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11.06.03 01:58

36803 Postings, 7176 Tage first-henriLatest News

Oracle says PeopleSoft won't sue to block takeover 11.06.2003 01:35    Headlines

   REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (AFX) -- Oracle said Tuesday that PeopleSoft will not
sue to block Oracle's hostile takeover attempt of its rival software company.
According to Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle, PeopleSoft's lawyers had
earlier said they planned to file suit in Alameda County Superior Court to seek
a temporary restraining order barring Oracle's $5.1 billion unsolicited bid.
PeopleSoft has not announced its legal strategy.
"We are hopeful that this apparent change in course indicates that the
PeopleSoft board will be willing to meet with us to discuss our offer," said
Oracle Executive Vice President Safra Catz in a statement.
PeopleSoft officials were not immediately available for comment.
PeopleSoft shares  fell 2 cents to close at $17.90 in Nasdaq trading. Oracle
shares rose 16 cents to close at $13.02.
This story was supplied by CBSMarketWatch. For further information see

U.S.'s Snow urges Japan reform, sees U.S. growth 11.06.2003 01:35    Headlines

   WASHINGTON (AFX) - While urging his Japanese counterparts to push
deregulation and other reforms, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said Tuesday
he's confident in growth turnarounds for both the United States and Japan.
Snow told the Japan Society meeting in New York he's confident for steadily
increasing U.S. growth in the coming year, "and with it, more jobs, higher
productivity, and performance much closer to our long term potential."
As for Japan, "We all know the diagnosis by now: a distressed banking system
with too many non-performing borrowers; persistent deflation; and a rigid and
overly regulated economic structure that discourages risk-taking, competition,
and innovation," he said.
"I'm not here to preach American answers to Japanese problems.  I'm here to say
that we believe in Japan, and that we believe that Japan will take actions to
overcome these obstacles, and return to a position of economic leadership and
growth in the world," said Snow.
"I believe the Japanese economy will get a tremendous boost from policies that
open up sectors to new entry and competition, and that make it easier to move
labor and assets to where they are most productive."
Snow challenged Japanese officials to help restore Asian and global growth.
The Treasury head did not directly address currencies in his prepared remarks,
just as an agency spokesman had advised ahead of the speech.
President Bush earlier this week reaffirmed "a strong dollar" position in the
United States, but currency markets have speculated that the administration is
actually comfortable with a marginally weaker dollar given even minor U.S.
deflation risks and struggling manufacturing exports.
Snow said nations should welcome the economic growth of their trading partners
not view it as undesired competition.
"Economic growth in one nation drives growth in its trading partners.
Individual firms may compete at the expense of each other, but such inter-firm
competition is the wrong model for countries where of course the operative
principle is comparative, not absolute advantage," he said.
"For hundreds of millions of poor in the developing world, escaping from poverty
requires more robust growth in the world economy and more free trade. That won't
happen unless leaders of the industrialized nations take steps to strengthen
their own economies and shun the temptation to restrict trade."
Separately, the United States and Japan announced Tuesday new proposed
agreements on income taxes.
A proposed treaty would reduce barriers to trade and investment between the
United States and Japan through reductions in the source-country withholding
taxes imposed on cross-border dividends, interest, royalties and other income,
Snow detailed.
The agreement includes the complete elimination of withholding taxes on
royalties, on certain interest, and on certain inter-company dividends.  
This story was supplied by CBSMarketWatch. For further information see


11.06.03 01:58
11 JUN 01:57 *S&P/ASX 200 JUNE FUTURES UP 8.0 PTS AT 3,067.0  

11.06.03 02:07
Japan April current a/c surplus 1.26 trln yen vs 1.09; beats mkt consensus 11.06.2003 02:05    Headlines

   TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The April current-account surplus widened to a 1.26 trln
yen from 1.09 trln a year earlier, beating the market consensus, the Ministry of
Finance said.
   Private-sector economists earlier forecast the current-account surplus would
come in at a consensus 1.18 trln yen, within a range of 977 bln to 1.4 trln.
   The trade surplus eased to 993.8 bln yen, from 999.8 bln, as exports grew to
4.39 trln yen, from 4.17 trln, and imports rose to 3.39 trln yen, from 3.17
trln. The goods and services account surplus rose to 615.2 bln yen, from 464.3
   The capital and financial account, which measures international fund flows,
saw an inflow to Japan of 539.7 bln yen, from an outflow of 928.0 bln.
   An outflow represents investment in overseas assets and may lower the value
of the yen, while an inflow involves investment in Japanese assets from abroad.


