News briefs from around Tennessee
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 8:01 pm
FedEx and UPS gear up
for more tough times
NEW YORK (AP) — Despite gaining new customers from the shrinking U.S. presence of DHL and lower fuel prices, the world’s two largest package delivery companies are battening down the hatches as they prepare for weak global economic conditions to get even worse.
FedEx Corp. said Thursday it will cut more jobs and trim wages again, after reporting its fiscal third-quarter profit tumbled 75 percent on sliding revenue.
“Our financial performance was sharply lower during the quarter due to the global recession,” Chairman, President and Chief Executive Frederick W. Smith said. “While we are gaining market share in all of our transportation segments, the downturn in our industry and the severity and expected duration of the recession require that we take additional actions.”
UPS Inc. Chairman and CEO Scott Davis had similar comments last month after his company reported lower fourth-quarter revenue. “The severe decline in economic activity around the world resulted in sharply lower package and freight volumes for UPS,” he said.
Economists and analysts consider FedEx and larger rival UPS to be bellwethers of the global economy, since they deal with such basic indicators of company health as orders and product shipments. Both companies have been courting former customers of DHL, which pulled out of ground deliveries in the U.S. earlier this year.
Memphis-based FedEx earned $97 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with $393 million, or $1.26 a year earlier in the December-to-February period. Revenue fell 14 percent from a year ago, to $8.14 billion, and 14.7 percent from the previous quarter.
Tenn. House OKs loaded rifles, shotguns in cars
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee House voted Thursday to allow people with handgun carry permits to transport loaded rifles and shotguns in their vehicles.
Representatives voted 82-10 to pass the bill sponsored by Rep. Henry Fincher, D-Cookeville, who said the change is needed to bring the law into line with what he called “common rural practices.”
Under current law, rifles and shotguns are considered loaded if ammunition is in the “immediate vicinity” — even if the chamber of the weapon is empty.
That means hunters and farmers are technically in violation if they carry both guns and ammunition in the cabs of their pickup trucks, Fincher said.
“We have a whole population of folks that don’t even know they’re breaking the law,” Fincher said. “We have a law that doesn’t make common sense and is therefore at odds with common rural practices.”
Several lawmakers voiced concerns that Fincher’s bill would only apply to people who have active handgun carry permits. Rep. Craig Fitzhugh said only about 3 percent of people in his county have handgun carry permits but estimated that more than 60 percent go hunting.
Sentencing postponed for woman in mother’s killing
MEMPHIS (AP) — A sentencing hearing has been postponed for a young Memphis woman convicted of killing her mother.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Friday for 22-year-old Noura Jackson, who was convicted of second-degree murder last month in the 2005 death of her mother, Jennifer Jackson, in their home. But one of Jackson’s attorney fell sick and the hearing has been rescheduled for March 27.
Noura Jackson was 18 at the time her mother was stabbed more than 50 times.
The Commercial Appeal noted Noura Jackson has been in jail for more than 31⁄2 years and could be sentenced to as many as 25 years in prison. Jackson did not testify at her trial.
She told police she returned home before dawn to find her mother stabbed to death in her bedroom.
Published in The Messenger 3.20.09