News In Brief

A new five-year contract that will make them the highest-paid in the industry was approved by Delta Air Lines unionized pilots. The deal, retroactive to May 2000, will increase the carrier's labor costs by $2.4 billion and hike a typical pilot's salary by more than $1,500 a month. Meanwhile, the Air Line Pilots Association said it would announce tonight the results of a separate contract vote by its members at Comair, a Delta subsidiary and the US's second-largest regional carrier.

In a deal valued at upwards of $4 billion, Liberty Media of the US will buy six regional cable TV networks from Germany's Deutsche Telekom, the latter announced. The sale is subject to the OK of antitrust regulators. Liberty Media, a subsidiary of AT&T, is scheduled to become independent Aug. 10. The Englewood, Colo.-based company also owns substantial holdings in the Discovery Channel, E!, Starz Encore Group, QVC, and AOL Time Warner.

BASF, one of the world's largest chemical manufacturers, will close 24 plants or other facilities, resulting in an unspecified number of job cuts, an announcement said. It did not say which plants would be affected. The Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company had been forecasting a net increase in second-quarter profits but warned that its expectations would not be met.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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