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Archive for Saturday, December 1, 2001

Briefcase

December 1, 2001

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Patriotic M&Ms to sweeten Sept. 11 relief efforts

Packages of red, white and blue M&Ms will be sold to raise money for disaster relief.

The idea came from workers on the M&M assembly line Sept. 11 in Hackettstown, N.J. The candy went into production days later.

At first, the patriotic candies were handed out only to rescuers at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Profits from the 5 million packages, expected to top $3 million, will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Bankruptcy: Judge clears way for closing of AtHome Internet service

A judge cleared the way for bankrupt ExciteAtHome to turn off its high-speed Internet cable network, potentially affecting about 4 million subscribers throughout the country as early as this weekend.

The cable companies that connect their customers to the AtHome network said they planned to appeal the decision to U.S. District Court in San Francisco as soon as possible.

Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Carlson concluded that the contracts were "clearly burdensome" to the company. Under the contracts, executives said ExciteAt Home was losing up to $6 million a week.

Economy: Third quarter GDP weakest in a decade

The U.S. economy, battered by the terrorist attacks, turned in its worst performance in a decade during the third quarter, shrinking at a rate of 1.1 percent. Many economists expect an even steeper drop in the current quarter but are hopeful for a turnaround next year.

The revised reading on gross domestic product, released Friday by the Commerce Department, showed the economy was much weaker in the July-September quarter than the 0.4 percent rate of decline estimated a month ago.

The 1.1 percent drop in GDP the total output of goods and services in the United States followed a barely discernible growth rate of 0.3 percent in the second quarter and illustrated just how quickly and dramatically the economy sank after the deadliest attack in U.S. history.

Development: Wichita mayor says facility will boost city's downtown

Airbus SAS's decision to locate its engineering facility in the heart of Old Town Wichita is significant for the city's downtown area, Mayor Bob Knight said.

Airbus plans to open a wing design facility, employing 60 people, in a now-vacant, 12,600-square-foot warehouse.

Old Town developer Dave Burk has been working with officials from Airbus on a space for more than a month. Burk is leasing the site and is architect on a $130,000 project to renovate the warehouse.

Federal reserve: Greenspan credits dollar's strength to productivity

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Friday that the dollar's strength against the new European currency, the euro, stems from America's better performance in boosting the productivity of the work force.

While cautioning that it always is difficult to forecast directions in currency rates, Greenspan said it was evident that the dollar's surprising strength against the euro owed a great deal to a more flexible U.S. workplace.

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