Sun, Sep 15, 2013 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ENERGY

Officials issue terror warning

US officials have warned energy companies to be on the alert for “potential terrorist activities” at fuel storage plants, but there were no immediate threats, an oil industry group told members on Friday. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) told members the FBI “is concerned about terrorists attempting to purchase or steal fuel from a bulk plant to use in a weapon of mass destruction.” The PMAA said it sent members a message on Friday after the FBI handed out the warning at an energy conference last week ahead of the anniversary of the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. The PMAA message to members said the FBI warned fuel marketers should be on alert for new customers who are not from the area, drivers who are not familiar with truck or vehicle operations, and people who store fuel in unusual locations or containers.

AVIATION

CSeries ready for takeoff

Bombardier Inc said its CSeries jetliner will fly for the first time tomorrow, ending more than eight months of delays for the US$3.4 billion program intended to challenge Boeing Co and Airbus SAS. Flight Test Vehicle 1 will take off from Mirabel airport north of Montreal, Bombardier said in a statement yesterday. The company has been conducting ground tests on the plane for several weeks. This week, the jet reached about 230kph as part of high-speed taxi testing, Bombardier said on Tuesday. Chief executive officer Pierre Beaudoin is relying on the aircraft, the company’s largest ever, as a catalyst for almost doubling annual revenue toward the end of the decade.

AVIATION

Customers get free flights

Some lucky customers who acquired United Airlines tickets at zero cost because of a computer programming error will be allowed to use them, an airline spokeswoman said on Friday. “United has reviewed the error that occurred yesterday and decided that, based on these specific circumstances, we will honor the tickets,” spokeswoman Mary Clark said in an e-mail. United did not say how many such tickets were issued on Thursday. The airline temporarily shut down its Web site to correct the error and also stopped booking flights through its phone center for about two hours. Miscellaneous airport fees, such as the Sept. 11 security fee, may have resulted in some passengers paying a nominal price for the tickets.

UNITED KINGDOM

Minimum wage hike mooted

British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said in an interview published on Friday that he will press a government commission to raise the minimum wage to ensure it is keeping up with the cost of living. Cable believes the minimum hourly rate, which will rise to £6.31 (US$10.01) for those aged 21 and over from Oct. 1, has fallen in real terms by up to 12 percent since the 2008 financial crisis. “We cannot go on forever in a low pay and low productivity world in which all we can say to workers is, ‘You have got to take a wage cut to keep your job,’” Cable told the Guardian in an interview published on its Web site on Friday. “For a very long time, five or six years, wages have been suppressed in low wage sectors. I am sending a signal that we are entering a very different environment.”

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