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PHARMACEUTICALS

Westphal steps down from Flex Pharma

Founding chief executive Christoph Westphal will step down at Flex Pharma Inc. on July 3 and William McVicar will take over as interim chief executive, the Boston biotech said late Monday. Westphal will remain as chairman of the board at Flex Pharma, a three-year-old startup developing treatments for cramps and spasticity associated with neurological diseases. The cofounder of Longwood Fund — a financial backer of Flex Pharma — Westphal typically creates and runs biomedical startups for a time before turning over the management. He has previously helped launch some of the best-known emerging companies in the Cambridge biotech cluster, including Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc., Acceleron Pharma Inc., and Verastem Inc. In a statement, Westphal said that, with the company about to initiate a pair of mid-stage clinical studies, “this is the right time for me to hand over the reins.” — ROBERT WEISMAN

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MEDIA

Hearst buys New Haven Register and other newspapers

Hearst has announced it has acquired the New Haven Register and other newspapers from Digital First Media. The Register Citizen, of Torrington, and The Middletown Press were also acquired in the deal announced Monday. The newspapers will be added to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. The group now includes eight daily and 11 weekly newspapers and a number of digital outlets. Hearst says the acquisitions reach more than 470,000 households combined and 1.4 million online visitors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hearst bought The Hour newspaper in Norwalk and the Wilton Villager last year. Other Hearst Connecticut properties include the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, The News-Times in Danbury, The Advocate in Stamford, and the Greenwich Time. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

GAS

Mass. prices drop two cents in a week

The price of a gallon of gasoline in Massachusetts has dropped by two cents this week. AAA Northeast said Monday the price of self-serve, regular is averaging $2.29 per gallon. That’s eight cents below the national average but one cent higher than the Massachusetts price at this time last year. AAA says the moderate decline in gas prices is typical following a long holiday weekend. There was a range of 20 cents, from a low of $2.24 per gallon of self-serve, regular to a high of $2.44. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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RETAIL

CEO of struggling J. Crew to step down

J. Crew Group chief executive Mickey Drexler will step down from the job, entrusting the company’s turnaround to a veteran of Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s West Elm. James Brett, who served as West Elm’s president, will take the CEO role at J. Crew next month, according to a statement Monday. Drexler, who ran the apparel chain for more than 14 years, will remain chairman. The move is the most dramatic step yet in a bid to revive J. Crew’s fortunes. Earlier this year, Drexler announced plans to shake up management and cut 250 jobs. As part of that overhaul, chief operating officer Michael Nicholson was put in charge of overseeing the J. Crew brand. In giving up the CEO job, Drexler is stepping back from a company that he has controlled with often meticulous detail. In another seismic shift for J. Crew earlier this year, the apparel chain announced that longtime creative director Jenna Lyons would leave by the end of 2017. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

LEGAL

Supreme Court makes it tougher for government to collect in securities fraud cases

The Supreme Court on Monday made it tougher for the government to recover ill-gotten gains from people convicted of securities fraud, ruling that such recoveries are subject to a five-year statute of limitations. The unanimous ruling could hamstring prosecutors trying to recoup huge sums of money in cases where alleged fraud has been going on for decades before authorities file charges. The justices overturned a lower court decision that ordered venture capitalist Charles Kokesh to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $35 million from investor funds he used to pay himself and others at his New Mexico-based operation from 1995 to 2006. Lawyers for Kokesh had argued that the five-year window would reduce his payment to just $5 million because the SEC did not bring charges against him until 2009. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in her opinion that so-called ‘‘disgorgement’’ actions are the equivalent of penalties, which have long been considered subject to the five-year limit for collection. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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ENERGY

Westinghouse reaches agreement with N.H. workers

Westinghouse Electric Co. says that it has agreed to a new, three-year contract with its employees, ending a two-week lockout. The lockout went into effect May 21 at the nuclear component plant in Newington, affecting 172 employees who are part of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 651. The workers’ contract expired April 30, and there was an extension, but an agreement could not be reached, leading to the lockout. Westinghouse said both sides kept working toward a resolution, resulting in the ratified contract. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

GOVERNMENT

Cohn denies he wants to be Fed chief

Gary Cohn, director of President Trump’s National Economic Council, said he isn’t interested in replacing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February. Cohn, a former president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Group, made the remarks in an interview on CNBC television Friday. Earlier this week, Axios reported Cohn would love to be named to lead the Fed. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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RAILROADS

CSX shareholders approve $84m payment tied to hiring of new CEO

CSX says its shareholders have approved an $84 million payment related to the hiring of CEO E. Hunter Harrison. Harrison was hired as CEO of the railroad company three months ago and had said he would resign if the payment wasn’t approved. CSX says 93 percent of the votes Monday were in favor of making the payment. Of the $84 million, $29 million will go to Harrison for compensation he earned at his previous employer, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., that he had to forfeit in order to join CSX. The remaining $55 million will go to activist investor and CSX shareholder Mantle Ridge to reimburse it for payments it made to Harrison to get him to come to CSX. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

INTERNATIONAL

Spanish dockworkers strike to protest layoffs

Activity in Spain’s ports was intermittent Monday as dockworkers began a three-day strike to protest layoffs stemming from an effort to liberalize the industry in line with European Union rules. Parliament passed a bill in May to end a decades-old monopoly by a workers’ association on who gets employed to load and unload cargo at the country’s 46 ports. The government had been facing hefty EU fines for not reining in the restrictive practices earlier. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUTOMOBILES

Government investigating complaints about Jeep air bag systems

The US government is investigating complaints that air bag control computers in some Jeep Liberty SUVs can fail, preventing the air bag system from operating properly in a crash. The probe covers about 105,000 of the vehicles from the 2012 model year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted Monday that it has received 44 complaints about the problem involving a computer that detects crashes and controls air bag deployment. No related injuries have been reported. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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