Deutsche Lufthansa flight attendants resumed work after an eight-hour pay strike forced Europes second-largest airline to cancel most services at its main Frankfurt airport hub. Cabin crew members reported for duty after the walkout called by the Unabhaengige Flugbegleiter Organisation union ended at 1 pm, said Thomas Jachnow, a Lufthansa spokesman. The airline canceled at least 207 flights, primarily within Europe as well as services to and from some US cities, Tel Aviv and Chennai, India, according to Lufthansas website. The dispute centres on the pace of pay raises and whether separate wage scales apply to some groups of workers as Lufthansa implements a 1.5 billion-euro ($1.9 billion) savings programme dubbed Score.
Japans industrial output resumes slide in July
Japanese industrial production resumed its slide, falling 1.2% in July from June amid slumping global demand, the govern-ment said on Friday. Its a disappoin-ting sign for the worlds third-biggest economy and suggests that any sort of recovery is sputtering. Manufacturers had much rosier predictions a month ago, when they forecast that factory output, a key indicator for Japans export-oriented economy, would jump 4.5% in July. But weak global and domestic demand is weighing on manufacturers, particularly electronics makers, who are facing intense competition from South Korean, Taiwanese and other Asian manufacturers. The strong yen, which erodes overseas earnings, is also eating into profits.
Merkel to visit Spain, Austria next week
The German governm-ent says Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Spain and Austria next week in the latest round of eurozone crisis diplomacy. Merkel will meet Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy in Madrid next Thursday before both leaders attend a Spanish-German business conference. Spain has seen its borrowing costs soar on investor concern about its ability to manage its finances without aid. Spain recently admitted it was debating applying for some sort of bailout; it has already been granted a 100-billion-euros ($125 billion) loan to help its troubled banks.
Russian tycoon loses HC feud with Abramovich
Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has lost his multibillion-dollar legal battle against fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich in a London courtroom. Judge Elizabeth Gloster ruled the 66-year-old self-exiled tycoon was not as reliable as a witness as 45-year-old Abramovich, the billionaire owner of the Chelsea football club. The bottom line of my analysis of Berezovskys credibility is that he would have said almost anything to support his case, Gloster said. Berezovsky, a former Kremlin power broker, alleged that Abramovich, who he called his protege, had betrayed and intimidated him into selling his stakes in the Russian oil company Sibneft vastly beneath their value.
Ford aims to beat Toyota with small car Focus
Ford Motor says its Focus small car is on track to become the best-selling car in the world this year, trumping the Toyota Corolla. Ford sold 489,616 Focus sedans and hatchbacks worldwide in the first half of 2012. That was almost 27,000 more than the perennial best-seller, the Toyota Corolla. Ford made the announcement at its assembly plant in Rayong, which opened in May to build the Focus. The Thailand plant, which is one of Fords most advanced, has the capacity to produce 150,000 cars per year for sale in Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and other countries in the region.