EU pushes infrastructure
The European Commission outlined Wednesday its plan to revive EU economic growth through increased public and private sector spending on infrastructure projects. The proposal, which has been taken up by the EU's Italian presidency, focuses on transport networks and research and development. "The initiative for growth aims to give a strong signal of the EU's economic governance capacity to boost confidence in Europe's economic potential and consolidate economic growth," commission president Romano Prodi said in a statement.
Firms unready for warming
Many of the world's largest companies are doing a poor job of preparing for the business impact of global warming, according to a report issued Wednesday by a coalition of investor, environmental and public interest groups. Most of the 20 corporate giants discussed, including leaders in the oil, auto and utility industries, are also failing to disclose to investors enough about the financial risks they face from climate change, according to the report, which was prepared by the Investor Respon-sibility Research Center, in Washington. None of the companies have produced dollar estimates of the potential costs or benefits of projected results of climate change, the report said. And eight companies, including GE, GM and ExxonMobil, made no mention of climate change in filings last year with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sony recalls Vaio notebooks
Sony Corp, the world's second-largest consumer-electronics maker, will offer free repairs to fix a defect found in some of its Vaio notebook personal computers. Tokyo-based Sony found the defect, which affects telecom-munications modems built into the computers, in about 18,000 units of its "Vaio FR" series of notebooks sold worldwide since May. The defect is because of the manufacturing process, the company said in a prepared statement. The defect affects 13,000 units in Japan, another 3,000 units in the US and 2,000 in Europe, the company said. The flaw is related to the modem's ability to transfer data, rendering communications "very slow," the company said.
Buffett lunch at US$95,100
Lunch for eight with billionaire Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc and the world's second-richest man, is attracting bids of as much as US$95,100 after four days on EBay Inc's Internet auction site. More than 100 bids have been placed through Ebay. Bidding started at US$10,000 and ends tomorrow at 9pm San Francisco time. The winner and seven friends will lunch with Buffett in New York. Buffett, with a fortune of more than US$30 billion, is the world's second-richest man after Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates. It's the fourth year that Buffett will host a lunch to benefit San Francisco's Glide Foundation, which provides programs to about 30,000 homeless and otherwise needy people in the San Francisco area. Sellers have the ability to verify bids on an instantaneous basis through e-mail and EBay isn't responsible for verifying the bids, said Kevin Pursglove, a spokesman for EBay. The US$95,100 bid was placed by someone with the user name of redmercedes427.