BIZ BRIEFS

China to fight graft :

BEIJING: Premier Wen Jiabao pledged that the ruling Communist Party would maintain its fight against corruption and push ahead with the opening of its economy to the rest of the world. In a traditional address to the foreign diplomatic community and senior Chinese officials on the eve of China’s National Day, Wen said the government would continue to try to build a society of equals. — AFP

India to curb suicides :

NEW DELHI: India’s cabinet has cleared a $3.7 billion package to try to stem farmers’ suicides in the cotton-growing belt but experts said it may not help them. The package provides loan rescheduling and investment in irrigation and crop diversification for farmers crippled by debt and falling cotton prices which have prompted many to commit suicide. — AFP

Italy approves budget :

ROME: Premier Romano Prodi overcame infighting within his government on Friday to win key Cabinet approval of a draft budget with billions in spending cuts and tax hikes aimed at slashing the deficit to 2.8 per cent of GDP. The budget, containing $42 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes, represents a critical challenge faced by Prodi’s government. — AP

Toyota’s new models :

DETROIT: While much of the auto world’s attention was fixed on the Paris Motor Show, US manufacturers were keeping an eye on the Texas state fair, where Toyota was rolling out a new pickup truck. Texas is ground zero in the pickup wars that are about to break out across the broad American landscape. — AFP

Russia bans US meat :

MOSCOW: Russia banned imports of meat from three major US producers for sanitary reasons. The companies concerned are Gress Foods/Koch Foods, Farbest Foods and Crider. The federal service in charge of animal and plant products decided to place a temporary ban on imports. — AFP