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News In Brief

The US

The Federal Trade Commission was expected to vote today to sue Intel, the giant computer chipmaker, for allegedly violating antitrust laws. Sources close to the case said an FTC probe indicates the California-based microprocessing company abused its monopoly power by forcing other companies to surrender their trade secrets. Intel argues it has a right to stop giving advance proprietary information on its latest products to customers if they refuse to share their intellectual property in return.

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In the Monica Lewinsky case, a US appeals court set oral arguments for the week of June 29 on whether a presidential aide and three Secret Service employees can be compelled to testify. The court acted a day after the Supreme Court handed President Clinton a minor victory by refusing to intervene and resolve the dispute. Meanwhile, Chubb Group Insurance agreed to resume paying the president's legal bills in the Paula Jones case.

Unemployment held steady at a 28-year low of 4.3 percent in May and the economy churned out nearly 300,000 new jobs, the Labor Department reported. Economists said the stronger-than-expected figures raised prospects that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates later this year to slow economic growth and protect against inflation.

The House approved a GOP budget plan to cut spending by $101 billion over five years. The proposed savings would pay for tax cuts focused on eliminating the so-called marriage penalty, which results in some couples paying higher taxes than they would if they were single. The Senate has approved a more modest budget with tax cuts of $30 billion over five years.

Communication problems continued aboard the space shuttle Discovery, berthed at the Russian space station Mir. The glitches hampered an experiment to detect traces of anti-matter in space. Discovery is scheduled to return to Earth June 12 with astronaut Andrew Thomas, who has spent four months on Mir.

Attorney General Janet Reno gave a boost to the first US doctor-assisted suicide law, ruling that Oregon physicians may provide a lethal dose of medicine to a patient deemed terminally ill without losing their licenses to write prescriptions. Reno overturned a seven-month-old decision by one of her own agencies - the Drug Enforcement Administration - which said doctors who prescribed drugs under Oregon's assisted-suicide law could face severe sanctions.

A House panel approved a bill limiting US aid for bilingual education. The 22-to-17 vote by the Education and Workforce Committee followed a state referendum June 2 in which Californians agreed to dismantle their bilingual-education programs. The House bill, opposed by the Clinton administration, would limit to three years students' participation in programs that teach in languages other than English.

The government gave up its effort to overhaul the Internet's name and address system, throwing the controversy back to the private sector. A plan to greatly expanded the number of available Internet names and create competition in registration of new addresses faced fierce opposition from large US companies and the European Union.

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Talks between General Motors and the United Auto Workers continued over the weekend after a strike Friday by 3,400 workers in Flint, Mich., threatened production of GM's profitable light trucks. Negotiations prior to the strike had failed to resolve disputes over staffing, work rules, and new investments.

Five members of the Montana Freemen were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 21 to 78 months for their part in a 1996 standoff with the FBI.

The World

"For the last time," Albanian political organizations were urg-ed to abandon their peaceful bids for independence and join the militant Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA claims to have seized 40 percent of the province since fighting with Serb authorities began in February. More than 250 people have died and refugees have flooded into towns on the Albanian side of the border. In New York, the US and Britain discussed a resolution to put before the UN Security Council this week, authorizing force against Yugo-slavia for its attacks on Kosovo Albanians.

India and Pakistan both deplored a unanimous UN resolution condemning them for recent tests of nuclear weapons and demanding they sign nuclear-control agreements unconditionally. Pakistan called it "regrettable." India said it was aware of its responsibilities as a nuclear state and called the measure "coercive and unhelpful."

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated further when a bomb exploded aboard a train in the latter's Sindh Province, killing at least 23 people and injuring 32 others. The Foreign Ministry denounced the bombing as the work of Indian intelligence operatives. Four other people died and 10 were injured in four unrelated bomb attacks in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Hyderabad.

With a ringing endorsement from the voters in local elections, South Korean President Kim Dae Jung arrived in New York for an official nine-day visit to the US. He met first with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, reaffirming his government's commitment to keeping the Korean peninsula nuclear-weapons-free. Just before leaving home, Kim learned that candidates of his ruling coalition had won lopsided victories in municipal races and that a militant group of unions had called off a nationwide strike planned for later this week.

Evacuation flights accounted for the busiest night in the history of Eritrea's main airport as foreigners scrambled to leave in case the border war with Ethiopia intensified. Fighting on the ground showed no sign of letup, but an Ethiopian moratorium on bombing the Eritrean capital passed without any new attacks. In Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, Christian leaders called for a week of prayer for peace, although the governors of all nine of the country's states said they'd called up military reservists to join the fighting.

As groups of supporters and opponents tried to shout each other down outside, the mayor of Iran's capital pleaded innocent as his trial on graft and fraud charges opened. Appear ing relaxed before a packed courtroom, Gholamhossein Karbaschi called each charge an "absolute lie" and challeng-ed the court's competence. A close ally of moderate President Mohamad Khatami, he is widely seen as being at the center of a power struggle with hard-line conservatives in parliament and the judiciary.

Iraq will turn down any future humanitarian aid sent by friendly countries and organizations, the government announced. Iraq's Cabinet urged donors to focus instead on stopping the "unfair embargo" imposed by the UN after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Diplomats suggested the government was humiliated by extensive news coverage given to recent, but small, aid shipments.

Conflicting reports from the West African country of Guinea Bissau suggested an uneasy calm after armed rebels attacked several strategic targets. Five deaths and an unspecified number of wounded civilians were reported in heavy firing around the Defense Ministry, Army headquarters, a barracks, the waterfront, and the airport. All broadcasting was suspended and the government ordered residents of the capital, Bissau, to remain indoors.


" Iraq is not in need of aid, and its people are not so lazy as to ask assistance from others."

- The official Al-Qadissiya newspaper, quoting a Cabinet statement claiming humanitarian assistance wouldn't be necessary if the UN ended the embargo imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The greyhounds were pounding down the home stretch at a dog track in western England when one of them pulled a stunt that producers of those home-video blooper shows would give their eyeteeth for. Cavecourt Blue was clearly going to come in last. But she did much more than that. After crossing the finish line, she kept right on going - off the track, through a security fence, out of the stadium, across the parking lot, and into the distance. At least the search parties knew what to look for, though. When last seen, she was still wearing her bright orange racing jacket with the No. 5 on the sides.

The Day's List

'98 Cars Rated in Survey of Customer Satisfaction

In the industry's most closely watched annual quality study, J.D. Power & Associates polled 58,117 buyers of 1998 cars and light trucks after three months of ownership. They reported on 135 potential problem areas. The top-three models in each of seven categories, based on their responses:


1. Ford Escort

2. Mercury Tracer

3. Honda Civic/ Saturn SL (tie)

Entry midsize

1. Chrysler Cirrus

2. Nissan Altima

3. Ford Contour

Premium midsize

1. Chrysler Concorde

2. Chevrolet Lumina

3. Mercury Sable


1. Honda Prelude

2. Acura Integra

3. BMW 318Ti

Entry luxury

1. Lexus ES300

2. BMW 3-series

3. Acura TL

Premium luxury

1. Lexus LS400

2. Acura RL

3. BMW 5-series


1. Mercedes-Benz SLK

2. Porsche Boxster/Porsche 911 (tie)

- Associated Press

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