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501 of 1258 DOCUMENTS

The New York Times

August 5, 2007 Sunday

Late Edition - Final

Six Novels of Clues to the Soul of Mother Russia

BYLINE: By TIMOTHY L. O'BRIEN

SECTION: Section AR; Column 0; Arts and Leisure Desk; BOOKS; Pg. 9

LENGTH: 1010 words

CONFRONTING the career-ending possibilities presented by a mass grave unearthed in central Moscow, a government supervisor in Martin Cruz Smith's new novel, ''Stalin's Ghost,'' frets aloud: ''What if the grave runs under the entire court?''

Not one to miss a straight line, Arkady Renko, the stoic, indefatigable investigator who is making his sixth appearance since his debut 26 years ago in Mr. Smith's ''Gorky Park,'' weighs in. ''That's always the problem, isn't it?'' he responds. ''Once you start digging, when to stop?''

Like Holmes, Poirot, Marple, Marlowe, Smiley and other predecessors who are best in show, Renko just doesn't know when to stop digging because he is almost dysfunctional when doing anything else. Renko's turf is, of course, Russia. And a reading of the five Renko novels set in and around there (which means excluding his odd little excursion to Cuba in ''Havana Bay'') offers an incisive encapsulation of Soviet and post-Soviet travails over the last few decades.

Deep down Renko is a patriot. He loves the promise of Russia -- its poetry, music and people -- even though he is routinely battered and emotionally scarred. That's also why he's so often disgusted with the operatic corruption and indignities that swarm around him, and why he loathes the stifling bureaucracy that he is part of yet somehow can't bring himself to leave.

At the end of ''Gorky Park,'' still the most surprising in a collection of often tautly written and deftly woven tales, Renko has the opportunity to defect from the Soviet Union, yet doesn't. Yes, he stays because leaving would imperil Irina, the woman he loves and has helped escape, but where else could he really live? Russian to his bones.

The Berlin Wall wouldn't fall for another 8 years and the dissolution of the Soviet Union wouldn't occur for another 10, so ''Gorky Park'' is steeped in fin de siecle cold war angst. As a well-heeled, Armand Hammer-esque American bribes and murders his way around Moscow, hot for Soviet sables, Renko navigates the gray, oppressive ranks of a Communist administration feeding off itself. People ingratiate themselves to apparatchiks in uniform. Otherwise they disappear.

Renko, whose powers of observation are matched only by his contempt for party-driven venality, cracks the case and snares one of his military superiors in the process. When he turns up again, in ''Polar Star'' (1989), he has fled ''rehabilitation'' in a state psychiatric hospital for anonymity aboard a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea. This time out Moscow is swapped for the subzero nightmare of Siberia; Solzhenitsyn and ''Ivan Denisovitch'' loom large here, evoked through the book's frigid, claustrophobic despair.

Even at sea Renko can't avoid corruption and murder. ''Gogol's great vision of Russia was of a troika madly dashing through the snow, sparks flying, the other nations of the earth watching in awe,'' he tells a smuggler. ''Yours is of a car trunk stuffed with stereo equipment.''

Siberia's prison camps were the most tactile, horrific manifestation of the Soviet failure, of the moral bankruptcy of a state trying to ensure conformity through incarceration. ''Polar Star'' reeks of that failure and offers a singular moment: a convict, naked, choosing to dive into an icy sea rather than be captured and returned to the gulag. Renko watches the convict swim to freedom, and death, as he disappears, wraithlike, beneath the waves.

''Red Square'' (1992) actually ends on a happy note. Renko reunites with Irina, and they hold hands outside the White House in Moscow as Boris Yeltsin presides over the Soviet Union's demise. Watching the glimmer of hope offered by Muscovites marching in a popular uprising, Renko allows himself to believe that even though the ''courage we have at birth becomes hoarded, shriveled, blown away,'' perhaps something better lies ahead for him and his lover.

Well, no.

