Sun, Aug 27, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ media

China maintains printing ban

Beijing officials have decided against lifting its ban on printing foreign newspapers in China, a Hong Kong newspaper yesterday quoted a senior official as saying. The government studied the possibility of allowing foreign papers to print in China, but decided against doing so for now, an official at the General Administration of Press and Publication told the South China Morning Post. Newspapers such as the Asian Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune and Financial Times are sold in Beijing and other Chinese cities, but they must be printed in Hong Kong or elsewhere and shipped to the mainland, reducing their appeal to subscribers. Those sent from Hong Kong usually arrive the evening of the day they are published. The official said, however, that his agency was considering letting Hong Kong companies take a majority stake in Chinese publishing ventures.

■ macroeconomics

Fed head warns lawmakers

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned lawmakers to avoid the temptation to impose protectionist trade policies as the US grapples with fierce competition from globalization. "Further progress in global economic integration should not be taken for granted," Bernanke told an economics conference that explored the forces of globalization. "Geopolitical concerns, including international tensions and the risks of terrorism, already constrain the pace of worldwide economic integration and may do so even more in the future," he told the gathering organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

■ Oil

Chavez pledges oil to China

Venezuela will boost its oil output to more than 5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 and will seek new clients to lessen its dependence on the US, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Friday. "Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world. We have begun a new expansion phase in our oil production ... which should bring output to more than five million barrels a day in 2012," Chavez told reporters inn Beijing. "The increase is significant. We're going to nearly double current production in the first few years of the next decade, beyond 2012," he added, noting that a large chunk of the new output would go to China. "Of these new 2.5 million [barrels], a million of them will go to China," he told reporters. "Venezuela has always sent oil to the United States. In fact, Venezuela was an American colony, but that's over. We are free now, though that's been a bit difficult," Chavez said, noting however that exports to the US had not dropped.

■ Airline Industry

Northwest strike blocked

A US federal judge blocked Northwest Airlines flight attendants from going on strike on Friday, handing a victory to the airline just hours before a planned strike action that could have devastated the cash-strapped company. US District Judge Victor Marrero said he would issue an injunction to allow time for him to examine the case. He said Northwest Airlines Corp made a "persuasive case" that a delay in any strike was necessary so that the legal issues could be resolved. He said that while the injury to flight attendants would be to delay their ability to strike, "far greater injuries exist to Northwest and the public by permitting the strike to commence at this point." The flight attendants had planned to launch unannounced, sporadic walkouts yesterday. Northwest, already operating under bankruptcy protection, has said a strike could kill it.

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