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In brief

IRS collections slip

The IRS says its collections from audits and other reviews fell this year for the first time in a decade as the agency shifted some resources to ensure that people got their economic stimulus checks.

Overall, collections dropped to $56.4 billion for the fiscal year that just ended, a 4.7 percent decrease, the agency said Monday.

It was the first year-to-year decrease in collections in a decade. An IRS executive said 2007 was a record year for collections. Officials also noted that the agency had about 465 fewer agents and officers in key enforcement occupations compared to the year before.

In addition to its regular duties, the agency issued 117 million payments totaling more than $95 billion as part of the federal economic stimulus program this spring.

Circuit City gets lifeline

Circuit City Stores Inc. on Monday received final approval for $1.1 billion in financing to keep operating while the nation’s second-biggest electronics retailer is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Huennekens approved the debtor-in-possession loans at a hearing in Richmond, Va. The financing, which replaces a $1.3 billion asset-backed loan the company had been using, will be used to stock merchandise and pay employees.

Circuit City filed for bankruptcy protection last month as it faced pressure from vendors and consumers who aren’t spending.

Lehman unit is sold

A bankruptcy judge on Monday approved the sale of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s prized investment management unit to a group of managers and employees.

The sale was worth $922 million to the Lehman bankruptcy estate, a Lehman lawyer said. It includes the Neuberger Berman money management business.

The employee group won a contested auction earlier this month, beating two other bids.

LaGuardia flights cut

Federal aviation authorities are cutting the number of hourly flights at LaGuardia Airport as they try to address the worst major airport delays in the country.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced Monday that the government will lower the cap on take-offs and landings at LaGuardia from 75 to 71 per hour.

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