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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Obama invests in clean fuels, Facebook copies Twitter's hashtags, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
President Obama is working to "get our economy off oil."
President Obama is working to "get our economy off oil." Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

1. OBAMA PUSHES CLEAN FUEL INVESTMENT
President Obama on Friday is proposing using $2 billion raised through federal oil and gas leases to pay for research on cleaner fuels for the nation's fleet of cars and trucks. The idea, which Obama talked up in his State of the Union address, is expected to face resistance from Congressional Republicans, who consider it a tax on energy producers. A White House official said the money wouldn't be a new tax, and it would help the president keep a promise to make America "a magnet for the jobs of future" by ensuring that the country "is and remains at the cutting edge of breakthrough technologies that will get our economy off oil." [New York Times]
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2. SENATORS QUESTION JPMORGAN LEADERS OVER LOSSES
A day after a Senate report accused JPMorgan Chase leaders of hiding last year's $6.2 billion trading loss from investors, a former top executive testified Friday that key colleagues had undermined her ability to keep tabs on questionable trades. Ina Drew, the firm's former chief investment officer overseeing trading strategy, told the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that other executives in two units that reported to her had failed to flag risks and accurately assess the value of big trades leading up to the massive loss, known as the "London Whale." [Huffington Post]
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3. FACEBOOK COPIES TWITTER'S HASHTAG
Facebook is copying Twitter and working on letting users flag their posts with hashtags, so they'll be categorized with other material related to the same topic, according to The Wall Street Journal. The change could enhance Facebook's newly released Graph Search, allowing users to call up material by subject — say, #Pope or #Harlem Shake — instead of just by their location, friends, and Likes. That, the Journal says, could keep the social network's billion-plus users logged in longer and therefore see more ads, helping the company boost its revenue. [Wall Street Journal, Mashable]
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4. SAMSUNG UNVEILS THE GALAXY S4
Samsung Electronics finally unveiled its much buzzed about Galaxy S4 smartphone on Thursday, culminating an intense PR blitz with a packed event at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The latest version of the South Korean company's wildly popular device has a screen slightly larger than the newest iPhone. It also has some innovative new features, including Smart Scroll, which scrolls the screen to the best angle when the front camera detects someone looking at the phone. Samsung is already the world leader in smartphone sales, and the new Galaxy marks its best shot yet at challenging Apple's dominance in the U.S. market. "This is Samsung's time right now," said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. [New York Times]
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5. GLITCH DELAYS SOME TAX REFUNDS
A software glitch is delaying income-tax refunds to 660,000 people by up to six weeks, the Internal Revenue Service says. The problem affects only certain taxpayers who filed between Feb. 14 and Feb. 22, and claimed education tax credits, which provide up to $2,500 for college expenses, or the Lifetime Learning credit, which provides up to $2,000. Turbo Tax users were not affected, but tax preparing giant H&R Block said some of its clients were. [Associated Press]

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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