National news briefs: 2/10/14

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AOL abandons retirement shift

NEW YORK CITY -- AOL Corp. CEO Tim Armstrong has abandoned an unpopular plan to delay company contributions to employee retirement accounts and apologized for citing two high-cost births as part of the impetus for the plan.

"We heard you on this topic," Mr. Armstrong wrote in a letter to employees Saturday.

In a move to cut costs, AOL had decided to pay matching 401(k) retirement contributions in one lump sum at the end of the year. Workers who left the company before the end of the year would have received no contributions, and all workers would sacrifice interest or earnings on those contributions throughout the year.

After a worker backlash, Mr. Armstrong said the company would return to depositing matching contributions every pay period throughout the year.

In the letter Saturday, Mr. Armstrong also apologized for bringing up specific health care examples during a town hall meeting in which the retirement plan was discussed. During the meeting, Mr. Armstrong cited higher health care costs in general and mentioned the high cost of health care for two women who gave birth to "distressed babies."

U.S. gas down 2 cents

LOS ANGELES -- The average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. has fallen 2 cents a gallon during the past two weeks.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday a gallon of regular now costs $3.29 on average. Gas is 30 cents a gallon cheaper than this time last year

The Lundberg Survey says the price has dropped more than a nickel per gallon in the past month, but it's unlikely to fall further unless crude oil prices plunge.

Diesel prices rose in the past two weeks by six cents to $3.95 per gallon.

Schumer offers migrant fix

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Schumer says he has an easy fix to the GOP's latest doubts about overhauling the nation's immigration laws: Pass legislation this year, but don't let the law go into effect until after President Barack Obama's second term ends.

The New York Democrat offered his idea Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press in response to House Speaker John Boehner. The Ohio Republican recently cast doubts on the prospects for an immigration overhaul this year, saying Mr. Obama can't be trusted to implement the law.

Mr. Schumer said Mr. Obama has deported more immigrants living illegally in the U.S. than any other president, but it would be easy enough to pass the law this year to start in 2017.

Deadly fire near Erie

ERIE, Pa. -- A grandfather and two young boys under age 5 died in a house fire near here.

According to the Erie Times-News, the fire was reported at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in Harborcreek Township. Fire investigators were still at the scene nine hours later, trying to determine what caused the blaze.


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