- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2007


U A federal judge gave preliminary approval for Sprint Nextel Corp. of Reston to pay $30 million to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming it overcharged in passing along a federally mandated phone service subsidy. Sprint’s co-defendant in the case, AT&T Corp., is not included in the settlement and will continue to face litigation.

U UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, filed a breach of contract suit against Red Zone LLC, run by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, saying Red Zone owes the bank $8.1 million for helping to gain control of theme-park operator Six Flags Inc. UBS said that from April to December 2005 it devoted “hundreds of hours and expended substantial resources” to develop a range of strategic alternatives for Red Zone’s acquisition of control of Six Flags.

U Hampstead, Md., retailer JoS. A. Bank Clothiers said net income for its second quarter ended Aug. 4 increased 16 percent to $8.2 million (44 cents a share) from $7 million (38 cents) a year ago.

U Argan Inc. of Rockville said net income for its second quarter ended July 31 totaled $1.3 million (12 cents) compared to a net loss of $155,000 (3 cents) a year ago.

U AOL, Time Warner Inc.’s Sterling, Va., Internet division, started a Web site in Italian as part of a plan to expand in 14 countries in the next 18 months. The free AOL.it offers news, local sports, e-mail and instant messaging services. AOL lags rivals including Yahoo Inc. overseas.


U The decline in the U.S. commercial paper market slowed last week, prompting speculation that the worst of the short-term credit rout may be over. The Federal Reserve reported that short-term debt dropped by $8.2 billion, compared with a decline of $31.3 billion a week earlier. Countrywide Financial Corp. and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. were able to obtain crucial financing yesterday.

U San Francisco Bay Area house and condominium sales fell 25 percent last month to the lowest level in 15 years as stricter lending standards pushed some buyers out of the market, DataQuick Information Systems said. A total of 7,299 new and existing single-family homes and condominiums were sold in the area last month, down from 9,713 a year earlier.

U Beazer Homes USA Inc. directors and officers wasted corporate assets and damaged the company’s reputation, a shareholder claimed. The Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund accused Beazer directors of failing to prevent improper business practices, including insider trading and illegal mortgage lending.

U A bankruptcy judge has confirmed the reorganization plan of Kara Homes Inc., enabling the once-leading builder to exit Chapter 11 protection as a smaller company controlled by a Connecticut hedge fund and a New Jersey developer.

U Cephalon Inc. shares fell after the company warned doctors that patients died after receiving the painkiller Fentora and that the fatalities occurred because of improper use. Four persons died, the company said. Fentora, a tablet, was approved a year ago only as a treatment for pain flare-ups, called breakthrough pain, in cancer patients.

U Devon Energy Corp., the biggest independent oil and natural-gas producer in the United States, plans to sell some oil-sands land in northern Alberta. The divestiture may fetch as much as $846 million. Devon said it wants to concentrate on its Jackfish oil-sands project.

U The Navajo Nation is entitled to demand $600 million from the federal government for cheating the American Indians when it negotiated coal mining leases with Peabody Energy Corp., a U.S. appeals court ruled. Quoting from an 1849 treaty with the Navajo and other federal treaties and laws, the Federal Circuit said the government failed to perform its responsibility to “secure the permanent prosperity and happiness” of the Indians.

U Microsoft Corp. beat out Google Inc. to become the digital mapmaker for the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA will use Microsoft Virtual Earth maps to analyze and display data on everything from water and air quality to disaster relief.

U American Airlines, which paid $6.4 billion for jet fuel last year, will replace beverage carts on its aircraft with lighter-weight versions to cut fuel use. The carts each weigh about 20 pounds less than the current ones, and would reduce the weight carried on a Boeing Co. 777 by 420 pounds.

U Qwest Communications International Inc., the third-biggest U.S. local-phone company, asked the Federal Communications Commission to ease rules on data services it sells to large businesses. The filing gives Denver-based Qwest more time to persuade the FCC’s five members to free it from rules that don’t apply to Verizon Communications Inc.

U Verizon Wireless sued the Federal Communications Commission, seeking to overturn auction rules requiring the buyers of some airwaves to make their networks compatible with any device. The FCC overstepped its authority by adopting the so-called open-access rules in July, Verizon Wireless told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

U Time Inc., the biggest U.S. magazine publisher, created a new position to run advertising across Fortune magazine, Money, CNNMoney.com and its other print and online business publications. Time, a unit of Time Warner Inc., is searching for candidates to fill the job.


U Britain‘s treasury chief urged banks to rein in easy credit in favor of “good old-fashioned banking,” according to a news report. Alistair Darling, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, echoed a warning from Bank of England governor Mervyn King that banks and borrowers would have to be responsible for their own investments that have gone bad.

U European Central Bank Executive Board member Juergen Stark said the bank’s extra money-market funding isn’t meant to bail out investors. “What matters is to keep financial markets liquid, but we won’t bail out anybody,” Mr. Stark said. “The ones who have made risky investments have to bear the consequences.”

U Bombardier Inc., the world’s third-biggest aircraft maker, said all of its Q400 turboprops must have visual checks to comply with a Canadian regulator’s directive, after the aircraft’s second landing-gear failure in a week.

U OAO Lukoil, Russia’s largest non-state oil producer, needs Venezuela to guarantee that costs won’t jump as the company develops huge heavy oil reserves in the Faja del Orinoco region, an executive said. “We won’t be able to have control of the project. But we need guarantees that costs won’t increase,” said Deputy Chief Executive Officer Leonid Fedun.

U The world’s tallest building, still under construction in the booming Gulf emirate of Dubai, has become the world’s tallest free-standing structure, its developers said. The Burj Dubai tower is now 1,831.5 feet tall and has surpassed the 1,824.9-foot tall CN Tower in Toronto, which has held the title since 1976.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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