A380 to visit Canada
The world's largest passenger jet is set to make its first trip to North America on Monday where it will undergo cold-weather testing in the barren northern Canadian territory of Nunavut. The Airbus A380 is scheduled to fly from France to the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit -- about 2,400km north of Toronto -- where officials were busy making preparations Saturday. "We're pretty honored to be hosting the first arrival of the newest plane of the 21st century here at Iqaluit," said John Graham, who manages the airport. The 273-tonne jumbo jet, with a wingspan of 80m and a seating capacity of 555, is expected to go into service late this year. Until then it will undergo full functionality tests under extreme weather conditions of up to minus 40?C. It has already undergone high altitude tests in Colombia this year and hot weather tests are due to begin in the summer.
ISPs to flog filter-proof mail
Time Warner Inc's America Online and Yahoo Inc plan to begin charging companies as much as US0.01 for each e-mail to bypass "spam" filters and go directly to users' mailboxes, the New York Times reported. Goodmail Systems, a closely held company based in Mountain View, California, will collect the electronic payment and verify the sender's identity, for messages marked "AOL Certified E- Mail," the Times said in an article published online. A US Senate committee will hold a hearing Feb. 7 to consider legislation that would ban Internet companies from giving preferential treatment to providers of content because of concern that those who can't afford to pay would be excluded from reaching users, the newspaper said.
China decentralizes controls
China's commerce ministry will allow local commerce departments and state economic zones to approve the setup of foreign-invested wholesalers and retailers next month to simplify procedures for allowing foreign funds into the country. Starting March 1, wholesale firms selling ordinary goods, and small and medium-sized retailers won't have to go to the ministry for the approval, the Beijing-based Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its Web site yesterday, citing a circular. The move is among efforts to honor the commitments China made since its accession to the WTO in December 2001.
Trading complaint filed
Twelve investors in the Russian oil group Yukos have filed a complaint of insider trading in a Washington court against the Russian government and the leaders of the country's oil industry, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported today. The president of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, and the Russian government are also in the sights of US justice because the two allegedly worked together to renationalize Yukos without compensating investors, Der Spiegel claims in the article. "It is simply stealing," the weekly quoted a US lawyer, Thomas Johnson, as saying. He said his clients invested in Yukos by buying American depositary receipts (ADRs) on the New York stock exchange. The value of the ADRs, which represented about 15 percent of Yukos shares, fell by US$6 billion, according to the German magazine.