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Around the business world

Staff and Wire Reports

Airline shares continue slide as oil prices climb: ATLANTA ” Shares in several major U.S. airlines slid further Friday, a day after British officials said they foiled a plot to blow up planes crossing the Atlantic. But the latest slide may have more to do with higher oil prices than with the terror threat itself.

Former grand juror pleads guilty in insider trading case: NEW YORK ” A man who was on a grand jury investigating Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on Friday pleaded guilty in court to charges that he revealed secrets of the probe to fellow conspirators in an inside trading operation. The plea by Jason Smith, 30, of Jersey City, N.J., came in a case that has uncovered a wide variety of methods used to get an unfair advantage in the stock market.

Coca-Cola rejects allegations of pesticide in soft drinks: NEW DELHI ” The Indian subsidiary of Coca-Cola Co. on Friday said its soft drinks meet European Union safety standards, but a research group alleging pesticide contamination in the domestically sold drinks wants the company to disclose testing results. Last week, the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi said tests conducted on 57 samples of soft drinks sold by Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo India contained high levels of pesticide residues.

India’s industrial output leaps 9.6 percent in June on robust domestic demand, export surge: NEW DELHI ” India’s industrial production expanded 9.6 percent in June, taking the fiscal year’s first quarter growth to 10.1 percent, the government said Friday, suggesting the momentum seen in the past year was continuing. India has averaged 8.1 percent annual growth over the past three years, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Ex-Wal-Mart boss sentenced to 27 months home detention: FORT SMITH, Ark. ” Former No. 2 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive Thomas Coughlin, who pleaded guilty to stealing money, merchandise and gift cards from the retailer, was sentenced Friday in federal court to 27 months of home detention and five years probation. Coughlin, 57, avoided any prison time, but was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and $400,000 in restitution.

GM to slow production of big SUVs: General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said the company will slow production of its new lineup of large sport-utility vehicles during the second half of the year to cope with rising inventory as average U.S. gasoline prices stay at more than $3 a gallon. Any slowdown in production of large SUVs could put a dent in GM’s bottom line, as the vehicles are substantially more profitable than the small and midsize cars more Americans have been buying as gasoline prices have soared.

Newmont says it’s under investigation by Uzbekistan: DENVER ” Newmont Mining Corp. disclosed Friday the government of Uzbekistan has launched a criminal investigation into the company amid a $48 million tax dispute threatening its gold operations in that country.

Newmont, one of the world’s largest gold producers, did not specify in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing the criminal allegations against the Zarafshan-Newmont Joint Venture and its employees.

Internet gambling company BetOnSports shutting U.S.-focused operations over fraud indictment: LONDON ” BetOnSports PLC, the British-based Internet gambling company that has been charged with fraud and racketeering in the United States, said Friday it will shut down its services for American gamblers. BetOnSports said it plans to stop operating in Costa Rica and Antigua as soon as possible following a U.S. federal court order for the company to stop taking bets from the country.

ThyssenKrupp third-quarter profit jumps 84 percent amid demand for its steel products: BERLIN ” German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG reported an 84 percent jump in third-quarter net profit Friday as strong demand for its products, particularly steel, outweighed higher costs for raw materials. The company, which makes steel, automotive parts and elevators, also raised its full-year sales forecast.

South Korea, U.S. cite progress in free-trade talks over pharmaceuticals: SEOUL, South Korea ” South Korea and the United States reported an apparent breakthrough in free-trade talks Friday after bickering over pharmaceuticals cut short negotiations last month. Washington accepted a change in South Korea’s Health and Welfare Ministry to a so-called “positive list” system, whereby only designated drugs are reimbursable under the country’s health insurance system.

Retail sales rebound in July, rising 1.4 percent: WASHINGTON ” Shoppers got back in the buying mood in July, propelling sales at the nation’s retailers up by 1.4 percent, the most in six months. The snapback reported by the Commerce Department on Friday came after shoppers had hunkered down in June, depressing retail sales by 0.4 percent, according to revised figures.

Apple delays third-quarter filing, says it will need to restate results to take options-related charges: NEW YORK ” Apple Computer Inc. said Friday it will delay filing its latest quarterly report and expects to make “significant changes” to results for the period because of irregularities related to past stock-option grants. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Apple said it expects to have to restate past results in order to take non-cash charges for compensation costs related to stock option granting practices.

Employment giant Adecco posts 35 percent increase in second-quarter profits: CHESEREX, Switzerland ” Employment services provider Adecco SA posted a 35 percent rise in second-quarter net profit Friday, helped by acquisitions and solid growth in its key markets. The company said net profit rose to 135 million euros ($174 million) in the three months ending June 30, from 100 million euros in the year-earlier period.

Putin pledges support for Boeing’s projects in Russia: MOSCOW ” President Vladimir Putin pledged support Friday for Boeing Co.’s Russian projects at a Kremlin meeting with the head of the company’s civilian aircraft division. The meeting between Putin and Alan Mulally came as Boeing and Russia’s titanium monopoly VSMPO-Avisma unveiled a joint venture that will supply some $18 billion worth of titanium parts to the aerospace giant for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Chavez says initial drilling in Orinoco finds deeper deposits than expected: MUNICIPIO INDEPENDENCIA, Venezuela ” President Hugo Chavez said initial exploratory drilling for heavy oil in the Orinoco River basin has found deposits that extend more than twice as deep as originally estimated. But analyst Patrick Esteruelas, of the New York-based Eurasia Group, said Friday it’s much too early to say whether Chavez’s remark Thursday represents a significant

finding.


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