Business & Finance

Bethlehem Steel filed for bankruptcy protection in a New York federal court. The US's third-largest steelmaker has been hurt by cheap foreign imports and high labor and pension costs. Bethlehem has lost money in the past four consecutive quarters, including $1.2 billion over the first half of this year. The company likely will use the bankruptcy process to reorganize and look for a merger partner or buyer, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Siemens will lay off another 5,000 workers and close half of the 20 assembly plants in its fixed-line telecommunications division by year's end, an announcement said. Combined with earlier job cuts, the German engineering conglomerate's workforce will be reduced by 15,000.

The first 3,400 layoffs in the history of Commerzbank were announced by the Frankfurt, Germany, institution. The bank, Germany's fourth-largest, had warned weeks ago that major economies would be made as part of a $218 million cost-cutting drive. The layoffs will be phased in over the next three years.

Supersonic commercial traffic on the Concorde is to resume Nov. 7, Air France and British Airways announced. Both carriers grounded their Concorde fleets after leaking fuel caused an accident on takeoff from Paris in July of last year that killed 113 people. All 12 remaining Concordes have been refitted with stronger tires and kevlar-lined tanks to prevent fuel from leaking.

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