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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Taiwan telecom buys Vivato gear

From staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

A Taiwan company has announced it will buy wireless networking equipment developed by Spokane-based Vivato to provide broadband connectivity for that country’s five largest cities.

TW-Airnet, based in Taichung, Taiwan, will install 42 Vivato base stations across a 40-square-mile area, the company announced Monday.

The Vivato equipment will provide extended wireless broadband for residents, businesses and visitors in Taichung, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Keelung and Taichung.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

“Providing this wireless broadband technology to our citizens will dramatically change the way they work, play and communicate,” said Liang Chen, an official with TW-Airnet, in a press release.

TW-Airnet is one of Taiwan’s largest telecom network operators.

Crude oil prices increase slightly

Vienna, Austria Oil prices rose Monday as traders weighed the effects of sabotage that disrupted Iraq’s southern pipeline exports against partially resumed crude production in Ecuador.

Analysts cautioned against putting too much emphasis on the Iraqi outages, saying it was too early to say how long the shortfalls in output would last. An official of Iraq’s South Oil Co. said exports had resumed on a limited basis, while other officials said waiting tankers were being served by pumps on auxiliary power at a rate much reduced from normal.

Light sweet crude for September delivery rose 10 cents to settle at $65.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The front-month crude futures contract reached an all-time high of $67.10 on Aug. 12. While prices are 42 percent above year ago levels, they are still below the inflation-adjusted high above $90 a barrel, set in 1980.

Chinese oil firm to acquire Canadian producer

Beijing China’s biggest state-owned oil firm has reached an agreement to buy a major oil producer in neighboring Kazakhstan for $4.2 billion – a victory in Beijing’s campaign to secure foreign energy supplies for its booming economy.

The acquisition of PetroKazakhstan Inc., a Canada-based company, by a unit of China National Petroleum Corp., comes just three weeks after Hong Kong-based CNOOC Ltd. dropped its bid for Unocal Corp. following opposition from U.S. politicians.

The deal, which still requires the approval of PetroKazakhstan’s shareholders, would be the biggest acquisition yet in a string of Chinese corporate takeovers overseas.

Maytag agrees to Whirpool buyout offer

Des Moines, Iowa With a rival bidder backing away from the table, Maytag Corp. embraced a buyout offer of more than $1.7 billion in cash and stock from the nation’s largest appliance maker, Whirlpool Corp.

As the companies announced Monday they had signed a formal agreement, Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig offered reassurances that the combination of Whirlpool and Maytag, the nation’s third largest appliance maker, will gain approval of federal antitrust regulators.

A combined Whirlpool-Maytag company would capture about 48 percent of the market in major appliances in the United States, analysts have estimated. General Electric Co. would have about 26 percent and Sweden’s Electrolux AB would have about 20 percent of the U.S. market.

Whirlpool-Maytag would control as much as 70 percent of the U.S. laundry market, a figure that analysts said would likely generate close government scrutiny.

SEC sues former Bristol-Myers executives

Washington Two former executives of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., previously indicted on criminal conspiracy and securities fraud charges, were sued Monday by federal regulators who accused them of civil fraud in orchestrating a $1.5 billion scheme to deceive investors about the company’s performance.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the lawsuit against Frederick Schiff, Bristol-Myers’ former chief financial officer, and Richard Lane, former executive vice president and president of the pharmaceutical company’s worldwide medicines group.

The SEC is seeking unspecified civil penalties against the two former executives. The suit accuses them of instructing staff in 2000 and 2001 to create incentive packages for the company’s biggest wholesalers to inflate sales and profit figures, while misleading Wall Street analysts and investors.

Lane’s attorney, Richard Strassberg, disputed the charges and said his client will contest them. Schiff’s lawyer, Lawrence Spiegel, didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.

Manufacturer recalls bamboo Tiki torches

About 963,000 bamboo Tiki torches and about 18,000 replacement fuel canisters, manufactured by Lamplight Farms Inc., have been recalled because metal flame guards found on the torches and canisters can catch fire, posing a risk of injuries and property damage.

The manufacturer has received 33 reports of torches catching fire, including six reports of minor injuries and nine reports of minor property damage.

The word “Tiki” is imprinted on the flame guard, and model and manufacturer information can be found on a tag attached to the torch or canister. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s and other home and hardware stores sold the products nationwide from December 2004 through July 2005. For more information, call the company at (866) 239-6664 or visit http://www.lamplightfarms.com./tiki/safety.asp or http://www.cpsc.gov.

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