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China Bitcoin exchange bans yuan deposits

Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013 |
China Bitcoin exchange bans yuan deposits story image
HONG KONG (AP) - The biggest Bitcoin exchange in China says it's no longer accepting yuan deposits, dealing another setback to the virtual currency.

BTC China made the announcement in a notice on its Twitter-like Sina Weibo account on Wednesday.

The announcement comes two weeks after China's central bank said the country's banks and payments systems were barred from handling the virtual currency.

The exchange said that "due to the reasons that everyone knows, BTC China has to temporarily stop its yuan account recharging functions."

Account holders can still top up their accounts using Bitcoins and withdraw yuan.

The price of Bitcoins tumbled after the announcement.

The measures reflect growing concern by authorities about Bitcoins, which are created, distributed and authenticated independently of any bank or government.
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FDA-TOBACCO

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to the makers of Winston, Natural Spirit and Nat Sherman cigarettes over their "additive-free" and "natural" label claims.

The agency issued the warnings to ITG Brands LLC, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. and Sherman's 1400 Broadway N.Y.C. Ltd. The issue over the claims is that they may lead consumers to believe the products pose a lower risk. That claim has to be scientifically proven.

In a statement, the FDA said it has determined that the products under the warning letter need what is called a "modified risk tobacco product order" before they can be marketed in that way. It has not issued any orders for modified-risk products to the market and this is the first time it is using its authority to take action against "natural" or "additive-free" claims.

The companies have 15 days to respond with a plan or dispute the warnings.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration has released its proposal for naming lower-cost biotech drugs, a critical step in creating a market for the new class of medicines.

Biotech drugs are powerful, injected medicines produced in living cells which are typically much more expensive than traditional chemical-based drugs.

For decades, they have not faced generic competition because the FDA lacked a system to approve cheaper versions until 2012. Earlier this year the agency approved the first lower-cost biotech drug, a knock-off of the blood booster, Neupogen.

But many questions remain about how the new drugs will be sold, including whether they can use the same ingredient names as the original products.

Under an FDA proposal, biotech drugs would include a four-letter code to help doctors distinguish them from the original versions.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Environmental groups and a New Orleans company that failed to end a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico have reached a settlement agreement in a lawsuit over the slow-motion spill.

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Environmental groups led by the Waterkeeper Alliance sued Taylor Energy in 2012, accusing it of withholding information about the leak's potential impact on the Gulf ecosystem.

The groups also argued that the public was entitled to know more about the company's government-supervised efforts to stop the leak, which was the subject of an Associated Press investigation in April.

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