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American buyers accounted for 60 per cent of the suc- cessful bids, but there was also evidence of good demand from Europe and some Asian interest. One of his many versions of waterlilies. It was the largest sum ever paid for a Monet Nympheas at auc- tion. Among the other highlights were the S7. He is certainly right that in the run-up to the publica- tion yesterday of October's trade balance economists have been paying unusually close attention, to the fig- ures.

Seasonal factors explain some of the deficit and the political vacuum created by today's second round of municipal elections has aggravated market nervous- ness. However, the figures were more than double the level forecast only a few months ago. Coupled with an expected increase In this year's bud- get deficit, the trade figures have prompted a bout of unease among investors and economists about the Brazil- ian economy. Under a policy of high interest rates, trade liberalis- ation and a stable currency that many economists argue is over-valued, inflation has been brought down from 5, per cent in to less than 10 per cent for this year, its lowest level since , according to Mr Malan.

A sharp rise in average earn- ings and a consumer boom have fallowed. Although the government insists there will be no change in the fundamentals of its macro-economic policy, it has been quick to respond to the growing doubts with a number of specific policy changes. In an attempt to halt the increasing trade deficit, the government exempted exports of raw materials and semi-processed products from value-added tax. It is also introducing an export The economy is expected to grow by 3 per cent in the year as a whole credit Insurance scheme and is examining the opening of credit lines to importers of Brazilian goods.

These fine-tuning mea- sures have reassured econo- mists about the professional- ism of the Brazilian economics team. However, they have not allayed fears that the Real Plan is being put under increasing pres- sure by the fiscal and bal- ance of payments situations.

Mr Rappaport says the October trade deficit, prompted by sharply higher imports, is a serious problem because it underlines the capacity constraint on growth. After a decline in GDP of around 0. The problem for the gov- ernment Is that the trade and current account deficits stand alongside a fiscal bur- den which is proving more stubborn then expected. How- ever, the government's key social security and adminis- trative reforms have been maioTig extremely slow prog- ress through Congress.

And politics is likely to dominated after the local elections because the debate over a constitutional amend- ment to allow President Car- doso to stand for re-election, which could further delay and dilute the reforms.

As with the trade figures, Mr Malan appeals for observ- ers to take a more long term view of the fiscal situation. In the short term, econo- mists expect more fine-tun- ing, such as some form of credit controls to cool domestic demand and more export Incentives.

Harsher measures, such as higher interest rates, are thought to be unlikely before the sec- ond quarter of next year, by when the government hopes to have resolved the re-elec- tion issue. However, the budget and trade deficits have served as a warning to economists that the hard-won achieve- ments of the last two years are not set in stone and that a host of problems remain. US inflation steadies as sales remain stable By Michael Prowse In Washington The US economy is expanding at a moderate pace with little upward pres- sure on inflation, official fig- ures indicated yesterday.

The labour department said the consumer price index rose 0. The annual rate of inflatio n held steady at 3 per cent. Separate data showed a per cent increase in retail sales following a revised 05 per cent gain in September. Sales rose 5. The figures will be wel- comed by US monetary authorities to help justify their decision not to raise short-term interest rates this week, in spite of a Call in the jobless rate to levels that In the past have signalled upward pressure on infla- tion.

Most Wall Street ana- lysts now expect monetary policy to remain on hold until the new year. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates only if tangible evi- dence of upward pressure on prices emerges. Evidence of a modest increase in wage inflation is not seen as suffi- cient in itself to warrant a monetary tightening.

The annual rate of core Infla- tion fell slightly to 2. Excluding cars, sales rose 0. But prospects for the quarter as a whole will depend mainly on the Christmas sales season. A sharp decline in con- sumer spending growth was the main reason for a slow- ing of economic growth in the third quarter to an annual rate of 25 per cent compared with 4. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administra- tion says there have been at least 49 deaths of passengers in vehicles where airbags have Inflated.

US rules require airbags to protect an adult not wearing a seatbelt in. European airbag rules are based on the assumption that the occupant is wearing a seatbelt. The difference means that US airbags must deploy more powerfully than in Europe. Although there have been fatalities on both conti- nents. Various ideas to improve safety include reducing the explosive charge required. Some safety bodies have called for vehicles to be fitted with switches to de- activate a passenger's side airbag if the front seat is occupied by a child or frail adult.

Last August, NHTSA solic- ited comment from inter- ested parties after ann ounc- ing its proposal to change the rules. THe I OS. The irodlop trctauqnes at the legendary W D. Gann can rocremc vnur pmiiu ml itmUii jmit Iuml How?

Jjiiib Mdswrll 7-rf. Hiri TM! In Oporto city center, a five floors building with solid traditional construction. Contact: IbiWma Rebate. Via Sacra. Sedated location of Htetandmg beady rith all aspects of wildlife. Safe sea not far varioos water sports. Present owner retiring. A bank whose high regard among interna- tional fi nancia l community generated S million in funding facilities in A bank that handled Si 1.

Hilsnu Akhaa. In an interview with the Finan- cial Times yesterday, the final day of the Middle East and North Africa economic conference in Cairo, Mr Mubarak called on Israel to agree terms, acceptable to Palestinians, on the front-line West Bank town of Hebron Israelis are committed, under the Oslo peace accords signed with Israel's previous Labour govern- ment, to withdrawing from most of the town.

