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Business Briefs: Credit card changes seen

Oklahoman Published: May 1, 2009
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cited continued low number of fish returning to the Sacramento River in California. The river is the second-largest producer of salmon on the West Coast. Locke released $53.1 million in unspent money from a fishery disaster declared last year. A total of $46.4 million will go to California and $6.7 million to Oregon. Locke’s decision opens the way for Congress to allocate more money for salmon fishermen. Congress appropriated $170 million in disaster aid in 2008 and $60 million in 2006.

Tribes praise dam decision
OMAHA, Neb. — A group representing American Indian tribes and commercial fishermen from California and Oregon that has protested at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholder meetings in the past are back again this year. But this time the group will be praising Berkshire, led by billionaire investor Warren Buffett. They are in Omaha to show their support for the decision by the company’s utility unit to back a preliminary agreement to remove four dams on the Klamath River near the California-Oregon border.

Brother wants licensing fee
NEW YORK — The brother of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff has demanded a $500,000 licensing fee for a branch of the family business recently put on the auction block, a lawyer told a bankruptcy judge Thursday. Peter Madoff’s asking price for Primex Holdings LLC became a potential sticking point in a pending sale of a trading operation that was deemed legitimate, attorney Marc Hirshfield said at hearing in Manhattan. Hirshfield, who represents a trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s business assets, said his law firm will take legal action to try to force Peter Madoff to give up the rights to Primex at no cost. Meantime, the buyer has agreed to move forward with the deal for the market-making division, he said. Primex, which operated out of Bernard Madoff’s Manhattan headquarters, is described on its Web site as a digital trading system for brokers.

Bank rejects IRS request
MIAMI, Fla. — Swiss banking giant UBS AG said turning over to the IRS the names of thousands of wealthy Americans who might be withholding billions in income from U.S. taxes would violate Swiss law and undermine international relations, according to a court brief filed Thursday. The Internal Revenue Service has sued UBS to try and force the bank to turn over information about 52,000 account holders the agency says have an estimated $14.8 billion in assets and are using Swiss bank secrecy to shield the money. UBS asked that a Miami federal judge deny the IRS petition.

FROM WIRE REPORTS