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Business briefs: IRS says thieves stole tax info from 100,000

IRS: Thieves stole tax info from 100,000

WASHINGTON -- Thieves used an online service provided by the IRS to gain access to information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, the agency said Tuesday.

The information included tax returns and other tax information on file with the IRS.

The IRS said the thieves accessed a system called "Get Transcript." In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address.

Taco Bell, Pizza Hut boot artificial ingredients

NEW YORK -- Taco Bell and Pizza Hut say they're getting rid of artificial colors and flavors, making them the latest big food companies scrambling to distance themselves from ingredients people might find unappetizing.

Instead of "black pepper flavor," for instance, Taco Bell will start using actual black pepper in its seasoned beef, says Liz Matthews, the chain's chief food innovation officer.

The Mexican-style chain also says the artificial dye Yellow No. 6 will be removed from its nacho cheese, Blue No. 1 will be removed from its avocado ranch dressing and carmine, a bright pigment, will be removed from its red tortilla strips.

Olive Garden plans one more breadstick creation

NEW YORK -- Olive Garden isn't finished dreaming up new ways to use its breadsticks.

The Italian restaurant chain said this month it would introduce "breadstick sandwiches" as part of a broader menu revamp intended to play up its most popular offerings. The sandwiches don't arrive until June 1, but Olive Garden already has a follow-up act planned with "breadstick crostini" in August.

The "breadstick crostini" -- or toasted bread -- will be sliced and used as part of an appetizer, said Jose Duenas, Olive Garden's executive vice president of marketing.

After holiday, U.S. stocks fall most in three weeks

U.S. stocks fell the most in three weeks on Tuesday, as better-than-forecast economic data and comments by Federal Reserve officials bolstered bets for an interest-rate increase this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial average lost 190.48 points, or 1 percent, to 18,041.54. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up 21.86 points, also 1 percent, to 2,104.20 and the Nasdaq composite fell 56.61 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,032.75.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.69 to close at $58.03 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.80 to close at $63.72 in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 5.6 cents to close at $1.998 a gallon. Heating oil fell 5.3 cents to close at $1.90 a gallon. Natural gas fell 6.5 cents to close at $2.822 per 1,000 cubic feet.

-- Herald wire reports

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