But Mr Netanyahu has halted all progress on the Oslo peace accords and negotiations with Syria, and has rejected the princi- ple of returning conquered Arab land in exchange for peace. In reopening the international agreement which includes Hebron, he has claimed it affords insufficient security to extremist Jewish settlers who live there surrounded by I'm committed to peace.

I'm going to honour the [Oslo] agree- ments. President Mubarak believes tha t their peace treaties with Israel are at risk if Israel gets away with reopening and stalling on its international commitments with the Pales tinians "The point is that now the Arabs are not going to trust any agreement with Israel. Mr Arafat, Mr Netanyahu arid King Hussein went, hut the sole outcome of the gathering was that the still-deadlocked talks on Hebron would continue.

The Cairo economic confer- ence. He hoped the Egyptian-Israeli business council set up quietly on the margins of the conference - with a political committee to lobby for the peace process - would help create momentum Inside Israel, reinforcing corpo- rate Israel's increasingly vocifer- ous advocacy of a peace process from which it has reaped rich dividends. The Netanyahu gov- ernment. The president concluded point- edly by saying that leaders in the Middle East often had to take risky decisions.

President Anwar Sadat, was assassinated. Mr Yit- zhak Rabin, assassinated by a Jewish religious extremist last year, continued with the peace process despite suicide bombings by Islamic fundamentalists. He should take decisions. Some decisions are risky. But where peace is concerned be has to take decisions. The US, how- ever. To stop US citizens employed by -the UN from being disadvantaged, the world body gives them extra pay to cover the tax they pay and the US then reimburses the UN.

The net fiscal effect is 2ero. The US has now told Unido that from January 1 it will stop reimbursing the organisation in this way. It was initially suspected that this was an indirect way to force US employees to resign, so severing yet more US ties with the organ- isation. But US diplomats then for- mally asked that its citizens be kept on, especially as many hold key positions in senior and budgetary man- agement.

US representatives urged Unido to absorb the costs of repayment of tax from its own resources. Mr Mauricio de Maria y Campos, Unido's secretary- general. Wo are especially keen to hang on to the very good ones, but all the govern- ments supporting Unido will have to agree to pay these subsidies if they are to con- tinue. European diplomats in Vienna say there is annoy- ance with the US over the issue, especially since Wash- ington owes Unido The annoyance has been compounded, by US diplo- mats who recently admon- ished other countries far not paying their does in full and on time to the International Atomic Energy Agency, another UN body based in Vienna and one of the few UN bodies the US supports unreservedly.

With the US line seen by Nome governments as self-serving and hypocritical, agreement to subsidise Uni- do'a US employees is thought unlikely to be easily agreed. T hroughout his tumultuous career. President Mobutu. Sese Seko has always relied on the international community to come to the rescue when a threat to Zaire's national integrity looked in danger of toppling him It happened in the s, when Belgian troops and foreign merce- naries put down a rebellion in the east.

It happened twice in the s. It could be about to happen again. As the international com- munity debates the mandate under which a Canadian-led force will intervene in Kivu province, the question is who stands to ben- efit most from the operation. Will it be the more than lm Hutu refugees facing starvation behind rebel lines, or Mr Mobutu himself, the discredited leader whose departure from the politi- cal scene was ardently desired by the west only a few years ago? For if tire US has made it dear that its 1, troops will be Involved only in humanitarian operations in Kivu.

Now- ft cannot dose its eyes to a violation of our territory. The mandate must take into account the political aspects. Jhe '. Shaba rebate: Fighters drawn from Kessasse's rebels: A group led by the. Alliance's military commander Andre.. Ngandu Kassasea. Hutu mffiha, known as biterohemwe: responsible tor the genocide In Rwanda that left more than , Tutsi dead, based in the camps hokfing about 7 nr Hutu who fled their homes tearing reprisals.

Cyangugu Utitra" R. Luotaba Ft. Already -Kinshasa residents, always prone to conspiracy theo- ries. Has sent assessment team to the region. Prepared to contribute StejSte troops but says vital detatts! O Ireland: wa provide troops If asked, possibly in a. By doing so it risks losing the support of Rwanda, whose co-operation it needs to deliver aid supplies and accept the lm Hutu refugees aid agencies hope to repatriate.

In the eyes of history, the UN will be seen as yet again shoring up an African regime leg- endary for its corruption and human rights abuses. As for the exiled Rwandan mil- itiamen and soldiers who have terrorised the refugee population and prevented a return, the Rwan- dan government, aid agencies and Zaire - which helped to arm them in the first place - all agree they must be separated from the mass of refugees and disarmed.

But as the full implications of trying to identify and neutralise what Kigali estimates could be as many as , desperate men sink In. That would incense not only Kigali, which has backed the rebel operation in Kivu precisely because it has displaced a force that was preparing to invade Rwanda. It would also outrage Kinshasa, which wants the camps dissolved and feels the plight of indigenous residents have been ignored in the rush of international sympathy for the refugees.

Complicating this already multi- layered conundrum are the inten- tions of the French, who have pushed energetically for interven- tion from the start. But as tbe rest of the interna- tional community tries to crystal- lise what must surely qualify as one of the most difficult operations it has ever undertaken, French troops look set to be first an the ground.

The questions are myriad and. It seemed a masterly exercise in self-contradictory UN-speak. He was refering to Hutu Interahamwe militiamen who helped lead the geno- cide of up to iro people in Rwanda in and who are intimidating refugees in eastern Zaire to stop them returning home. We have not even been con- sulted by the United Nations about this," said Mr Kabila. Two hours at heavy shell- ing around Goma yesterday morning highlighted the continuing insecurity in exactly the area a UN mis- sion is expected to operate.

