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Sotheby's plans 5 pct cut in work force

April 29, 2009 10:32 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Sotheby's Inc. says the economic slowdown is forcing the auction house to slash its global work force by another 5 percent.The cost-saving move comes just four months after the auctioneer trimmed its staff by 15 percent. It now employs 1,311 workers, down from 1,638.The publicly...

Sector Snap: Airlines head higher

April 29, 2009 10:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors chose to look at the bright side of the shrinking U.S. economy, and sent airline shares higher Wednesday afternoon along with the broader market.Government data showed gross domestic product dropped at a 6.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, more than expected. But...

Report: US cyber warfare needs oversight, debate

April 29, 2009 10:21 am | by LOLITA C. BALDOR - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shrouded in secrecy, the U.S. government's policies on how and when to wage cyber warfare are ill-formed, lack adequate oversight and require a broad public debate, a new report by the National Research Council says.The report warns that the "undeveloped and uncertain nature" of...

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Airline exec to plead guilty in price-fixing probe

April 29, 2009 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Dutch airline executive will plead guilty, serve jail time and pay a fine for conspiring to fix cargo rates on international air shipments, the Justice Department said Wednesday.Franciscus Johannes de Jong, the former vice president of cargo sales in Europe for Martinair Holland...

Paper maker UPM posts euro158 million 1Q loss

April 29, 2009 9:55 am | by MATTI HUUHTANEN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

HELSINKI (AP) — UPM-Kymmene Corp., the world's largest magazine paper maker, on Wednesday reported a first-quarter net loss of euro158 million ($205 million) as demand for all paper grades plunged.Revenue in January through March fell 23 percent to euro1.85 billion ($2.4 billion), from euro2.4...

Novel effort in Minnesota seeks ISP gambling block

April 29, 2009 9:55 am | by PETER SVENSSON - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Minnesota officials are trying a novel tactic to block online gambling sites — using a federal law that enables restrictions on phone calls used for wagering.The state's Department of Public Safety said Wednesday it had asked 11 Internet service providers to block access to 200 online gambling...

Swine flu drives demand for face masks

April 29, 2009 9:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two leading makers of respiratory masks said Wednesday they are ramping up production as reports of swine flu surged to nearly 100 people in 10 states across the U.S.Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. and consumer product maker Kimberly-Clark Corp. both said they are increasing...

Not guilty plea in $413 million NY Ponzi scheme

April 29, 2009 9:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — A New York businessman has pleaded not guilty to federal charges he ran a $413 million Ponzi scheme that fleeced more than 6,000 people.Prosecutors say 37-year-old Nicholas Cosmo ran the scheme from 2003 until his arrest in January through his two companies, Agape...

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New York Times union to vote on pay cut Monday

April 29, 2009 9:39 am | by ANDREW VANACORE - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Union employees at The New York Times scheduled a vote Monday on a temporary 5 percent pay cut, a step Times management hopes will head off any need for additional layoffs this year.New York Guild President Bill O'Meara said he expects the measure to pass, with the salary cut going...

Newspaper group files for bankruptcy protection

April 29, 2009 9:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

DALLAS (AP) — American Community Newspapers Inc., which operates smaller newspapers in four major U.S. markets, has filed for bankruptcy protection, citing "an unprecedented and severe decline in advertising revenue."The company filed its Chapter 11 petition Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in...

Aetna sees 1Q profit growth, unexpected cost rise

April 29, 2009 9:23 am | by TOM MURPHY - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Health insurer Aetna Inc. gained more than a million new members in the first quarter and reported a modest profit increase Wednesday. But higher-than-expected medical costs, a problem many insurers wrestled with last year, cast a shadow over the performance.Hartford,...

Massey cuts pay amid slack coal demand

April 29, 2009 9:03 am | by TIM HUBER - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Massey Energy Co. shares soared nearly 24 percent Wednesday after the coal producer announced plans to slash wages and benefits for all of its employees by about 6 percent on average to lower costs amid weak coal demand.The cuts planned for Friday probably will trim payroll...

Gazprom's 4Q net profit slides 84 percent

April 29, 2009 8:58 am | by CATRINA STEWART - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's state-owned natural gas company Gazprom said Wednesday that its full-year net profit rose by 13 percent to 743 billion rubles ($22.2 billion) in a year that saw gas and oil prices soar, then fall. But the recession appeared to hit its earnings hard at the end of the year.The...

Lufthansa 1Q net loss euro256 million

April 29, 2009 8:52 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

FRANKFURT (AP) — German airline Lufthansa reported a first quarter net loss of euro256 million ($339.6 million) Wednesday, as the economic crisis cut into global travel and freight volumes.Cologne-based Deutsche Lufthansa AG's loss for the January-March period compares with a net profit of euro44...

Fortis shareholders back bank sale to BNP Paribas

April 29, 2009 8:52 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

UTRECHT, Netherlands (AP) — Fortis Holding shareholders gave the final go-ahead Wednesday for the sale of Belgium's largest bank to France's BNP Paribas, in a deal that makes Paribas the largest bank in the euro zone by deposits.The proposal won 77 percent support of the shares cast at a...

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