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Horse slaughterhouses ready to continue work

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A federal judge on Friday cleared the way for horse slaughterhouses to resume operating in the U.S. as early as next week.

U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo in Albuquerque threw out a lawsuit by the Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups that alleged the Department of Agriculture failed to conduct proper environmental studies when it issued permits to Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., and an Iowa firm to slaughter horses for human consumption.

For now, the decision ends Valley Meat’s two-year battle to open its slaughterhouse.

A temporary order blocking a return to domestic equine slaughter expired Thursday night.

Buffett’s company reports higher earnings

OMAHA, Neb. – Warren Buffett’s company reported a 29 percent jump in third-quarter profit as it collected some of the proceeds from deals made during the financial crisis.

Berkshire Hathaway earned $5.05 billion, or $3,074 per Class A share, during the quarter. That’s up from $3.92 billion, or $2,373 per Class A share, in the same period last year.

The biggest factor in the results was a $1.2 billion investment gain Berkshire recorded as it prepared to redeem warrants in General Electric and Goldman Sachs. Mars and Wrigley also repaid Berkshire for a crisis-era investment.

Berkshire’s revenue grew 13 percent to $46.5 billion.

Amazon Prime sees jump in shipments

SEATTLE – Inc. disclosed Friday that it ships more than twice as many items to members who use its Prime subscription service in the United States than to those shoppers who opt for free shipping.

The company is typically opaque when it comes to details about Prime, the $79-a-year service that offers free two-day shipping on more than 15 million items. It won’t, for example, disclose how many members the service has. The detail about the Prime shopping data came buried in a news release about holiday sales trends.

It’s not a particularly precise data point because the company would only say the units, not dollar amounts, shipped using Prime are twice the number as those sent via its free shipping offer. The detail about how much more Prime members shop offers insight into Amazon’s strategy to add more features to boost enrollment.

CPA convicted in tax loss scheme

NEW YORK – A Chicago lawyer and certified public accountant was convicted Friday for his role in a 10-year tax fraud that generated $7 billion in phony tax losses.

Paul Daugerdas, 63, was found guilty of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, evade taxes, commit mail and wire fraud and other crimes after a seven-week jury trial in federal court in Manhattan, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

Daugerdas, of Wilmette, Ill., faces up to 58 years in prison when sentenced next March.

Ford ambulance recall caused by engine woes

DETROIT – Ford is recalling about 3,100 F-Series ambulances because the engines can stop unexpectedly.

The F-350, F-450 and F-550 “Super Duty” ambulances have 6.7-liter diesel engines. They’re from the 2011 and 2012 model years.

Ford said a faulty exhaust gas temperature sensor can cause the engines to stop and not be restarted for at least an hour. The company said it has no reports of the problem affecting patient care.


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