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The Buzz On Business

IPHONE DEMAND HUGE IN CHINA, RUSSIA: In the Soviet days, Russians asked their American friends to bring blue jeans, rock records and other Western goods into the country. Today Russians can buy almost anything they want here. But they are still begging for one item: Apple Inc.'s slick iPhone. The new iPhone went on sale in 21 countries July 11 and will soon be released in 70 nations. Officially, Russia and China are still on hold. Neither last year's original iPhone nor the updated model is available in those countries because Apple is still negotiating with mobile service providers. And yet analysts estimate that only the United States has more iPhone users than Russia and China. In both countries, the device enjoys super-exclusive status, thanks to a thriving market for "unlocked" iPhones adapted for local use. Even Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been seen using one. Moscow and Beijing have become an iPhone trader's paradise. Russian Web sites were offering the new 3G iPhone for about $1,200, six times the $199 base price in the United States.

ROYAL PHILIPS LEAVING NYC: The Dutch company Royal Philips Electronics NV is relocating its North American headquarters to Andover, Mass. from New York City. A company spokesman said the move will inject $266 million into the local community. The firm is planning a formal announcement Tuesday with CEO Scott Weisenhoff and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Officials at Philips Electronics North America expect between 50 and 75 jobs to shift from its current headquarters to Andover. When the move is complete, the firm will have about 4,600 workers in Massachusetts. Joseph Bevilacqua, president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, calls the move a "monumental decision." Philips Electronics had $36.8 billion in worldwide revenue last year.

N.H. GIVES IN, ACCEPTS FREE OIL FROM CHÁVEZ: Two years ago, New Hampshire refused to accept heating oil from Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the pro-Castro U.S. critic who once called President Bush "the devil." But with fuel prices rising, well, free oil is free oil. With the state's blessing, New Hampshire residents will be receiving some of the fuel this winter. New Hampshire becomes the last state in the Northeast to embrace the offer. "A lot of people have said, 'We need help and we value any help we can get,' " said Amy Ignatius, director of New Hampshire's office of energy and planning. The oil giveaway will be managed by Citizens Energy, a nonprofit organization set up by former Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy to help the poor stay warm. It is just the latest example of how rising oil prices have brought about an attitude adjustment in the United States. Over the past few weeks, for instance, pressure has been growing in some parts of the country to lift the ban on offshore drilling.

LEGG MASON BACKS YAHOO DIRECTORS: One of Yahoo Inc.'s largest shareholders is supporting the re-election of the Internet company's incumbent board, delivering a significant blow to an attempted coup being led by activist investor Carl Icahn. With Friday's announcement, Legg Mason Capital Management Inc. became the biggest major Yahoo shareholder to publicly declare it will vote for the nine current directors, a group that has been under fire since Microsoft withdrew a $47.5 billion takeover bid 2½ months ago in a disagreement over price. Legg Mason, a mutual fund manager, owns 4.4 percent of Yahoo's stock.

BEE NEWS SERVICES

Figuratively Speaking

41: Percentage of employers who state that people who dress better or more professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in their organization, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey.

55: Percentage of financial service institutions that state that people who dress more professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in the organization.

37: Percentage of IT employers who agree.

37: Percentage of baby boomers who said they would be very satisfied with their parents' lifestyles, according to findings of the 2008 Generational Differences in Retirement Planning: Adult Children of Retired Parents, a study conducted by Mathew Greenwald and Associates.

81: Percentage of retired parents who attributed their retirement success to the avoidance of credit card debt.

86: Percentage who also cited the creation of an emergency fund.

JOHN MacINTYRE,

UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE

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