US Airways to Exit Chapter 11

US Airways received final approval to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years and to merge with America West Holdings.

A bankruptcy judge approved the airline's reorganization plan -- of which the merger is the centerpiece -- after allowing US Airways to provide $12 million in severance pay to 11 executives who will not be given jobs at the merged airline. Unions had said the package was excessive given the cut in pay and benefits absorbed by rank-and-file workers.


Current Account Deficit Down

The U.S. current account deficit -- the broadest measure of international trade -- was $195.7 billion in the second quarter, down from $198.7 billion in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported. The slight improvement reflected the fact that the United States paid out less foreign aid. That caused unilateral transfers to decline to $21.9 billion in the second quarter, down from $26.3 billion in the first quarter.


Big Investor Opposes MCI Sale

MCI shareholder D.E. Shaw & Co. said it will vote against the $8.46 billion acquisition of MCI by Verizon Communications because the price is too low. The company will vote 10.1 million shares, or 3.1 percent of MCI's outstanding stock, against the takeover at an Oct. 6 shareholders meeting, the New York investment firm said.

The move signals lingering discontent among investors since MCI's board in May backed the bid from Verizon, the largest U.S. local-telephone company, over a higher offer from Qwest Communications International.

FCC Ruling Partially Favors Qwest

Qwest Communications International won partial approval from the Federal Communications Commission on a request to relax rules requiring the company to give rivals in Omaha access to its network. Qwest no longer has to provide unbundled network elements to rivals in nine of Qwest's 24 wire center service areas in Omaha, the FCC said in a statement.


Lockheed May Get Satellite Work

The National Reconnaissance Office is considering shifting parts of Boeing's troubled spy satellite program to its competitor Lockheed Martin Corp., according to sources familiar with the discussions. In 1999, Boeing beat Lockheed for the program, known as the Future Imagery Architecture, but has repeatedly run into cost and schedule problems as the technology proved more complex than expected.

A spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing said it had not been told of any changes. Bethesda-based Lockheed said it was "ready to support our government customers . . . when asked."


Not in Default, BearingPoint Says

BearingPoint, a McLean consulting firm, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has received two notices from law firms representing some of the company's lenders. The law firms and their clients, who were not identified in the filing, said the company is in default of loan agreements because it has not reported complete financial statements for 2004 or the first half of 2005. BearingPoint said it thinks the notices are "invalid and without merit" because its loan agreements do not require the firm to produce the results within SEC deadlines.


Hollinger Settles Circulation Suits

Hollinger International said it agreed to a deal worth more than $20 million to settle class-action lawsuits stemming from phony circulation figures at the Chicago Sun-Times.

The company said it will pay $7.7 million in cash and provide $7.3 million worth of advertising or discounts to settle the lawsuits arising from the newspaper's inflation of its audited circulation. Hollinger also will pay plaintiffs' legal fees up to $5.6 million. A hearing seeking court approval of the deal is scheduled for December.


Officer Investigated in Data Theft

A Miami-Dade police officer was relieved of duty and is under investigation for allegedly obtaining unauthorized access to data maintained by ChoicePoint on as many as 4,689 people.

The officer, ChoicePoint said in a letter to people who might be affected, was not authorized to use the department's account with the company and "had accessed information illegally and acted outside the scope of his employment." The department would not identify the officer.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

US Airways, now leaving Chapter 11 protection, could be merged with America West by Sept. 27.