- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2008

National

• A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., ordered wireless giant Qualcomm to stop selling data chips that infringe on patents belonging to its smaller rival Broadcom. U.S. District Judge James Selna issued the ruling, the latest in a series of legal victories that Broadcom scored over Qualcomm this year related to rights to technology for cell phones.

Chevron Corp., the second-largest refiner in the Western U.S., released 10 pounds of nitrous-oxide gas when the Isomax unit flare at its El Segundo, Calif., refinery failed. The release took place at 8:19 p.m. local time, according to a report on a state-run hazardous-materials Web site.

International

• Three German cities, including the capital Berlin, began implementing an air pollution system that bans the dirtiest vehicles from their centers. Drivers in Berlin, Cologne and Hanover are now required to display a colored badge showing the level of pollution caused by their vehicles. Some older, diesel vehicles will be prohibited from driving in central areas.

China’s annual tax revenue soared 31.4 percent in 2007 to $676 billion, driven in part by higher receipts from stock trading and real estate sales, the State Administration of Taxation said. The figures exclude trade tariffs, holding tax on land contracts and tax on the occupation of farmland.

China, the world’s biggest grain producer, has started to curb overseas sales of milled grain flour by issuing export permits, the latest in a series of measures to boost domestic supply and curb food inflation. The changes will apply to flour milled from grains and will last for an undetermined period based on market conditions, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Air China Ltd.’s parent said an offer by Singapore Airlines Ltd. for a stake in China Eastern Airlines Corp. did not reflect fair value and asked both parties to renew talks. The proposed sale price “does not reflect the fair value of China Eastern Airlines,” said Air China’s parent, China National Aviation Holding Co., which owns 10 percent of China Eastern.

Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s biggest automakers, aim to increase sales 12 percent this year selling new cars and sport utility vehicles in China, India and other overseas markets. The automakers said they expect to sell a combined 4.8 million vehicles globally this year, compared with last year’s plan of 4.28 million.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s second-largest airline, plans to hire about 4,300 new employees in Germany this year as it adds planes and destinations. Cabin crew, customer relations and trainee positions will be added, a spokesman for the Cologne-based carrier said.

Nigerian militants killed 12 persons in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt in attacks on two police stations and a hotel, the state news service said. Four police officers were fatally shot, as were seven civilians, some of whom were returning from midnight church services to usher in the new year.

• Buying and selling foreign currency became legal in Turkmenistan after a 10-year hiatus, a step away from the isolation imposed by the autocratic president who died in December 2006. Saparmurat Niyazov, who ruled the Central Asian nation with an iron hand since before the Soviet collapse, ordered currency exchange offices closed in 1998.

Iran slashed gas exports to Turkey after high domestic consumption and a halt in supplies from Turkmenistan left many Iranian towns without gas in freezing weather, the Fars news agency reported. Last January, Iran was forced to halt its gas exports to Turkey for five days to compensate for a domestic consumption crunch.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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