Business across the wire
Daily Staff ReportDelta, pilots union reach tentative agreement: ATLANTA – Delta Air Lines Inc. and negotiators for its pilots union reached a tentative agreement on long-term pay and benefit cuts that could avert a strike at the nation’s third largest carrier and ease uncertainty among travelers over the busy Easter weekend.Guns are gone in some Wal-Marts: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has decided to stop selling guns in about a third of its U.S. stores in what it calls a marketing decision based on lack of demand in some places.Gasoline demand weaker as prices rise: WASHINGTON – U.S. motorists will spend an estimated $20.5 billion more on gasoline over the next six months than they did the same time last year because of higher prices and increased demand. But they’re not happy about the trend, and may just cut back on driving because of it. Analysts say gasoline consumption growth, which has been below historical norms since the start of the year, could stall out entirely this summer if forecasts of rising pump prices are correct. While this might crimp the country’s broader financial performance, economists said the impact should be minimal.Legal battle slows distribution of bird flu drug: CHICAGO – When federal regulators last month approved the drug Relenza for use in preventing influenza, you would have expected the two companies who share in its sales to celebrate. Instead, the drug’s inventor – the tiny biotechnology company Biota – and its owner GlaxoSmithKline – the world’s second largest drug company – are locked in a nasty legal battle that has enabled the competing anti-viral drug Tamiflu to win 99 percent of a market exploding because of the bird flu threat. Nation’s energy needs open new, old opportunities: CADIZ, Ohio- There are new signs of life in Ohio’s coal fields. Coal mining was once king in the state’s Appalachian foothills. But the industry went into a nosedive in the 1980s because of falling foreign demand and increased production of cheaper coal from Western states. Mines closed, and a generation of miners left their tiny towns to make their livings elsewhere, dealing a hard blow to a region already lagging behind the state economically. With the skyrocketing cost of oil and new pollution controls, coal is on the rebound. Mines are being reopened, and new miners are being hired.