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IMF chief faces probe for fraud

PARIS – Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Mon­e­tary Fund, was put under of­fi­cial investigation for negli­gence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as France’s finance minister.

After a fourth round of ques­tion­ing before magistrates Wed­nes­day, Lagarde said she was returning to her work in Washington and called the investigation “without basis.”

She is the third IMF managing director in a decade to face legal troubles.

Lagarde and her former chief of staff have faced questions about their role in an arbitration ruling that handed $531 million to a French businessman with a checkered past.

“After three years of proceedings, dozens of hours of questioning, the court found from the evidence that I committed no offense, and the only allegation is that I was not sufficiently vigilant,” she said in a statement.

Dock workers reach deal on health care

West Coast dockworkers and their employers say they have reached a tentative agreement on the difficult issue of health care, a major hurdle in contract negotiations at the ports that are vital to U.S. trade.

In a joint statement Tuesday an­nouncing the tentative deal, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and an association representing shipping lines said it depended on resolving other issues.

It also emphasized the union’s demand that benefits be maintained at current levels.

Past labor disputes on the wa­ter­front have cost the economy billions of dollars.

The current contract negotiations have focused on health care benefits since before the contract expired July 1.

Suzuki recalls cars in spider web danger

Spiders have forced Suzuki to recall more than 19,000 midsize cars.

The automaker says spider webs can clog a fuel vapor vent hose in some 2010 to 2013 Kizashi cars, cutting off airflow. If that happens, it can cause the gas tank to deform, causing cracks, fuel leaks and possible fires.

The recall was prompted by seven reports of the problem. Service centers will replace the vent line with one that has a filter on the end.

They’ll also replace gas tanks if necessary.

The problem hasn’t caused any accidents or injuries in the U.S., Suzuki said in documents posted Wednesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Owners will be notified this month. Those with questions can call Suzuki customer service at 800-934-0934.

Time Warner repairs nationwide outage

Time Warner Cable said Wed­nes­day that service was largely restored after a problem during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours.

The company said it is still in­vestigating the cause of the problem, which occurred with its Internet backbone – the paths that local or regional networks connect to in order to carry data long distances.

The problem affected all of Time Warner Cable’s markets and started at 4:30 a.m., sparking widespread complaints on social networks.

Service was largely restored by 6 a.m. The company is working to bring all customers back online.

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