Agency hit for reaction to housing complaints

The federal agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage finance giants, failed to refer to criminal investigators and other authorities almost 100 complaints about possible foreclosure abuse and mortgage fraud at the companies over a recent two-year period, according to a report issued late Tuesday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. While the report did not determine whether these and other complaints had merit, it said that the agency's unresponsiveness to them was problematic.

Walgreen now at odds with Express Scripts

Walgreen Co. said that it is willing to walk away from more than $5 billion in annual revenue because pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts doesn't pay it enough to fill prescriptions. If the companies don't settle their dispute, people whose prescription benefits are handled by Express Scripts won't be able to get their prescriptions filled at the nation's biggest drugstore chain and Walgreen would give up about 7 percent of its annual revenue. Last year a similar contract fight between Walgreen and CVS Caremark Corp. was resolved less than two weeks after it became public.

NRDC tells railroads it will sue over pollution

The Natural Resources Defense Council sent letters to Union Pacific Corp. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, saying it will file a lawsuit within 90 days under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates hazardous solid waste disposal. The notice letter, which is required before proceeding with a lawsuit, cited problems at 16 rail yards across California. The conservation group argues that minute particles in diesel air pollution, which include lead, cadmium, arsenic and other toxic elements, are solid waste. If successful, such a suit could open the door for legal action against similar air pollution sources such as ports, airports or anywhere with a lot of diesel equipment, said David Pettit, a senior attorney with the council.

Publisher Gannett to ax about 700 jobs

Gannett Co., publisher of 82 newspapers including USA Today, is cutting about 700 jobs at its community-newspaper unit as it struggles with continuing weakness in local and national advertising. The division includes the Cincinnati Enquirer and Indianapolis Star.

FROM NEWS SERVICES