11.06.03 02:09
All 71 kidnapped gas pipeline workers rescued - Peru's president 11.06.2003 02:07    Headlines

   LIMA (AFX) - All the 71 gas pipeline workers who had been kidnapped in
southeastern Peru were rescued late Tuesday and are "healthy and safe",
President Alejandro Toledo announced.
   Toledo earlier sent 300 soldiers and police to Ayacucho department, 600
kilometers southeast of Lima, in a bid to rescue the gas pipeline workers seized
from a camp there.
   Heavily-armed gunmen on Monday seized staff from the Argentine firm Techint,
which is building a gas pipeline in the region, demanding 1 mln usd in ransom.


11.06.03 02:10
Japan May domestic CGPI down 1 pct yr-on-yr; below market consensus 11.06.2003 02:08    Headlines

   TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The domestic corporate goods price index in May was down
1.0 pct year-on-year, below market consensus, after falling 0.8 pct in April,
the Bank of Japan said.
   Month-on-month, the index fell 0.3 pct, from a fall of 0.2 pct in April.
   Earlier, private-sector economists forecast the CGPI would come in at a
consensus decline of 0.8 pct year-on-year, with estimates ranging from a fall of
0.7-1.0 pct.
   Year-on-year, export CGPI fell 3.1 pct, from a revised fall of 4.9 pct the
previous month, while the import index fell 2.5 pct, from a fall of 1.1 pct.
   Export CGPI fell 0.8 pct month-on-month, from a revised rise of 0.8 pct the
previous month, while the import index fell 3.0 pct, from a fall of 0.7 pct.


11.06.03 02:15
Japan Q1 GDP revised to rise of 0.1 pct qtr-on-qtr from flat 11.06.2003 02:11    Headlines

   TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The Cabinet Office said it has revised first quarter to
March GDP to a quarter-on-quarter rise of 0.1 pct from the previous estimate of
flat growth.
   On an annualised basis, the GDP was revised to a rise of 0.6 pct. The March
quarter GDP deflator was revised to a fall of 3.3 pct year-on-year, against a
fall of 3.5 pct estimated previously.

Japan Q1 GDP revised to rise of 0.1 pct qtr-on-qtr from flat - UPDATE 11.06.2003 02:13    Headlines

   (Updating with breakdown of revised GDP constituents)

   TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The Cabinet Office said it has revised first quarter to
March GDP to a quarter-on-quarter rise of 0.1 pct from the previous estimate of
flat growth.
   On an annualised basis, the GDP was revised to a rise of 0.6 pct. The March
quarter GDP deflator was revised to a fall of 3.3 pct year-on-year, against a
fall of 3.5 pct estimated previously.
   The Cabinet Office provided the following revised sectoral breakdown of
percentage point contributions to the March quarter GDP figure, (compared with
the previous estimates):

   Domestic demand - plus 0.2 pct pt (plus 0.2)
       Private demand - plus 0.3 pct pt (plus 0.2)
           Private consumption - plus 0.1 pct pt (plus 0.2)
           Residential investment - 0.0 pct pt (0.0)
           Non-residential investment - plus 0.1 pct pt (plus 0.3)
           Private sector inventory - plus 0.1 pct pt (minus 0.2)
       Public sector demand - minus 0.1 pct pt (minus 0.1)
           Govt consumption - plus 0.1 pct pt (plus 0.1)
           Public investment - minus 0.2 pct pt (minus 0.2)
           Public inventory - 0.0 pct pt (0.0)
   Net exports - minus 0.1 pct pt (minus 0.2)

   Non-residential investment is considered equivalent to private capital
expenditure. The Cabinet Office also provided the following revised
quarter-on-quarter percentage changes in the GDP components, (compared with the
previous estimates):

   Domestic demand - up 0.2 pct (up 0.2)
       Private demand - up 0.4 pct (up 0.3)
           Private consumption - up 0.2 pct (up 0.3)
           Residential investment - down 1.2 pct (down 1.2)
           Non-residential investment - up 0.7 pct (up 1.9)
       Public sector demand - down 0.3 pct (down 0.3)
           Govt consumption - up 0.6 pct (up 0.8)
           Public investment - down 3.2 pct (down 3.5)
   Exports - down 0.4 pct (down 0.5)
   Imports - up 0.1 pct (up 1.4)

USA sollten Fehler in Geheimdienst-Berichten zu Irak suchen 11.06.2003 02:13    Headlines

   NEW YORK  (AWP/sda) - Wenn in Irak in absehbarer Zeit keine verbotenen
gefunden werden, sollten die USA nach Ansicht des scheidenden
UNO-Chefinspekteurs Hans Blix nach Fehlern ihrer Geheimdienste

"Sie müssten dann analysieren, was sie möglicherweise zu falschen
Schlussfolgerungen geführt hatte", sagte Blix.