By the time ''Wolves Eat Dogs'' (2004) takes place, Irina has died because of bungled medical treatment in a Moscow hospital. Soviet Union or no Soviet Union, proper health care is a dice roll, and the burgeoning Yeltsin democracy has given way to a neon-fueled playground for unimaginably wealthy and predatory oligarchs. The Ferris wheel that is a Gorky Park landmark is echoed with haunting dread by another Ferris wheel that sits dormant in Ukraine's most infamous city: Chernobyl. Renko still possesses his dry wit and unflagging sense of honor, but by now he is gaunt, spent and vaguely suicidal.

As he tools around Chernobyl on a wheezing motorcycle, noticing that trees, flowers and even people (albeit many maimed or diseased) have returned to a countryside ticking with radiation, he doesn't hesitate to eat food that makes the readout on his dosimeter run wild. Despite their grim circumstances the Ukrainians and Russians press on, admirably, with decency and a fatalism that courses throughout all of the Renko books. ''To vodka, the first line of radiation defense,'' one of the characters offers as a toast. Everyone drinks.

Renko emerges from ''Wolves'' with an anemic new romance and a troubled, paternalistic relationship with a Moscow street urchin skilled in that prized Russian pursuit, chess. But little of ''Red Square's'' elan remains. Russia is shown at loose ends, stumbling on an uncertain path.

''Stalin's Ghost'' revolves around another milestone in modern Russian history, the war in Chechnya. Moscow is still the city of ''Wolves Eat Dogs,'' home to parading oligarchs, quasi-criminal entrepreneurs, scheming politicos and average Russians caught between the old and the new, full of pride and irretrievably cynical.

About two-thirds of the way through ''Stalin's Ghost'' Renko encounters a lovely, graceful harpist at the Metropole Hotel in Moscow. She later flirts with him before managing to lasso a garrote around his neck, nearly choking him to death. We have encountered her in different shapes and sizes in earlier books. She is Renko's Russia: brimming with talent, lyrical and entrancing, corrupt and murderous.

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SUBJECT: NOVELS & SHORT STORIES (90%); BOOK REVIEWS (78%); INVESTIGATIONS (71%); POETRY (65%); COLD WAR (73%)

GEOGRAPHIC: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (93%); BERLIN, GERMANY (79%) BERING SEA (79%); PACIFIC OCEAN (64%) RUSSIA (94%); UNITED STATES (79%); GERMANY (79%); CUBA (55%)

LOAD-DATE: January 26, 2009

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

GRAPHIC: Photos: Martin Cruz Smith, above, and Gorky Park, which inspired the title of his first Arkady Renko novel. The sixth is the new ''Stalin's Ghost.''(Photograph by Stuart Isett)

(Photograph by Franz Marc Frei/Corbis)

PUBLICATION-TYPE: Newspaper

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

502 of 1258 DOCUMENTS

The New York Times

August 5, 2007 Sunday

Late Edition - Final

Training Local Workers Instead of Outsourcing

BYLINE: By LOUISE KRAMER.

E-mail: homefront@

SECTION: Section BU; Column 0; Money and Business/Financial Desk; HOME FRONT; Pg. 19

LENGTH: 918 words

MANY entrepreneurs strive to create specialized items that are hard to find elsewhere. Paul Storch is performing that kind of customization on an unlikely product: refrigerators.

His company, Felix Storch Inc., in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, customizes refrigerators the way auto shops trick out cars. The line includes units with locks for hospitals to store narcotics and others with glass fronts for newsstands to display cold drinks and for wine lovers to show off their collection. One recent morning, a worker attached a sneeze guard onto a dipping cabinet for Ciao Bella Gelato, an ice cream company.

Sales reached $30 million last year and are growing. But Mr. Storch is facing a serious challenge: he cannot find enough qualified employees to produce his refrigerators. ''We have been desperate for skilled help,'' he said. ''Some Bronx high school graduates can't do simple math and have trouble using a tape measure to find the midpoint. If they don't have the skills to drill, and make a mistake, we have to throw away a $500 refrigerator.''

