Any Europeans dismayed over the election of a right-wing lunatic in South Carolina -- oops, we mean Austria -- had plenty of other news to distract them this weekend.
A pair of British insurers will announce a merger Monday, industry sources tell
will form a company worth $30.5 billion, making it one of Europe's top insurance companies, the news agency reports.
, meanwhile, has sold 40 power plants to a subsidiary of Houston-based
reports. Vivendi bought the plants, most of them concentrated in the mid-Atlantic region, from
are about to take Munich. German media group
EM.TV & Merchandising
will announce Monday the takeover of the Los Angeles-based
Jim Henson Co.
news weekly reports. Terms have not yet been disclosed, but the deal is said to be worth less than $800 million.
may have a solution to
difficulty in extracting a profit from its
unit. The U.S. automaker may offer its German counterpart use of its Astra production platform, the
in London reported. GM is said to be interested in Land Rover, which makes off-road vehicles bearing the same name in the U.K., or a stake in BMW.
Farther east, GM is denying a report in the Japanese newspaper
that it plans to share computer systems for designing and developing cars with its auto partners in Japan.
Elsewhere in the auto industry,
has settled a U.S. Labor Department discrimination complaint. The company agreed to pay $3.8 million to female and minority job applicants and hire 100 workers from these groups at seven of its assembly and parts plants.
One of America's premier investment banks and a California technology fund are talking about launching a European online bank, the
are exploring the idea, which they estimate will require millions of pounds.
is considering a friendly approach to a worldwide catering company, the
Mail on Sunday
reported. The companies it is looking at include
, the newspaper said.
How much would you pay for a human kidney? An auction for one such organ on
German Web site drew a bid of $100,000 before the auctioneer intervened and shut it down over the weekend. An eBay representative told
such offers are often jokes.
In Japan, the
average was down 95.51 points to 19,693.52, a loss of 0.48%, in early Monday trading.
53% to 42% in South Carolina Saturday,
George W. Bush
rebounded from his earlier loss in the New Hampshire Republican primary. The two candidates will square off again Tuesday in the Michigan and Arizona primaries.
In the Papers
jet that crashed last month was built at a
aircraft factory repeatedly faulted for sloppy workmanship, the
Los Angeles Times
reported Sunday. The newspaper found no evidence, however, that the problems played a role in the crash, and reported that the Federal Aviation Administration did not consider them a threat to flight safety. McDonnell Douglas is now owned by
Another flight came close to meeting its doom the day before the Alaska Airlines crash, the
reported Sunday. A
jetliner, heading from Fort Myers to Detroit on Jan. 30, nearly fell from the sky during what is known as a stall. The newspaper said the flight captain did not report the problem upon landing and has subsequently been suspended.
could be seeing its stock take off, several analysts predict in the latest edition of
. Amid a series of joint ventures, the company also plans to shed its information technology services division in an initial public offering later this year so it can focus on its core businesses of consumer electronics and semiconductors.
also features an interview with Chicago money manager
. His stock picks include
Check Point Software
David Rheingold is a New York-based freelance writer. At the time of publication he had no positions in any of the securities mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.