NEW YORK -- The vast majority of Walmart's U.S. employees will get raises as part of the world's largest retailer's previously announced commitment to invest in its workforce as it faces pressure from labor-backed groups and seeks to retain workers in a tighter labor force.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Wednesday said more than 1.2 million U.S. hourly workers will get wage increases on Feb. 20. The company, which is the largest U.S. private employer with 1.4 million total workers, also said it will provide free, basic short-term disability to full-time hourly workers. And it will start allowing workers to accrue paid time off as they earn it.
The moves mark the biggest changes Walmart has made in its efforts to offer better wages and benefits to its workers.
Feds check out why Ford Focus doors not latching
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DETROIT -- U.S. auto safety regulators have opened an investigation into complaints that doors won't latch properly on about 400,000 Ford Focus compact cars, including some reports that the doors have opened while the cars are moving.
The inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers Focuses from the 2012 and 2013 model years, according to documents posted Wednesday on the agency's website. It's similar to an investigation that caused a recall last year of more than 456,000 Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion and Fiesta models.
U.S. Treasury Secretary: Puerto Rico needs action
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew stressed on Wednesday during a visit to Puerto Rico that congressional action is the only solution to pulling the U.S. territory out of its worsening economic crisis.
He called on Congress to approve a restructuring mechanism to help the island deal with its $72 billion public debt. He also said some kind of oversight authority that respects Puerto Rico's system of self-government is needed.
Five accused of stealing secrets from drug maker
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia said Wednesday that they had indicted five people, including two research scientists, on charges of stealing trade secrets about drugs to treat cancer and other diseases from GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant.
According to prosecutors, the two scientists, Yu Xue and Lucy Xi, worked at Glaxo's research facility in Upper Merion, Pa., and emailed and downloaded confidential data about a dozen or more company products to associates who planned to sell and market the trade secrets through a company they set up in China, called Renopharma.
Some of the documents involved a type of cancer treatment, that the company was developing. The indictment, unsealed Wednesday, describes Xue, 45, as
"one of the top protein biochemists in the world," who was the co-leader of the company's project to develop the drug.
Federal prosecutors said that to conceal their crime, Xue and two other associates, Tao Li and Yan Mei, agreed to put the proceeds in the name of Xue's sister, Tian Xue, who was also charged. Xi worked with Yu Xue at Glaxo and was married to Mei, prosecutors said.
-- Herald wire reports