"Ich hoffe nämlich, dass in der Zukunft keine Kriege oder
Präventivaktionen auf der Basis fehlerhafter Unterlagen begonnen
werden", sagte er am Dienstag in New York weiter.

Zugleich riet Blix, der zum Ende des Monats aus dem UNO-Dienst
ausscheidet, angesichts der Diskussion um das Fehlen von Beweisen
für irakische Massenvernichtungswaffen zu mehr Geduld mit den

"Sie sollten etwas mehr Zeit haben, sich umzuschauen, denn ihre
Bedingungen sind nicht einfach. Sie können sich zum Beispiel nur
mit bewaffnetem Begleitschutz bewegen."

Allerdings hätten die US-Sucher im Gegensatz zu jenen der UNO vor
dem Sturz des Saddam-Hussein-Regimes jetzt insgesamt günstigere
Bedingungen. Sie müssten deshalb in der Lage sein, ihre Aufgabe
"innerhalb einiger Monate" zu erfüllen.


11.06.03 02:20
China Jan-May foreign trade surplus 2.38 bln usd; total trade up 39.6 pct 11.06.2003 02:17    Headlines

   BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) - China recorded a foreign trade surplus of 2.38 bln usd
in the first five months of this year, with total foreign trade up 39.6 pct
year-on-year at 309.34 bln usd, the People's Daily reported.
   The newspaper said exports in May rose 37.3 pct from a year earlier to 33.84
bln usd, while imports were up 40.9 pct at 31.61 bln usd, resulting in a trade
surplus of 2.23 bln usd for the month.
   It added the impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) will have a
laggard effect on foreign trade going forward.


11.06.03 02:30

36803 Postings, 7176 Tage first-henriSeit wann bekommen Pariser Rente ?

60 Festnahmen nach Protesten gegen Rentenreform in Paris 11.06.2003 02:23    Headlines

   PARIS  (AWP/sda) - Die französische Polizei ist mit Tränengas und
Wasserwerfern gegen Demonstranten vorgegangen. Diese protestierten
am Dienstagabend nahe dem Parlamentsgebäude in Paris gegen die
geplante Rentenreform.

Trotz des Einsatzes der Tränengasgranaten stürmten immer wieder
hunderte maskierte Demonstranten auf den Place de la Concorde im
Stadtzentrum. Einige von ihnen versuchten, aus
Sicherheitsabsperrungen Barrikaden zu errichten.

Ein Fotograf wurde von einer von einem Demonstranten geworfenen
Flasche am Kopf getroffen und verletzt. Etwa 60 Menschen wurden
festgenommen, die im Zentrum der Stadt auf der Flucht vor der
Polizei die Pariser Oper gestürmt hatten.

Eine Aufführung der Mozart-Oper "Cosi fan tutte" musste abgebrochen
werden, nachdem rund 15 Demonstranten in den Saal eingedrungen

Zu den Zwischenfällen kam es nach Abschluss einer friedlichen
Demonstration, bei der nach Polizeiangaben 37 000, nach
Veranstalterangaben 200 000 Menschen gegen die Rentenpläne der
Regierung demonstriert hatten. Landesweit gingen nach
Polizeiangaben mindestens 440 000 Menschen gegen die Reform auf die

Neue Streiks am Donnerstag

Nach Angaben der Veranstalter nahmen sogar mehr als eine Million
Menschen an den zahlreichen Kundgebungen teil.

Streiks und Proteste gegen die Reform gab es in unterschiedlichen
Bereichen des öffentlichen Lebens. Ausstände trafen die Staatsbahn
SNCF und die kommunalen Verkehrsbetriebe, aber auch zahlreiche
andere Branchen vom Bildungswesen bis zur Müllabfuhr.

Die Gewerkschaften bezeichneten den Streiktag als Erfolg. Sie
riefen den Donnerstag zum nächsten "Streik- und Protesttag" aus.

