Business briefs

LABORWalgreen settlement wins OK

A federal judge has signed off on Walgreen Co.'s plan to pay $24 million to settle a U.S. lawsuit alleging racial bias at the nation's largest drugstore chain.

About 10,000 past and present black Walgreen workers will split $20 million under a consent decree given final approval by U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had accused the Deerfield, Ill.-based retailer of discriminating against thousands of black workers in hiring and assignment decisions.

THE ECONOMYSt. Louis Fed's president named

James Bullard will take over as president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank on Tuesday, succeeding William Poole, who is retiring, the bank said.

Bullard, 47, is vice president and deputy director of research for monetary analysis at the regional Fed bank and has been with its research department for more than 18 years.

His appointment as Poole's successor was approved by the Fed's Board of Governors, the bank said. Like Poole, he will not have a vote on the Fed's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee this year. The St. Louis Fed's president is scheduled to become a voting member in 2010.

PHARMACEUTICALSHeparin recalled in part of Europe

French, Danish and Italian authorities began recalling batches of heparin or its active ingredient that may be contaminated, becoming the latest countries to remove from shelves a blood thinner associated with at least 19 deaths.

"It's a precautionary measure right now," Martin Harvey-Allchurch, a spokesman for the European Medicines Agency, said. The suspect ingredients were reportedly from China, he said.

There have been no reports of related fatalities in Denmark or Italy, he said.

Vioxx claims get a later deadline

People who believe their heart attacks or strokes were caused by the once-popular painkiller Vioxx now have another month to file paperwork to back up their claims under a settlement with manufacturer Merck & Co.

Doug Marvin, an outside attorney for Merck, told U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon that claims were coming in every day to the Richmond, Va., law firm appointed to administer them, BrownGreer. He said some law firms were still working on their claims.

Marvin said Merck agreed to delay the deadline to May 1.

INTERNETFree 'South Park' episodes on tap

Viacom Inc.'s Comedy Central cable channel is putting every episode of "South Park" on the Internet as part of an effort to increase the show's audience and deter illegal downloading.

South Park Studios, a joint venture between Comedy Central and show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is offering free videos of all 12 seasons of "South Park" on the show's website, the company said.

Facebook hires 2nd Google exec

Facebook Inc., the second-most-popular social-networking site, hired an executive from Internet search leader Google Inc. for the second time this month.

Ethan Beard, who was director of social media at Google, will help run business development at Palo Alto-based Facebook, the company said.

Facebook named Google veteran Sheryl Sandberg operating chief March 4.

From Times Wire Services

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad