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BUSINESS DIGEST

The Baltimore Sun

Towson U. gets U.S. development grant

Towson University said yesterday that it has won $300,000 in federal grants to be used on economic development services in Baltimore and Western Maryland in the next three years. The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration awarded the grants. Towson University, which plans to work with Frostburg State University on the Western Maryland services, said it used a 2005 grant from the federal agency to help Baltimore officials put together an economic development strategy and also to track worker skills and commuting patterns in Western Maryland.

Jamie Smith Hopkins

Freddie Mac debt sale shows fears easing

WASHINGTON : Freddie Mac sold $1 billion in five-year debt yesterday at a price that indicates investors' fears about the mortgage finance company's future have eased a bit. Investors are watching the debt sales of Freddie Mac and its sibling company, Fannie Mae, to gauge whether they are having problems funding their operations without government support. Freddie Mac's five-year debt sold through an auction yesterday will pay a yield of nearly 3.98 percent, or almost 0.96 of a percentage point above comparable Treasury notes. That gap - or spread -was narrower than the company paid last month in a $3 billion offering of five-year notes, which was priced at 1.13 percentage points above comparable Treasury securities.

Associated Press

American seeks delay of new China flights

FORT WORTH, Texas : American Airlines has asked federal regulators for permission to delay its launch of new nonstop service between Chicago and Beijing for a year, pointing to the high price of jet fuel and other obstacles. American, the largest U.S. airline, filed its request Friday with the Transportation Department, making it the latest in a line of U.S. carriers seeking to delay China service. The Chicago-Beijing flights were scheduled to begin next April 9. American asked the Transportation Department for permission to begin the flights instead on April 4, 2010.

Associated Press

Lipitor ads to resume after Jarvik dispute

TRENTON, N.J. : Television ads for the world's top-selling drug, cholesterol fighter Lipitor, are back, six months after Pfizer Inc. pulled them amid accusations that its use of a celebrity doctor endorser who's never practiced medicine misled the public. This time, Pfizer is leaving out the celebrity. In the new ads, the endorser is a talent agent from the San Francisco area who tells viewers he started taking Pfizer's Lipitor after surviving a heart attack last year. The ads began running yesterday and will be part of an open-ended national campaign that also includes print ads in newspapers and magazines, said John Sage, head of Pfizer's marketing team for Lipitor. Pfizer had run frequent TV ads from late 2006 until then in which artificial heart inventor Dr. Robert Jarvik endorsed Lipitor, appearing to be giving medical advice. While he holds a medical degree, Jarvik never completed licensing requirements to practice medicine. Pfizer pulled the ads in February as Congress was investigating and news outlets were reporting on that conflict.

Associated Press

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