- - Monday, June 20, 2011

IMF

Agency says it hopes to name new chief soon

The International Monetary Fund said Monday it will interview the two leading candidates for the top job at the 187-nation lending institution this week with the goal of naming a new chief by June 30.

In a statement, the IMF said that Agustin Carstens, the head of Mexico’s central bank, will meet with the agency’s executive board on Tuesday. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde will be interviewed on Wednesday.

Mrs. Lagarde is considered the front-runner for the position to succeed former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last month after he was charged with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid, an allegation he denies.

The IMF said that its 24-member executive board will meet on June 28 to pick a new managing director with the aim of completing the process by June 30.

WALL STREET

Stocks post third day of gains

NEW YORK — Investors largely put aside their concerns about the Greek financial crisis Monday and focused instead on value. Stocks rose broadly after the market shook off its longest weekly losing streak in nearly a decade.

The downturn brought the S&P 500 close to its average level over the prior 200 days. So long as the index doesn’t sink far below that level, many technical traders see it as a sign to start buying stocks again. The S&P is now 6 percent below the 2011 high it reached on April 29.

TOBACCO

FDA to issue new graphic warning labels

RICHMOND — In the most significant change to U.S. cigarette packs in 25 years, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday is set to release nine new warning labels that will depict in graphic detail the negative health effects of tobacco use.

Among the possible images are rotting and diseased teeth and gums and a man with a tracheotomy smoking.

The labels will take up the top half of a pack, both front and back, of cigarette packs. Warning labels also must appear in advertisements and constitute 20 percent of an ad. Cigarette makers have until the fall of 2012 to comply.

Mandates to introduce new graphic warning labels were part of a law passed in 2009 that, for the first time, gave the federal government authority to regulate tobacco, including setting guidelines for marketing and labeling, banning certain products and limiting nicotine. The law doesn’t let the FDA ban nicotine or tobacco.

TECHNOLOGY

Plans to protect GPS outlined by wireless network

LightSquared, a Virginia-based company that plans to build a nationwide wireless broadband network, is proposing to adapt its network so as not to interfere with GPS systems.

The company plans to move some of its operations to a different slice of airwaves and to transmit signals at lower power levels to ensure that its network would not interfere with GPS systems that rely on nearby wireless spectrum.

The company outlined its plans Monday amid concern that its network would cripple GPS systems used for everything from aviation to public safety to military operations.

AIRLINES

Airbus racks up orders; glitches at Paris Air Show

LE BOURGET — Airbus and Boeing signed more than $25 billion in orders to kick off the Paris Air Show on Monday, but the European jet maker’s appearance at the industry’s biggest annual event suffered a setback when its star superjumbo clipped a wing.

The haul from the first day of the show was an improvement from recent years, despite a challenging environment for the industry, which faces high fuel prices, a slowing global economy and uncertainty caused by violence in the Middle East and Japan’s natural disasters.

Airbus topped the totals, signing orders and commitments for 142 aircraft worth $15 billion at list prices, the company said Monday.

Of note were firm orders for 90 of its A320neo, a version of the workhorse jet that’s been revamped to make it more fuel-efficient.

Rival Boeing countered with more than $11 billion worth of orders and commitments for 56 of its jets.

HEALTH

Pfizer, Acura: FDA OKs new painkiller

NEW YORK — Pfizer Inc. and Acura Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday the Food and Drug Administration approved a powerful painkiller that is designed to be harder to abuse.

The FDA cleared marketing of Oxecta as an immediate-release treatment for moderate to severe pain. The drug is designed to discourage common methods of abuse like crushing or dissolving, and it contains a compound that irritates the nose if it is snorted.

Oxecta is similar to Purdue Pharma LP’s OxyContin, the top-selling painkiller in the U.S. Regulators and health officials have pushed hard to get alternatives on the market after reports showed millions of people were abusing OxyContin and other prescription painkillers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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