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Businesses pressed the US Congress yesterday to intervene in the coast-to-coast rail shutdown. Key congressional leaders moved to end the strike against the CSX Corporation, one of the country's largest freight-rail lines, by the weekend.... The International Trade Commission Wednesday rejected claims that Japanese automakers' sale of minivans in the United States at below production cost materially hurt American manufacturers. The ruling means that the US will not impose extra duties on the Japanese pro ducers.... A lawyer in Liechtenstein told the BBC yesterday that shares in Mirror Group Newspapers Plc worth $13.9 million had been found in six trust companies set up there by the late media tycoon Robert Maxwell. He said that if Maxwell pensioners could prove they owned the shares, the trust administrators would be willing to return them.... Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rebounded yesterday, gaining 290.05 points to close at 16,143.72. On Wednesday, the average fell to a new five-and-a-half-year low. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

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The hole in the earth's protective ozone layer over the South Pole reached a record size last year, Japan's Environment Agency said yesterday.... Hundreds of South Korean union workers at US military bases started a hunger strike yesterday to press for special severance pay. Thousands of workers have been let go since 1989 in line with cuts in the US military budget cut and a troop reduction plan. MIDDLE EAST

Egypt Tuesday passed a land-reform bill that reverses 40 years of strict rent controls, enabling landlords to triple rents and to buy tenants off their land.

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