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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Week in Review

The Spokesman-Review

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday recalled 3.8 million pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles for a cruise control switch suspected of causing engine fires. It is the fifth largest auto industry recall in U.S. history. Ford said the recall of 1994-2002 model-year vehicles includes the company’s hot-selling F-150 pickup truck, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and Ford Bronco. The company said it would start sending out recall notices to vehicle owners immediately.

Wednesday

The north Spokane company that produced bestselling videogames “Myst” and “Riven” has laid off about two dozen workers, citing a declining interest in the puzzle-solving genre it pioneered 18 years ago.

Launched in 1987, Cyan Worlds has sold more than 15 million copies of its visually striking adventure-puzzle games.

“ Triumph Composite Systems Inc. could lay off more than 200 employees as the Boeing Co. labor strike and production shutdowns cut parts deliveries. About 45 employees at the West Plains factory were scheduled for layoffs today, and more could be out of work by week’s end, said Triumph president MaryLou Thomas.

“ After enduring a year of trial and error typical to any start-up, Spokane-based Weldon Barber is preparing to open six Seattle-area stores within the next six months.

“ The economic hit from Hurricane Katrina keeps growing, with experts now saying it’s likely to top $100 billion and could go much higher.

“ Wall Street rallied Tuesday as oil prices tumbled, the service sector reported strong growth. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 141 points.

Thursday

“ Apple Computer Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs introduced a long-anticipated music-playing cell phone on Wednesday and surprised the faithful with a new pencil-thin iPod. The phone, called the ROKR and made by Motorola Inc., will come loaded with iTunes software, store up to 100 songs and include a color display screen and a built-in camera.

“ Northrop Grumman Corp. said it will team up with the parent of European aircraft-maker Airbus to bid for a contract to build a new refueling plane for the U.S. military. The joint venture pits Northrop and the North American unit of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., against Chicago-based Boeing Co.

Friday

An estimated 10,000 workers who lost their jobs because of Hurricane Katrina filed for unemployment benefits last week, the first wave of what likely will be hundreds of thousands of displaced workers seeking benefits.

“ The Justice Department sued the National Association of Realtors, claiming it unfairly limits competition by allowing real estate agents to withhold home listings from Internet-based brokers. The antitrust lawsuit follows lengthy negotiations in which the government pressed the Realtors to drop restrictions designed to protect traditional brokers.

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