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LOCAL

Flights on schedule at Twin City airport

BLOOMINGTON - Flights in and out of the Central Illinois Regional Airport are on schedule, despite massive weekend storms on the East Coast.

The airport offers daily flights to Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit and flights to Orlando four days a week. All departures and arrivals were listed on time by midmorning Monday.

NATION

Interest rates rise

in Treasury auction

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction to the highest levels in five years.

The Treasury Department auctioned $20 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.440 percent, up from 4.375 percent last week. Another $17 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.540 percent, up from 4.500 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 4.520 percent on March 12, 2001. The six-month rate was the highest since 4.770 percent on Feb. 20, 2001.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,887.77 while a six-month bill sold for $9,770.48.

Buyout of Maytag

may be challenged

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Whirlpool Corp. and Maytag Corp. said Monday that the Justice Department is extending its review of Whirlpool's proposed $1.79 billion acquisition of rival Maytag to March 30.

The companies said they "have agreed not to close the transaction'' before that date.

"We believe this additional time will be sufficient for the review to be completed, and we are confident that the acquisition will close rapidly upon completion of the review,'' said Maytag Chairman and Chief Executive Ralph F. Hake in a statement.

Earlier Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the acquisition may face a legal challenge from federal regulators. The Department of Justice antitrust division is seeking sworn statements from business rivals and customers as it reviews the proposed deal.

Senior Justice officials have not yet decided whether to bring a case, and the deal still could be cleared, the newspaper said. It cited unidentified people close to the case.

WORLD

Productivity must rise, VW exec says

FRANKFURT, Germany - Volkswagen AG's flagship brand must improve productivity and operations considered to be uncompetitive could be shut down, the head of the brand said.

Wolfgang Bernhard, who heads the VW brand of Europe's biggest automaker, set a goal of raising productivity 30 percent within three years as the brand - which makes the Golf, Polo and Passat, among others - strives to improve performance and carve out a better presence in American and Chinese markets.

Bernhard also warned that some parts of component production at VW were "far from any competitiveness'' and must be improved or else.

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