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PC Info 
Graphic-editing software Pixia will intrigue experts

By SCOTT A. MAY Special to the Tribune
If you’re into graphic editing and image retouching on your personal computer, I’ve got an early Christmas present for you.

Clicking with the customer 
Financial services businesses find that a combination of brick-and-mortar offices and Internet works best.

By JASON P. BOISVERT of the Tribune’s staff
As the first wave of Internet mania passes, one thing is becoming clear in the financial services industry: Companies that combine local brick-and-mortar offices with online access are winning out over distant Web-only retail megaliths.

A listing of the honorable, noteworthy, new and what’s ahead for business people in Columbia.

Montana couple challenges beef checkoff
SHEPHERD, Mont. (AP) - Bothered by the way a national livestock group was spending some of the money raised from a federally mandated fee on cattle they sold, Steve and Jeanne Charter refused to pay it.

DaimlerChrysler warns of losses
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - DaimlerChrysler AG warned today that its limping Chrysler division could chalk up an estimated $1.2 billion loss in the fourth quarter and hinted that financial problems at the troubled automaker will get worse before they get better.

British drug firms OK to merge
LONDON (AP) - British drug companies Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC said today that U.S. antitrust authorities have approved their merger, which will create the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.

Merchants raise holiday discounts
The Associated Press
With one week until Christmas, merchants are facing sluggish sales and increasing their discounts in what is turning out to be a nail-biter of a season.

States try to attract workers
WASHINGTON (AP) - Across the Midwest and into the mid-Atlantic, states are trying to plug holes in their labor pools.

Net retailers vow to boost their service
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - With the holiday shopping season in high gear, online retailers are hoping they’ve succeeded in overcoming their greatest perceived weakness: inferior customer service.

Tobacco firm sues over settlement
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A small Virginia company that claims to have developed a safer cigarette is challenging the constitutionality of the national tobacco settlement.