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BMW to create sub-brand

for battery-powered cars

FRANKFURT, Germany — BMW, the German luxury car builder, said on Monday that it would create a sub-brand known as BMW i to market a line of battery-powered cars starting in 2013, and gave the most complete picture yet of how the vehicles made of carbon fiber and aluminum would look.

Though the introduction of the so-called Megacity vehicle is two years away, the promotional campaign has been under way for at least a year, with BMW executives slowly revealing information about the new line’s design and technology.

The information drip continued Monday with an event in Munich, broadcast on the Web, where the company, formally Bayerische Motoren Werke, showed off crucial details of the body design and the slanted “i” logo that will be used to market the cars.

BMW also said that at least two models, not just one, would be introduced in 2013: a four-seat, battery-powered vehicle intended for urban areas and known as the i3; and a hybrid sports car, the i8, that the company promised would be able to reach nearly 100 kilometers an hour, or 60 miles an hour, in five seconds, while burning no more fuel than a subcompact.

31 killed in suicide attack

on Afghan census

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber wearing a vest with explosives blew himself up Monday, killing 31 people, as residents lined up for identification cards at a census office in northern Afghanistan, Afghan security officials said.

The attack at the government center in Imam Saib, a remote district of Kunduz province, was the fifth suicide bombing with major casualties in Afghanistan in four weeks. All the victims were civilians, said Abdul Rahman Saidkhaili, the provincial police chief. He said the target had been the district governor, whose office is next to the census department’s.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying that a member from Logar province had carried out the attack and that its goal was to halt a new program backed by NATO to enroll large numbers of people into the Afghan Local Police, an auxiliary organization designed to safeguard neighborhoods.

“He entered the recruitment and enrollment center of the Afghan government and foreigner-supported program called the Local Police and carried out a martyrdom attack,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman for northern and eastern Afghanistan.

BP to pay $7.2 billion for

stake in oil fields in India

MUMBAI, India — British oil giant BP said Monday that it would pay $7.2 billion to buy into India’s fast-growing oil and gas industry. It is BP’s second big deal in two months, as it seeks to rebuild after last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP will take a 30 percent stake in 23 oil and gas fields operated by Reliance Industries, India’s largest private company. Reliance would receive an additional $1.8 billion if the companies found more oil and gas than expected.

The companies also said they would create a 50-50 joint venture to buy, transport and market natural gas, which is increasingly in demand in India as the country’s economy grows at nearly 9 percent a year.

Last month, BP signed an agreement with Russia’s Rosneft to drill in the Arctic. That deal, worth $7.8 billion, was the first big investment by BP after its oil spill last year, which resulted in an estimated $40 billion in damage claims.