- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 31, 2008

National

U is cutting at least 1,000 more jobs than the 2,000 it planned on because the number of employees who accepted voluntary severance offers exceeded the company’s goal.

U said it plans to build its new Fiesta subcompact at a factory near Mexico City for sale in the U.S. A Ford official also said it has no plans for further U.S. plant closures despite a dramatic drop in demand for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, a top company executive said yesterday.

UBudget airline said it will defer delivery of 18 Boeing 737-700 aircraft to 2013 to 2014 because of record-high fuel costs.

U reportedly that strong growth in Asia and Europe helped first-quarter profits rise 19 percent to $64.4 million (50 cents per share) and said that it doesn’t expect an improvement in the U.S. until later this year. The jewelry retailer also raised its profit outlook for the year and said that it will open a smaller-store format in the U.S.

UA former investment banker convicted of insider trading was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a judge who said Wall Street professionals were failing to understand that it was a serious crime to cheat in the markets. U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson sentenced Hafiz Muhammad Zubair Naseem for feeding tips to a banker in Pakistan who made $7.8 million in illegal profits.

UFederal regulators shut down a small Minnesota bank called First Integrity, saying unsafe practices had weakened its financial condition. The was appointed as receiver of First Integrity National Association of Staples, Minn., which had $54.7 million in assets and $50.3 million in deposits as of March 31.

UA class-action settlement with credit reporting firm might give millions of U.S. citizens free access to their credit scores, attorneys said. The settlement, if it stands up under judicial review, is valued at $10 billion, based on the 160 million consumers who could benefit from the deal and the fees normally associated with obtaining a credit score, the Los Angeles Times reported.

UFederal antitrust regulators have cleared activist billionaire investor’s purchase of another $1.5 billion of shares of Internet company Mr. Icahn launched a proxy fight last month to remove Yahoo’s board of directors after the Sunnyvale, Calif., company rejected Microsoft Corp.’s takeover bid of $47.5 billion.

U rejected an $11.5 billion takeover bid from rival power wholesaler as too low, but left the window open to a possible combination.

International

UChina will become the latest country to ban free this weekend, part of a government-led campaign to cut down on waste and help the environment. The nationwide measure that goes into effect tomorrow eliminates the flimsiest bags and forces stores to charge for others. China now uses 3 billion bags every day.

UThe world market for may be worth as much as $20 trillion a year within a decade, according to Richard Sandor, chairman of Climate Exchange PLC, owner of emissions markets in London and Chicago.

from Portugal, Italy and Europe’s largest fleet, Spain, began open-ended national strikes, adding to growing continent-wide protests at the soaring price of fuel. French fisherman have already been on strike for two weeks, disrupting cross-Channel ferry traffic and blocking oil facilities.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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