Mr Kabila, based in Goma, insisted his forces were m aintaining a-Oeasefire. OtkE ers, however; said fighting was talcing place near the Magooga refugee camp, 10km west of Goma. Some estimates say the Mugunga camp remains home to However, other Goma resi- dents returning yesterday claimed that while fighting was taking place around Magunga, the camp itself was reasonably well stocked with food and water, and with no signs of outbreaks of cholera as aid agencies had warned.

Exactly what the interna- tional community intends to achieve through interven- tion in the midst of such confusion is unclear. So far the US has said it proposes to secure Goma air- port for humanitarian assis- tance and establish a corri- dor for five miles back into Rwanda far returning refu- gees. Furthermore, despite the military and political nature of the conflict, the US opposes any operation to dis- arm combatants forcibly.

Distribution of emergency supplies will also pose pro- found logistical problems. A US military assessment team, expected in Goma shortly, will find a once beautiful town still depleted of many of its people, its infrastructure in decay after years of neglect, without telephones and most goods in short supply or unavail- able.

Many townspeople are therefore looking forward to the economic boom military intervention will bring. But dealing with local authorities, anxious for for- mal recognition, will be far more awkward. Even those aid agencies and diplomats who have dealt with Mr Kabila acknowledge the ter- ' ritordal integrity of Zaire and I the legitimacy of its govern- ment in Kinshasa. But the emergence of the Mai Mai militia and Bamy- axnulenege forces now in control of parts of the east reflects the impotence of Zaire's central administra- tion.

The US and Britain say they want a short-term role, with a clearly defined, lim- ited mandate to protect humanitarian assistance. The messy and confusing reality they will find once on the ground, say aid workers, seems unlikely to permit such a neat solution.

The Financial Times plans to publish a Survey on World Nuclear Industry on Monday, December 2 The Survey will look at the issues facing the industry and its suppliers and will examine the opportunities in the main markets around the world.

The award-winning Kansei international Airport has been burft, fiteraify. Japan Airlines flies there direct 14 times a week, delivering you from London, Paris, and Frankfurt straight to the heart of Japan's industrial and business area. From there you can travel onwards to 20 destinations throughout Japan and the Asian Pacific region.

Your call will be most welcome. About representatives of nongovernment organisa- tions. These demands are strongly opposed by Singapore and other Asian countries. Mr Benedict Cheang, direc- tor of operations at the Sing- apore police force, said yes- terday that NGOs would be given a space to hold press briefings during the confer- ence but would not be allowed to protest in public.

These permits are seldom If ever granted. They are disruptive to the general law and order situation, which we feel that the par- ticipants of the conference should enjoy so that they can have a successful. Singapore, which is paying much of the cost of the WTO meeting, is keen to prevent controversy spilling from the conference hall on to the streets.

More than 2. The enter- prise be heads in fihiria has a big brand name in motor- bikes and a licensing agree- ment with Honda of Japan. But he feels hard done by. Jialing Group, which has had a licensing agreement with Honda since Many foreign companies in China have got the same problem. But Chinese man- agers, such as Mr Zhao, probably feel more frus- trated - and more aggrieved by the inadequacies of their own legal system to cope with fakes.

China is the world's number one pro- ducer. He is among the trickle - but inrrpflaing number — of Chinese factory bosses com- plaining more loudly about the costs of counterfeiting. And these voices may prove more effective in the end than international pres- sure on China about the problem. The more famous the brand name, the more likely it is to be copied. Of the total. Counterfeiters are able to undercut. Another important cause of counterfeiting is the growth in the number of parts suppliers.

Jialing, for example, makes only a third of its components; the rest come from outside suppliers, who tend to overproduce either through bad planning or deliberately so to service counterfeiters. Counterfeiting of motor- bikes is a nationwide prob- lem. Dubai believes Pech- iney is playing a key role in resisting pressure from Brit- ish aluminium companies to remove the EITs 6 per cent duty.

Pechiney Is one of four international companies bidding for a SlOm-SlSm contract for envi- ronment-friendly equipment to extract residues from alu- minium smelter pots. The ministry of health in Pretoria said yesterday it was concerned that the EU ban -imposed temporarily while the dangers are investigated - would apply to the entire country, when the outbreak was confined to just one area. The EU has said it wfll review the ban If research confirmed that the disease could not spread through eating ostrich meat Congo disease, which causes severe internal bleeding and is fatal in a third of cases, is transmitted by ticks.

Previous outbreaks in South Africa have been localised and quickly contained. However, medical officials believe this is the first time there has been evidence of the ticks being carried by ostriches. The EU ban is potentially serious for South Africa, which supplies about 80 per cent of world demand for ostrich meat. The two abattoirs belonging to the Klein Karoo co-operative in Oudtshoorn, which slaughter about 5. The abattoir, workers are reporting daily for medical checks.

One proposal being considered was to quarantine the birds for two weeks before slaughter. He said Washington was apparently now satisfied that it could tackle the prob- lem of unfair competition from foreign telecoms com- panies through licensing conditions applicable to all. US officials say they hope to draft new licensing rules by the end of the year. US officials also assured negotiators this week that Tuesday's US Supreme Court ruling on regulation of local telecoms networks would not - impair.

