Wikinews Shorts: December 3, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, December 3, 2008.

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British Airways considers possible merger with Qantas

File photo

British Airways, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom, has stated that it is considering a possible merger with the Australian airline Qantas Airways.

In a statement, British Airways said that, if done, the merger will create a dual-listed company in London and Australia. It also added that there was "no guarantee that any transaction will be forthcoming."

Shares in British Airways rose 14% higher after the news on Tuesday. Qantas shares rose as much as 9.3 percent on Wednesday.


United States newspapers see record drop in advert sales

Newspaper vending machines

According to figures released by the Newspaper Association of America on Tuesday, newspapers in the United States saw a record 18% drop in advertising revenue in the third quarter of this year.

It said that total print advert revenue dropped to US$8.2 billion from $10.2 billion in quarter a year ago.

Revenue from ads online also fell 3 percent to just under $750 million from $773 million the previous year.


Venice hit by flood

File photo: Venice waterfront buildings

Venice, Italy suffered from its worst floods in 22 years on Monday.

Water stood more than 150 centimetres deep before it began to recede. According to city officials, the tide peaked at 61 inches, 21 inches past the 40-inch flood mark, as heavy winds pushed the sea into the city.

Alarms were set off at half past six in the morning to alert residents, however, many people were still taken by surprise, as the authorities had not predicted such a high level of water.

This is Venice's fourth highest tide since the city started keeping records in 1872. The record was 76 inches, set in 1966.