Around the business world |

Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Fed halt interest rate increases: WASHINGTON – With the economy losing momentum, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his central bank colleagues called a halt to the longest unbroken stretch of interest rate increases in recent history.Prudhoe Bay only the latest in a string of BP problems: WASHINGTON – Shutting down its operations on the North Slope is only the latest problem for oil giant BP, which already was under federal investigation for letting its pipeline crumble. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman says it could take months to resume normal shipments of Alaska oil but insists there are adequate supplies to make up the difference.Oil prices slip as BP supply concerns fade: NEW YORK – Crude oil prices slipped after the government says it may take until next year to recover production lost to a corroded Alaskan pipeline owned by BP PLC, but that extra supplies can offset any losses.Stocks rally slightly on Fed decision: NEW YORK – Investors bid stocks modestly higher on expectations that the Federal Reserve will not raise rates after 17 straight quarter-percentage point hikes over the last two years.Labor costs continue to rise: WASHINGTON – The efficiency of American workers slowed sharply in the spring while a key gauge of labor costs rose at the fastest rate since late 2004.Generic drug maker launches version of Bristol-Myers best-selling medicine: NEW YORK – Apotex Corp. launched a generic version of Bristol-Myers best-selling medicine, sending shares of Bristol-Myers plunging nearly 7 percent on fears its earnings and dividend will shrink. The risky move by Apotex signals that generic companies are becoming more aggressive in introducing products in the face of tactics by brand name drug makers that hurt their profits. By Theresa Agovino and Wallace Witkowski.Aramark agrees to buyout: PHILADELPHIA – Aramark Corp. agrees to a $6.3 billion buyout by a group of private investors including chairman and CEO Joseph Neubauer.Clear Channel earnings fall 10 percent: NEW YORK – CLEAR CHANNEL – Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation’s largest operator of radio stations, says its second-quarter earnings fell more than 10 percent on higher operating expenses even as revenue rose on strong results from its radio and outdoor advertising segments.Ford to unveil new Shelby: DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. is unveiling the latest limited-edition souped-up Mustang born of the automaker’s renewed partnership with racing legend Carroll Shelby. Defibrillators having problems: CHICAGO – A review of safety data raised questions about the reliability of the heart zappers that hang on the walls of airports, shopping malls and health clubs. Harvard researchers find that over the past decade, one in five automated external defibrillators were recalled and devices that failed were associated with 370 deaths.Sprint expanding technology: KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sprint Nextel Corp., the nation’s third-largest wireless provider, says it will use WiMax technology to build its next generation of communications network. The Reston, Va.-based company, with operational headquarters in suburban Kansas City, said the new network will provide consumers with wireless Internet speeds on par with DSL or cable modems wherever they can receive a cell phone signal. By David Twiddy.Air China scaling back IPO: BEIJING – Air China Ltd., the country’s flag carrier, says it cut the number of shares it will issue in a planned initial public offering by nearly 40 percent due to weak demand.Africa, China teaming up amid political turmoil, human rights violations: JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – African regimes such as Zimbabwe, largely shunned by the West, are turning to China for economic and political salvation. China, hungry for energy and raw materials, has invested heavily in Africa, offering limited political and economic help to repressive governments.- DIET-FATTENING DRINKS, UNDATED: The “weight of evidence” strongly suggests that sodas and other sugary drinks are a key reason Americans have gained weight over the past four decades, researchers say.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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