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IN OTHER BUSINESS NEWS . . .

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose by 3,000 to 346,000 last week, marking the first three consecutive weekly increases in nearly a year.

Pepsi-Cola Co. said it will gauge consumer reaction to a new cola -- Pepsi XL -- with half the sugar and calories of its flagship brand starting next month in five Florida test markets. It will be Pepsi's third try at a cola that delivers fewer calories than Pepsi brand but more than calorie-free Diet Pepsi.

Former Italian Trade Minister Renato Ruggiero was appointed today as the first leader of the new World Trade Organization, the global trade referee.

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