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WTO set to issue findings on Boeing subsidies

The World Trade Organization will issue a confidential final ruling Jan. 31 concerning European claims that Boeing benefited from unfair aircraft subsidies, sources familar with the case said on Friday.

The report, which will not be made public for several weeks, is the latest round of legal Ping-Pong between the European Union and United States over mutual claims their aircraft industries have been unfairly shielded from competition. Get the full story »

The downside of economic recovery: More traffic

Early morning commuter traffic southbound on the Kennedy Expressway near Kimball. (José M. Osorio/Tribune)

In a confirmation that the worsening traffic aches and pains drivers here feel are real, the Chicago region has shot up to No. 1 in road congestion in the U.S., according to a long-running study of mobility problems choking the nation.

The increasing gridlock on major roadways at almost any hour, any day of the week was measured in 2009, when drivers in many other metropolitan areas caught a slight breather from growing congestion, said the Urban Mobility Report, issued Thursday by the Texas Transportation Institute.

Beyond the time it normally would take for an automobile trip in relatively free-flowing traffic, commuters in the Chicago area, including northwest Indiana, spent an additional 70 hours behind the wheel in 2009, the study said.

ITT to split into 3 public companies

U.S. manufacturer ITT Corp. plans to split itself into three companies to take advantage of the growing water and industrial markets as its defense unit prepares for U.S. military spending cuts.

Its shares rose 18 percent Wednesday, reaching their highest point since the fall of 2008. Get the full story »

Illinois, Great Lakes states see exodus in 2010

(Steve Lasker/Chicago Tribune)

More people moved out of Illinois than moved to the state during 2010 as the Great Lakes states saw the greatest exodus of any region in the country, according to a study by United Van Lines that tracks migration patterns.

Western states like Nevada that had long served as a destination for those leaving the Rust Belt saw their traffic level off, according to United Van Lines’ 34th annual migration study.

The most popular destination in the nation was the District of Columbia, which held that distinction for the third consecutive year. Oregon finished second in the study, followed by North Carolina and Idaho.

The migration patterns in the study aren’t comprehensive because they are based only on the 146,837 interstate household moves handled by United Van Lines among the lower 48 states and District of Columbia. Get the full story »

Survey shows spike in U.S. demand for gas

U.S. retail gasoline demand rose sharply last week, by 4.6 percent, buoyed by holiday travel, MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report showed Tuesday.

Average gasoline demand rose by 425,000 barrels-per-day,  to 9.613 million, in the week to Dec. 24. Get the full story »

Amtrak set to resume Northeast Corridor service

Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service between New York and Boston will resume on a limited schedule Monday morning.

Service had been suspended since 5 p.m. Sunday due to blizzard conditions. Amtrak said passengers should still expect delays throughout the day and allow for ample time to arrive at their respective stations, due to the residual effects of the storm.

American demand for gas falling for good

The world’s biggest gas-guzzling nation has limits after all.

After seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth, U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline. By 2030, Americans will burn at least 20 percent less gasoline than today, experts say, even as millions of more cars clog the roads. Get the full story »

Navistar gets $123M order for Marines vehicles

Navistar International Corp. said Friday that it has received a $123 million order from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command to deliver 175 armored International MaxxPro Dash vehicles. Get the full story »

Illinois gets $42M of Wisconsin, Ohio rail money

In this April 26, 2010 file photo, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, left, accompanied by. Sen. Christopher Dodd, second from left, get off an Amtrak train in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

The Obama administration is taking $1.2 billion in high-speed rail money away from Ohio and Wisconsin and awarding it to other states, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday.

Both Ohio and Wisconsin have elected incoming Republican governors who oppose the rail projects. So LaHood said he is awarding their money to rail projects in states that are eager to have it.

High-speed trains will not only improve transportation but reinvigorate manufacturing and put people back to work in jobs that pay well, LaHood predicted in a statement. Get the full story »

Government: No 3-hour tarmac delays in October

The government says October was the first month when no airplanes were stuck on the ground for more than three hours.

It’s the first month without tarmac delays since the government started collected data in 2008. Get the full story »

UPS to require ID for retail shipping

United Parcel Service is requiring photo identification for retail shipping as it expands security during its peak season after two parcel bombs were intercepted in October.

The world’s largest package delivery company, which expects a 7.5 percent rise to about 430 million deliveries this holiday season, said on Tuesday that retail customers will not be permitted to ship without a government-issued picture ID at the UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc and authorized shipping outlets worldwide. Get the full story »

FedEx: Radioactive rods missing during shipment

FedEx is searching for radioactive rods used for medical equipment that went missing during shipment between North Dakota and Tennessee.
Get the full story »

United considers ‘tulip’ livery for anniversary 757

United Airlines ignored frequent-flier pleas to “save the tulip” this summer as it rolled out a new brand and paint scheme. But the Saul Bass-designed U could live on, at least on one of United’s Boeing 757 jets.

To celebrate its 85th anniversary, United plans to repaint one of its jets in a classic  scheme, known as the livery in the airline business. Among the options: The “tulip,” paired with 1970s-style orange, red and blue stripes, a look that adorned United’s jets through the 1990s. Get the full story »

Pentagon: ‘Clerical error’ won’t hurt tanker bid

Bloomberg | Chicago-based Boeing Co. and European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Co. shouldn’t see any significant fallout from a “clerical error” releasing some data on their bids for a $35 billion aerial tanker program, the Defense Department said. The Air Force disclosed Nov. 19 that the service mistakenly provided Boeing and EADS with “a limited amount” of data on the offers that are now under government review.

Feds holding firm on intrusive airport security

Despite a deluge of complaints over intrusive pat-downs and revealing airport scans, the government is betting Americans would rather fly safe than untouched. “I’m not going to change those policies,” the nation’s transportation security chief declared Wednesday. Get the full story »