International travel grows at uneven pace, U.N. reports
LOS ANGELES -- In another sign of an improving worldwide economy, international travel grew nearly 7 percent last year compared with 2009, the United Nations World Tourism Organization reported Monday.
But the growth was mixed, as travel to Asia and the Middle East rebounded much faster while the pace of visitors to Europe remained sluggish and international travel to North America grew only modestly.
Last year, 935 million people traveled for business and leisure internationally, up 6.7 percent from 2009, but only 2 percent above the prerecession levels of 2008, according to the report.
Travel to the Middle East grew the most, by 14 percent to 60 million visitors, while the number of foreign visitors to Asia grew by 13 percent to 204 million, according to the U.N. organization. In North America, international travel grew by 8 percent to 151 million visitors, while travel to Europe increased by only 3 percent to 471 million people.
Avandia cases hike legal cost
GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Great Britain's biggest drugmaker, said it will report fourth-quarter legal costs of $3.5 billion because of a U.S. investigation into sales practices for certain products and product-liability cases related to the diabetes drug Avandia.
The company is setting aside additional provisions for the investigation by the U.S. attorney in Colorado into the company's sales and promotional practices of certain products, London-based Glaxo said Monday in an e-mailed statement. The money also will cover the "substantial" number of new claims filed in the U.S. regarding Avandia, Glaxo said.
The company said Sept. 23 it would stop promoting Avandia worldwide after regulators said the treatment would be withdrawn from the market in Europe and sales would be limited in the U.S. because of an increased risk of heart attacks. Avandia was once the world's best-selling diabetes drug.
Borders cuts 45 jobs at HQ
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Borders Group Inc. says it eliminated 45 jobs at its corporate headquarters as the bookseller works to cut costs.
The job cuts disclosed Monday were made in several areas of operations, including human resources, finance, merchandising and distribution centers. Spokeswoman Mary Davis said in an e-mailed statement employees who lost jobs will receive severance.
Borders, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is facing stiff competition from online retailers, discount stores and the growing electronic book industry.
It announced plans last week to close a Tennessee distribution center and eliminate 310 jobs.
The No. 2 traditional bookseller in the U.S. said last month it delayed payments to vendors to preserve cash as it works to refinance its debt.
Starbucks adds bigger cup
NEW YORK (AP) -- The bigger-is-better concept seems to be striking a chord among some Starbucks customers.
Starbucks will begin a phased-in nationwide rollout today of its Trenta cup size that can be filled with just shy of a quart's worth of iced beverages such as coffee, tea and lemonade.
Starbucks Corp. says Trenta, which means 30 in Italian, will be 31 ounces and cost about 50 cents more than the 20-ounce Venti size.
Introduction of the new cups will begin today in the South and Southwest, and Feb. 3 in California, before expanding nationwide by May 3.
The expansion follows the chain's test of the 31-ounce cup last year in several markets, including Tampa, Fla.; Phoenix; and Atlanta.
NYSE stock chart incorrect
Because of a transmission error by the Associated Press, the New York Stock Exchange chart in Sunday's editions of The Buffalo News were from the previous week.
All other stock and mutual fund charts in the Sunday paper were correct. A copy of the correct NYSE chart is available at: http://www.buffalonews.com/business