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Jobs Up — and Banks Too≠

The drop in the nation’s unemployment rate for June provides further evidence of a slowing economy and might help banks with higher loan demand if the Federal Reserve abstains from imposing further increases in interest rates, economists say.<@SM><@SM><TAB>The U.S. Department of Labor announced Friday that unemployment fell to 4 percent, down from 4.1 percent in May, but slightly higher than April’s 30-year low of 3.9 percent. Total employment increased by only 11,000, as about 190,000 temporary workers hired to work on the federal decennial census finished their jobs.

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The Pitch: That Wiggly Jiggly Jello-O, Once Silly, Is Now Serious Stuff

Watch it wiggle. Watch it jiggle. Now go to your room without dessert.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Once hawked as a colorful, shimmering treat for kids, Jell-O is becoming into something slightly more utilitarian.<@SM><@SM>A series of austere, black-and-white magazine ads tout the famous gelatin snack as a weight-loss method, a quick-fix baking good, a fat-free sweet substitute — anything but frivolous and zany.<@SM><@SM>Philip Morris Cos.’ Kraft unit, which makes Jell-O, says the food is still amusing. It’s “fun, delicious and a little surprising,’’ says Kraft’s Margery Schelling, the category business director for Jell-O . “For the first time’’ she adds, people are “thinking about Jell-O in a whole new light.’’<@SM><@SM>The print ads — which run in women- and food-oriented magazines — crow less about Jell-O’s fun, and more about its functionality. After all, Americans have consumed Jell-O since the late 1890s, and the name now encompasses 158 different products, ranging from puddings to cakes to c

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General Accused of Sexually Harassing Army’s High-Ranking Woman to Retire

The two-star general accused of sexually harassing the Army’s highest-ranking woman has asked to retire, officials said Friday. The move apparently closes a case that drew widespread attention and had already cost Maj. Gen. Larry Smith an appointment to be the Army’s deputy inspector general.

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Friends and Family Loans Don’t Make IRS Smile

Before lending money to a son or daughter for a used car or town house, some parents better first think about who is keeping an eye on their generosity.<@SM><@SM><TAB>No, not one of the other the children, but an even more ominous group — the Internal Revenue Service.

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Vietnam’s Stock Market to Open July 20 — With Two Members

Vietnam will launch its long-awaited stock market in Ho Chi Minh City on July 20 but so far only two companies are listed, State Securities Commission Chairman Nguyen Duc Quang said Friday.<@SM><@SM><TAB>The government has been planning a stock exchange for several years, but had postponed the launch because of a lack of companies willing to list and concerns the market will expose Vietnam’s financial system to unnecessary risk.

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Secret Government Database Keeps Tab on Doctors’ Problems

In a database kept secret from patients, the government has recorded the names of nearly 500 doctors and dentists across the country who have been slapped with at least 10 disciplinary actions and malpractice payments over the last decade.<@SM><@SM><br /><br />One of every seven U.S. doctors and one of every eight dentists has at least one malpractice payment or disciplinary report in the National Practitioners Data Bank, which the Department of Health and Human Services has been compiling since 1990.

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On The Money: Identity Theft Is Increasing Problem, So Guard Your Personal Information

California attorney Mari J. Frank vividly remembers the telephone call she received four years ago that turned her life upside down.<@SM><@SM><br /><br />“Some bank I had never heard of wanted to know when I was going to repay the $11,000 I owed,’’ she said. Frank thought at first there had been some simple mixup in names or account numbers. But the bank official had her name, her Social Security number and her date of birth on his records.

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NEWS SUMMARY (40695)

Bank BuyF&M National Corp. said it agreed to buy Atlantic Financial Corp. for $70.6 million, or $16.85 a share, to extend its reach into the Tidewater, Va., market. Winchester, Va.-based F&M owns nine banks with 125 branches in Virginia, West ...

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Legal Community Pays Last Respects At Services for Hon. Gary I. Strausberg (131981)

Baltimore’s courts closed early yesterday in tribute to City Circuit Judge Gary I. Strausberg, who was laid to rest in his judicial robes following a brief, dignified service in Pikesville. Strausberg died Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital of Burkitt’s Lymphoma, ...

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