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News In Brief

Several hundred coal miners defy union in British strike

A total of 710 miners across Britain broke ranks Monday with the nearly eight-month coal strike and reported back to work, the National Coal Board reported. It estimated that 53,000 of the nation's 178,000 miners were defying the strike, the highest number since it began March 12 over the board's plans to close unprofitable mines.

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Last week, the 10th attempt to negotiate a settlement of the strike failed. The state-owned Coal Board then offered striking miners hefty Christmas bonuses to return to work.