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Federal deficit on track to top $1 trillion this year

WASHINGTON – The U.S. federal budget deficit increased $70 billion in July and is on track to top $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.

The deficit for the first 10 months of the 2012 budget year, which ends Sept. 30, totaled $974 billion, the Treasury Department said Friday. That’s 11.5 percent less than the $1.1 trillion gap in the same period last year.

A slightly better economy has boosted income tax receipts, which have increased 6 percent so far this year. Corporate income tax receipts rose nearly 30 percent compared to a year ago. Spending has dipped 0.3 percent.

FTC OKs Facebook settlement

NEW YORK – The Federal Trade Commission voted Friday to finalize its settlement with Facebook, resolving charges that the social network exposed details about users’ lives without getting the required legal consent.

Facebook Inc. agreed to submit to government audits of its privacy practices every other year for the next two decades. The company also committed to getting explicit approval from users before changing the types of content it makes public.

The settlement, announced in November, is similar to agreements the FTC reached separately with Google Inc. and Myspace.

The settlement came a day after the FTC fined Google $22.5 million to resolve allegations that Google didn’t comply with the earlier settlement.

Facebook didn’t admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, though CEO Mark Zuckerberg conceded in earlier that the company made “high-profile mistakes” on privacy over the years.

Tyco and ex-CEO end lawsuit

NEW YORK – Tyco and its disgraced former chief executive on Friday settled a lawsuit seeking to force him to surrender compensation and benefits he received before he was jailed.

The tentative deal was reached Friday between Tyco International Ltd. and Dennis Kozlowski, 61. A trial scheduled for Monday was canceled.

In a 2002 lawsuit, Tyco accused Kozlowski of fraud and a breach of fiduciary duty. A federal judge in 2010 found the former executive liable on most claims. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Kozlowski was convicted in 2005 and is serving a sentence of 8 1/3  to 25 years. He has already paid $97 million in restitution to Tyco and a $70 million fine.


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