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News Briefs

November 25, 1995
Web posted at: 11 p.m. EST

groceries

Grocery prices expected to rise

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Consumers may have to dig deeper into their pocketbooks to buy food next year. Experts predict food prices will increase about 3 percent across the board in 1996.

A boom in U.S. food exports is causing the price boost, particularly for fresh fruits and vegetables. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects produce prices to rise seven-percent next year.



EPA enforcement slowed by budget cuts

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Environmental Protection Agency says budget cuts in stopgap spending bills recently approved by Congress are hampering its ability to enforce environmental laws.

An EPA spokeswoman estimates hundreds of inspections and audits nationwide have been affected by the budget crunch. According to The New York Times, the agency has been forced to scrap three major enforcement actions in the New York and New Jersey areas.

Congress is considering plans to shave 14 percent from the EPA's budget.



Fedex pilots threaten to slow down holiday deliveries

Federal Express

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (CNN) -- Federal Express Corp., one of the world's largest delivery services, broke off talks with its pilot's union Saturday after rejecting a last-ditch contract offer.

The union responded by refusing to work overtime during the holidays, ratcheting up the pressure on the company during its busiest time of the year. As many as 300,000 packages a day could be affected if the union pilots, half of FedEx's flying force, refuse to work the long holiday hours.

The Air Line Pilots Association has said there would be no strike. FedEx said it was ready, if necessary, to deploy contingency plans if union actions threaten to delay the air carrier's overnight delivery service.

ALPA represents about half the company's 2,950 pilots, who earn, on average, $128,000 a year.



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