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AP Financial News Summary at 11:01 a.m. EDT

August 27, 2006

Chad’s President Suspends 3 Ministers

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N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) _ Chad’s president suspended the oil minister and two other Cabinet members who negotiated deals with two foreign oil firms that he ordered out of the country for failing to pay taxes, officials said Sunday.

FedEx Express, Pilots OK Tentative Deal

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ FedEx Express, operator of the world’s largest cargo airline, has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with its pilots, the company announced Sunday.

No Consensus on Fed’s Next Move on Rates

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ After two-plus years, is the pain from the long march of higher interest rates over for good? Borrowers finally got a reprieve this month when the Federal Reserve decided to halt a campaign that produced the longest stretch of rate increases in recent history.

Sisters Blew Whistle on Katrina Claims

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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) _ Who are the moles? The question was like a parlor game for employees of State Farm Insurance Co. after Hurricane Katrina, one they nervously played during coffee breaks or in the parking lot after work.

Seattle Firm Warned BP About Pipeline

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SEATTLE (AP) _ An engineering firm raised a red flag more than four years ago about BP PLC’s monitoring of its Alaska oil pipelines, documents show.

U.S. Envoy to Lobby China for WTO Talks

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BEIJING (AP) _ A U.S. trade envoy arrived on Sunday to press China for help in restarting WTO talks on liberalizing global trade after warning they could be stalled for years without a breakthrough soon.

Merger to Create Italy’s Largest Bank

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ROME (AP) _ Banca Intesa SpA and Sanpaolo IMI SpA said Saturday they agreed to merge, creating Italy’s biggest bank in what one official hailed as a sign of vitality in the economy.

Judge Blocks Northwest Employees’ Strike

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge blocked Northwest Airlines flight attendants from going on strike Friday, handing a victory to the airline just hours before a planned strike action that could have devastated the cash-strapped company.

Bernanke Warns Against Protectionism

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned lawmakers to avoid the temptation to impose protectionist trade policies as the United States grapples with fierce competition from globalization.

Oil, Gas Prices Rise on Storm Fears

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A relatively weak storm hundreds of miles south of Puerto Rico captured the attention of energy traders Friday, sending oil and natural-gas prices higher on fears that it could strengthen and threaten Gulf of Mexico production by next week.

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