- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 26, 2008

Regional

U Carlyle Group, the D.C.-based private-equity firm, reportedly is poised to buy the retail portion of 666 Fifth Ave. in New York for $525 million. The purchase would be the second high-profile commercial real estate acquisition by Carlyle this month. The firm acquired 650 Madison Ave. for $680 million with Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp.

U Black & Decker Corp. will cut about 700 jobs, or about 3 percent of its work force, and close a plant in Arkansas in the wake of a disappointing quarterly earnings report. The Towson, Md., toolmaker made the announcement after reporting that first-quarter earnings declined 37.6 percent from a year earlier.

National

U The Bush administration, responding to pleas from the U.S. textile industry, said it was imposing a temporary tariff on socks imported from Honduras. The 5 percent tariff would take effect on July 1 and last until the end of the year, providing domestic manufacturers time to adjust to a flood of sock imports from Honduras that has occurred after the Central American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.

U The White House is accusing China, Russia and seven other nations of failing to protect American producers of movies, computer software and other copyright material from widespread piracy. The other seven countries were Argentina, Chile, India, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand and Venezuela.

U An agreement by British Airways PLC and Virgin Atlantic to pay roughly $210 million to settle a massive price-fixing lawsuit met with tentative approval from a federal judge. The class-action lawsuit accused the carriers of colluding to gouge trans-Atlantic passengers with fuel surcharges.

U Wachovia Corp. agreed to pay an estimated $144 million to settle federal charges that it failed to stop telemarketers charged with taking advantage of thousands of elderly consumers. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said the Charlotte, N.C., bank didn’t act quickly enough to block telemarketers and payment processors who maintained their accounts at the bank.

U Workers authorized a strike at Bloomingdale’s Manhattan store, which could lead to the first shutdown at the famed flagship in more than four decades. A spokeswoman for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said talks were continuing, but the 2,000 workers at the store authorized a walkout if a contract dispute is not resolved by Thursday.

U Following a jury’s award of more than $325,000 to nine skycaps, three more lawsuits have been filed in federal court in Boston against United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines by skycaps who claim they lost tips when the carriers began charging a $2 fee for checking bags at the curb.

U Home Depot, Wal-Mart and several other retailers must stop selling mislabeled pesticides from Scotts Miracle-Gro, regulators said. The Environmental Protection Agency said the products carried invalid registration numbers.

International

U A two-day strike set to begin tomorrow at the Grangemouth oil refinery in central Scotland is expected to disrupt British energy supplies and hinder delivery of Britain’s North Sea oil. The strike will force BP PLC to shut its Forties Pipeline System, which delivers a significant portion of Britain’s North Sea oil production.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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