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NATIONAL BRIEFS


WASHINGTON: Delay for health care law

In a major concession to business groups, the Obama administration unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until 2105, Tuesday in a central requirement of the new health care law that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines. The move sacrifices timely implementation of President Barack Obama's signature legislation but may help politically by blunting a line of attack Republicans were planning to use in next year's congressional elections. "We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively," Treasury Assistant Secretary Mark Mazur said in a blog post. "A pleasant surprise," said Randy Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Under the law, companies with 50 or more workers must provide affordable coverage to full-time employees or risk a series of escalating tax penalties if just one worker ends up getting government-subsidized insurance. Originally, that requirement was supposed to take effect next Jan. 1.


NEW JERSEY: Thieves hit resort hotel

Police were looking for three thieves in a smash-and-grab jewelry heist at Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel. Police Sgt. Monica McMenamin said the men got away with nearly $200,000 in Rolex watches. The theft was reported about 8:45 p.m. Monday amid the hotel's 10th anniversary celebration. McMenamin said the men did not use or threaten to use weapons before fleeing in a dark-colored vehicle. The Borgata opened July 2, 2003, the resort's first new casino in 13 years.


CALIFORNIA: Back to the table for BART

Rail workers and transit officials agreed Tuesday to resume contract talks to end a two-day strike that has caused chaotic commutes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Businesses claimed the walkout was costing the region millions of dollars. BART is the nation's fifth-largest rail system. Freeways choked to a standstill. Lines for ferry service tripled, and it was standing-room only on boats.

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