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In brief: Jobs picture takes step back

Sat., Dec. 19, 2009

WASHINGTON – In a reversal of earlier gains, more states lost jobs than added them in November, signaling that hiring is occurring only sporadically around the country.

Unemployment rates dropped in 36 states and the District of Columbia, but that trend appeared to reflect more people leaving the work force. Unemployed people who stop looking for jobs out of frustration aren’t counted in the labor force.

It was the first time since April that more states’ unemployment rates fell than rose.

Associated Press

Ryanair quits Boeing talks

LONDON – Budget carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC announced Friday it has broken off negotiations with Boeing Co. to buy 200 more 737-800 short-haul aircraft after being unable to extract concessions from the manufacturer.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said Ryanair had reached a pricing agreement for the aircraft – to be delivered from 2013 to 2016 – but Boeing was “unwilling to incorporate some other terms and conditions from our existing agreement into this new aircraft order.”

Associated Press

GM begins loan repayments

DETROIT – General Motors Co. made the first payment on its giant installment loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments on Friday, sending $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury and $192 million to Canada.

The company plans to repay both governments in full by the end of June, but Chairman and acting CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. said in a statement that repayment is contingent on no downturns in the economy or GM’s business.

GM owes the U.S. government a total of $52 billion, with $6.7 billion of that in loans.

Whitacre on Tuesday committed to repaying the loans by the end of June.

Associated Press

Google fined over copyrights

PARIS – A Paris court ruled Friday that Google Inc.’s expansion into digital books breaks France’s copyright laws, and a judge slapped the Internet search leader with a daily fine until it stops showing literary snippets.

Besides being fined the equivalent of $14,300 for each day in violation, Google was ordered to pay $430,000 in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere, which brought the case on behalf of a group of French publishers.

Google attorney Alexandra Neri said the company would appeal.

Associated Press


 

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