National briefs (12/30/12)

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U.S. warning on Haiti travel

WASHINGTON -- The State Department has issued a revised Haiti travel advisory, warning Americans planning to travel to the Caribbean island nation about robbery, lawlessness, infectious disease and poor medical facilities.

"U.S. citizens have been victims of violent crime, including murder and kidnapping, predominantly in the Port-au-Prince area.

"No one is safe from kidnapping, regardless of occupation, nationality, race, gender or age," the department said.

The new travel warning was released Friday to replace a less strongly worded advisory issued in June.

FDA clears drug Eliquis

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it approved an anticlotting drug called Eliquis, developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Pfizer Inc. It is a potential blockbuster in a new category of medicines to prevent strokes.

The agency previously rejected the drug twice, most recently in June, awaiting additional data from company trials.

The FDA cleared the pill for treating the most common type of irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, in patients at risk for strokes or dangerous clots.

Vega recalls helmets

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Vega Helmet Corp. is recalling more than 30,000 XTS motorcycle helmets after testing found that a few did not meet crash protection safety standards.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said people using the helmets may not be adequately protected in a crash. The recall will start in late January and centers on large, extra-large and extra-extra-large (or XXL) helmets. The models in question were made between May 2011 and last October, according to a notice posted Saturday on the NHTSA's web site.

Vega, based in Tukwila, Wash., said it will replace the recalled helmets.

Toyota wins approval

LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Corp. and lawyers suing the company persuaded a judge to give preliminary approval to a $1.1 billion settlement of claims that recalls for unintended acceleration hurt the value of U.S. customers' vehicles.

The terms of the settlement filed Dec. 26 are "fair, reasonable and adequate," said U.S. District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, Calif., Saturday in granting preliminary approval. Final approval will be determined following a fairness hearing set for June 14, he said.

The settlement resolves the economic-loss portion of the Toyota sudden-acceleration litigation.

Class, or group, actions were filed on behalf of Toyota owners who contended the company drove down the value of their vehicles by failing to disclose or fix defects.

Netflix CEO's pay doubled

LOS ANGELES -- Net-flix CEO Reed Hastings' pay will double to $4 million next year, after he took a pay cut due to management missteps this year.

Mr. Hastings' annual salary will rise to $2 million in 2013 and he will get $2 million in stock options, according to a securities filing Friday.

That's up from a salary of $500,000 and $1.5 million in stock options for 2012.

Mr. Hastings' total pay for 2012 was down 43 percent from $3.5 million in 2011, when some controversial decisions, including a steep price hike on subscriptions, sent the stock spiraling.

It fell from a high above $300 to a low below $70 per share. -- Compiled from news services



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