Last summer, after nearly 40 years in business, the company said, it was forced to outsource a large portion of its manufacturing to factories in Mexico and Connecticut. ''We prefer to do it here because we can offer two-day delivery versus two weeks,'' Mr. Storch said. ''If I outsource, you may not buy from me.''

In an effort to avoid having to send more work outside the city, Mr. Storch is investing $374,100 in company money for an on-site training program for area workers to learn the skills needed to keep his business local. The money is being supplemented by a $243,900 grant from the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

The grant is one of 29 that the city has awarded in a program created in 2005 to develop skills in the local work force. So far, government financing for the program -- most of it is federal -- totals $3.4 million. That has been more than matched by $5 million from grant recipients who are training about 2,100 employees.

To be eligible, companies must show that their programs will increase the wages, skills and advancement prospects of the participating workers, who must live in New York City.

Recipients include Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, which was awarded $139,000 to retrain 35 employees who had been injured on the job for work in areas like data entry. FreshDirect, a grocery delivery company in Long Island City, Queens, is using its $253,100 grant to train 300 employees in accounting, project management and logistics. Tiffany & Company is using a $9,350 grant to teach English as a second language to 10 employees.

''It's not a free ride,'' said Robert Walsh, commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, which administers the grants; they are available to all New York businesses. ''We will pay half the costs. We want to make an honest-to-goodness effort to help develop low-rung employees and give greater opportunities.''

Mr. Storch's company was founded by his father, Felix Storch, as a one-man operation, and it now has 95 full-time employees. The training program teaches 50 workers, including 17 new employees, technical skills like welding, drafting and ice-maker technology. Some workers will be trained in customer service to help increase the sales of specialized equipment for the medical market, Mr. Storch said.

''They will grow in their jobs as they acquire more skills,'' he said during a tour of his block-long manufacturing plant, which he has expanded three times to meet demand. ''The grant was our optimistic way of seeing if we can work with the city and create not just jobs but put skills into people so we can grow in our own market.''

The company's effort to avoid outsourcing comes as New York City's manufacturing sector is in danger of losing the little steam it has left. After decades of losses, manufacturing employment fell last year to 106,400 jobs from 113,900 in 2005, and represented about 3 percent of the city's private-sector employment. A decade ago, the city had nearly twice as many manufacturing jobs, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

James Brown, a labor market analyst for the state, said manufacturers like Felix Storch that provide specialized services are the most likely to survive. ''The best prospects in a somewhat dreary picture are industries that do niche manufacturing and serve local needs, like companies that make artisan breads for local restaurants, and things that can't be produced in China or put on a ship,'' he said.

Felix Storch started as an appliance distribution company. Over the years, it evolved into a manufacturer and importer of specialty items for commercial and residential use. The company has its own trucks for distribution and prides itself on customer service. It sells its products directly to commercial accounts and through retailers.

One retailer is Gringer & Sons in the East Village of Manhattan. The store sells 300 Summit refrigerators a year, many of them to apartment dwellers who need custom sizes to fit small spaces. Gringer's manager, Louis Giogaia, said that being able to get customized refrigerators fast is good for his own business.

''It's better for us that they produce them in New York. There is less trucking and less we have to worry about,'' Mr. Giogaia said. ''Without them here, we would have to wait a week or two for orders and would risk more damages from shipping. It would be a nightmare.''

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SUBJECT: OUTSOURCING (90%); SMALL BUSINESS (78%); ENTREPRENEURSHIP (78%); LABOR FORCE (78%); DAIRY PRODUCTS (78%); HEALTH CARE (76%); EMPLOYEE TRAINING (75%); FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION (68%); MULTILINGUALISM (68%); GRANTS & GIFTS (67%); CITY GOVERNMENT (64%); OCCUPATIONAL ILLNESS & INJURY (63%); LANGUAGE & LANGUAGES (60%); SECONDARY SCHOOLS (55%)

COMPANY: TIFFANY & CO (60%); FRESHDIRECT LLC (53%); MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER (51%)

TICKER: TIF (NYSE) (60%)

