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Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ INTERNET

Canada shy of `Street View'

The "Street View" feature of Google Maps, with its close-up views of city streets and recognizable shots of people, could violate a Canadian law protecting individual privacy, officials said on Wednesday. Google Inc introduced street-level map views in May, giving Web users a series of panoramic, 360-degree images of nine US cities. Some of the random pictures feature people in informal poses who can clearly be identified. Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart wrote to Google early last month asking for more details. She said if the Street View product were expanded to Canada without being amended, it could well violate privacy laws.

■ REAL ESTATE

China to clamp down further

China's central bank is likely to clamp down further on property speculation in a bid to curb soaring real estate prices, state media said yesterday. New regulations, which could be released as early as this week, will specifically target people who buy a second apartment, the China Daily reported, citing an unnamed official at the bank. The rules are expected to require second-time home buyers to make a down payment of 40 percent, as opposed to as little as 20 percent for first-time home buyers, the paper said.

■ AVIATION

Bombardier grounds Q-400s

Plane maker Bombardier ordered the grounding of at least 40 percent of its Q-400 turboprop planes after a Scandinavian Airlines aircraft skidded off a runway with 52 people aboard, the second such incident in three days. No one was injured on Wednesday when the landing gear failed, forcing the emergency touchdown in Lithuania. However, the accident followed the crash landing late last week of a Scandinavian Airlines flight that suffered a similar failure in Denmark, injuring five people. The grounding Wednesday forced the cancelation of at least 200 flights worldwide.

■ LABOR

HK bar benders end strike

One of Hong Kong's longest-running industrial strikes has ended after 36 days, with hundreds of specialist construction workers accepting a 14-percent pay rise and slightly reduced working hours. The strike had grounded work at dozens of construction sites for more than a month and laid bare the plight of workers in the city -- where the wealth gap has widened noticeably since 1997. After the latest in a string of marathon meetings on Wednesday night, around 200 bar-bending metal workers voted to accept a daily wage of HK$860 (US$110). Working hours were cut from nine to eight hours.

■ AVIATION

Airbus trims management

Thomas Enders, newly installed chief executive at Airbus, on Wednesday streamlined his management committee at the struggling European aircraft maker. Enders, a German named to head Airbus in July under a management overhaul, reduced the committee from 12 to nine members while trying to maintain a balance between French and German interests in the company. The new team comprises four Germans, three French nationals, an American and a Briton. Committee member Thierry Baril of France was handed the delicate task of heading the human resources department at a time when Airbus is implementing a sweeping restructuring that should see the elimination of 10,000 jobs.

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