's North American unit will drop comprehensive health-care coverage for retired manufacturing workers age 65 and older, Automotive News reported. Nissan will pay retirees an annual stipend starting at $2,500 and rising 3 percent each year. Retirees who turned 65 before Jan. 1 will retain the comprehensive coverage. The changes affect 12,200 salaried and hourly workers. Employees at the company's headquarters in Gardena and at its Michigan technical center will not be affected. Health care for its U.S. workers and retirees adds $1,525 to the cost of each vehicle.
- President George W. Bush's proposed $439.3 billion U.S. defense budget for 2007, unveiled Monday, seeks $84.2 billion for weapons procurement and $73.2 billion for research and development on new arms. The $84.2 billion request for weapons programs includes $2.5 billion for two new DDX Navy destroyers under development by Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp., and $2.4 billion for a Virginia Class attack submarine built by Northrop and General Dynamics.
In other news, Northrop announced that its Sperry Marine North American Support Center in New Orleans is now operating at 100 percent capacity, after suffering heavy damage from Hurricane Katrina. The facility overhauls navigation equipment, monitors and autopilots, and houses one of the company's worldwide service control centers, dispatching service calls for ship maintenance and repair. Sperry Marine is part of Northrop's Electronic Systems sector.
- DirecTV Group Inc. and Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. 's TV Guide have signed programming and marketing agreements with NBC to support the broadcasting company's coverage of the Olympic Winter Games from Turin, Italy. DirecTV's Sports Mix channel will display multiple NBC Olympic channels simultaneously on one screen as well as up-to-the-minute medal counts. The El Segundo-based satellite broadcaster will also air NBC's entire Winter Olympics television schedule from NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and the USA Network. DirecTV will offer hundreds of hours of high-definition coverage from Universal HD, NBC and on-demand Olympics content available to DirecTV DVR customers.
TV Guide, through its TV Guide Channel, will offer information, interviews and profiles of athletes that will point viewers to Olympics programs on television during the next hour. TV Guide Interactive, a digital cable program guide, will feature an interactive NBC Olympics icon, which viewers may click on for access to up-to-date program listings and information on the Olympic Winter Games airing across NBC's broadcast and cable networks. And for three weeks beginning with the Feb. 6th issue, TV Guide magazine will feature coverage of the Olympic Games, including an NBC Olympics TV listings guide to the events.
- Allergan Inc. extended the deadline for its $3.2 billion tender offer for Inamed Corp. , as it has still not received U.S. antitrust approval. The offer will now expire on Feb. 22. It had been set to expire on Feb. 7. The offer calls for Allergan to give Inamed shareholders the choice of either $84 in cash or 0.8498 of an Allergan share. As of last Friday, about 52.4 percent of Santa Barbara-based Inamed's shares had been tendered.
Allergan officials said the two companies are also continuing to work with the Federal Trade Commission to complete Inamed's sale of its Reloxin license, which could have competed with Botox.
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