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Business news in brief

In the Region

Company recalls some Rolaids

Johnson & Johnson

on Thursday recalled several types of Rolaids antacids because of reports of metal and wood particles in the products. The products include Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, Rolaids Extra Strength plus Gas Softchews, and Rolaids Multi-Symptom plus Anti-Gas Softchews. The company says the materials were potentially introduced into the products as they were made at an outside manufacturer. All the products are sold by J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Fort Washington.

- AP

Panel releases gaming package


New Jersey Assembly Regulatory and Oversight Committee

released a package of 10 bills Thursday, including legislation to allow for sports betting and online gambling at Atlantic City's casinos and at the state's four horse racetracks. The bills now head to the Assembly for a full vote Monday. The Internet-gaming bill would let New Jersey residents place wagers on Atlantic City casino games, such as poker, via the Internet. The other bills, among other things, would authorize Internet account wagering for residents outside New Jersey on instate horse races; and improve and modernize casino industry regulation. The state Senate approved a similar package last month.

- Suzette Parmley

Firm joins ParenteBeard

Pressman Ciocca Smith L.L.P.

, Huntingdon Valley, became part of

ParenteBeard L.L.C.

at the beginning of December, the accounting firms announced this week. Pressman Ciocca Smith, which was founded in 1940, brings three partners and 20 staff members to the combined practice. ParenteBeard has 150 partners and 1,000 total employees, with accounting offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Texas that cater to middle-market and small clients.

- Roslyn Rudolph

Teva reports good results in MS drug

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

, an Israeli drugmaker with U.S. headquarters in North Wales, said a Phase 3 clinical trial showed its experimental oral multiple sclerosis drug laquinimod reduced relapses of the disease. The study showed the drug also slowed the progression of disabilities brought on by MS. Teva, which primarily has made generic drugs, expects detailed results of the trial to be presented in the first half of 2011. A second study of the drug continues. Its results are expected in the third quarter of 2011. Teva also is studying the drug's effects on Crohn's disease and lupus. The

Food and Drug Administration

granted the drug fast-track designation in 2009, which results in possible faster review and approval.

- Christopher K. Hepp

OSHA cites N.E. Phila. papermaker

Newman & Co.

, a Northeast Philadelphia paper manufacturer, was issued 43 citations, including 39 serious citations, by the

U.S. Department of Labor's

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA began investigating the plant after a worker died there June 12 when he was crushed by a paper hopper during a loading operation. OSHA has proposed fines of $86,100. Vice president David Newman said the company, which employs 200, had no comment about the citations.

- Jane M. Von Bergen


Fed foe to oversee the agency

Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas), author of End the Fed, will take control of the House subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve. His appointment to the monetary-policy subcommittee is effective when the Republicans take majority control of the House in January. It was announced Thursday by House Financial Services chairman-elect Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.). Paul, who has introduced legislation to abolish the Fed, became nationally known during his 2008 presidential campaign. - Bloomberg News

Bookseller's loss widens

Borders Group Inc.

says its third-quarter loss widened as its book sales continued to fall because of tough competition from online retailers and other discounters. The bookseller says it is finding it hard to get credit due because the value of its inventory has fallen and it could violate its credit agreement by the next year's first quarter if its liquidity does not improve. Borders says its third-quarter loss totaled $74.4 million, or $1.03 a share. That compares with a loss of $37.7 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 18 percent to $470.9 million.

- AP

Ford to hire 1,800 workers at plant

Ford Motor Co.

will hire 1,800 workers at a plant in Louisville, Ky., to build the Escape, a small SUV. The automaker says it is investing $600 million in the plant to make the SUV, one of its popular vehicles. Many of the new workers will come from a pool of employees laid off at other plants, although Ford plans to hire some new employees. The plant currently employs 1,100 people and builds the Ford Explorer.

- AP

Americans' wealth grew last quarter

After declining in the spring, Americans' wealth grew 2.2 percent in the July-to-September quarter as a rebound on Wall Street boosted stock portfolios. Household net worth rose to nearly $55 trillion, even though the value of real estate holdings sank 3.7 percent, the

Federal Reserve

said. Net worth is the value of assets such as homes and investments, minus debts such as mortgages and credit cards.

- AP

Ex-budget director to work at Citi

Citigroup Inc.

said it named former budget director Peter Orszag as a vice chairman of its global banking business. Orszag, 41, was previously the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama. He stepped down from the position in July. To comply with ethics rules, Citi says Orszag's role at the banking giant will not involve contact with officials from the federal government.

- AP

Lawmakers approve cuts in Ireland

Ireland's lawmakers narrowly voted to cut welfare benefits as part of a brutal deficit-fighting budget, but that did not deter

Fitch Ratings Inc.

, a credit-ratings agency, from downgrading the debt-burdened nation as a credit risk. Lawmakers expect to vote Friday on another bill that cuts state pensions, government leaders' salaries, and the minimum wage - all part of a budget published this week that seeks to slash an unprecedented $8 billion from the 2011 deficit.

- AP