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FORD'S CHINA JOURNEY
CHONGQING, China â¿¿ Dave Schoch has one of the toughest jobs at Ford Motor Co.: Catching the competition in the world's biggest car market. When Schoch first arrived in China 13 years ago, bicycles and pedestrians still filled the streets. Now, its eight-lane freeways are crowded with cars â¿¿ but few of them are Fords. After years of delay, Ford is finally trying to catch up to its rivals in China, investing billions in new factories and vehicles. As Ford's new head of Asia Pacific operations, Schoch is overseeing that effort and trying to make sure that Ford gets on Chinese buyers' shopping lists. By Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin.
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DEATH OF THE PHONE LINE
MANTOLOKING, N.J. â¿¿ Robert Post misses his phone line. Post, 85, has a pacemaker that needs to be checked once a month by phone. But the copper wiring that once connected his home to the rest of the world is gone, and the phone company refuses to restore it. The traditional copper wire phone line, which began commercial service in 1877, is going dead. The number of U.S. phone lines peaked at 186 million in 2000. Since then, more than 100 million copper lines have been disconnected. The lines have been supplanted by cellphones and Internet-based phone service offered by way of cable and fiber optic wiring. Experts estimate that just one in four U.S. households will have a copper phone line by the end of this year. For most people, the phone line's demise will have little impact. But regulators and consumer advocates are increasingly concerned about the holdouts, most of whom will soon have their lines taken away. By Peter Svensson.