Butterball LLC issued a voluntarily recall of more than 78,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products nationwide Thursday as Wisconsin health officials investigate four salmonella cases in the state.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the prepackaged ground turkey was produced on July 7, 2018, and the agency is worried some consumers may still have them in their freezers.
"Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them," the agency said in a statement. "These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
The products had a sell- or freeze-by date of July 26, 2018.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said the four patients have the same strain of salmonella and are linked to the Butterball ground turkey products being recalled.
Local home sales up despite rainy month
Record rainfall last month didn't wash out most home sales in Chattanooga as Realtors continue to enjoy better housing sales at the start of 2019.
The Greater Chattanooga Realtors said homes sales closed in February were up 0.1 percent from a year ago and pending sales jumped by 13.7 percent. The number of days the typical Chattanooga home is on the market fell lat month to 57 percent, down 12.3 percent from a year earlier. The median price of homes sold in Chattanooga rose in February by another 3.7 percent from a year earlier to $182,000.
"February has turned in some impressively cold and rainy days that have stalled some buying and selling activity for our area, and for large portions of the country," said Kim Bass, president of the Greater Realtors association. "Nevertheless, housing markets have proven to be resilient despite predictions of a tougher year for the industry. It is still too early to say how the entire year will play out, but economic fundamentals remain positive."
Mortgage rates fall to lowest in a year
U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year home loan reaching its lowest level in more than a year as a potential inducement to homebuyers.
Continued uncertainty over Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union suppressed interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds and consequently mortgage rates.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.31 percent from 4.41 percent the previous week. The latest 30-year average rate was the lowest since February 2018. The average stood at 4.44 percent a year ago. Mortgage rates climbed for much of 2018 and peaked at nearly 5 percent in early November.
The average rate this week for 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 3.76 percent from 3.83 percent a week earlier.
Waters wants CEO fired at Wells Fargo
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters on Thursday called for the firing of Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive Tim Sloan after the bank reported his pay increased last year by nearly $1 million despite continued consumer scandals.
The 4.9 percent increase in total compensation in 2018, to $18.4 million, included a $2-million bonus, Wells Fargo said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. Sloan earned $2.4-million base pay both years. He did not receive a bonus in 2017, but received more in stock, pension and other awards to bring his overall compensation to $17.6 million.
The filing came a day after Sloan faced bipartisan anger about what Waters called the bank's "ongoing lawlessness" during a hearing by the House Financial Services Committee, which the Los Angeles Democrat chairs.
Waters called Sloan's pay increase "outrageous and wholly inappropriate," particularly because the bank was hit last year with an unprecedented regulatory cap on its growth because of its history of consumer abuses.
"Mr. Sloan shouldn't be getting a bonus, he should be shown the door," Waters said.
Huawei says innocent of sanction violations
The Chinese electronics giant Huawei pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges accusing it of plotting to violate Iran trade sanctions, a case that has complicated the China-U.S. trade dispute and cast a harsh light on the daughter of the company's founder.
Lawyers for the No. 2 smartphone maker entered the plea in federal court in Brooklyn. It came two weeks after Huawei pleaded not guilty to separate federal charges filed in Seattle accusing the company of stealing technology from T-Mobile.
Both cases have heightened tensions over U.S accusations that China is using predatory tactics to turn Chinese companies into leaders in tech fields such as communications, robotics and electric vehicles.
If convicted, Huawei could face fines, forfeiture and other financial penalties.
U.S. authorities announced the Brooklyn indictment in late January. It charges the company and two affiliates with bank fraud, conspiracy to violate sanctions, conspiracy to commit money laundering and other counts.
Prosecutors allege Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei's founder, was in on the scheme in her role as chief financial officer. She made a presentation in 2013 to a banking executive in which she "repeatedly lied" about the relationship Huawei and a shadowy Iranian company called Skycom, prosecutors said.