RSS
Today in business: 5 things you need to know
France seeks to delay a trade deal with the U.S., S&P downgrades European banks, and more
 
New weekly time limits for truckers could save 19 lives a year, regulators say.
New weekly time limits for truckers could save 19 lives a year, regulators say. Scott Olson/Getty Images

1. NEW RULES FOR TRUCKERS PROMISE MORE SLEEP, LESS PAY
The Obama administration's new rules for truck drivers will cut their average work-week maximum to 70 hours, from 82 hours. To enforce the rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will routinely check drivers' logs, and charge companies $11,000 and drivers $2,750 for each offense. Truckers protest the change will cut their pay, while regulators estimate the rules will save 19 lives per year, while preventing about 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries. [The Wall Street Journal]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. S&P DOWNGRADES EUROPEAN BANKS
Credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded three European banks — Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays — to A, from A+, citing heightened risks due to "the industry's tighter regulation, fragile global markets, stagnant European economies, and rising litigation risk stemming from the financial crisis." S&P said the outlook is stable, meaning the banks probably won't face further downgrades in the near future. [CNN]

………………………………………………………………………………

3. BUSINESS GROUPS RELIEVED OVER DELAY IN OBAMACARE REQUIREMENTS
The Obama administration decided to give medium- to large-sized employers one more year — until 2015 — before requiring they provide health care to employees. Many businesses have complained bitterly about the requirements, and the delay was welcomed by corporate groups. "This is simply the latest evidence that implementation of this terrible law is going to be difficult if not impossible, and the burden is going to fall on the people who create American jobs," said a director from the National Federation of Independent Business. [The Washington Post]

………………………………………………………………………………

4. FRANCE MAY DELAY TRADE DEAL WITH THE U.S.
In response to new revelations that the NSA has spied on European Union officials, France is pushing to suspend trade talks between the U.S. and the EU until the Obama administration offers more details about its surveillance policies. A representative from the French government said, "We don't want to abandon negotiations on the free trade agreement with the U.S., but it seems wise to suspend them temporarily, for 15 days, as we wait for the information we have demanded." Germany and Italy, however, have already hinted they would rather go ahead with the talks. [The Wall Street Journal]

………………………………………………………………………………

5. WATCH GROUP SAYS PEPSI STILL CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF CARCINOGENS
A test commissioned by the Center for Environmental Health found levels of 4-MEI (4-Methylimidazole) in Pepsi from 10 states were anywhere from four to eight times higher than California safety levels. Pepsi replied that its caramel coloring suppliers have been working to lower 4-MEI levels; last year the coloring was found to have "clear evidence" of carcinogenicity in a National Toxicology Program animal study. Tests have found that Coca-Cola has been successfully reformulated in all but one testing region. [Fox Business]

 
Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week