Last April the US scuppered the talks by threatening to remove both types of service from a liber- alisation deal The US and EU now hope that the ground has been cleared to seek better market access commitments from others, especially in Asia and Latin America. Mr McMillan said yester- day that six countries had indicated their intention to make new or revised offers by the time of the WTO min- isterial meeting in Singapore next month.

South Africa plans to make an offer for the first time and revised offers are expected from Singapore. South Korea, Mexico, Poland and India. Canada and Brazil hope to present improved offers In January, while Slovakia put In a revised offer yesterday. However, Malaysia and Indonesia, neither of which has made an offer so far. In June and in February the European Commission reclassified almost all networking equipment, taking it out of a lower tariff computer-related category with 2 per cent tariffs into a telecommunications classification with 7.

The US says this is a violation of tariffs agreed in the Uruguay Round. A Taney Dunne, Washington US warns the Philippines The US has warned the Philippines that it may be reinstated on Washington's "priority watch list" for intellectual property rights 1PR violations if It fails to enact a bill protecting copyrights this year. The US is the Philippines' largest export market. Unocal, along with Its partner in the Sl. The company has often rejected this claim.

In addition to being able to conserve foreign reserves, the fertiliser will help the regime boost rice exports, which fell to about Approximately half of government hard currency expenditure in Burma goes to purchase military equipment.

Robert Gitoens. Mr Tain Saville, nhiaf exec- utive of CrestCo, which oper- ates Crest, said restrictions on some brokers might be imposed as an alternative to delaying Crest's start by the due date in April. However, regulators might take action against firms responsible for the build-up of 30, unsettled transac- tions within Crest.

Delaying Crest would create extra costs, he added. The Stock Exchange and the Securities and Futures Authority are visiting firms participating in Crest to see how they are coping. The SFA has the power to restrict business by any of Its members' firms. Crest has suggested that many of the worst-performing firms are smaller private client brokers linked to the system with off-the-shelf software.

Mr Saville said the perfor- mance of these software packages varied greatly. However, the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers warned that Its members would protest against any attempt to penalise them because they could not do what Crest demanded.

The most serious delays to the system had occurred at the end of last month, and changes had been made to speed up settlement. These have reduced the number of transactions taking more than 30 minutes. Mr Saville said the soft- ware had been adjusted to prevent firms which used Crest more intensively than others taking up excessive processing capacity, ft was also possible for Crest to upgrade its processing capacity easily.

However, they would be amended to work better this month. Investment bank settle- ment directors have written to Mr Saville to demand that Crest meets agreed service standards. The rush to beat the dead- line has caused a sharp blip In this year's truck registra- tions. After surging by per cent in September, regis- trations of vehicles of more than 35 tonnes slumped by almost 40 per cent last month. But in the tough haulage market such apparently modest sums can make a big difference, says Mr David Thomas, director of commercial vehicles at Mercedes-Benz UK.

The headline price figure masks additional factors which make new trucks even less appealing than Euro 1 models. Many manu- facturers have been offering big discounts on their older vehicles to clear the way for Euro 2 standard stock, help- ing to explain the surge in September sales. Hauliers tend to be extremely conservative, and most are happy to stick with a model which has proved reliable even when it is about to be superseded. Native caution has been reinforced by rumours that some Euro 2 models are less fuel-efficient than their pre- decessors.

Manufacturers admit they have been taken aback by the market's reaction to the new rules. Many had pre- dicted a distortion. But we all expected it would come earlier. In Belgium and the Netherlands, by contrast, Euro 2 standard vehicles were on sale in response to hauliers' demand months before the new rules came into force. Mr Thomas said the transport industry in Britain tends to accept new standards with reluctance. Truckmakers fear the impact of the new rules will continue to distort UK regis- trations until the end of the year.

However, the distortion has masked a broader decline In truck demand in recent months. After a strong start to the year, the rate of increase in new truck registrations slipped to 0. The fall was even sharper for heavy vehicles of more than 15 tonnes, with a 3.

In an attempt to increase competi- tiveness at the market following the completion of its recovery plan, Lloyd's is to create five business units to provide essential services. Mr Ron Sandler. Including the administration of members' funds. The new units come on stream, on January 1 and will be expected to have prepared business plans by the end of the first quarter of Some Job losses were expected. Inflation surge sparks rate rise fears By Robert Chote, Economics Editor An unexpected surge in the government's target mea- sure of inflation yesterday forced the Treasury on to the defensive and prompted speculation that interest rates might have to rise again this year.

The underlying rate of inflation - which excludes mortgage interest payments - rose to 3. This was the biggest monthly jump in more than six years and took underly- ing infla tion to its highest level since September The headline inflation rate! The main sources of upward pressure were mortgage pay- ments, petrol prices, insur- ance premiums and seasonal food prices.

This October prices were flat, leaving the retail prices index at House- hold insurance premiums and seasonal food prices both fell last month, but by less than in October The December short-sterling contract indicates that rates are expected to rise by half a point next month to 65 per cent. The pound climbed on expectations of higher base rates, closing 0. During the day it hit a four-year high against the US dollar and a month high a gainst the D-Mark.

Mr John Major, the prime minister, insisted that infla- tion would fall back within its target range in the com- ing months, a claim met with scepticism by the oppo- sition Labour party. Lord Tebbit was a senior minister tn the Thatcher governments of the early s.

