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November 12, 2007
NEWS AT A GLANCE
Airbus increases lead over Boeing
Airbus, the world’s largest airplane maker, has signed $46.5 billion in deals at the Dubai air show, compared with $30.4 billion for rival Boeing. (Reuters) Airbus also increased its delivery forecast for this year to a record 450 planes. (Bloomberg) The orders underscored the rising importance of oil-wealthy emirates to the business. “The Dubai Air Show used to be a regional event,” said Airbus executive John Leahy. “Now it is clearly one of the major shows in the world.” (The Wall Street Journal) Among the orders, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz ordered a “Flying Palace”—a specially modified version of Airbus’ super-jumbo A380—to go with his private Boeing 747. (MarketWatch)
Hershey shakes up board
Chocolate maker Hershey replaced 8 of its board’s 11 members yesterday, as the controlling shareholder, the nonprofit Hershey Trust, moved to improve the company’s poor financial performance. Hershey shares have dropped about 20 percent over the last 12 months, as the company faced higher dairy costs and competition from rival Mars. (MarketWatch) In October, CEO Richard Lenny unexpectedly announced his departure amid rising tension with the trust. (Reuters) “This seems like action for action’s sake,” said Walter Todd at Greenwood Capital Associates. “It’s the equivalent to me of your baseball organization where the players are playing miserably and you fire the managers.” (Bloomberg)
As silicon goes, Hafnium Valley?
Computer chip maker Intel is rolling out a new microchip today that uses hafnium, rather than the traditional silicon dioxide, to achieve faster and more energy-efficient processing speeds. Intel has reduced the size of the chip’s circuitry to 45 nanometers, from 65, allowing 850 million transistors to fit on one chip. (The Wall Street Journal) The new chips will allow computers to stream high-definition full-screen video over the Web, Intel says. (The New York Times, free registration required) The rollout of Intel’s 45-nanometer chip, known as Penryn, comes at least six months before smaller rival AMD is set to release a chip with transistors that small. (AP in BusinessWeek.com)
Selling fake designer brands, piously
The Senegalese street vendors selling knockoff Gucci purses and Prada sunglasses are likely sending much of the money back to holy city of Touba, or Senegal’s “little Mecca.” Many of the vendors, from Rome to Manhattan, are members of the Mouride brotherhood, a moderate branch of Sufi Islam that has become extremely influential in Senegal. The aggressively capitalist sect is based on the teachings of founder Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, notably, “Pray as if you will die tomorrow and work as if you will live forever.” Influential Mouride teacher Cheikh Bethio, standing next to his brand new Hummer, says, “It hurts us when the West confuses Islam and terrorism.” (Reuters)
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