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The differing viewpoints among the members of the central bank about potential policy actions in the future highlight a growing number of uncertainties facing an economy that all the members agreed was improving.


Havana to drill five Gulf wells

HAVANA | Cuba said it will begin drilling five oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico this summer in hopes of locating enough crude to justify the costly exploration.

Manuel Marrero, an official with the Ministry of Basic Industry, said the prospects of finding valuable reserves are “promising.”

Cuba’s domestic production is exclusively heavy oil with a high sulfur content. Its offshore Gulf waters could contain large quantities of lighter, sweet crude, although a test well in 2004 turned up modest discoveries.

Mr. Marrero says studies since then have pointed to “oil traps” in the marine floor, persuading partner companies to take on the expensive task of exploration in deep water.

He said Tuesday the drilling will run through 2013.


Icahn, Dish, liquidators vie for Blockbuster

NEW YORK | Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Dish Network and a pair of liquidation firms are among the bidders for video-rental chain Blockbuster in an auction Tuesday morning at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.

The auction process is ongoing. Other bidders include a joint bid by liquidation firms Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources, SK Telecom and a group of debtholders led by Monarch Alternative Capital LP.

At a break in the process on Tuesday, the debtholder group had the highest bid at $290 million including the assumption of $11.5 million in debt.

The bankruptcy auction will decide the fate of the Dallas movie-rental chain.

From wire dispatches and staff reports