Ford Motor Co. will offer inflatable rear seat belts in more of its vehicles starting next summer. Ford was the first in the industry to offer the belts, which are now available on the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV. The company plans to offer them on the Ford Flex, a seven-passenger crossover wagon, and two unnamed Lincoln vehicles.
TOKYO (AP) — The owner of Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant will pay an estimated $1 billion (88 billion yen) to thousands of residents who evacuated homes near the radiation-leaking plant and don't yet know when they can return. Compensation Tokyo Electric Power Co.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve acknowledged Wednesday that the economy is growing more slowly than it expected. But it said it will complete its $600 billion Treasury bond buying program by June 30 as planned and announced no further efforts to boost the economy. Ending a two-day meeting, the Fed repeated a pledge to keep interest rates at record lows near zero for "an extended period," a promise it's made for more than two years.
LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Airbus racked up huge orders for its fuel-saving A320neo jetliner on Wednesday, even bagging the biggest single sale in aviation history, and overshadowing the arrival of Boeing's much-hyped and much-delayed 787 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show. As airlines around the world worry about skyrocketing fuel prices, demand has surged for low-consumption planes.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials say the latest data on silicone breast implants show they are relatively safe, despite frequent complications that lead about one in five women to have the implants removed within ten years. A Food and Drug Administration report issued Wednesday is the agency's first safety assessment of the implants since regulators returned them to the market in 2006.
BAODING, China (AP) — Solar panels jut out of streetlights in China's self-proclaimed Clean Energy City. Tiny wind turbines twirl atop public buildings. Schools are due to teach students about "green living." In the scramble to profit from demand for clean energy, this city southwest of Beijing is promoting itself as a manufacturing center for solar, wind and other gear by transforming into a living showcase of environmental technology.
HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. said Wednesday it has completed a deal to outsource Symbian software development to Accenture, including the transfer of 2,800 workers to the global management-consulting firm. The announcement came two months after Nokia disclosed the plan as part of its aim to cut costs by $1.
LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Boeing will deliver the first of its much-delayed 787 wide-bodied jets to launch customer All Nippon Airways as early as August, officials said Wednesday. At a joint ceremony at the Paris Air Show, the two companies showcased the new plane — known as the Dreamliner — saying it will allow airlines to open up a number of new long-haul routes.
CHICAGO (AP) — This is a dog fight Chicago will relish. Vienna Beef, one of the world's most famous hot dog makers, is suing the owner of a rival hot dog company, accusing him of either stealing Vienna's 118-year-old recipe or lying to customers by claiming that he's using it. The rival is none other than a grandson of one of the two men who founded the company after their hot dogs became a hit at the 1893 World's Fair.
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's flagship carrier Qantas said Wednesday it has reached a 95 million Australian dollar ($100 million) settlement with engine maker Rolls-Royce over last year's mid-air disintegration of a superjumbo engine, which temporarily forced the grounding of its entire fleet of A380s.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's pick to head the Commerce Department criticized a federal labor board's lawsuit against the Boeing Co. on Tuesday over the aerospace giant's decision to locate a new plant in South Carolina. The nominee, John Bryson, recently stepped down from Boeing's board.
LE BOURGET, France (AP) — The plane making one of the biggest splashes at the Paris Air Show carries a grand total of one person and is often delayed because there's too much wind or too little sun. Andre Borschberg pilots the Solar Impulse, a prototype aircraft powered exclusively by sunlight.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Improved helmet design has helped reduce concussions in impact sports such as football and hockey, but it may be impossible to design a helmet that completely eliminates them, according to a panel of sports science professors outlining the latest findings. Helmets "certainly help to mitigate forces that are distributed by impact to the skull and the intracranial cavity and the brain," said Kevin Guskiewicz, a professor of sports science at North Carolina and an expert on football helmets.
VERONA, Miss. (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Glen, Miss.-based Triple P Farms Inc. for four safety violations. OSHA has proposed penalties of $73,500. The company has 15 days to appeal. OSHA said Tuesday it began an inspection in February after a worker had both legs amputated when his foot got caught in a baling machine as he attempted to clear cardboard that had jammed at a business in Verona.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Rotting teeth. Diseased lungs. A corpse of a smoker. Nine new warning labels featuring graphic images that convey the dangers of smoking will be required by the Food and Drug Administration to be on U.S. cigarette packs by 2012. Other images include a man with a tracheotomy smoking and a mother holding a baby with smoke swirling around them.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. plans to close two U.S. pickup truck plants for two weeks in July at a time when pickup sales are starting to wane and trucks are stacking up on dealer lots. The company said the shutdowns at the Flint, Michigan, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, factories have been scheduled for months to do maintenance on equipment and help to outfit the Flint plant for a third shift that's coming in August.
DETROIT (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday that it will cut the global carbon dioxide emissions from the vehicles it makes by 20 percent by the end of this decade. The company said in its annual environmental report that it was setting the goal to address climate change and energy issues. The cut is based on 2000 emissions levels.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa based ready-mix concrete company has pleaded guilty to participating in a price-fixing scheme for the sale of ready-mix concrete. The U.S. Department of Justice says Rock Valley-based Tri-State Ready Mix Inc. pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiring with another company to fix prices for ready-mix concrete.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Three employees who say they fear losing their jobs at Boeing Co.'s North Charleston plant were allowed on Monday to have limited roles in a federal labor dispute over the company's 787 passenger jet line. The National Labor Relations Board has decided to allow the employees to file a brief in the case once an NLRB hearing in the case is completed, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is helping the employees with their legal case.
CORDOVA, Ill. (AP) — 3M is investing $90 million to expand its plant in the western Illinois community of Cordova. Officials from 3M broke ground Monday on the expansion, which is designed to help the company meet increasing demand for its next generation of technologies. Pat Thornton is the plant's site manager, and Thornton tells the Quad-City Times that the decision to expand in Cordova is "a vote of confidence" in the plant's employees.