send it over the Internet to anyone else with the app. Recipients listen to the recording when it’s convenient, rather than being interrupted by a traditional phone call.

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Eurozone survey signals waning growth

LONDON (AP) - Further evidence emerged Tuesday to show that the 18-country eurozone economy is failing to find any renewed momentum despite a raft of stimulus measures from the European Central Bank.

In its monthly survey, financial information company Markit said its purchasing managers’ index for the eurozone - a closely watched gauge of business activity - fell to a nine-month low of 52.3 in September from the previous month’s 52.5.

It blamed the crisis in Ukraine, the related tit-for-tat sanctions between the West and Russia and a general sense of pessimism about the eurozone economy’s plight.

Though anything above 50 indicates expansion, that’s largely due to an improvement in Germany, Europe’s largest economy. Germany, according to Markit, appears to have recovered at least some of the ground it lost in the spring and early summer.

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Wind power proposed to supply Los Angeles area

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An $8 billion project to supply the Los Angeles area with large amounts of electricity from a wind farm in Wyoming via an energy storage facility in Utah was proposed Tuesday by four companies.

The Wyoming and Utah sites would be linked by a $2.6 billion, 525-mile transmission line that would traverse Colorado, and the power would be sent on to California through an existing, 490-mile transmission line, the group said in a statement.

The electricity would be enough to serve 1.2 million homes, the statement said.

Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy, Dresser-Rand and Duke-American Transmission Co. said they plan to formally submit the proposal to the Southern California Public Power Authority by early 2015.

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US, California release roadmap for solar projects

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - State and federal officials sought Tuesday to bring order to California’s boom for renewable-energy plants in the Mojave and other southern California deserts, releasing a roadmap covering 22.5 million acres that designates some areas for large-scale solar, wind and geothermal plants and others for conservation of desert habitat and animals.

By taking a look at the desert as a whole, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said, the plan’s designers are ensuring “the areas that should be protected are set aside. The areas that should be developed are streamlined” for building utility-scale renewable energy plants.

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CF Industries, Yara in talks on possible merger

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) - CF Industries is in preliminary talks with Norway’s Yara International about a possible merger that would create a mammoth player in the fertilizer industry.

The combined company would have a market capitalization of more than $26 billion, second only to Potash Corp. of Canada. However, it would have annual sales of about $20 billion, almost three times that of Potash.

Yara International ASA confirmed the talks Tuesday, but both companies say there is no guarantee that a deal will be completed.

Producing fertilizer is an extremely energy-intensive process and natural gas is a huge feedstock in the industry. A tie-up with CF Industries Holdings Inc., based in Deerfield, Illinois, could give Yara easier access to cheap U.S. natural gas supplies.

And merger talks between the two are occurring in the midst of a global agricultural boom.

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Coke, Pepsi pledge to reduce calorie consumption

NEW YORK (AP) - Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper said Tuesday that they’ll work to reduce the calories Americans get from beverages by 20 percent over the next decade by more aggressively marketing smaller sizes, bottled water and diet drinks.

The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative and comes as the country’s three biggest soda makers face pressure over the role of sugary drinks in fueling obesity rates.

In many ways, the commitment follows the way customers’ tastes are already changing: People have been moving away from soda on their own for several years.

In response, Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. have been pushing smaller cans and bottles, which tend to be more profitable and are positioned as a way to control portions. They’ve also rolled out flavored versions of Dasani and Aquafina, respectively, as demand for bottled water has grown.

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US clampdown on tax maneuver leaves its mark

NEW YORK (AP) - A handful of big companies pursuing overseas mergers to lower their tax bills came under pressure Tuesday after the U.S. unveiled rules to discourage them.

The Treasury Department announced new regulations on Monday aimed at making these so-called inversion deals less lucrative. In a typical deal, an American company buys a foreign firm based in a country with a lower tax rate, then moves its headquarters overseas.

Drug companies in Ireland and the U.K. have been popular targets. The pharmaceutical company AbbVie, based in Chicago, reached an agreement to buy Dublin-based Shire in July for $54 billion. Shares of both companies sank in Tuesday trading. AbbVie Inc. lost 2 percent in New York trading, while Shire sank 2 percent in London.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 116.81 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,055.87. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 11.52 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,982.77 and the Nasdaq composite fell 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,508.69.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 69 cents to close at $91.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 12 cents to close at $96.85 on the ICE Futures exchange in London, reaching its lowest level since June of 2012. Wholesale gasoline rose 4.4 cents to close at $2.629 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.4 cent to close at $2.683 a gallon. Natural gas fell 3.4 cents to close at $3.816 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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