Lord Tebbit said. Clyde Blowers makes soot- blowing equipment, which removes the soot formed by oil and coal in industrial boilers. It was founded in the s and Joined the Stock Exchange in But it had been stagnating for a long time when, in early , Mr McColl bought a Since then, Mr McColl, a year-old engineer with company doc- tor experience, has reorgan- ised the company and expan- ded it mainly by acquisition.

It bought a Belgian com- petitor in sootblowing and now has offices in Beijing. Singapore and Poland. About 70 per cent of turn- over comes from sales out- side the UK. It also moved into the materials handling industry, with three acquisi- tions in the UK. This involves equipment to take away ash and soot, much of it bought by the same cus- tomers as for sootblowers. With the acquisition of Bergemann. Clyde Blowers' share of the world sootblow- ing market will Jump from 11 per cent to 40 percent, about equal to that of the US company Diamond Power.

It had focused on gaining market share at the expense of margins and in the German subsidiary plunged into loss, though It remained profitable tn the US. Reviving a company in Germany is a big challenge for Clyde Blowers.

The programme was made possible only after Lottery funding rules outlawing grants to individuals were changed, it was set up following the criticism this sum- mer of the poor showing by British competitors at the Atlanta Olympic games. The latest edition of the government's Households Below Average Income shows that since the share of total income taken by the bot- tom 10 per cent of the pop- ulation has remained static at 25 per cent after hous- ing costs, the measure usu- ally judged to provide the fairest picture of individual living standards.

At the same time, on figures which go up to March Broadly speaking, up to , inequality narrowed in the UK for a century or more. Since then it has widened dramatically, with the poorest 10 per cent of the popula- tion seeing their share of the total income fall by 40 per cent, from 4J. At the same time, the richest 10 per cent saw their share increase by 30 per cent to 26 per cent of the total after tax income. Since The company employs about 1, people in Britain. The latest exits were caused by a decline in mainte- nance work on freight locomotives as a result or privatisa- tion but Adtranz believes that the market will recover in , it said yesterday.

The workforce will now be compared with the people employed when it was acquired by Adtranz from British Rail, the former state network, in June Charles Batchelor and US management atti- tudes. Although sootblowing is a mature Industry, Mr McColl says the outlook is good. Orders for new steam- powered generating plants - all requiring soot removal - are forecast to rise annually until , according to GEC Alsthom, and much of that will be in Asia where Clyde Blowers is strong.

As a big share- holder myself, I have an obvious interest in that. Using your video camera and a radio, you transmit a video image to your control room and seconds later receive confirma- tion of his identity. Or maybe you are r unning a big city bus system.

There has been an accident at an Intersec- tion, so you send data messages to terminals at bus stops warning prospective passengers of delays. These are the kind of uses that. Over the next few years, they will replace the crackly voice-only analogue systems which these services have relied on for decades.

Since March, it has been testing a new digital system called Dime- tra. Digital Motorola European Trunked Radio , which Motorola launched ami d the obligatory dry ice and flashing lights this week. The launch is a big step for- wards for the digital systems, as Dimetra is the first range to con- form to the so-called Tetra trans- European trunked radiol stan- dard.

Other com- panies. And with the launch of Dimetra, the gloves are off in a bitter turf war between supporters of Tetra and proponents of TetrapoL This is a rival digital system championed by Prance's Matra Communica- tions and is already on sale. The two systems can work together, but only on a limited basis, which will disappoint authorities battling cross-border crime. The new digital systems have been developed because of a gen- eral recognition that conven- tional cellular networks could not meet all the needs of security forces, emergency services, and civilian users such as bus opera- tors.

Users will be able to connect equipment such as barcode scan- ners and video cameras to their mobiles. Police forces get special War of waves Andrew Baxter looks at two mobile digital systems vying for control of the new generation of networks emergency buttons on their por- tables and their radio messages encrypted. In some systems, large numbers of users can listen simultaneously to an operator's instructions. Tetra uses a process known as Time Division Multiple Access, in which several simultaneous calls are each given a time slot within one 25KHz-wide radio channel.

Engineers argue endlessly about which system is better for private mobile radio systems, says Paget. Motorola says the time division process is more flexible due to the wider band- width, and says the batteries in the portables last longer. Also, it says, duplex conversations both ends of the conversation talking at once are more difficult on a frequency division system.

The latter's supporters say the system is better suited for large networks with few users, such as a police network. FDMA drastically reduces the n umb er of base sta- tions. Also, he says, ft works better in hilly terrain and cities, and is much, easier to use for simulcasts or group-wide messaging.

The two sides' perceptions of their own mar ket positions are poles apart. With 13 principal customers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East - including the French gendarmerie's Rubis net- work and the French national police's fledgling Acropol net- work - Tetrapol has become a de facto standard, says Azemard. Motorola gleefully called on Matra to throw in the towel. But the Tetrapol side Intends to came back in a few months to win official recognition.

But the US com- pany believes Tetra technology will pick up the big nationwide system orders that are in the off- ing. Few companies will have escaped all of the following failures: people who seem to cave in at the first sign of stress; those with long, impressive qualifications who seem incapable of learning; hypochondriacs whose absentee record becomes astonishing; and the borderline psychopath later discovered to be a thief or worse.

Less dramatic, but just as much of a drain on the organ i sati o n, is the person who simply does not come up to expectations; who does not quite deliver; who never becomes a high-dyer or even a steady performer: the employee with a fine fixture behind him or hm 7 the also-ran. The first point to bear in mind at the recruitment stage is that people don't change. Despite the fact that self-help books, sermons and workshop presenters ten us that personal change is common, possible and desirable, most of the evidence Is against Try going to a school reunion to see, apart from wrinkles, how little one's classmates have changed over the years.