Die Rentenreform sieht vor allem längere Einzahlungen für
Beamtenpensionen vor. Damit soll das französische Solidar-System
angesichts höherer Lebenserwartung und sinkender
Beschäftigtenzahlen gerettet werden.


11.06.03 02:37

67873 Postings, 7911 Tage KickyGewinnwarnung von Texas Instruments

Der amerikanische Technologiekonzern Texas Instruments hat wegen der schwächeren Nachfrage in Asien nach Ausbruch der Lungenseuche Sars seine Schätzungen für Umsatz und Gewinn im zweiten Quartal gesenkt. Der Umsatz werde im Vergleich zum Vorquartal nicht, wie ursprünglich angenommen, um rund 7 Prozent, sondern nur um etwa 5 Prozent zulegen, teilte Texas Instruments Inc. am Dienstag in Dallas mit. Grund seien niedrigere Halbleiterumsätze mit Mobilfunkkunden. Diese litten besonders in Asien unter einer schwächeren Nachfrage und zu hohen Lagerbeständen vor allem in Folge von Sars. Die Nachfrage nach Halbleiterprodukten in anderen Märkten bleibe dagegen robust. GEWINNPROGNOSE VERRINGERT Auch die Prognose für den Gewinn je Aktie (EPS) wurde reduziert. Das EPS dürfte nun um die 6 US-Cent statt der zuvor avisierten rund 8 Cent betragen. Verantwortlich hierfür seien zu gleichen Teilen der unerwartet niedrige Umsatz sowie Kosten im Zusammenhang mit dem Umbau einiger Produktionsstätten. Der Umsatz mit Halbleitern für die Mobilfunkbranche werde im zweiten Quartal um rund 10 Prozent zum Vorquartal zurückgehen. Verglichen mit dem Vorjahr entspreche dies einem Zuwachs von 10 Prozent. Die Erlöse mit anderen Halbleiterprodukten dürften im zweiten Quartal unterdessen um mehr als 5 Prozent steigen, teilte Texas Instruments weiter mit.  

11.06.03 02:39
DRAMeXchange - 256/128Mb DDR DRAM spot prices rise 0.45-2.43 pct 11.06.2003 02:33    Headlines

   TAIPEI (AFX-ASIA) - The average spot price of 256Mb, 400MHz DDR DRAMs was up
0.45 pct from the previous session at 4.44 usd apiece at the close of Tuesday.
   The average spot price of 256Mb, 333MHz DDR DRAMs was up 1.43 pct at 3.54
usd, it said.
   The average spot price of 256Mb, 266MHz DDR DRAMs was up 1.76 pct at 3.40
usd and that of 128Mb, 266MHz DDR DRAMs was up 2.43 pct at 1.68 usd, it added.


11.06.03 02:40
Japan April current account surplus up 15.1 percent 11.06.2003 02:36    Headlines

   Japan's current account surplus jumped 15.1 percent in April from a year
earlier to 1.25 trillion yen ($10.5 billion), the Finance Ministry said. The
surplus in merchandise trade declined 0.6 percent to 993.8 billion yen, with
exports growing 5.3 percent to 4.39 trillion yen and imports rising 7.1 percent
to 3.39 trillion yen.
This story was supplied by CBSMarketWatch. For further information see


11.06.03 02:45

67873 Postings, 7911 Tage KickyChina boomt:Export +39%,Import+40%

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) - China recorded a foreign trade surplus of 2.38 bln usd
in the first five months of this year, with total foreign trade up 39.6 pct
year-on-year at 309.34 bln usd, the People's Daily reported.
   The newspaper said exports in May rose 37.3 pct from a year earlier to 33.84
bln usd, while imports were up 40.9 pct at 31.61 bln usd, resulting in a trade
surplus of 2.23 bln usd for the month.
   It added the impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) will have a
laggard effect on foreign trade going forward  

11.06.03 02:50
Comcast's ad unit uses size advantage 11.06.2003 02:41    Headlines

