Black, White, Less Read
Three newspapers admitted they had inflated circulation figures in recent years, reflecting the pressure they feel working for publicly traded companies that are themselves under pressure from Wall Street. Tribune Co. said the numbers had been boosted for its Newsday and Hoy newspapers last year and early this year. Hollinger International said its Chicago Sun-Times had done the same "for years." The revelations came as many newspaper companies are raising ad rates and cutting staff.
Lower Business Taxes
The House voted to repeal a $5 billion-a-year illegal export subsidy and replace it with an array of tax breaks worth more than $143 billion over 10 years. For companies laboring under European Union sanctions, the vote was a welcome step toward the day when tariffs are lifted. But even for many tax-cut proponents, a measure granting favors to a variety of very narrow constituencies raised some eyebrows. Now the House bill must be reconciled with the Senate version.
Several airlines are encountering turbulence in the summer sky. United's bid for a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee was rejected. Delta, saying it will land in bankruptcy court if it can't lower costs, is seeking concessions from its pilots and trimming flights at its low-cost Song unit. US Airways announced it will slash fares on flights from Reagan National and Dulles International airports in response to competition from upstart Independence Air, which began flying out of Dulles International Airport.
Crude oil futures drifted up again after attacks on Iraqi pipelines and an oil workers' strike in Norway renewed worries about supplies. OPEC promised to pump more to make up for the shortfall, but some non-OPEC countries made clear they can't increase their production. Crude oil hit a record $42.45 a barrel June 1, but prices had largely ebbed since then. By late Friday, crude priced for July delivery was trading in New York at $38.75 a barrel. Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline prices continued to ease, for now.
The Bush administration agreed that Chinese bedroom furniture is being sold at unfairly low prices in the U.S. market, but imposed relatively modest duties on the imports. The decision, in the biggest anti-dumping case ever brought against China, came in a presidential election year as the loss of jobs to foreigners has emerged as a sensitive issue. U.S. furniture makers have been hit particularly hard by competition from abroad, and blame a surge of Chinese imports for plant closings and layoffs.