INDUSTRY: NAICS448310 JEWELRY STORES (60%); NAICS339911 JEWELRY (EXCEPT COSTUME) MANUFACTURING (60%); SIC5944 JEWELRY STORES (60%); SIC3911 JEWELRY, PRECIOUS METAL (60%)

GEOGRAPHIC: NEW YORK, NY, USA (96%) NEW YORK, USA (96%) UNITED STATES (96%)

LOAD-DATE: February 10, 2009

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

GRAPHIC: Photo: At Felix Storch Inc. in the Bronx, Orrin Johnson, left, learns assembly techniques from Ernst Palliant, third from left. Storch is investing $374,100 in a training program. (Photograph by Joyce Dopkeen/The New York Times)

PUBLICATION-TYPE: Newspaper

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

503 of 1258 DOCUMENTS

The New York Times

August 4, 2007 Saturday

Late Edition - Final

How The Bancrofts Blew It

BYLINE: By JOE NOCERA

SECTION: Section C; Column 0; Business/Financial Desk; TALKING BUSINESS; Pg. 1

LENGTH: 1745 words

''The primary reason I was in favor of the deal,'' said Elisabeth Goth Chelberg on Wednesday, ''is because I did not think that family ownership was ever going to be in the best interest of the company.'' She paused for a second, and then offered a small, sad correction. ''I mean this family ownership.''

''I just didn't realize that they were so disorganized,'' said Rupert Murdoch on Thursday. He shook his head in wonder. ''I thought we would have a rational series of meetings. They didn't want that.''

Ms. Chelberg is a striking 43-year-old woman who lives half time in Prague, where her husband is an entrepreneur, and half time near Lexington, Ky., where she raises show horses that she rides, with immense success, in competitions all over the world. Rupert Murdoch, of course, is a 76-year-old, Australian-born captain of industry who has spent his adult life single-mindedly building the News Corporation into a dominant global media company.

In other words, it would be hard to find an unlikelier pair of allies. But Ms. Chelberg is also a Bancroft, and over the last three months, as her family flagellated itself over whether to sell its beloved Wall Street Journal to Mr. Murdoch, Ms. Chelberg never wavered. Yes, her family had owned The Journal's publisher, Dow Jones, for 105 years, and yes, it was a source of immense pride. But her fundamental belief was that her family had long since forfeited the right to own the asset. Benign neglect does not true ownership make.

Ms. Chelberg did not have a vote in the sale to Mr. Murdoch; her 800,000 shares were held in a trust controlled by her uncle, Christopher Bancroft, who fiercely opposed selling to Mr. Murdoch, fearing that he would destroy the paper's editorial independence. But she played a big role nonetheless. Indeed, it is not too much to say that this all started with her, 10 years ago. And what she started, Mr. Murdoch finished, as enough family members finally agreed to sell to him early this week. As the dust began to settle, I went to see them both.

''I really went to a lot of trouble 10 years ago,'' Ms. Chelberg said with a laugh as we sat at her dining room table in Kentucky. She had dug up some papers for me. One was a January 1997 letter to her family, imploring them to ''act as the owners we are.'' Several were legal bills: $73,000 in January 1997, $94,000 in April. ''That went on for two years,'' she said with a grimace.

Ms. Chelberg was 33 then, single, a recovering alcoholic whose mother, Bettina Bancroft, had died the year before, leaving her an inheritance. Virtually all of it was in Dow Jones stock, some of which was in trust and some of which she owned outright. Not knowing a thing about the company -- not really knowing anything about business -- Ms. Chelberg decided she needed to understand this asset she now owned. As she wrote in that same 1997 letter, ''I was very disturbed to discover that my investment in what I had been taught to consider an unassailable company had diminished in value -- by approximately 40 percent from its 1987 peak to its recent levels.''

Her search to understand what was wrong at Dow Jones caused her to seek out Warren E. Buffett, among others. She learned how other media companies had surpassed Dow Jones. She came up with a list of possible new board members. She even asked to go on the board herself. Her goal was never to see the company sold; rather it was to rouse her family, to make them realize that simply accepting management's view of the world was not the way to act like owners.

