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City council endorses labor organizing agreements

In a show of support for an impending campaign by the Service Employees International Union to organize workers at the Boston's teaching hospitals, city councillors voted 10-0 in favor of a resolution calling for hospital executives to sign "free and fair election agreements." Such agreements replace federal labor organizing procedures with rules that can make it easier for a union to organize employees. The SEIU said it wants to ensure hospital employees do not face intimidation or other unfair tactics aimed at discouraging them from voting in favor of the union. It has already won the backing of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who last week appeared at a prounion rally in the Longwood Medical Area with actor Ben Affleck. (Mark Pothier)

THE NATION

Airlines waive fees for fliers affected by Calif. wildfires
Airlines are waiving some fees for passengers who need to change plans because of wildfires in Southern California. American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and US Airways had notices on their websites telling customers flying to and from the area they can change flights for free, saving up to $100 per ticket. (AP)

GlaxoSmithKline plans to close facility in Puerto Rico
Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline PLC said it will close its factory in Puerto Rico because of declining sales of diabetes treatments and growing competition from generics. The plant in Cidra employs about 900 people. It opened in 1969 as the US territory emerged as a pharmaceutical powerhouse, but it has been plagued in recent years by quality-control problems. The plant will transfer production of diabetes treatments Avandia and Avandamet to facilities in Canada and Europe and reduce its workforce to about 250 by year-end, said a company spokeswoman. (AP)

Lilly halts blood-clot drug trials on dosage problem
Eli Lilly and Co. said it stopped giving its experimental medicine - blood-clot preventer prasugrel - to patients in two small trials because the dosage may need to be changed for certain patients. Lilly, whose shares fell 4 percent in after-hours trading in response, said developments in the two trials "should not be interpreted to represent the outcome of the overall prasugrel clinical development program." Company spokesman Joedy Isert said Lilly does not believe suspension of the trials, which collectively had enrolled 119 patients, would have a material effect on the drug's future. Isert said it was not yet clear what types of patients in the trials might require a different dosel, or if any adjustment needs to be made. (Reuters)

Crude oil jumps after report supplies fell 5.3m barrels
Oil futures surged after the government's inventory report revealed large and unexpected declines in crude and gasoline inventories. US crude supplies fell 5.3 million barrels last week, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, on average, had been expecting an increase of 300,000 barrels. Imports of crude oil fell 1.3 million barrels a day last week to an average of 9.1 million barrels a day, the EIA said. Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose $1.83 to settle at $87.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (AP)

Intel settles patent suit with Transmeta for $250m
Intel Corp. has agreed to pay $250 million over five years to Transmeta Corp. to settle a patent-infringement lawsuit over chip designs and power management technology, the two companies said. The truce means Intel will be allowed to incorporate patented Transmeta technologies in its chips for 10 years under a nonexclusive license and the two sides will abandon their lawsuits against each other. Transmeta's stock more than tripled to $13.93 on the news. Intel will pay a one-time fee of $150 million, plus $20 million annually for five years under the the agreement. (AP)

THE WORLD

Airbus A380 flies for 1st time, Singapore to Sydney
The world's biggest jet lifted off from Singapore on its long-delayed first commercial flight, as part of Singapore Airlines daily service to Sydney. Watched by airport staff and travelers Airbus's A380 superjumbo took off from Changi Airport on a seven-hour flight. Passengers paid from $560 to $100,380 to be on the inaugural flight, after bidding as part of a charity auction to drum up publicity. (Reuters)

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