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U.S. court says Amtrak has too much power over freight carriers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down parts of a 2008 law called the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, saying it violates the due process rights of freight carriers. Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the unanimous three-judge panel that "there are limits to how far Congress may go to ensure Amtrak's...

Source: Reuters

Did the BOJ just make a grave mistake?

Westpac Bank's Robert Rennie says he expects further yen strength and Nikkei weakness given that the BOJ did not act despite the need for action.

Source: CNBC.com

Ryan wants to end Obamacare cost protections for sick consumers

WASHINGTON, April 27- U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on Wednesday for an end to Obamacare's financial protections for people with serious medical conditions, saying these consumers should be placed in state high-risk pools. The rule, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, has been praised by patient advocates...

Source: Reuters

UPDATE 1-U.S. Congress passes legislation to protect firms' trade secrets

WASHINGTON, April 27- The U.S. Congress on Wednesday passed and sent to President Barack Obama legislation strengthening legal protection for companies' trade secrets, including manufacturing processes and computer methods. The House of Representatives voted 410-2 to approve the "Defend Trade Secrets Act" on the heels of it being unanimously passed by the...

Source: Reuters

What the world's major central banks are doing, at a glance

WASHINGTON— When the Federal Reserve left its key interest rate steady Wednesday, it offered no clues to when it might act again yet made clear that it's edging toward raising rates again eventually. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, for example, have loosened their interest-rate policies in recent months to try to stimulate growth.

Source: The Associated Press

UPDATE 3-Anthem CEO plans for growth on Obamacare insurance exchanges

Anthem Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish said the company had picked up more exchange customers than it expected this year and that its planned acquisition of Cigna Corp. would help it expand into more markets in the future. The exchanges were created as part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, but are about half the...

Source: Reuters

Clampdown on trade secret theft seen passing U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON, April 27- Corporate trade secrets, including manufacturing processes and computer methods, would enjoy greater legal protections against theft under legislation expected to be approved by the U.S. Congress on Wednesday. The House of Representatives is poised to pass the "Defend Trade Secrets Act" on the heels of being unanimously approved by the...

Source: Reuters

CNBC update: No bill to help Puerto Rico by May 1

CNBC's Sue Herera reports the latest headlines including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying Congress will not act to help Puerto Rico ahead of the May 1st deadline, and a 27-year-old disabled Syrian refugee carries the Olympic torch in Athens.

Source: CNBC.com

US home prices rise at solid pace, even with flat sales

WASHINGTON— U.S. home prices continued their steady upward march in February as buyers competed for a limited number of available properties. That's pushed buyers to act quickly, with homes on the market just 47 days in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at real estate website Zillow, said the problem is...

Source: The Associated Press

UPDATE 2-Health insurer Centene's profit beats as medical costs fall

*Cuts 2016 adjusted profit forecast to $4.00- $4.35/ share. Centene has benefited from the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, like other health insurers who focus on government-sponsored plans for the under-insured or uninsured. The company served 984,900 members in Medicaid expansion programs in nine U.S. states in the first quarter ended...

Source: Reuters