Once one has become an adult, very little changes. Intelligence levels decline modestly, bat change little over the working life. The same is true of abilities, be they with language, numbers, music or lateral tMnWnp Most people like to think that personality can change, particularly the more negative features such as anxiety, low self-esteem, a tendency to depression. Impulsiveness or a lack of emotional warmth. But data collected 50 years apart gives the clear message: still stable after all these years.

Stills can be improved, certainly, and new ones introduced, but at rather different rates. People can be groomed for a job. Just as politicians are carefully packaged and repackaged through dress, hairstyle and speech therapists, so people can be sent on training courses, diplomas or experimental weekends.

Better to select for what you actually see rather than attempt to change it. Acquiring and retaining skills is expensive and difficult The cost may simply not be worth it What should selectors look oat for when faced with a choice of candidates far a job?

Hera are some of the fundamentals. If you prefer to be politically correct try capacity, cognitive potential, educational attainability. Since the turn of the century we have known about what psychologists call g- it stands for general intelligence. Despite the hype of idiot savants, bright people are pretty good at most things; and dim people pretty bad. On average, bright people learn faster and adapt more quickly - when they want to.

Selectors and assessors are scared of giving IQ tests bat they do use specific ability tests. School marks and university grades are only weak indicators of intelligence. Intelligence Is a must. The emotionally unstable are poor at customer relations, become capricious and irascible managers and are prone to high levels of absenteeism, even accidents. Neurotictsm is a warning sign. There is a mountain of evidence that suggests both that neuroticism does not change much and is related to career failure.

Thus one selects for its opposite - the stable; the phlegmatic; the emotionally adjusted. The work ethic Is a powerful indicator of success. Often developed In childhood by ambitious, future-oriented, middle-class parents, the conscientious are, by definition, diligent, responsible, punctilious and dutiful. They are conscientious on and off the job and this attribute therefore Is not too difficult to assess.

They can be counted upon, and their conscience is a powerful controller of their work style. Some may be a little risk-averse, others a little too self-deprecating, but they can always be relied on. It s the reliability of the conscientious. So that Is all yon need: bright, stable, conscientious people. The full trio is a shorthand for the traits of fast-trackers. While some stars may ascend in the management firmament without some of these characteristics, those possessing all three are a safe bet.

A special meeting of shareholders to approve the Merger, the Distribution and related transactions win be held on November 15, The Board of Directors expects that the Distribution will occur, and that the Merger will be consummated, by year-ena The Board of Directors of the Company expects that the Company and Citibank will enter Into a supplemental fiscal agency agreement which, taking into account me adjustment of me con- version price of the Debentures immediately following the Distribution, will provide mat immedi- ately following the consummation of the Merger each Debenture shall be convertible into the kind and amount of shares of stock of TUC Holding Company receivable upon the Merger by a holder of me number of shares of Common Stock Issuable upon conversion of such Debentures immediately prior to me Merger.

Established 10 years. Market leader in high-tech niche- South-East location. Objective - to accelerate expansion into identified areas of fast developing technologies. Write to Box B, Financial Times. One Southwark Bridge. As a result, CHL was unable to comply with notices to re-purchase the shares which were served by Jardine Fleming on behalf of its clients.

On 23 August CHL gave notice to its creditors to file proofs of debt for claims and debts owing to them by the company. On 12 March Jardine Fleming submitted 2 proofs of debt in the liquidation of CHL pursuant to the said Agreements. These proofs are being adjudicated on by tbe Liquidators of CHL.

Your notification should contain full particulars of your name address, number of CIL shares held and the amount of the claim, together with all supporting documents. Should you fail to notify Jardine Fleming of your claim within the time specified, you shall be excluded, witbout prejudice to your right to file your claim directly against CHL, from the said proofs made by Jardine Fleming and any distribution arising thereon from CHL and Jardine Fleming shall be relieved from all obligations and liabilities to you under the said Agreements and the CIL share placement.

Your notification should be sent to Jardine Fleming at the address stated below and should be marked for the attention of Mrs. Sarina Cassidy. Predominantly secondary locations between 3, sq. Some freeholds. Can he sold without head office.

Write Ik Bok B48M. One Soa tlmaik Bridge. London WC2A Any creditor or shareholder of the laid Company denting to oppov he nuking of hi Order lor the con finmnon of the said redaction of Share Pnamun Account thoold appear at he Inns of hearing m person or by Counsel or that terptac.

He has 'one of the clearest techniques in -the business: he is unflappable: and he Is -rare among conductors in being more interested in the music than in his awn careerr All of which helps to explain why composers prize him so highly. GyQrgy Ligeti insisted he should conduct the world premiere of Le Grand Macabre in T9 78, even though Howarth had no previous experience as a theatre conduc- tor. Sir Harrison Birtwistle handed him the premieres of three of his operas - including Gmoain, which Howferth says -is an even bigger challenge than the horrendously difficult Die Soldaten.

He baa just won a Gramophone award for its first recording. Howarth's career has probably suffered fr o m bis association with contemporary music — and yet there are few more versatile conductors. In a world dominated by clear-cut profiles, Howarth, But he knows his Beethoven and Brahms as well as anyone - he was a leading light of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - and he remains a great admirer of Rich- ard Strauss.

