Northwest Airlines, KLM accordNorthwest Airlines and KLM...

Northwest Airlines, KLM accord

Northwest Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines signed an agreement aimed at making it easier and more efficient for the two carriers to funnel passengers to each other.


Officials for the airlines said yesterday that the agreement eventually would allow both carriers to cover more of the globe with more frequency, helping struggling Northwest gain a stronger foothold in Europe and helping KLM attract more passengers from the United States.

Grocery stores, union in talks


The Washington-area local union that represents about 20,000 workers at the Giant Food, Safeway and Super Fresh grocery chains said yesterday that it has requested permission from its parent union to call a strike if negotiations do not produce an agreement.

The request from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 is a routine move as contract talks near a deadline. The contracts between the union, which represents employees at more than 250 Washington-area stores, expires Sept. 12.

Cable regulation bill advances

In a big step toward re-regulation of the cable television industry, House and Senate negotiators agreed yesterday on a measure that would require local cable systems to negotiate licenses from local broadcast stations to retransmit their signals. The change could provide broadcasters with hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties.

Agreement on the provision set the stage for final passage of the legislation and a probable veto by President Bush.

GM unveils its credit card

After considerable hype, General Motors unveiled its credit card to generally favorable reviews from industry analysts, some of whom say it is the most important new national card since AT&T; introduced its Universal card in March 1990.

The GM Card, unveiled yesterday, has no annual fee and carries a 16.4 percent adjustable interest rate, which is below the industry average of about 18 percent. The card's key feature is a rebate program. Consumers can receive a 5 percent rebate, up to $500 a year, to be used toward purchase or lease of any GM car or truck -- except the company's popular Saturn cars.


Andrew socks State Farm

State Farm Insurance said yesterday that it expects to pay out $1.5 billion to compensate policyholders for losses from Hurricane Andrew, about double what the insurer initially anticipated.

The company, the leading underwriter of homeowner insurance in Florida with 25 percent of the market, plans to process about 110,000 claims. State Farm is also the leading home insurer in Louisiana, where it controls about 32 percent of the market.