   CHICAGO (AFX) - If there were any culture clashes in the ranks of Comcast's
advertising sales department after it took over AT&T's cable systems last year,
Charlie Thurston isn't telling.
And the way things seem to be going for the ad unit, it hardly matters anyway.
Philadelphia-based Comcast  is the nation's largest cable company thanks to the
AT&T deal, with 27 million subscribers in 71 U.S. markets, including 22 of the
top 25 markets.
Thurston, president of Comcast Ad Sales, says the company has used the
transaction to build a series of regional ad-selling hubs it calls
"interconnects," designed to make it easy for advertisers to buy both local and
national spots without having to worry about multiple sets of invoices and other
troublesome paperwork.
The goal is to give Comcast a greater capacity to compete for ad dollars that
would often go to broadcast television, simply because broadcast outlets had
historically been simpler to deal with.
Comcast Ad Sales accounts for 6 percent of revenue at the company's cable
division, and 11 percent of its operating cash flow. The unit expects to
generate more than $700 million in operating cash flow for 2003, with plans to
reinvest $40 million of that amount in upgrades.
Interconnects give advertisers "reliable consistency from market to market,"
Thurston said. In the past, a one-stop, blanket coverage ad buy could mean
either an entire city, an entire region, or some other variation, depending on
which market an advertiser was interested in.
Comcast's system simplifies this, so that in all of its interconnected markets,
this kind of ad buy means the same thing.
Further, the cable channels where commercials would end up under one of these
one-stop deals varied depending on the channel lineup in a given market.
Under Comcast's interconnect system, the company is able to offer advertisers
the same block of 40 channels from market to market.
The company's immediate goal is to have interconnects in 54 of its 71 markets.
The transition to the new model has been going "a lot faster than we
anticipated," Thurston said.
Comcast is getting results; in 15 markets that have been installed as
interconnects in the past year, ad sales have jumped 24 percent year-over-year,
which easily outpaced the industry average, Thurston said.
During the first quarter, when the economy was wracked by the U.S.-led war in
Iraq and other complications, Comcast did face its share of cancellations,
delays and pre-emptions of ad placements, as did the rest of the media industry.

But some of that negative momentum was offset, Thurston said, by the fact that
with news updates pre-empting regular programming on so many broadcast outlets,
advertisers "began to look at other options," and wound up turning to cable
networks like TBS Superstation, ESPN and other marquee destinations.
"In the last couple of weeks, we're seeing encouraging signs," Thurston said of
the second quarter. "We're going to have a strong June."
The combination of several factors -- a strong advance ad sale market for the
fall television season, a better stock market performance, and others --
Thurston says ad sales are primed for a strong comeback, "if not in the second
half [of 2003], then by early 2004."
Comcast's ad department isn't worried about personal video recorder [PVR]
technology, which allows consumers to store hundreds of hours of programming on
a hard drive, providing full DVD functionality without the use of discs or any
other space-consuming media, and to skip commercials far more easily than they
can on a VCR.
"First of all, [PVR] users are only 300,000-400,000 out of 106 million
television households," Thurston said, chuckling. "But also, I think the more
splintered the audience is, the better for the cable guys," he said, because
advertisers can then be more specific about targeting the viewers they want to
For the same reason, Comcast is able to convince advertisers not to concentrate
all of their buying power on the five or six most-watched cable channels.
"If you're an advertiser, and you just buy [commercial time] on the NFL, well,
fine, you get the 2.4 [rating] for NFL games, but you miss maybe the 1.0 for
people watching the History Channel, and so on.
"The ad agencies realize -- it's not about buying brands. It's about reaching
This story was supplied by CBSMarketWatch. For further information see


11.06.03 02:55
Lockheed Martin sues Boeing over alleged industrial espionage - UPDATE 11.06.2003 02:54    Headlines

   (Adds details, quotes)
   BETHESDA, Maryland (AFX) - Lockheed Martin Corp filed a lawsuit against
Boeing Co alleging that the latter engaged in industrial espionage during
competition for US Air Force contracts.
   The suit filed in US federal court in Orlando, Florida, accuses Boeing of
misappropriating secret, and highly sensitive, Lockheed documents relating to
Lockheed's bid for a 2 bln usd US Air Force rocket program during the 1990s.
   According to the 28-count complaint, Boeing used the information in putting
together a rival bid for the multi-year contract and then lied about it to both
the Air Force and Lockheed.
   The US Air Force ultimately divvied up the work between the two companies,
awarding 21 of 28 military satellite launches under the Air Force's Evolved
Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program to Boeing and seven to Lockheed Martin.

