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INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION REMAINS WEAK

WASHINGTON

The Federal Reserve reported Friday that industrial production rose by 0.1 percent in January, a weak showing that matched the December increase and was in line with expectations. Analysts said the poor performance shows that the economy has slowed significantly. Also, the University of Michigan said that consumer confidence fell sharply - to 69.6 in mid February, the lowest in 16 years.

LOS ANGELES

Countrywide loan problems worsen

Countrywide Financial Corp. said Friday that home loan delinquencies and foreclosures rose to 7.47 percent in January from 7.2 percent in December as more borrowers struggled to make their mortgage payments.

BEIJING

Movie group sues Chinese Web site

The Motion Picture Association said Friday it is suing Xunlei Networking Technology Co., a popular Chinese Web site, for allowing users of its file-sharing service to download hundreds of movies from other Web sites despite repeated warnings. The Hollywood group said it is seeking 7-million yuan, or about $1-million.

NEW YORK

Newspapers form online ad network

Gannett Co. and Tribune Co., the largest and second-largest publishers in the country, joined Hearst Corp. and the New York Times Co. on Friday to form QuadrantOne, an online advertising sales network. Also, the Sun-Times Media Group Inc., owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, said that it hired Lazard Ltd. to assist in a possible sale of the company.

MINNEAPOLIS

Leather retailer to cut stores, staff

Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. will close the majority of its 260 mall locations and cut more than 1,000 jobs, the clothing retailer said Friday.

LAWSUIT RESOLVED

British Airways PLC and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. agreed Friday to pay as much as $203-million to settle a lawsuit's claims they overcharged travelers in the United States and Britain for fuel fees on long-haul flights between 2004 and 2006.

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