Thursday, May 6, 2004

Business Digest



Delta Air Lines has pickup in passengers

Delta Air Lines Wednesday reported a 21.4 percent jump in passenger traffic for April compared with the same month last year. The rise comes along with a 15 percent jump in capacity.

Delta reported that its planes were 74.4 percent full, compared with just 70.5 percent full last year.

Delta's Erlanger-based Comair saw a 35.4 percent jump in domestic passenger traffic for April compared with last year, seeing capacity grow by 27.4 percent.

McDonald's new CEO has cancer surgery

CHICAGO - New McDonald's Corp. chief executive Charlie Bell underwent successful colorectal cancer surgery Wednesday, less than three weeks after replacing CEO Jim Cantalupo who died of a heart attack.

Bell, 43, will remain CEO during what the company said would be a brief recovery.

Stewart loses attempt to get new trial

NEW YORK - A federal judge refused to grant Martha Stewart a new trial Wednesday, dismissing claims that a juror lied to conceal a bias against her.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum clears the way for a hearing next month at which Stewart could be sentenced to more than a year in prison.

Cedarbaum also denied a new trial for Peter Bacanovic, who was convicted along with Stewart on March 5 for lying about why Stewart sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems stock in 2001, just before the stock price plunged.

Winemakers of Italy, France form alliance

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Two of Europe's leading wine producers announced a strategic partnership Wednesday to take on U.S. and Australian competitors in a global battle for emerging markets.

The agreement, which falls short of a full merger, brings together Italy's largest producer Caviro, and Groupe Val d'Orbieu, France's second-largest winemaker.

Complainant wins in dispute with airline

CHANTILLY, Va. - A whistleblower who alleged that she was fired for exposing a scheme to funnel extra pay to leaders of the pilots' union for Atlantic Coast Airlines has won a claim against the airline under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Stacy Platone, who had been the airline's manager for labor relations, was awarded back pay and lawyer fees by an administrative law judge.

Platone said she discovered that some members of the pilots' union were abusing a provision in the labor agreement that allowed them to collect pay on days they did not fly if they were involved with union business.

Domestic-partner benefit more common

WASHINGTON - Private employers are introducing domestic-partner health insurance benefits to gays at the rate of three companies a day, according to a gay rights advocacy group.

The analysis by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation found more than 1,000 private employers and colleges and universities added domestic-partner benefits in 2003.




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