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EEOC: California company mistreated Wisconsin disabled man

Milwaukee (AP) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against a manufacturer for allegedly discriminating against a disabled employee at its plant in Oconomowoc.

The EEOC said Tuesday that Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corp., of Woodland Hills, Calif., which makes metal food cans, denied a disabled employee a promotion and refused to provide him assistance on some tasks requiring heavy lifting.

Judge: UW-Whitewater cannot collect from ex-dean

Madison (AP) — A federal judge says the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater cannot collect damages from a former dean accused of misusing school money.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller says the university waited until after a two-year statute of limitations expired to sue former College of Letters and Sciences Dean Howard Ross over the alleged breach.

He says the university also cannot sue Ross for misrepresenting the nature of his purchases because it failed to show that any were for his personal benefit.

British official: Global deal on climate change may not happen

London (AP) — British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says there is danger a United Nations conference in December in Copenhagen, Denmark, won’t strike a global deal on climate change.

Miliband said Tuesday the complexity of negotiations and disputes between industrialized and developing nations leave prospects for a deal “in the balance.”

He said they threaten to sink a new global pact that would replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Miliband will travel to France, the Netherlands, Poland and Denmark this week to discuss how European nations can try to influence reluctant nations.

The U.S. did not sign the Kyoto Protocol, which also did not include India and China.

German, French rivals to combine British mobile phone units

London (AP) — Deutsche Telekom AG and France Telecom SA said Tuesday they intend to combine their British mobile phone units — shaking up the country’s competitive market and forming the country’s biggest mobile operator.

Deutsche Telekom said it has entered exclusive negotiations on combining its struggling British unit T-Mobile UK with France Telecom’s Orange UK in a 50-50 joint venture.

The tie-up could benefit all operators in Britain’s crowded mobile telecommunications sector by reducing the pressure to cut prices, though mergers inevitably will mean job losses.

The combined company would have a customer base of 28.4 million mobile phone users, or about 37 percent of U.K. mobile subscribers at the end of 2008.

Ford launches new compact van production in Romania

Bucharest, Romania (AP) — Ford Motor Co. launched production of its new compact van at a factory in the southern city of Craiova on Tuesday — a rare piece of good news for Romania’s struggling automobile industry and its moribund economy.

The Transit Connect, a compact van, will sell for $20,000 to $22,000 in Romania and the United States. Ford said it had sold 600,000 so far worldwide.

Romania is mired in recession and needed a $17.1 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund. Two years ago, Ford took over the country’s state automaker.

Ford plans to build 300,000 automobiles and 300,000 engines in Romania in the next four years, and said it will hire an extra 3,000 staff throughout the country. It currently employs about 4,000 people.

United Kingdom industrial production flat in past 3 months

London (AP) — The United Kingdom’s industrial production was unchanged in the three months through July from the previous three months — though manufacturing output increased slightly, according to official statistics.

Manufacturing rose 0.2 percent, while mining and quarrying fell by 0.9 percent and utilities’ output declined by 0.7 percent, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.

The best increases in output were 3.8 percent in transport equipment, 3.3 percent in chemicals and manmade fibers, and 3.4 percent in rubber and plastic products, the agency said.

Britain is struggling with a recession, but some see signs of improvement and think the country could return to growth soon.

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