ECONOMY

Energy Prices Lower Growth Forecast

The global economy is projected to grow by 4.3 percent in both 2005 and 2006, with the projection for 2006 slightly lower than the rate previously predicted, the International Monetary Fund said.

Higher energy prices cast uncertainty over the world economy. One of the biggest risks is the possibility that energy prices will continue to rise, causing consumers and companies to become more cautious, slowing economic activity.

EUROPE

E.U. Scales Back Pollution Plan

The European Union head office proposed scaled-back plans to reduce air pollution, which it claims prematurely kills 370,000 E.U. citizens every year.

The restrictions would cost industry and governments $8.7 billion a year to implement. The new rules must be approved by national governments in the 25-nation bloc to take effect. Plans to present the package in June were scaled back after industry groups convinced E.U. leaders that costs were too high.

Britain Warned on Budget Deficit

The European Commission cautioned Britain that its budget deficit, which exceeds an E.U. target, cannot be explained by the country's economic situation and may warrant a recommendation that it reduce spending.

Even though Britain has not adopted the euro, it has a duty as a member of the European Union to "endeavor to avoid excessive deficits," the commission said.

LEGAL

U.S. to Deploy Copyright-Protection Teams

The United States will send teams of experts overseas to fight copyright violations, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez said. The groups, called Intellectual Property Rights Experts, will operate in Brazil, China, India, Russia and other countries.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.