Her attempted wake-up call could have been a turning point for the Bancrofts and the company. In retrospect, she had given her family a 10-year window to grab control of the company, install new management, and give Dow Jones a fighting chance. But instead of being thanked, she and her cousin, William Cox III, who was also talking about management's failures, were scorned and vilified. She wound up selling the shares she owned outright. The shares in trust, however, she was stuck with.

''We were disenfranchised,'' Ms. Chelberg told me; it was years before she and Mr. Cox could even attend family meetings again. Some years later, several other cousins, including Crawford Hill, who would write a 4,000 word e-mail message supporting Mr. Murdoch, tried to raise many of the same issues. The same thing happened. ''We all tried to work within the system, but there was no system to work within,'' she said.

Last fall, someone representing Mr. Murdoch came to see her and Mr. Cox to discuss the possibility of making a bid for Dow Jones. She didn't take it all that seriously; over the years, suitors had come and gone. So she was shocked in April when CNBC broke the news that Mr. Murdoch had made his audacious $60-a-share bid for the company.

What didn't shock her was what stunned the rest of us: the extent to which the family's dysfunctional nature was placed on vivid and painful display. Christopher Bancroft, who is a board member as well as a trustee, absurdly boycotts a crucial family meeting -- and then, even more absurdly, asks Mr. Murdoch to pick up his personal expenses in exchange for abstaining from voting, only to discover that the trust doesn't allow it. Another family board member, Leslie Hill, decides after meeting him that she doesn't like Mr. Murdoch, and refuses to take his phone calls after that. The family keeps asking for Mr. Murdoch to up his offer, failing to understand that he has zero incentive to bid against himself. A family matriarch resigns as a trustee the day before the voting. And on, and on.

Watching the family flail these past few months, one couldn't help agreeing with Ms. Chelberg's assessment: the Bancrofts simply weren't capable of owning Dow Jones. They were barely capable of selling it. ''We took from this asset, instead of giving to it,'' she said, speaking of the hefty dividend that cut into Dow Jones's earnings. She, meanwhile, had spoken again to Mr. Buffett, who told her that Dow Jones would have trouble competing as an independent company. So did other experts she spoke to.

She acknowledges that Mr. Murdoch could wreck the paper. ''But that is a risk you would take with any new owner,'' she said. ''He has a tremendous opportunity,'' she continued, ''and I don't think he's going to blow it. He's going to put money in the company, he'll grow the brand, and he can do things through his distribution channels we never could. TV? We lost that chance 20 years ago.''

Was she happy Dow Jones had been sold? No, she said, but she had made her peace with it. ''Ultimately, my love of The Wall Street Journal is what caused me to support the sale.''

WHEN I went to see Mr. Murdoch the next day in New York, he succinctly made the point that Ms. Chelberg had been working toward the previous afternoon. ''The first road to freedom,'' he said, ''is viability.''

What he means, of course, is that a newspaper has a lot better chance of being editorially independent if it makes healthy profits. What he didn't say is that if the Bancrofts had turned down his deal, Dow Jones's steady, inexorable decline would likely have continued. But then, he didn't have to say it. Enough Bancrofts finally understood what their negligence had wrought. That's why they sold him the paper.

We had breakfast in a small private dining room in the News Corporation's Manhattan headquarters. Seeing that I had come tieless, Mr. Murdoch quickly doffed his tie and jacket, leaned back in his chair and happily recounted stories from the deal.

Was there ever a time he thought of pulling the offer?I asked. ''Yeah,'' he replied. ''After they sent that letter. It was so insulting.'' That was the letter in which the Bancrofts hoped to ensure editorial integrity by giving themselves the right to nominate News Corporation directors as well as a special editorial board for The Wall Street Journal. He swiftly rejected it, and eventually the Dow Jones board took over the negotiations that resulted in the creation of a small oversight board to protect the paper's editorial independence.

