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Long airport delays jump for 2nd straight month

NEW YORK — More than a dozen planes sat on the tarmac for more than three hours in June, the government said Tuesday. It’s the second month in a row that the number of three-hour delays reached double digits since a government rule went into effect more than a year ago aiming to limit them.

The Department of Transportation said 14 planes were stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours in June. There were 16 such delays in May. There were only 20 in the full year before that. The rule threatening millions of dollars in fines for delays of three hours or more was implemented April 29, 2010.

DOT hasn’t fined an airline for violating the rule, because it says that none of the delays was serious enough to justify the big penalties. Nearly all of them were caused by bad weather.

The recent uptick in delays could draw fire from passenger-rights advocates who first pushed for financial penalties. In June 2009, there were 268 delays of more than three hours. In June 2010, there were only three.


Newsstand sales of magazines are down

NEW YORK — Sales of U.S. magazines at newsstands and other retail outlets fell 9 percent in the first six months of the year, a sign of readers trimming discretionary spending, according to figures from an industry trade group released Tuesday.

Although overall circulation was down just 1 percent, the larger drop in the single-copy sales figure is troubling for magazine publishers. Publishers typically make more from those sales than from subscriptions, which are sold at a discount so publishers can boost circulation and lure advertisers.

Single-copy sales have been steadily declining. The Audit Bureau of Circulations, an industry trade group, says that in the latest period, the 418 titles examined sold 29.8 million copies at retail outlets, compared with 32.8 million a year earlier. Overall circulation was 301 million, down from 305 million.

The figures include digital sales, such as those on Apple’s iPad tablet computer.


GM to halve number of vehicle frames it makes

DETROIT — General Motors Co. has plans to become leaner in the future, cutting costs so it will make even stronger profits than it has so far this year, company executives told industry analysts Tuesday.

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