May 29, 2008 / 8:34 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - May 29

May 29 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* A group of former employees are accusing U.S. Sugar Corp insiders of scheming to enrich themselves by buying workers’ shares back on the cheap.

* As additional mergers in the airline industry look less likely, American carriers face a future of making further cuts to survive in an era of soaring jet-fuel prices.

* A longstanding assumption of American energy policy has been that natural gas would be plentiful abroad, and therefore readily available for importation, as production falls off in North America, where many fields are tapped out. But some experts are starting to question that idea, saying natural gas could be subject to the same explosion in overseas demand that has made oil so expensive.

* Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM.N) chairman and chief executive, beat back a shareholder effort to take away one of his jobs, avoiding a serious rebuke to his authority.

* Fewer than half of the hourly employees at American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc (AXL.N) who return to work this week for the first time since going on strike in February will still have jobs in a year, executives said.

* At the 2008 Robin Hood Foundation benefit, hedge fund managers donated $56.5 million to charity. But many of the market wizards are making less these days - and they are giving away less, too.

* Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing Co (BA.N) have packed a decade’s worth of drama into the nearly four years since the U.S. and Europe began a battle over state aid for their aircraft industries. Now, ahead of an expected World Trade Organization ruling on subsidies, European officials suggested this week that they would help finance the Airbus A350, the rival to the Boeing 787.

* A tentative three-year deal between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the producers builds pressure on a bigger actors union, the Screen Actors Guild, to craft a similar solution.

* Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell by a smaller-than-expected amount in April, with many sectors outside of transportation showing strength.

* Seeking to end years of losses at its struggling express delivery business in the U.S., Deutsche Post (DPWGn.DE), the German mail and logistics group, said it would cut at least 1,500 jobs in North America and hire its rival, United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N), for air-cargo services.

*, an Internet start-up that aims to give users a free, Web-based virtual computer, is being built by colleagues on opposite sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. They trade ideas through a video hookup that connects the West Bank office with one in Israel in the first joint technology venture of its kind between Israelis and Palestinians.

* In anticipation of a global summit on the food crisis, the U.N. called on world leaders to agree to urgent measures to ease demand for grains and alleviate high food prices.

* These days, business schools teach that leadership exists at all levels, and corporate life should be about much more than just making money.

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