- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008

National

• UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, the world’s second-largest carrier, said it’s increasing business-travel fares and ticket-change fees to offset fuel costs. United is requiring Saturday-night stays in about 65 percent of the markets it serves. That means higher fares for business travelers who don’t spend weekends on the road, said David Stempler, president of the Potomac-based Air Travelers Association.

• The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline at U.S. filling stations rose to $3.47, an industry survey showed. The price climbed 16 cents by Friday from two weeks earlier, according to oil-industry analyst Trilby Lundberg’s survey. “This is crude oil prices and higher ethanol prices,” Ms. Lundberg said.

Viacom Inc. and five Hollywood studios are joining forces to create a television channel and video-on-demand service. The companies said that the new venture will combine movies and television series from Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate, starting in fall 2009.

International

OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah el al-Badri said oil prices would likely go higher and that the group was ready to raise production if the price pressure was due to a shortage of supply — something he doubted. Oil prices have “nothing to do with supply and demand,” Mr. al-Badri said at an energy conference in Rome. Kuwait’s acting oil minister Mohammad al-Olaim agreed, rejecting calls for a production increase for now.

Venezuelan consumers lost real income in the first quarter for the first time in four years as government policy appears to have cooled economic growth, the newspaper El Universal reported. Buying power for consumers fell 3.4 percent in the capital of Caracas and 2.3 percent nationwide, the newspaper said, citing Luis Vicente Leon of polling firm Datanalisis.

• Geoff Polites, chief executive officer and president of Ford Motor’s British-based Jaguar and Land Rover luxury-car unit, died after battling a serious illness for the past two years, the company said. He was 60. Mr. Polites took over as chief executive of Jaguar in 2005, and had a central role in orchestrating the sale of the business to India’s Tata Motors Ltd. for $2.3 billion.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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