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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Flu season puts businesses and employees in a bind

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Nearly half the 70 employees at a Ford dealership in Clarksville, Ind., have been out sick at some point in the past month. It didn't have to be that way, the boss says.

"If people had stayed home in the first place, a lot of times that spread wouldn't have happened," says Marty Book, a vice president at Carriage Ford. "But people really want to get out and do their jobs, and sometimes that's a detriment."

The flu season that has struck early and hard across the U.S. is putting businesses and employees alike in a bind. In this shaky economy, many Americans are reluctant to call in sick, something that can backfire for their employers.

Flu was widespread in 47 states last week, up from 41 the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The only states without widespread flu were California, Mississippi and Hawaii. And the main strain of the virus circulating tends to make people sicker than usual.

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FAA to review Boeing 787, but calls plane safe

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The government stepped in Friday to assure the public that Boeing's 787 "Dreamliner" is safe to fly, even as it launched a comprehensive review to find out what caused a fire, a fuel leak and other worrisome incidents this week.

Despite the incidents Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared, "I believe this plane is safe, and I would have absolutely no reservations about boarding one of these planes and taking a flight." Administrator Michael Huerta of the Federal Aviation Administration said his agency has seen no data suggesting that the plane isn't safe but wanted the review to find out why safety-related incidents were occurring.

The 787 is the aircraft maker's newest and most technologically advanced airliner, and the company is counting heavily on its success. It relies more than any other modern airliner on electrical signals to help power nearly everything the plane does. It's also the first Boeing plane to use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which charge faster and can be molded to space-saving shapes compared to other airplane batteries. The plane is made with lightweight composite materials instead of aluminum.

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