LEADING INDICATORS UP 0.3 PERCENT The US government's main forecasting gauge of future economic activity posted a 0.3 percent rise in November, signaling to analysts that the recovery is in no current danger of stalling out. The Commerce Department report yesterday said that last month's gain in the Index of Leading Indicators was the strongest since a 0.5 percent rise in August. It followed a 0.1 percent drop in October, which had been the first decline in the index in 15 months. But Cynthia Latta, an economist at DRI-McGraw Hill Inc., said the rise in the leading index, while slightly higher than predicted, was still pointing to an economic slowdown next year. Arab mini-summit
The leaders of Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia were holding a second day of talks in Alexandria, Egypt, yesterday as they sought to ease tensions over making peace with Israel and resolve troublesome quarrels from the Gulf war. The mini-Arab summit comes amid Syrian displeasure over new moves by some Gulf states to make peace with Israel and amid persistent divisions between those nations that supported and opposed Iraq in the 1991 war.
Peru Indians sue Texaco
A group of Peruvian Indians filed a $1 billion lawsuit that contends that Texaco Inc. spoiled their land in the rain forest by dumping millions of gallons of oil into rivers that flow from Ecuador to Peru. The suit was filed Wednesday in US District Court in New York City. It alleges that Texaco deliberately designed its 400 wells in Ecuador knowing that oil would be dumped and that it would end up in Peru.
Sulfur and dinosaurs
The asteroid collision with Earth 65 million years ago in Mexico that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs may have been deadly because it sprayed clouds of sulfuric acid high into the atmosphere, scientists said Wednesday in Los Angeles. The clouds could have then blocked out sunlight and plunged the Earth into near-freezing conditions for as long as a century.
Continental Airlines announced in Houston yesterday that it has cut fares by up to 40 percent for travel through early spring. Tickets will be sold until Jan. 13. The discounted fares will apply for travel between Jan. 5 and May 23, except on Florida routes, where the sale will be in effect only until Feb. 15.