- The Washington Times - Monday, December 24, 2012

WEAPONS

Russia, India announce billion-dollar arms deals

NEW DELHI | Russia and India signed weapons deals worth billions of dollars Monday as President Vladimir Putin sought to further boost ties with an old ally.

Mr. Putin and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed cooperation between their countries as officials signed a $1.6 billion deal for 42 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets that will be license-built in India from Russian components and a $1.3 billion contract for the delivery of 71 Mil Mi-17 military helicopters.

MEDICINE

FDA warns doctorsof counterfeit Botox

Federal regulators have warned more than 350 medical practices that Botox they may have received from a Canadian supplier is unapproved and could be counterfeit or unsafe.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a letter sent last month and released last week that batches of the wrinkle treatment shipped by suppliers owned by pharmacy Canada Drugs have not been approved by the FDA and that the agency cannot assure their effectiveness or their safety.

TECHNOLOGY

Veteran Microsoft executive to take advisory role in 2014

SAN FRANCISCO | Microsoft announced Monday that company veteran Craig Mundie has stepped down from his post as chief of research and will retire in 2014.

Mr. Mundie was one of two executives who assumed responsibilities left behind by Bill Gates when the Microsoft co-founder retired in 2008, will now serve as an adviser to chief executive Steve Ballmer.

MANUFACTURING

BMW at 20: Plant exceedshopes, tax debate ongoing

GREER, S.C. | Two decades ago, then-South Carolina Gov. Carroll Campbell stood at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport and announced the BMW plant being built just up the road would be a benchmark in the state’s history.

By most measures, the German automaker’s plant near Greer has exceeded expectations.

On that day in June 1992, BMW officials said they expected the plant to have 2,000 workers and make 6,500 luxury vehicles a month. In November, the factory’s 7,000 employees made more than 25,000 of BMW’s crossover vehicles.

But some say the successful courtship of BMW has had an unfortunate domino effect. They say the often-cash-strapped state has provided millions more in taxpayer money to hundreds of other companies — most of it without much public oversight — making it nearly impossible to judge the quality of these public investments.

RETAIL

More shoes showing upunder the Christmas tree

NEW YORK | Shoes are coming out of the closet and landing under the Christmas tree. They’re a top seller this holiday season — a big feat considering most years they don’t even make gift lists.

“It’s about practicality and splurging at the same time,” said Marshal Cohen, chief research analyst at NPD Inc., a market research firm. “There’s a sense of, ‘I know what you need but you haven’t gotten it for yourself.”’

As a result, footwear was the fifth-most-popular gift on shoppers’ lists on the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, according to NPD. A year ago, shoes didn’t even make it into the top 10 gifts for the season.

Overall, sales of cross training shoes rose 16 percent to $197.8 million.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.