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  • July 3- Health insurer Aetna Inc said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc for about $37 billion in cash and stock, in the largest ever deal in the insurance industry. The combination will push Aetna close to Anthem Inc's No.2 insurer spot by membership, and would nearly triple Aetna's Medicare Advantage business. Antitrust authorities, who were aggressive in...

  • July 2- U.S health insurer Aetna Inc is nearing an agreement to buy rival Humana Inc for about $34 billion in a cash and stock deal, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday. One person said Aetna's offer would value Humana at about $230 per share and that a deal could be announced as early as Friday. A $230 per share offer would be at a premium of nearly...

  • What's next for California's contentious vaccine law Wednesday, 1 Jul 2015 | 5:32 AM ET

    Jerry Brown has signed a hotly contested California bill to impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in the wake of an outbreak of measles at Disneyland late last year. After a measles outbreak at Disneyland in December sickened over 100 people in the U.S. and Mexico, Democratic Sens. Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa...

  • What's next for California's contentious vaccine law Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 | 4:15 AM ET

    It would likely be successful in increasing immunization rates and stopping the spread of disease, pediatric doctors said Monday after the Senate sent the legislation to the governor. Douglas Opel, a professor at the University of Washington who specializes in pediatric bioethics. The Senate reaffirmed the bill on a 24-14 vote.

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California lawmakers on Monday sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland. The Senate reaffirmed the bill striking California's personal belief exemption for immunizations on a 24-14 vote.

  • HOUSTON— Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by two this week to 859, the first weekly gain since December. Houston- based Baker Hughes said Friday 628 rigs were seeking oil and 228 explored for natural gas. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,...

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California's Assembly approved a hotly contested bill requiring that nearly all public schoolchildren be vaccinated, clearing one of its last major legislative obstacles before the measure heads to the desk of Gov. The bill aims to increase immunization rates after a measles outbreak linked to Disneyland in December sickened over 100...

  • NEW YORK, June 25- The U.S. hospital and health insurance industries breathed a collective sigh of relief on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld subsidies for individuals under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. Health economists have estimated $15 billion to $22 billion in healthcare spending was at risk with the decision.

  • Other legal challenges to health overhaul remain Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 | 11:33 AM ET

    The House argues that Congress never specifically appropriated that money, and indeed denied an administration request for it, but that the administration is paying it anyway. Health and Human Services Department: A unanimous three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Washington rejected a conservative group's claim that Congress imposed new...

  • Judge lets prosecutors stay on W.Va. chemical spill case Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 | 10:19 AM ET

    CHARLESTON, W.Va.— A judge will let federal prosecutors keep working on a criminal case over a chemical spill last year in West Virginia, shooting down arguments that prosecutors should be recused from the case because they were among the 300,000 people without clean tap water for days. In an order in Charleston federal court Wednesday, U.S.

  • June 25- Oil and natural gas producer Magnum Hunter Resources Corp said it expected to raise $600- $700 million by selling its 45.53 percent stake in its natural gas gathering subsidiary, Eureka Hunter Holdings. Magnum Hunter had $13.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and total debt of $951 million as of March 31, according to Thomson Reuters data.

  • The PATCO Speedline between suburban New Jersey and downtown Philadelphia has resumed operations after a storm-related power outage halted service for the morning rush hour. PATCO trains typically run every 3-5 minutes from downtown Philadelphia during rush hour. Service remains suspended on SEPTA's Media/ Elwyn regional rail line and between Radnor...

  • House approves bill to overhaul chemical regulation Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015 | 7:20 PM ET

    The House vote, 398-1, moves the bill to the Senate, where a similar measure awaits a floor vote after winning approval from a Senate committee. The bills also would offer protections for people, such as pregnant women, children and workers, who are vulnerable to the effects of chemicals and set deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency to act.

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, June 22- U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc on Monday dismissed concerns that buying smaller competitor Cigna Corp would be considered anti-competitive, even as antitrust experts said the combination would earn regulatory scrutiny. Besides the possible Anthem deal, Humana Inc is considering a sale, possibly to Cigna or Aetna Inc, a source...

  • Fifth Third Bancorp cutting up to 100 branches Monday, 22 Jun 2015 | 7:42 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Fifth Third Bancorp plans to close or consolidate about 100 branches and has abandoned plans for 30 new ones. The changes will cost the company between $75 million and $85 million in impairment charges during the second quarter. As of March 31, the Cincinnati company had 1,303 full-service banking centers and 2,637 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana,...

  • WASHINGTON, June 4- Coal giant Peabody Energy has been among the harshest critics of federal energy policies, joining a court challenge to the Obama administration's new clean air regulations and denouncing its promotion of renewable fuels. "Our team will examine all aspects of bonding and self-bonding," said Chris Holmes, a spokesman for the Office of Surface...

  • HARRISBURG, Pa., May 29- Chevron Corp. has paid a reported $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed last year by the parents of a worker who was burnt to death in a gas well fire in western Pennsylvania. Local media reported the $5 million settlement, saying it had been approved by a judge in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in Pittsburgh earlier this month.

  • *Number of rigs in Marcellus has dropped- Baker Hughes. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says production in the fast-growing field in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is set to remain flat for the next few years before beginning a very slow decline primarily because of depressed gas prices. The number of rigs in the area has dwindled in recent months to...

  • May 28- A Delaware jury on Thursday ordered Boston Scientific to pay $100 million to a woman who said she was injured by transvaginal mesh, a device that is the subject of more than 25,000 lawsuits against the company. The 51- year old Newark, Delaware- resident was implanted with Boston Scientific's Pinnacle and Advantage Fit mesh products in 2009, to treat...

  • May 28- Alpha Natural Resources Inc must pay for the legal defense of Donald Blankenship, who is facing a criminal trial over a coal mining disaster in 2010, when he headed Alpha's Massey Energy Co business, a Delaware judge ruled on Thursday. The indictment also said that after the explosion, he misled the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about Massey's...