Mr. Murdoch himself seemed unruffled by the need for such an agreement -- or even by the accusations that he runs roughshod over the newspapers he owns. ''I'm used to it,'' he shrugged. He dismissed the idea that he would meddle inappropriately with a quick one-liner: ''I won't meddle any more than Arthur Sulzberger does,'' he joked. (Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is the chairman of The New York Times Company.)

My own view is that the chances of Mr. Murdoch wrecking The Journal are lower than you'd think; he needs a credible Journal for his own strategic purposes, and at 76, he surely must be thinking about his legacy. Besides, in The Journal's cantankerous, provocative, deeply conservative editorial page, he already has the opinion page of his dreams, and one that packs enormous political clout.

Which is not to say he isn't going to change The Journal. ''We have lots of decisions to make,'' he said. ''How much should we really spend developing the Saturday paper? What should we do digitally? Should we remain subscription-based on the Web, or should we make it free? How much should we spend beefing up political and international coverage? I want it to be more competitive with The New York Times,'' he added. ''But that will be expensive.''

He suddenly picked up a Wall Street Journal that was lying in front of him, and I could almost see the ink flowing through his veins. ''I would like to see real breaking news,'' he said. ''I like A-heds'' -- the famous less-than-serious feature that often runs down the middle of the front page, ''but I don't like a whole page of A-heds.''

He scanned the front page up and down. Sometimes his expression suggested deep approval of what he was seeing; but sometimes he frowned, suggesting that he had a different idea of what ought to run on the front page of this great newspaper he would soon own. ''I just think The Journal needs a little more urgency,'' he said finally.

Myself, I'll miss the A-heds if Mr. Murdoch decides they should disappear. But I won't view it as the End of Journalism as We Know It, nor will I view it as evidence that Mr. Murdoch is destroying the editorial integrity of The Wall Street Journal. Rather, I'll view it as an example of a new boss who has strong views about what people want from a newspaper.

And if the Bancrofts miss the A-heds? They can't say they weren't warned.

URL:

SUBJECT: FAMILY COMPANIES (90%); FAMILY (77%); ENTREPRENEURSHIP (77%); TALKS & MEETINGS (70%); PUBLISHING (75%)

COMPANY: NEWS CORP (68%); DOW JONES & CO INC (55%); WALL STREET JOURNAL (54%)

TICKER: NWS (NYSE) (83%); NCRA (LSE) (83%); DJ (NYSE) (54%); NWS (ASX) (68%); NWS (NASDAQ) (68%)

INDUSTRY: NAICS519110 NEWS SYNDICATES (55%); NAICS516110 INTERNET PUBLISHING AND BROADCASTING (55%); NAICS511110 NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS (55%); SIC2711 NEWSPAPERS: PUBLISHING, OR PUBLISHING & PRINTING (55%); NAICS516110 INTERNET PUBLISHING & BROADCASTING (55%); NAICS519130 INTERNET PUBLISHING & BROADCASTING & WEB SEARCH PORTALS (55%)

PERSON: KEITH RUPERT MURDOCH (94%)

GEOGRAPHIC: KENTUCKY, USA (90%) UNITED STATES (90%)

LOAD-DATE: August 4, 2007

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

GRAPHIC: Photos: Many wonder how The Wall Street Journal will change now. (Photograph by Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press)(pg. C1)

Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday night after Dow Jones decided to accept his offer to buy the storied company.(Photograph by Patrick Andrade for The New York Times)(pg. C8)

PUBLICATION-TYPE: Newspaper

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

504 of 1258 DOCUMENTS

The New York Times

August 4, 2007 Saturday

Late Edition - Final

Deal for Dow Jones a Springboard for Murdoch's Plans

BYLINE: By RICHARD PEREZ-PENA

SECTION: Section C; Column 0; Business/Financial Desk; FIVE DAYS; Pg. 2

LENGTH: 1108 words

DOW JONES & COMPANY has a new owner; meanwhile, more companies succumbed to the latest mortgage meltdown, and Mattel announced a huge toy recall.

