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Mon, Feb 26, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Aviation
Honeywell fined

Aerospace giant Honeywell International Inc will pay a US$500,000 fine for hazardous waste violations at its plant in Kingman, Arizona, officials said. The plant, which repairs and overhauls aircraft wheels and brakes, was cited in 2005 for failing to have permits to treat hazardous waste, improperly labeling waste containers and improperly training workers. Employees could have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, Steve Owens, director of the state's Department of Environmental Quality, said on Friday. Honeywell has made sure the violations won't be repeated, spokesman Bill Reavis said.

■ Aviation

Cracks found in nine aircraft

Japan Airlines Corp (JAL) has found cracks in pipes in nine of its MD-90 airplanes, including one which made an emergency landing last week, it said yesterday in a statement. JAL will investigate the cause of the cracks jointly with Boeing Co, the manufacturer of the planes, "as the cases can be caused by defects at the manufacturing process," it said. JAL conducted an emergency check of all its MD-90 planes after one made an emergency landing at Kansai International Airport on Feb. 17 on a domestic flight. Out of 42 MD-90 planes, nine were found with cracks in the pipes, it said.

■ Vineculture

France reforms industry

A series of reforms in the way wine is produced in France, which include labeling wines by grape variety as well as by region, appear to have boosted the beleaguered industry. The latest figures show wine and spirit exports grew by 13 percent last year, to reach a record 8.74 billion euros (US$11.5 billion), with a notable increase in foreign sales of still wines. France's share of the still wines market in the US -- set to become the world's biggest consumer next year -- has gone up two points to 14 percent, at the expense of Australia.

■ Tourism

New scam unveiled

Hong Kong tourism chiefs have been alerted to yet another scam played on the lucrative flood of mainland Chinese visitors -- being threatened with fines if they refuse to visit certain shops. The racket emerged when a caller to a radio phone-in show said relatives on a tour had been told they would have to pay a surcharge if they wanted to break with the itinerary. The scam followed a move by the Hong Kong Travel Industry Council to curb "zero-fee" tours, in which travelers receive free holidays in return for an agreement to spend a fixed minimum amount at shops that pay the tour operators a cut of sales.

■ Services

New meals for the elderly

Worried about an elderly relative living alone in another part of the country? Order a prepared meal for home delivery to an elderly person and one Japanese convenience store chain will check on the recipient's health and report back via the Internet, the Mainichi Shimbun said on yesterday. The FamilyMart chain, the third biggest in the country, is launching the service because the number of old people in Japan is rising and many of them live alone. Japan's population is the oldest in the world, with one fifth aged 65 or older. Census figures for 2005 showed that 3.86 million elderly people were living alone.

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