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Business news in brief

In the Region

Corbett doles out cash

Just in time for Christmas, Gov. Corbett's administration posted the names of 58 developers, industrial plants, corporate and nonprofit hospitals, museums, private colleges, and other institutions that will share $133 million in state matching grants for favored projects. It's the latest installment of grants from the Redevelopment Authority Capital Program, which has been popular with lawmakers and developers since the 1980s. Five groups got the upper limit of $5 million for projects: Philadelphia Energy Solutions (Philadelphia), Braskem America Inc. (Delaware County), Erie County Convention Center Authority, Majestic Realty Co. (Northhampton County), and the Sports and Exhibition Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (Allegheny County). - Joseph N. DiStefano


Mortgage rates rise to 4.48%

Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages crept higher this week but remained low by historical standards. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.48 percent from 4.47 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan rose to 3.52 percent from 3.51 percent. Mortgage rates peaked at 4.6 percent in August on expectations that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. Those purchases push mortgage and other long-term rates lower, and encourage borrowing and spending. - AP

McDonald's shuts worker website

McDonald's Corp. has shut down a website intended to provide employees with work and life guidance after it generated negative publicity for the fast-food company. The McResource program has been criticized as creating unrealistic budgets and offering advice that was out of touch with its workers' pay. The website, which was run by an outside company, also reportedly discouraged workers from eating fast food. McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., said Thursday that it was having its vendor take down the website. "Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary," the company said in a statement. - AP

Lufthansa's Paris workers walk

Lufthansa workers angry over staffing shortages abruptly walked off the job at the main Paris airport Thursday, prompting flight cancellations and bringing a new headache to holiday travel. The walkout stranded hundreds of passengers and got the attention of company managers, who went to the airport and persuaded staff to return to their posts later in the day, according to UNSA union representative Frank Bonot. - AP

Delta: Tickets sold at bad prices

Delta Air Lines Inc. said some ticket prices were incorrectly displayed on its website Thursday and other booking channels, resulting in customers' purchasing flights at lower-than-usual fares. The situation has been resolved and Delta will honor any fares purchased at the incorrect price, the airline said in an e-mailed statement. Delta did not say how many tickets were sold at an incorrect price. - Bloomberg News

Empire State Building dispute

Thousands of stakeholders in the Empire State Building lost more than $400 million in potential profits when the managing owners rebuffed potential buyers in order to sell public shares in the iconic skyscraper, a lawsuit says. By spurning all-cash offers and instead packaging the tower with lesser-known office properties in a publicly traded stock, father-and-son real estate magnates Peter and Anthony Malkin put their interests ahead of those of longtime investors, lawyer John Rizio-Hamilton said Thursday. Through a spokeswoman, the Malkins' company, Empire State Realty Trust, said the suit's claims were "wholly without merit, and we will respond to them in court." - AP

Ex-Steeler sues casino

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Mike Merriweather has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was fired from his promotions job with a Western Pennsylvania casino because of his race. A spokesman for the Meadows Racetrack & Casino, which is being sued along with parent company Cannery Casino Resorts, declined to comment. Merriweather, a Pro Bowl linebacker for the Steelers during the 1980s, claims the casino's white management made disparaging remarks, sometimes in jest, about his being potentially violent because he is black. - AP