MURDOCH VICTORY It was a long and tortured journey, but Rupert Murdoch won control of Dow Jones and its prized possession, The Wall Street Journal. After 105 years of controlling the company and four months of agonizing over letting it go, the Bancroft family decided it could not pass up the $60 a share Mr. Murdoch's News Corporation offered for stock that had been around $36.

After the vote, some family members and people close to them charged that the Bancrofts had been cajoled and scared into it by bankers, lawyers and Dow Jones executives who were far from impartial.

In the end, even family members who had recoiled at first from making their treasured paper a stablemate of Fox News Channel and The New York Post agreed to sell.

The deal is supposed to prevent Mr. Murdoch from shaping the content of The Journal, but his critics, including many in its newsroom, will be parsing articles for signs of his influence. Time will tell whether his $5.6 billion investment is a smart business play.

He plans to use Dow Jones to feed the Fox Business Network he plans to start in October, and to pour money into The Journal to make it a tougher competitor to The New York Times and The Financial Times.

RICHARD PEREZ-PENA

MORE MORTGAGE WOES Mortgage market participants may have to cancel August vacation plans as the news goes from bad to worse.

One of the latest victims is American Home Mortgage Investment. A.H.M's stock collapsed this week after it said that it had received increased demands of cash and collateral from its lenders. By yesterday, the company had shut down operations.

Another company, C-Bass, or Credit-Based Asset Servicing and Securitization, said its lenders had also made similar demands. That prompted two large mortgage insurers to declare their combined $1 billion stake in C-Bass was most likely worthless.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the collapse of two hedge funds it managed earlier this summer, the Wall Street investment bank Bear Stearns suspended redemptions in a third fund that had suffered mortgage-related losses in July.

Bear's stock tumbled even further yesterday after the rating agency Standard & Poor's warned that it might have to downgrade the firm's credit rating because of its exposure to the distressed mortgage and corporate buyout markets.

JULIE CRESWELL

TICKET RESALE Baseball's interactive company, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, announced on Thursday that it had reached a five-year agreement with Stubhub, the online ticket exchange service owned by eBay, to provide an authorized outlet for fans of all 30 baseball teams to resell their tickets to games.

The agreement signifies another turning point in the historic resistance of sports leagues to ticket reselling, a once-shady activity known as scalping that was relegated to street corner entrepreneurs. Beginning next year, and the Web sites of all 30 baseball teams will point fans who want to buy or sell tickets to . EBay and the league will split the fees from those sales.

The deal is likely to create some awkwardness and could lead to litigation. In the past, teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have balked at unauthorized ticket sales on Stubhub and revoked tickets from season ticket holders who used the service.

A dozen of the teams also have existing contracts with Ticketmaster, a division of the IAC Corporation, which last month sued the Cleveland Cavaliers of the N.B.A. for breach of contract when it also offered fans a competing secondary ticketing service.

BRAD STONE

TOY RECALL Mattel recalled 1.47 million toys around the globe on Thursday after learning that one of its vendors in China had used lead paint.

Nearly a million of those toys were in the United States.

Nickelodeon characters like Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street favorites like Elmo were featured on many of the 83 toys that were recalled.

The lead paint was used on toys made from April until July 6, when Mattel stopped operations at that facility.

Mattel learned of the possible paint problem in early July from a European retailer, and the toy maker decided to recall the toys after a three-week internal investigation. Mattel was able to stop two-thirds of the toys from reaching store shelves by holding them in distribution centers and contacting retailers.

Still, American consumers bought more than 300,000 of the toys, and international shoppers bought about 168,000. Mattel said it would take a $30 million charge to cover the costs of the recall, which will be its largest since 1998 when it recalled more than 10 million Power Wheels cars.

Mattel, which has been known as a toy maker with rigorous safety checks, is still investigating why its vendor used lead paint. It is only the latest of a string of companies to discover problems with their Chinese vendors. In June, RC2 recalled 1.5 million Thomas & Friends toy trains and accessories because their surfaces had lead paint.

LOUISE STORY

OIL PRICES SOAR It was a week for the history books in the oil markets: after four years of nearly uninterrupted gains, punctuated by a few lows and many highs, oil prices set a new record at $78.21 a barrel in New York, before settling yesterday at $74.99.

