Business briefs: Rice consumption falls

Challenged by trendy culinary newcomers such as croissants, spaghetti, baguettes and french fries, per capita rice consumption among Japanese has fallen to half of what it was in the late 1960s. In response, farmers and retailers are scrambling to find new ways to keep people loyal to the tender grain that remains a symbol of prosperity and self-sufficiency.

AMERICAN AIRLINES

AMR Corp. (AMR), the parent company of the nation’s largest carrier, said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit surged from a year ago as planes were more full and passengers paid higher average fares. The company earned $175 million, or 61 cents per share, its sixth straight profitable quarter after losing more than $8 billion from 2001 through 2005.

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