A former senior Swiss bank executive said Monday that he had given WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange details of more than 2,000 prominent individuals and companies that he contends engaged in tax evasion and other possible criminal activity. Rudolf Elmer, who ran the Caribbean operations of the Swiss bank Julius Baer for eight years until he was dismissed in 2002, refused to identify any of the individuals or companies, but he told reporters at a news conference that about 40 politicians and "pillars of society" were among them. He told the Observer newspaper over the weekend that those named in the documents come from "the U.S., Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia -- from all over," and include "business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates."Virgin America orders 60 planes from Airbus
Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, said that Virgin America had signed an order for 60 new single-aisle A320 airplanes. The order includes 30 of the A320neo, a new version of Airbus' best-selling plane that will be equipped with a more fuel-efficient engine. The new airplanes could reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent, according to Airbus. They'll be delivered starting in 2016.Glaxo sets aside $3.5B for Avandia legal costs
GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the United Kingdom's biggest drugmaker, said it will have fourth-quarter legal costs of 2.2 billion pounds ($3.5 billion) because of a U.S. investigation into sales practices for certain products and product-liability cases related to the Avandia diabetes drug. The company is setting aside additional provisions for the investigation by the U.S. attorney in Colorado into the company's sales and promotional practices of certain products, London-based Glaxo said in an e-mailed statement Monday. The money also will cover for the "substantial" number of new claims filed in the United States regarding Avandia, Glaxo said.
FROM NEWS SERVICES