WANT TO WORK IN THE ARTS?: People interested in a career in theater, television, film, radio, music or event planning will have a chance to meet with representatives from those industries at Modesto Junior College's "Entertainment and Media Arts Fair" on Wednesday. The free event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the east campus quad, 435 College Ave. Dozens of vendors will attend, including the Townsend Opera Players, Clear Channel, Modesto Film Society, Gallo Center for the Arts and The State Theater. The event is open to the public, and is an opportunity to gain information about jobs, internships or volunteer roles in entertainment or media arts. For more information, call MJC Drama Ink representative Jeffrey Carnegie at 923-3501.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND SOCKS PUMP PRICES: Gasoline and oil futures rose sharply Wednesday after the Energy Department reported an unexpected jump in gasoline demand and a big drop in supplies. Prices at the pump returned to record levels, and appeared poised to extend their march. In its weekly inventory report, the Energy Information Administration said gasoline supplies fell by 4.5 million barrels last week, twice the decline forecast by analysts. The EIA data also showed that demand for gas rose by nearly 1 percent when compared with the same week last year. Falling inventories and rising demand suggest supplies are tightening as the peak summer driving season approaches. That could boost gas prices further, and keep oil prices elevated.
LAWYER: CONVICTED ENRON CHIEF MEANT WELL: Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron Corp. chief executive officer who was convicted for his role in the once might energy giant's collapse, took risks when he ran the company but they were always for its benefit, his attorney told an appeals court Wednesday. His well-intentioned actions negate his convictions, which rest on a legal theory that Skilling deprived Enron of his "honest services" and put his own interests above those of the company, defense attorney Daniel Petrocelli told a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But prosecutors argued Skilling's actions were dishonest and contrary to the needs of the company's shareholders and its financial stability. The appeals court was not expected to rule immediately on Skilling's appeal to have his conviction overturned. He was convicted in May 2006 on 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors for his role in the collapse of Houston-based Enron.
DATA SHOW MORTGAGES STILL TOUGH TO GET: Home buyers and homeowners who have bad credit or live in high-cost cities are having a hair-pulling time getting new mortgages because investors on Wall Street remain skittish, data Wednesday showed. And mortgage brokers say the government's new efforts to loosen lending restrictions are providing little relief. The mortgage bond market virtually has evaporated for new loans that don't meet the more prudent guidelines of government-backed mortgage giants such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The share of these so-called "nonagency" mortgage bonds plunged to 6 percent of the market in the first quarter, the lowest share in almost two decades, and down from 51 percent in the first quarter last year, according to trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. That hurts borrowers with subprime credit, for example, entrepreneurs or people without steady paychecks, or people who needed loans larger than government limits. While Congress last month raised the limits on loans that can be sold to government agencies to $729,750, borrowers still are being shut out. There are new restrictions on these loans that make them difficult to use, analysts said.
BEE NEWS SERVICES
$21.1 billion: Estimated value of all online advertising revenue in 2007, according to a study conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
$12.6 billion: Approximate value of all online advertising revenue in 2005.
31: Percentage of business travelers who say they take more than one cell phone, laptop or electronic device with them on business trips, according to a survey conducted by In-Stat.
15: Percentage of business travelers who say they take more than one cell phone on business trips.
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