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The day's business news at a glance

Matthews International reports $29.6M in earnings

Matthews International Corp. on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $29.6 million.

The Pittsburgh-based company said it had profit of 93 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for amortization costs and costs related to mergers and acquisitions, were $1.23 per share.

The casket and memorial manufacturer posted revenue of $407.4 million in the period.

Apple signs multiyear deal with film studio A24

Apple has signed a multiyear film production deal with A24, the acclaimed New York-based studio behind “Moonlight” and “Lady Bird.”

People close to the deal who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment confirmed the agreement Thursday. Apple is investing in scripted content with the intention of competing with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. The deal connects Apple with one of the most respected makers of prestige and arthouse titles in film.

Unions file lawsuit against Puerto Rico over pensions

Two unions have filed a lawsuit against Puerto Rico’s government accusing it of mismanaging employee retirement accounts.

The announcement was made Thursday by the American Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The lawsuit comes as Puerto Rico faces nearly $50 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and prepares to implement pension cuts sought by a federal control board overseeing the island’s finances amid a 12-year recession.

US retail sales rose a solid 0.8 percent last month

U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace in October, though the gains were boosted by one-time factors such as hurricane recovery spending and higher gas prices.

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent last month, following two months of slight declines, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Excluding gasoline sales, which were inflated by higher prices, sales climbed

0.5 percent.

The figures suggest that consumers are pulling back a bit on their spending.

FDA to crack down on menthol cigarettes, vapes

In a major new effort to curb smoking, a top U.S. health official pledged Thursday to try to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and tighten rules governing the sale of most flavored versions of electronic cigarettes.

The proposed restrictions were aimed mainly at reducing smoking in kids: About half of teens who smoke cigarettes choose menthols, and flavored e-cigarettes have been blamed for a recent increase in teen vaping rates.

California recommends restrictions for pesticide

California regulators recommended new restrictions Thursday on a widely used pesticide blamed for harming the brains of babies.

The Department of Pesticide Regulation issued temporary guidelines for chlorpyrifos that include banning it from crop dusting, discontinuing its use on most crops and increasing perimeters around where it’s applied.

The DowDuPont pesticide is used on about 60 different crops has increasingly come under fire from regulators, lawmakers and courts.

An environmental group blasted the new recommendations as toothless and said California should be taking the pesticide off the market after scientists for three state agencies found it was toxic and couldn’t be safely used at any levels.