Turning in tax dodgers to the U.S. government just got a little less lucrative. The Internal Revenue Service, in a notice on its website, said whistleblower awards would be reduced 8.7 percent under automatic spending cuts that kicked in this month.
The cutback applies to the IRS payout of as much as 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it recovers from scofflaws.
A panel of federal health experts said a long-established bone-strengthening drug should no longer be used by women because there is little evidence it works and it may actually increase the risk of cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration panel voted 12-9 that the risks of the inhalable osteoporosis drug, known chemically as calcitonin salmon, outweigh its benefits for postmenopausal women with brittle bones. The drug is sold by Novartis and Upsher-Smith.
Home prices surge
U.S. home prices jumped in January, a sign that the housing market is gaining momentum as it nears the spring selling season.
Home prices rose 9.7 percent in January from a year ago, according to data released by CoreLogic. That’s up from an 8.3 percent increase in December and the biggest annual gain since April 2006. Prices rose in all states except Delaware and Illinois.
Medical records service
Verizon Communications has introduced the first national service enabling doctors to securely exchange medical records no matter what computer system they use. The service began Tuesday following testing among about a dozen U.S. hospital systems and other clients.
Under the program, medical providers who pay a monthly fee will be able to share data, texts and emails while still meeting U.S. privacy standards.
Shipments of personal computers will fall a second straight year in 2013, researcher IDC said, citing disappointing reception to Microsoft’s new operating system and a shift toward mobile computing devices.
Global PC shipments may decline 1.3 percent this year after a 3.7 percent drop in 2012, IDC said.
Auto show news
• Chevrolet has released images of the open-top version of the redesigned Corvette Stingray that had its world debut at the Geneva Auto Show. Chevrolet says it wants to sell more Corvettes in Europe.
• Volkswagen unveiled a redesigned Golf Variant wagon at the auto show. VW said it has more room for people and cargo.
| Star news services