   Lockheed contends that a former Lockheed engineer, Kenneth Branch, who went
to work for McDonnell Douglas Corp, a defence contractor acquired by Boeing,
shared a huge amount of proprietary information with his new employers.
   Boeing has turned over some 37,000 pages of material to Lockheed, much of it
confidential Lockheed paperwork relating to cost estimates and technical
specifications of its Atlas rockets.
   "They (the documents) impaired our ability to actively compete in the space
launch market which has caused us to receive fewer Air Force and commercial
space launches than we would otherwise have received," said Lockheed spokesman
Tom Jurkowsky.
   Lockheed is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, costs, and return of
all proprietary information as well as an injunction barring the Chicago-based
aerospace giant Boeing from using the information to its further advantage.
   The US Department of Justice and the Air Force have also launched probes
relating to the alleged espionage, which came to light in 1999 after Branch and
another former Boeing engineer, William Erskine, sued Boeing for wrongful
   That case was dismissed in 2002 by a US District Court in Orlando, Florida.
   "We think that Branch provided to Boeing documents that contained cost and
technical information about our family of launch vehicles (rockets)," said
   Boeing said its lawyers were reviewing the suit which accuses it of
violating state and federal fraud antitrust laws and RICO statutes.
   "We will respond in the appropriate legal venues," Boeing spokesman Dan Beck
   The company is cooperating with the investigations, according to a company
filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission made in May.
   The US Air Force inquiry could lead to Boeing being barred from certain
military business, according to Air Force spokeswoman Valerie Burkes.


11.06.03 02:56

67873 Postings, 7911 Tage KickyNationaler Streik Donnerstag in Frankreich

PARIS  (AWP/sda) - Les syndicats CGT, FO, Unsa et FSU ont appelé à une
nouvelle journée de grèves nationale jeudi contre le projet de
réforme des retraites. Jeudi marque aussi le début des examens du
bac. Les syndicats ont appelé à ne pas bloquer les épreuves.


11.06.03 02:59

67873 Postings, 7911 Tage KickyWirtschaftsforschungsinstitute senken Prognose

Die führenden deutschen Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute
werden nach Informationen des "Tagesspiegel" (Mittwochausgabe) in den kommenden
Wochen ihre Wachstumsprognosen für 2003 deutlich absenken. In ihrem gemeinsamen
Frühjahrsgutachten hatten sie noch ein Wirtschaftswachstum von 0,5 Prozent für
dieses Jahr prognostiziert. "Das ist auf keinen Fall mehr zu halten", sagte ein
Ökonom der Tageszeitung. Bereits in der vergangenen Woche hatte das Kieler
Institut für Weltwirtschaft seine Annahme auf 0,0 Prozent abgesenkt. Die
Bundesregierung hielt dagegen am Dienstag an ihrer Wachstumserwartung von 0,75
Prozent für 2003 fest  

11.06.03 03:10

67873 Postings, 7911 Tage Kickyirakische Ölindustrie ist geplündert,kaputt

This is now the state of the Iraqi oil industry, custodian of the world's third largest oil reserves ? an estimated 112 billion barrels ? and the repository of hope for the United States-led alliance and the Iraqi people themselves. Money from oil, the Bush administration has said repeatedly, will drive Iraq's economic revival, which in turn will foster the country's political stability. Many Iraqis agree.

Yet from the vast Kirkuk oil field in the north to the patchwork of rich southern fields around Basra, Iraq's oil industry, once among the best-run and most smartly equipped in the world, is in tatters.

Looting, sabotage and the continued lack of security at oil facilities are the most recent problems the industry and its American overseers must address in order to get petroleum flowing again, especially for export.

Some Iraqis believe that the looting is deliberate sabotage by people still loyal to the Baath Party rule of Saddam Hussein. Whoever is behind the pilfering and destruction, they have compounded the problems accumulated over 12 years of United Nations sanctions. And the expertise needed to get the oil flowing again often resides with oilmen now tainted by their past association with Mr. Hussein.

The interim oil minister, Thamir Ghadhban and his American advisers are trying to purge the industry of senior Baathists. Yet neither the Americans nor the new minister have proposed a new structure for the industry, which might make it easier to argue that new people are needed. For now, they are working the old state-run model under which the ministry oversees the two companies ? Northern Oil and South Oil ? and other agencies in charge of exploration, pipelines and other equipment and exports.

"The sector itself is in poor shape after years of sanctions, and the effects will take time and money to reverse," said Raad Alkadiri, a specialist on Iraqi oil from PFC Energy, a Washington consulting firm, who recently visited Iraq.  

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