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The Trump administration is making a concession on its proposed minimum fuel economy requirement for new vehicles, but environmental groups and a key Democratic senator complain it does not go far enough, and still falls well below the requirements set under the Obama administration.

Fuel economy standards would increase 1.5% per year from 2021 through 2026 under the new proposal. That's a reversal from the Trump administration's proposal in 2018, which sought to freeze the standards at 2020 levels.

Environmentalists and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper hardly cheered the move, which doesn't come close to the 5% annual increase that the Obama administration had mandated.

 

Insys executive heads to prison

The founder of an Arizona pharmaceutical company was ordered to spend 5 1/2 years in prison Thursday for orchestrating a bribery and kickback scheme prosecutors said helped fuel the opioid crisis.

John Kapoor, 76, the former chairman of Insys Therapeutics, was sentenced in Boston's federal court after a jury found him guilty of racketeering conspiracy last May. The 10-week trial revealed sensational details about the company's marketing tactics, including testimony that a sales executive once gave a lap dance to a doctor the company was wooing.

Kapoor was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine, the maximum under sentencing guidelines.

He and others were accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes to doctors across the United States to prescribe the company's highly addictive oral fentanyl spray, known as Subsys. The bribes were paid in the form of fees for sham speaking engagements that were billed as educational opportunities for other doctors.

The company was also accused of misleading insurers to get payment approved for the drug, which is meant to treat cancer patients in severe pain and can cost as much as $19,000 a month.

 

Mortgage rates dip to 3-month low

U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest level in three months, deepening the incentive for prospective homebuyers although they face eroded affordability as prices continue to climb.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.60% from 3.65% last week. The benchmark rate stood at 4.45% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage eased to 3.04% from 3.09% last week.

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