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QB Brady snaps fantasy football with real suit

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has thrown a penalty flag on Yahoo! Inc., alleging illegal use of his photo in a fantasy football advertisement.

TEB Capital Management L.L.C., which owns the publicity and endorsement rights of Mr. Brady, filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles last month claiming that Mr. Brady's image was used without permission in advertisements for Yahoo!'s fantasy football goods and services in Sports Illustrated, other sports publications and on the Internet.

Fantasy football is a $4 billion industry with more than 8 million participants, according to the suit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. It describes Yahoo!'s Web offering as the most popular fantasy football site, with an estimated 4.4 million unique users in 2005.

Mr. Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2000. Subsequently, he has led the team to three Super Bowl championships, won two Super Bowl MVP awards and been selected to participate in three Pro Bowls.

Buffett goes broke in the name of charity

Warren Buffett may be an ace at investment strategies and play a mean hand of bridge, but poker is a whole different game.

The billionaire and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman earlier this month joined a group of amateur, celebrity and professional players for a charity poker tournament in Omaha, Neb., and reportedly went broke in under an hour.

Following the event, Mr. Buffett was quoted in media reports as having said: "It's different than bridge....I was confused. I thought the low score won."

Holiday snacks put office 'grazers' at risk

The goodwill holiday sugar cookies in the office lounge could do more harm than good for employees, according to ComPsych Corp., an employee assistance and wellness program provider.

Forty percent of employees reported being "grazers" at work by eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, according to a recent poll by ComPsych, which says an employee's healthy eating habits may be sabotaged by the holiday candy and cookie buffet.

"It becomes easier for employees to graze on the junk food, which causes them to stop bringing in their own healthy snacks," said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and chief executive officer of Chicago-based ComPsych in a statement. The issue is a "liability" for companies that wish to encourage healthy habits among employees, he said.

As a result, Dr. Chaifetz said many companies are now requesting that outside business partners and vendors send fresh fruit baskets as gifts rather than the calorie-laden snacks.

'American' fix in port brouhaha

American International Group Inc. hasn't been a stranger to controversy in recent years. But that didn't stop the New York-based insurance giant's AIG Global Investment Group unit from helping to end an international controversy by agreeing to buy P&O Ports North America from P&O Holdings Inc.

While the name P&O might not register with most people, the business happens to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai Ports World, a Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based port operator.

DP World stirred heated rhetoric early this year when it acquired the U.S. assets of British port operator Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. Lawmakers wasted no time in condemning the deal, which would have given an Arab company control of U.S. port facilities on the East and Gulf coasts, thus raising questions of national security.

DP World offered to divest itself of the properties, provided that it could find a suitable buyer. Last week, DP World announced that it had indeed found a U.S. buyer, and entered into an agreement to sell port facilities, operational rights and stevedoring operations for an undisclosed sum to AIG.

The sale should end the controversy over a foreign company having control of a piece of U.S. security. After all, what could be a more appropriate owner than one whose name begins with "American"?

Louise Esola, Mark A. Hofmann, Rupal Parekh and Sally Roberts