This kind, of attitude has ruled him out- for permanent conducting posts, though he baa enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with Opera North. I find it! They see music as a cushion, they only want to hear things they're familiar with. They think they can do their bit for the 20 th. I find most Minimalist scores completely pathetic.

And in rehearsals Birtwistle has often changed his mind about tempo. It makes me wonder about all that business of being faithful to the score. When Howarth's conducting career took off in the early s. Like several oth- ers of the German school, he had an incredibly dear right band. The left hand was Independent doing all the nuances, showing the shape of the music. You have to be musically convincing, and you can't do that until you've studied seriously.

That's why I always set aside learning time. That's when you find out if you can really make some- thing happen. This staging, directed by Gerry Mulgrew and. But fore- most among its especial charms is Its Scots-dialect modern trans- lation by Edwin Morgan. True, sossenaebs. And unlike most rhyming translations- nowadays it also has poetry.

But the translation, would not succeed in performance were it not dashingly delivered by all 11 actors. Voluntaries to music by Poulenc. Ragueneau is played by a woman, bis wife by a man. I n the title role, Tom Man- nion carries the evening. He haw the energy, the charm, the lyricism, the bravado for the role. The beauty of this Cyrano is in his impulsiveness.

Like the translation, the designs of this production mix their periods. Roxane the ele- gant Fiona Bell and her maid are in tapered trouser suits; some characters look Edwardian; the Gascons wear a blend of m odem fighting kit and Louis XJH attire. The effect is fresh, unpretentious.

There is a great deal of excellent mock-Frencb music by Ian John- stone, although at several points it is too intrusive. Nonethe- less, this is, from first to last, a most winning Cyrano. Almeida Theatre, Nl, to Novem- ber O ne really successful student can give a school a big boost. The international baritone Bryn Terfel was the subject of a major television profile recently, going back to visit his teacher at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama In London and no doubt lifting morale among the hopeful young singers there now.

This week it is their turn to show their paces. The autumn- term opera production opened on Tuesday and a good number of the students will have had a chance to perform among the many varied roles of Cavalli's La CaHsto. Thera is nothing in this opera to tax young voices unduly, almost all the singers made a good impression in the modest vocal parts it offers.

In the early music revival La CaHsto was one of the first operas to find its way back an to the stage - initially in Raymond Lep- pard's luxuriant orchestration for Glyndeboume, though now even students perform it properly with a small ensemble of "authentic" Opera A wicked romp instruments. Nicholas Kok, who has been taking charge of ENO's early operas, conducted fluently for the Guildhall singers. The opera is a wicked romp which rampages through issues as sensitive as sexual ambiguity, cross-dressing, rape, infidelity and sadism with a breezy sense of humour that seems quite shocking in , let alone The Guildhall's production team - Thomas de Mallet Burgess pro- ducer and Jamie Vartan designer - gave it a late 20th- century twist by turning Ovid's ravaged countryside into a stri- king post-war desert roamed by punks and earth spirits.

Out of the parched ground stuck sundry androgynous body parts, tike relics of Roman mythology burled in Cavalli's contemporary opera of sex and morals. Liubov Chuchrova's roguish Satyr emerged from a hole in the ground, as did Ivan.

There were some good vocal performances. Marie Birve sang an attractive Calisto; Panito Iconomou, a promising bass, and the sturdy-voiced Konrad Jamot played well off each other as Jove and Mercury, the punks from Olympus. Bmer McGilloway made every scornful word of Juno tell, but so did most of the students. Any budding Bryn Ter- fels should have enjoyed the show enormously.

Victoria Worsley, astonishingly, manages both within a two-hour show, and several more besides. At various points in Grace she is a bride who has miraculously regained her virginity, a magi- cian's assistant complete with spangly leotard, and a suburban Cleopatra for whom upheavals among the rulers of the known world are significant only because they play havoc with the seating arrangements for her wedding to Mark Antony.

R ichard C-lothier and Lloyd Notice do sterling service as Mr Darcy, a jargon-jibbering handy- man, a hip-thrusting soul crooner and a host of others, also appear- ing periodically in hairy satyr- pants to reinforce their mythical natures. Worsley herself is a com- plex delight. Her performance inhabits the same arena as the solo work of Emily Woof, but where Woof primarily draws admiration for her mental and physical discipline, Worsley's portrayal of variegated thoughts and emotions has a warmer, more organic core.

You've left me in pieces! The play grows diffuse as the phantom men begin to interact indepen- dently of Grace, but by this stage the dramatic seduction is com- plete. The programme includes works by Glinka. The exhibition is divided into two sections, life in the royal court and rural life, since Goya was witness to both. Over objects are shown.

Brahms and DohnSnyl; 5pm; Nov Conducted by Carlo Rizzi, performed by the Metropolitan Opera. Conducted by Eveline Pidd. Copyright All righto reserved. Tel: 31 20 E-mail: artbase4fcpi. He needs to clarify the ones he has It is received wisdom in British politics that John Major is more impressive close up. On the podium, the prime minister fumbles and bumbles.

One-to-one, he is engaging and amusing, if quicker-tempered than many imag ine. By contrast. No great orator, but a politician at ease with tbe autocue and the television lights. So far, so uncontroversiaL But It is only half the story. An appreciable gap has opened up between the pub- lic and the private Mr Blair. Listen to his speeches a nd form starts to nudge out substance, rhetorical flour- ishes to subsume policy points. Somehow he ca r sound at once impressive and mushy.