Oil is up 28 percent this year. At this pace, analysts say, oil prices could easily reach $90 or even $100 a barrel this year. We've heard these predictions before, but this time, it seems they could turn out to be right.

This year's high prices mean that oil companies and oil producers are headed for yet another blowout year. The size of the windfall for OPEC was made apparent coincidentally this week when the oil cartel released its annual report for 2006. It showed OPEC members had $649 billion in petroleum exports, up 22 percent from the previous year.

For some, high prices are attracting new opportunities: on Tuesday, Marathon agreed to buy Western Oil Sands, a Canadian heavy producer, in a $6 billion deal that valued Western's reserves at $14.50 a barrel, a level that would have been completely uneconomical just a few years ago.

JAD MOUAWAD

MOST POPULAR Following are the most-popular business news articles on from July 28 through Aug. 3:

1. Microsoft's Gates Plans Leave Amid Great Change

2. In Murdoch's Past, Clues to The Journal's Future

3. At Liz Claiborne, a Bold Fashion Statement

4. Get Your Free Net Phone Calls Here

5. Lead Paint Prompts Mattel to Recall 967,000 Toys

Links are at /business.

URL:

SUBJECT: MORTGAGE BANKING & FINANCE (78%); MORTGAGE INVESTMENTS (78%); BUYINS & BUYOUTS (76%); INVESTMENT BANKING (74%); MORTGAGE INSURANCE (73%); INSURANCE (71%); FINANCIAL RATINGS (69%); SPORTS (62%); BASEBALL (87%); SPORTS & RECREATION (60%); HEDGE FUNDS (60%); MORTGAGE LOANS (58%); SECURITIZATION (73%); CREDIT CRISIS (89%)

COMPANY: DOW JONES & CO INC (97%); NEWS CORP (84%); FOX ENTERTAINMENT GROUP INC (92%); CREDIT-BASED ASSET SERVICING & SECURITIZATION LLC (64%); WALL STREET JOURNAL (58%); BUSINESS NETWORK INTERNATIONAL (55%); AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE INVESTMENT CORP (54%); BEAR STEARNS COS INC (52%); FINANCIAL TIMES GROUP (66%)

TICKER: DJ (NYSE) (96%); NWS (NYSE) (84%); NCRA (LSE) (84%); AHM (NYSE) (54%); BSC (NYSE) (52%)

INDUSTRY: NAICS519110 NEWS SYNDICATES (97%); NAICS516110 INTERNET PUBLISHING AND BROADCASTING (97%); NAICS511110 NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS (97%); SIC2711 NEWSPAPERS: PUBLISHING, OR PUBLISHING & PRINTING (97%); NAICS515120 TELEVISION BROADCASTING (92%); SIC4833 TELEVISION BROADCASTING STATIONS (92%); NAICS525930 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (54%); SIC6798 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (54%); SIC6162 MORTGAGE BANKERS & LOAN CORRESPONDENTS (54%); NAICS523110 INVESTMENT BANKING AND SECURITIES DEALING (52%); SIC6211 SECURITY BROKERS, DEALERS, & FLOTATION COMPANIES (52%); NAICS522292 REAL ESTATE CREDIT (54%); NAICS516110 INTERNET PUBLISHING & BROADCASTING (97%); NAICS519130 INTERNET PUBLISHING & BROADCASTING & WEB SEARCH PORTALS (97%); NAICS523110 INVESTMENT BANKING & SECURITIES DEALING (52%)

PERSON: KEITH RUPERT MURDOCH (94%)

GEOGRAPHIC: CHINA (79%)

LOAD-DATE: August 4, 2007

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

GRAPHIC: Photo: Dora the Explorer figures were among the 1.47 million toys Mattel recalled after learning that a vendor in China had used lead paint. (Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PUBLICATION-TYPE: Newspaper

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

505 of 1258 DOCUMENTS

The New York Times

August 4, 2007 Saturday



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