Business briefs: Christine Lagarde 

The first woman finance minister for a G-8nation, Christine Lagarde, was rated the best minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government last month by one of France’s top-selling newspapers. The vocally pro-market former trade executive has urged her fellow countrymen to embrace an American-style work ethic and sometimes drops into classrooms to teach the benefits of global trade.


China has officially put in place systems to recall unsafe food and toys, one of its strongest steps yet to deal with recurring quality problems. China has been facing growing pressure to improve the quality of its exports after toxins were found in a long list of goods such as toothpaste and toys. The measure appears to be targeted at goods manufactured for both domestic and global consumption.


Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA) ended August without the waves of cancelations that plagued it earlier this summer. It was canceling more than 100 flights a day in some of the final days of June and July when it couldn’t find enough pilots to keep the planes flying. The airline blamed "absenteeism" by pilots.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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