2011-12-01 / World

BRIEFS

Indian drugmaker OK’d to sell Lipitor

TRENTON, N. J. ( AP) — India’s largest maker of generic drugs won approval late Wednesday to sell a generic version of cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor. The world’s top-selling drug ever lost U.S. patent protection earlier in the day.

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration said it granted Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. approval to sell a generic verson of Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor, called atorvastatin calcium. The last- minute decision ended widespread speculation over the outcome of a delay caused by long-standing manufacturing issues at some Ranbaxy factories.

Billy Graham spends night in hospital

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The Rev. Billy Graham is in a North Carolina hospital, awaiting word from doctors on whether he has pneumonia.

Graham, who is 93, was admitted to Mission Hospitals in Asheville late Wednesday morning suffering from congestion, a cough and a slight fever.

Spokesman A. Larry Ross says Graham was in good spirits Wednesday night after a full afternoon of medical tests. Ross said Graham’s daughter, Gigi, visited her father. While watching television in the hospital room, they found a channel showing Graham’s 1973 crusade in St. Louis.

Retailers report strong sales for Nov.

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are reporting strong sales gains in November, boosted by a discount-fueled spending binge for the start of the holiday shopping season last weekend. Now, the challenge is to keep shoppers spending throughout the most important selling period of the year.

Macy’s Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp., Limited Brands Inc. and teen retailer Buckle Inc. all reported sales gains today that beat Wall Street estimates. Target Corp., however, was a straggler, reporting a slim sales gain that was below what analysts had expected.

The figures are based on revenue at stores opened at least a year and are considered a key indicator of a retailer’s health.

Biden praises troops for their sacrifices

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden today thanked U.S. and Iraqi troops for sacrifices that he said allowed for the end of the nearly nine- year- long war, even as attacks around the country killed 20 people, underscoring the security challenges Iraq still faces.

Biden’s comments came during a special ceremony at Camp Victory, one of the last American bases in this country where the U.S. military footprint is swiftly shrinking. The ceremony was hosted by the Iraqi government as a way to commemorate the sacrifices of U.S., Iraqi and coalition forces during the war.

“ Because of you and the work that those of you in uniform have done, we are now able to end this war,” Biden told the hundreds of American and Iraqi service members assembled at Al Faw palace that was built by Saddam Hussein.

Unemployment aid applications are up

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, a sign the hiring market is recovering at a slow and uneven pace.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said today. Applications had been below 400,000 for three straight weeks.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was mostly unchanged at slightly below 400,000.

The average fell to a sevenmonth low two weeks ago. Weekly applications had been declining for two months.

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