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Berger named to post at Medinol

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Berger named to post at Medinol

The founder and former chief executive of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. has taken a new job with an Israeli medical device company. Harvey J. Berger was named executive chairman of Medinol Ltd.’s US operations, based in Parsippany, N.J.,
the company said. Medinol’s corporate headquarters are in Tel Aviv. Medinol’s main product is a stent used to prop open clogged arteries in the heart. It is working on additional products aimed at treating heart disease, including valves and implantable sensors. Berger, 66, founded Cambridge-based Ariad in 1991, but stepped down as CEO at the end of 2015 in a settlement with hedge fund investors who wanted to push him out. In January, Ariad accepted a $5.2 billion takeover offer from Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc. — CURT WOODWARD

FRAUD

Everett man allegedly tried to defraud unemployment system

When an Everett man tried to defraud the state’s online unemployment system repeatedly over a period of many months, seeking more than $1.8 million in payments, it was not the agency’s $46 million software system that caught him. It was a human. Edison Delarosa, 52, was arrested and charged with mail fraud and wire fraud in Boston last week, the US attorney’s office announced late Friday. He managed to receive six checks worth a total of $27,227 from the Department of Unemployment Assistance, officials reported. But he allegedly tried to get 136 fraudulent payments, exploiting a weakness in the system that let him submit bogus payments online in order to generate refunds. The department actually cut him 15 paper checks totaling nearly $1.3 million, but an employee noticed Delarosa’s name showing up too many times and stopped the checks. The online unemployment system, built by Deloitte Consulting of New York, has since been updated to halt this particular scheme. The system, which was plagued with problems when it was rolled out in 2013, has eliminated other types of fraud, said Robert T. Cunningham, director of the unemployment division. — BETH HEALY

DELIVERY

UPS tests drones to drop packages

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United Parcel Service Inc. sees a day when your latest purchase may be dropped off not by a brown-clad delivery driver, but by an octocopter drone. The world’s largest courier took a step closer to that future on Monday, launching an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck about a quarter-mile to a blueberry farm outside Tampa. The drone dropped off a package at a home on the property, and returned to the truck, which had moved about 2,000 feet. The test shows how UPS is looking to drones as a way to cut costs and ease delivery in hard-to-reach places. Deploying the aircraft in rural areas — where the distance between stops drives up fuel and labor costs — is one of the more promising applications. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

EU finance ministers approve new rules to close tax loopholes

European Union finance ministers agreed Tuesday to roll out further measures to prevent multinational companies from exploiting differences in tax rates between countries in the 28-country EU and those outside the bloc. At a meeting in Brussels, ministers backed the new rules, which will target various practices whereby large corporations can take advantage of loopholes between the tax systems of EU member states and non-EU countries in order to reduce their tax liability. Critics say these so-called ‘‘hybrid mismatches’’ have been used by many large companies, including the likes of Apple and McDonald’s, to reduce their tax payments — and deprive hard-pressed European governments billions of much-needed revenue. A mismatch could see a firm deducting expenses from income in two jurisdictions with the aim of reducing, or even eliminating, its tax liabilities.
— ASSOCIATED PRESS

RIDE HAILING

Italian cab drivers protest new Uber rules

Thousands of Italian taxi drivers protesting legislation they say will favor Uber clashed with riot police Tuesday, intensifying a weeklong cab strike that has crippled transportation in Rome, Milan, and Turin. The cabbies marched through Rome and protested in front of Parliament, at the headquarters of the ruling Democratic Party, and finally at the infrastructure ministry, where officials were meeting with union representatives to try to work out a settlement. The six-day strike has stranded tourists at Italy’s main airports and train stations, complicated daily commutes, and raised alarms about Wednesday’s start of Milan Fashion Week, when cabs are in high demand to shuttle fashionistas from show to show. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AVIATION

American, United begin selling ‘basic economy’ tickets

American and United have started selling cheaper ‘‘basic economy’’ fares as they battle discount airlines for the most budget-conscious travelers. American announced early Tuesday that it began selling the new fares for flights starting March 1 on 10 different routes from its hub airports in Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, and Charlotte, N.C. United followed suit later in the day, posting reduced fares on some flights from Minneapolis to seven of its hub cities including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles for travel starting April 18. Basic economy fares come with severe restrictions. Buyers can’t pick a seat when they buy the ticket, they’re in the last group to board, and they can carry only a small item that fits under their seat. With a few exceptions, they must pay extra to check a wheeled bag that other economy-class travelers can put in the overhead bin. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

FAST FOOD

Parent company of Burger King buys Popeyes

Restaurant Brands International Inc. has agreed to buy Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. for about $1.8 billion, adding a fried-chicken chain to its lineup of burgers and doughnuts. The cash offer of $79 a share represents a 19 percent premium to Popeyes’ closing price on Friday. The deal is expected to close by early April, the companies said. The acquisition would be the first major deal for Restaurant Brands, which was formed in the 2014 merger of Burger King and Tim Hortons. Popeyes, which has more than 2,600 restaurants in the United States and 25 other countries, has performed well lately, with the stock gaining for eight years in a row. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

Walmart sees online growth, beats holiday estimates

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After years of Amazon.com drubbing Walmart in e-commerce, the brick-and-mortar chain is beginning to push back. Walmart posted its third straight quarter of double-digit online growth, which helped its holiday results top estimates. The world’s largest retailer is benefiting from last year’s acquisition of Jet.com, a $3.3 billion deal that reinvigorated a flagging e-commerce business and brought a new executive team to the division. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

Macy’s earnings down 13 percent on weak holiday sales

Macy’s, the nation’s largest department store chain, says its earnings for the quarter that includes the holiday period dropped nearly 13 percent as results were dragged down by lower sales, store closures, and other costs. The profit results beat Wall Street expectations, but Macy’s said it would post another year of sales declines for a key revenue measure. Like many department stores, Macy’s has faced sluggish sales as customers buy more online and less at the malls where they are often an anchor. The Macy’s brand still has around 700 stores, though it has been more aggressive about closings.
— ASSOCIATED PRESS



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