Briefing

Posted: January 15, 1998

labor talks United Parcel pilots

lower their demands

Pilots flying for package delivery giant United Parcel Service resumed contract talks with the company yesterday, saying they were no longer seeking parity with top-paid passenger airline pilots.

The Independent Pilots Association, representing 2,100 UPS pilots, also said it wanted to ensure there was no disruption in UPS service, a departure from last year's talk of strike action.

IPA said its members were seeking compensation comparable with rival Federal Express Corp., which last month reached a tentative contract with its fliers.

Captains with nine years at UPS make $133,575 per year based on $137 an hour with 975 guaranteed minimum flight hours.

technology Apple Computer

turns a profit

Apple Computer Inc., helped by cost-cutting and demand for its high-end Macintoshes, yesterday reported a $47 million quarterly profit, a welcome bit of black ink after nearly two years of the red variety. Apple's profit for the three months ended Dec. 26, the company's first fiscal quarter, amounted to diluted earnings of 33 cents a share. The company lost $120 million, or 96 cents a share, during the same period a year ago. The first-quarter report was a rare bit of good news for Apple, which has lost $1.8 billion in its last two fiscal years. The last time Apple earned money was summer 1996.

opportunities Prez urges Wall St.

to hire minorities

President Clinton planned to urge Wall Street brokers today to hire women and minorities, administration officials said yesterday.

Women and minorities in urban areas ``can become the potential entrepreneurs of the future,'' White House spokesman Mike McCurry said on the eve of Clinton's speech to a New York conference hosted by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Clinton will remind U.S. companies of the ``potential markets that lie in inner cities,'' McCurry said yesterday. Minorities and women now make up one in six U.S. households with annual income exceeding $100,000. Yet, fewer than 7 percent of the professionals and executives in the U.S. securities industry are black or Hispanic, according to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission figures. Jackson's Wall Street project seeks to focus attention on improving opportunities for minorities in corporations across the country.

headaches Excedrin gets FDA nod

as a migraine fighter

Excedrin became the first over-the-counter migraine medicine yesterday.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the extra-strength version of Excedrin as powerful enough to treat the pain of mild to moderate migraines, providing a new market for the 20-year-old painkiller.

Manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb said it would rename the product Excedrin Migraine within a few weeks, but the cost would not change. The average retail price is about $7.51 for 100 tablets.

The FDA said studies of more than 1,200 patients showed the pills alleviate migraine pain within two to four hours.

Some 20 million Americans have migraines, powerful headaches that can last 24 hours and often are accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Sufferers typically get prescription drugs for pain and to prevent migraines.

medicare Elderly being upset

by dubious information

A conservative advocacy group is generating a flood of worried mail and phone calls to Capitol Hill by telling elderly people a new law bars them from using their own money for annual physicals and other services not covered by Medicare. Critics say the warning is misleading.

``They're blatantly lying,'' said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who has asked the Postal Service to look into whether a direct mail fund-raising campaign by the United Seniors Association could amount to fraud.

``We have a difference of opinion,'' said United Seniors President Sandra Butler. ``There may be confusion . . . but what's in those letters I stand behind.''

The nonprofit group, which has been a champion of Republican causes, has sent more than 3 million letters to older Americans and spread its views in newspaper editorials and on talk radio shows.

Clinton administration officials say that claim is unfounded.

The elderly can continue to use their own money or supplemental private insurance for services not covered by Medicare - such as yearly physicals, most dental care and routine foot care, according to Medicare administrator Nancy-Ann DeParle.

cold cash Antarctica tourists

have access to ATM

MasterCard International Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. put an automated teller machine in McMurdo Station, Antarctica - the final continent to get easy access to cash.

MasterCard said the Antarctica Cirrus ATM Network machine uses a satellite to send and receive the information that makes it work. Other ATMs use cable or telephone wires to transmit information.

Antarctica has a winter population of about 250, a summer population of about 1,000. More than 9,000 tourists visited during its summer season of October 1994 to February 1995, MasterCard said.

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