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R.J. Reynolds hit with $23.6B verdict; Another billionaire supports a shorter work week; More firms giving raises

A jury imposed punitive damages of $23.6 billion against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, a unit of Reynolds American (RAI), on Friday. The Florida jury awarded the sum to a widow whose husband was a chain smoker and died of lung cancer in 1996 at the age of 36. R.J. Reynolds said it will appeal the decision. The verdict came the same week that Reynolds American agreed to buy Lorillard (LO) in a $27.4 billion deal.

Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim said a three-day work week, working 11 hours a day, would give people more time to relax and have a better quality of life. His statements com come a few weeks after Google (GOOGL) founder Larry Page talked about a four-day work week, saying it's not true that people need to work frantically to meet their needs. We want to know what you think about these two billionaires talking about a shorter work week. Do you think it’s a good idea? Vote in our poll, or leave a comment below or on Twitter.

The National Association for Business Economics showed that the share of U.S. companies they surveyed that raised wages rose to 43% in the last three months, more than doubling compared to the same period last year. The NABE survey also reports that for the first time since October 2012, no respondents reported that wages declined.

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