- The Washington Times - Monday, April 14, 2008

Regional

• Advocates say a plan by Baltimore officials to sell liens for back taxes and overdue utility bills to private investors could lead to more home foreclosures. City officials plan to auction up to $70 million in liens next month to private investors, who would collect the debts as well as fees and interest, or foreclose. More than 20,000 property owners have liens on their properties.

National

Delta and Northwest could announce a merger as early as tomorrow that would create the world’s biggest airline, but pilot contract issues still loomed and there was no guarantee the deal would move ahead, three people familiar with the talks said. The sources said officials were mobilizing for an announcement providing that the boards of the companies give final approval.

Wachovia Corp. could announce as soon as today the final terms of a deal that would provide a capital infusion of several billion dollars from outside investors, the Wall Street Journal reported. Wachovia, the fifth-largest U.S. bank by market capitalization, would receive $6 billion to $7 billion. The investor group would get shares priced at roughly $23 to $24 apiece, a 15 percent discount to Friday’s close.

Tax audits of large corporations fell in 2007 to the lowest level in 20 years, as the Internal Revenue Service shifted its enforcement focus to smaller businesses, researchers said. The agency last year audited 26 percent of large corporations, those with more than $250 million in assets, down from 43 percent in 2005, according to the study by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

International

Ukraine will pump Libyan oil after an agreement with the country’s leader Moammar Gadhafi, President Viktor Yushchenko said in Libya. “We want Ukraine to produce its own oil in Libya,” Mr. Yushchenko said. Col. Gadhafi is to travel to Ukraine later this year, Mr. Yushchenko said, adding that Libya will discuss building a refinery in Ukraine.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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