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Unions claim Verizon got the wrong number
Say ad blitz doesn't tell the full story on pay for workers
(By Peter J. Howe, Globe Staff)
Verizon Communications Inc. has been blanketing airwaves and newspaper columns with an unusual preemptive advertising campaign to sway public opinion against its Northeastern workers who are threatening to strike on Saturday. But the advertisements, which tout the workers' rich pay and benefit packages, don't tell the whole story -- just the best version for Verizon's purposes.
Carly Simon wants to pledge 30 percent of her auction proceeds to hike wages of workers at a Vineyard social services facility Carly Simon wants to pledge 30 percent of her auction proceeds to hike wages of workers at a Vineyard social services facility; Art Buchwald (right) has expressed concern.  (Globe File Photo)

Celebrity fund-raiser debate turns spotlight on issue of workers' wages
(By Diane E. Lewis, Globe Staff)
At this summer's big celebrity fund-raiser on Martha's Vineyard, the chance of winning lunch with Carly Simon at her home, where she might reveal the name of the person who inspired her song, "You're So Vain," seemed exciting enough.

West End housing proposal trimmed
Equity Residential aims for fewer units at Charles River Park
(By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff)
The apartment building owners at Charles River Park filed a $75 million expansion proposal with the city yesterday that will add four buildings with 320 rental units, most of them luxury apartments.

Life after annuities
(By Steven Syre,
Globe Columnist

When last seen in this space, about nine months ago, Allmerica Financial Corp. was in a nose dive, and its chief executive was on the ropes.

Citizens continues expansion
$116m Hudson buy stretches bank's reach into I-495 tech area
(By Keith Reed, Globe Staff)
Citizens Financial Group Inc. continued its recent buying binge yesterday, agreeing to purchase Hudson-based Community Bancorp Inc. for $116 million in cash.

OPEC sees little need to alter output
(By Associated Press)
VIENNA -- OPEC's president joined oil ministers from several of the cartel's member countries yesterday in reinforcing expectations that they won't change crude output when meeting to reassess a market that seems to be going all their way.

Fed notes uptick in economy
Most districts see growth signs; housing boosts New England
(By Associated Press)
WASHINGTON -- America's economy, which has been poking along, displayed fresh signs of gaining momentum in June and the first half of July, the Federal Reserve said yesterday in its latest snapshot of US business activity.

SEC probes AOL subscriber counts
Firm is suspected of inflating figures
(By Washington Post)
WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether America Online Inc. improperly inflated its subscriber count through questionable practices ranging from the inclusion of hundreds of thousands of nonpaying customers on its membership rolls to the use of deeply discounted "bulk sales," sources familiar with the probe said yesterday.

32 Lord & Taylor stores to shut, 5 in New England
(By Associated Press)
ST. LOUIS -- May Department Stores Co. said yesterday it will close 32 of its Lord & Taylor stores in 15 states and two other stores under different names, leaving about 3,700 workers without jobs.

Fleet, trader to pay fines for NYSE violation
Bank broke rules on stock quotes
(By Scott Bernard Nelson, Globe Staff)
The New York Stock Exchange fined and censured FleetBoston Financial Corp. yesterday for rules violations at its "specialist" subsidiary, which works the floor of the stock market. The move was unrelated to an ongoing, broader NYSE investigation into a number of specialist firms, including Fleet.

Earnings Roundup
(By Globe Staff and Wires)
Drugstore operator CVS Corp. reported a 13 percent increase in profit for the second quarter, driven by strong sales, increased use of generic drugs, and improved inventory management.

Little progress at trade talks
Ministers say barriers still high
(By Associated Press)
MONTREAL -- Trade and agriculture ministers said yesterday they had made progress as they concluded three days of free trade talks but acknowledged they have several mountains still to climb and limited time.

FCC to probe routing of calls
(By Globe Wire Services)
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission said yesterday it is investigating allegations WorldCom Inc. illegally routed telephone calls to skirt expensive fees paid for connecting calls.

Mortgage applications shrink as interest rates continue rise
(By Bloomberg News)
WASHINGTON -- Applications for US mortgages fell last week to the lowest this year as a rise in mortgage rates slowed the pace of refinancing, an industry report showed.

Sometimes it's use principal, or lose it
(By Chuck Jaffe, Globe Columnist)
Arthur and Lois from Buffalo Grove, Ill., have been fighting recently. He wants to invest more aggressively. She doesn't want to lose any money. But for this couple, who asked that their last name not be published, the real decision may be far more daunting.

June data show investors still adding to stock funds
(By Reuters)
NEW YORK -- Investors added cash to US stock mutual funds for the third consecutive month in June in another sign of increased optimism, industry data showed yesterday.

Fannie Mae chief lambastes rival
Calls Freddie Mac woes 'devastating'
(By Associated Press)
WASHINGTON -- The accounting failure and management shake-up at Freddie Mac have had a "devastating" effect on the reputations of the housing finance giant and its larger rival Fannie Mae and have hurt consumers by pushing up mortgage interest rates, Fannie Mae's chairman said yesterday.

Pillowtex files Ch. 11, closes plants
(By Associated Press)
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- Textile giant Pillowtex, which had scrambled to find a buyer as a big debt repayment deadline approached, filed for protection from creditors yesterday as it shuttered its 16 plants and eliminated 6,450 jobs.

British Airways, unions reach agreement
(By Associated Press)
LONDON -- British Airways and three unions yesterday settled a dispute that had prompted a wildcat strike at Heathrow airport on one of the summer's busiest travel weekends.

Boston Scientific in gene therapy deal
(By Globe Staff and Wires)
Boston Scientific Corp. is teaming up with a San Diego biotechnology firm to develop and market a gene therapy for heart disease. The Natick medical device maker said it will pay $9 million for a 10 percent stake in Corautus Genetics Inc. and $1 million in licensing fees. Boston Scientific also agreed to buy up to $15 million of convertible debt from Corautus as it reaches certain goals. Corautus plans to begin clinical trials this year to test the effectiveness of its gene therapy, which is intended to produce new blood vessels in heart tissue.

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