Early Briefing: A Raise

*Under an order signed by President Bush, 336,000 federal employees in the Washington-Baltimore region will receive a 4.49 percent pay raise this year. The average is 3.5 percent.
Our representatives in Congress will make $169,300, up from $165,200.
Cabinet secretaries will make $191,300, up from $186,600. The vice president's salary will be $221,100, up from $215,700.
The president won't make anymore; he gets $400,000, the same amount that post has paid since 2001. See story

*The New York Times talks with Jeffrey Ganek, the chief executive of NeuStar of Sterling, which directs the routing from every telephone call in North America. See story

*Maxjet Airways asked a bankruptcy court for permission to sell its non-core assets piecemeal as it prepares to liquidate its more valuable assets. The all-business-class airline, which filed for Chapter 11 protection and ceased operations Dec. 24, asked the court to allow it to sell vehicles, office equipment and other assets that it doesn't need anymore without having to get court approval for each sale as long as the purchase price is $50,000 or less.
Maxjet, which is based in Dulles, said doing so would bring in cash and prevent extra legal costs.

*Amtrak may have to pay $62 million in back wages and drop proposed work rule changes under the nonbinding recommendations of a presidential panel set up to head off a threatened strike.

*Sprint Nextel, under pressure from investors to abandon plans for a high-speed wireless network, will pay the executive in charge of the project as much as $500,000 if he stays through the end of the year.
Chief Technology Officer Barry West will get a prorated payment if he resigns or is fired, Reston-based Sprint said. The executive had a similar agreement in 2007, Sprint spokesman James Fisher said.
Sprint Nextel will be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that opens tomorrow night, promoting WiMax. See story

*Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, a Hampstead, Md., company whose stock has fallen 19 percent in the past year, was sued by a pension fund seeking documentary evidence of mismanagement. The Norfolk County Retirement System of Massachusetts asked a Delaware Chancery Court judge to order Jos. A. Bank officials to turn over corporate books and records.

*Hughes Communications of Germantown plans to acquire Helius for an undisclosed amount to expand its video technology service offerings. Helius, a unit of Canopy Ventures, provides businesses with digital signs, training and network services. The deal is to close in February.

By Terri Rupar  |  January 5, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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