China doubts US wind probe
China expressed “deep concern” on Saturday after the US launched a probe into Chinese wind towers that it suspects of being unduly subsidized and sold at a loss on the US market. “The act will not only hamper bilateral cooperation in the field of new energy and harm the interests of US industries, but also go against global efforts to tackle the challenges of climate change and energy security,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said on its Web site. “China expresses its deep concern over the case.” The US Department of Commerce announced on Thursday that it had opened an inquiry on wind towers made in China and Vietnam, following a complaint filed by an association of four US manufacturers.
US court rejects challenge
A US appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit by the financial industry challenging new federal regulations aimed at cracking down on speculation in commodities markets, a move that will likely delay a decision over whether the rules pass muster. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association last month filed challenges to the regulations adopted last year by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the lawsuit, saying that the case must first be heard by a lower court, an argument advanced by the CFTC.
Russian output hits plateau
Russian oil production reached a record 511 million tonnes last year, but output levels are unlikely to increase further over the next three years, an official said on Saturday. Russian Vice Minister for Energy Sergei Kudriashov said the output level was up by about 1 percent last year, a record for the post-Soviet period. “We understand that in the three coming years, we are going to have a lull in the operation of new deposits,” he said in comments broadcast on public television station Russia 24. “That’s why the principle task now is to use the resources we have and maximize the efficiency of work in old deposits.”
Stent patents invalidated
Abbott Laboratories and Medtronic Inc won a US federal court ruling that invalidated two patents for heart devices controlled by Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis unit and Wyeth. US District Judge Joel Pisano in Trenton, New Jersey, ruled on Thursday that the patents did not fulfill the requirement that they describe what the company claims to have invented. Cordis and Wyeth had contended that Abbott’s Xience and Medtronic’s Endeavor stents were using the inventions without permission. The ruling was part of a long-running battle over inventions related to stents, tiny mesh tubes used to prop open heart arteries after they’re cleared of fat.
Shopworkers awarded ￡68m
A British shopworkers union says that an employment tribunal has awarded nearly ￡68 million (over US$100 million) in compensation to 24,000 former Woolworths employees. The USDAW union said on Friday that it had won the compensation after successfully arguing that the bankrupt retailer’s administrators broke the law by failing to consult with the union before firing its employees. The money amounts to 60 days’ pay for each worker. Woolworths closed all of its 800 British outlets in 2009 after being unable to find a buyer for the business.