- - Sunday, November 4, 2012

CHICAGO — United Airlines’ inaugural flight of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner touched down Sunday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, drawing cheers from passengers, including some aviation enthusiasts who said they wanted to be part of a historic event.

United is the first U.S. airline to get Boeing’s newest plane. United CEO Jeff Smisek was on Sunday’s flight from Houston to Chicago and called the 787 the “world’s leading airplane.”

It was a long time coming, as Boeing recently started delivering the jets after more than three years of delays. More than 800 have been sold to airlines around the world, which Boeing has said will be more fuel efficient than comparable jets and more comfortable for passengers.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple pays 1.9 percent tax on profits earned outside U.S.

Apple Inc. is paying an income tax rate of only 1.9 percent on its earnings outside the U.S.

The world’s most valuable company paid $713 million in tax on foreign earnings of $36.8 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 29, according to a regulatory filing. Foreign earnings rose 53 percent from fiscal 2011, when the iPhone and iPad maker paid 2.5 percent income tax.

The tech giant’s foreign tax rate compares with the general U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent.

Apple may pay some income taxes on its profit to the country in which it sells its products, but it minimizes them by using various accounting moves to shift profits to countries with low tax rates. Other multinational corporations also use such tax techniques, which are legal.

EURO CRISIS

German paper: Central bank overgenerous on Spain loans

BERLIN — A German newspaper claims the European Central Bank is lending Spanish banks billions of euros under conditions more generous than its rules allow.

Weekly Welt am Sonntag reported Sunday that the ECB is accepting Spanish government bonds as top-tier collateral in return for $21.33 billion in loans to Spanish banks. The banks are straining under the weight of bad debt from the 2008 collapse of Spain’s real estate sector.

The paper, which bases its claims on publicly available documents, says the ECB’s own rules mean most of the government bonds should be considered lower-level collateral or not accepted at all.

Major international ratings agencies accord Spanish government bonds only second-tier creditworthiness.

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