Then talk to him close up and the sharp- ness returns. You cannot blame Mr Blair. For more than two years he has been redraw- ing the boundaries of Brit- ish politics. He has a singu- lar gTasp of political strategy. Incumbency, though, gives the Conserva- tives an inbuilt advantage. The voters know the gov- ernment from its actions. The opposition's only weapon is language. Mr Blair cann ot offer proof of how he would govern. He can only say it. And to say too much is to offer unnec- essary hostages to fortune.

His party's image-makers are wedded to the vision thing. President Bill Clinton promises a bridge to the 2ist century, so Mr Blair must offer an age of achievement. I hated the glib phrases in his annual party conference speech.

Mr Blair's aides assured me they made for perfect televi- sion. But the elec- tion is at most six months off. He needs now to aim for more than 20 seconds on the Nine Q 'Clock News. Labour's most precious commodity before the elec- tion will be clarity. Without clarity Mr Blair cannot win trust And without trust he might yet lose. I have no idea whether the now ubiq- uitous focus groups of wavering voters say that tbe Labour leader is shifty.

Nor do l think it matters whether women find him sexy. What does count is the uncertainty about what he would actually do in Down- ing Street The private Mr Blair will give you a straight answer. He understands he cannot make everything a priority. He has a handful of objec- tives.

He wants to prove, as Mr Clinton has done, that a left-of-centre government can run a prosperous, low inflation economy. Wir hoffen, dass Sie hier das Gesuchte finden! Welcome to whoownes. Our service allows you to find out the owners of any website, as well as their registration info, contacts, and similar data.

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Carrarese - Piacenza. Unterhaching - Meppen. Ireland, and Sweden were also against. A second proposal, giving the Commission power to vet mergers involving more than one national competition authority, remains on the table. The idea is to promote the principle of a "one-stop- shop" allowing companies involved in a complicated merger to notify one central authority, rather than all the national authorities involved. Most ministerial delega- tions in Brussels yesterday agreed with the Commis- sion's analysis that there was a problem for companies involved in multiple notifica- tions.

At the same meeting, industry ministers agreed a new set of rules governing state aid to the steel sector, designed to last until After that date, the steel sec- tor will in principle be sub- ject to the same rules that apply to aid to all others. The rules agreed yesterday are designed to prepare the industry for its harsher future, by toughening up the existing code. It allows steel companies to benefit only Cram aid destined for specific purposes, such as research and development, environ- mental protection, and clo- sures.

Ministers also discussed revisions to general rules on controlling state aid. These call for a refocusing of prior- ities on big state aid cases that have a significantly dis- torting affect on competition in the single market The proposals also call for greater transparency through the establishment of a register of cases which have been the subject of Commission decisions, as well as production of a more rigorous set of procedures with clear deadlines, along the lines of those used for vetting mergers.

Repre- sented in Frankfurt by J Walter Brand. Wdhdm J. Bribed, Cohn A. Kama id as Getthatafthret and in London by David C. Deputy Chairman. L ond on and FT. Germain Advenmmg Ltd. Shareholder of the abate mentioned rwo companies o: The financial Tuna Lam'led. London SE. I 9HL. Richard Lam- bert. Number OlK Sotfhwnrt Bridge. Fax Oil 5? EdHor Richard Lambert. ISSN Printer AB Nvalbadmnpm Ei preset!.

S Editor: Richard Lamberc. Mr Nyrnp Rasmussen, the Social Democratic party leader who heads a minority centre-left coalition, accepted responsibility for a government decision last month to refuse Mr Rushdie entry to receive a literary prize on the grounds of secu- rity risk. The day after this decision was announced, the prime minister changed his mind in the face of a barrage of criticism in Europe alleging cowardice in the face of Ira- nian-inspired terror.

Denmark's attitude to the Iranian regime was tem- pered for many years by the fact that it exported more cheese to Iran than to any other country. In the s, exports of feta exceeded , tonnes a year, but have dwindled to The affair has damaged the reputations of both the prime minister and the gov- ernment so severely that Danish political commenta- tors have begun to speculate on whether the government can survive until the next election is due in By Greg Mcfvor bi Stockholm Sweden yesterday announced a fan in annual consumer prices in October, the first time since that deflation has been recorded in what is traditionally one of Europe's most inflation- ridden economies.

Statistics Sweden said con- sumer prices had fallen 0. Prices from September to October were unchanged. Two factors were identi- fied as driving the down- ward trend: a reduction in January of value added tax on food from 21 to 12 per cent, and a substantial drop in interest rates. Underlying prices, exclu- ding Indirect subsidies and taxes, fell even further, drop- ping 1 per cent The decline, achieved in spite of average industrial wage Increases this year of 6 per cent "as primarily due to the Impact of lower interest rates.

Long-term bond yields eased 10 basis points to 7. Mr Lars Heikensten, cen- tral bank deputy governor, said there was no change in its belief that room existed for further repo rate cuts but mote information on eco- nomic trends was required. He conceded inflation was outside the bank's target range of per cent, but the underlying rate was esti- mated at 1.

Economists predicted prices would rise in once temporary factors such as interest rate cuts and lower VAT on food wore off. Greek government aims to step up pace to catch Emu Kerin Hope assesses the chances of Athens reaching its goal M r Yannos Papantoniou, cabinet minister.

Both the governing Panhellenic Socialist Movement and opposition con- servatives say they are committed to joining the single currency at the ear n- est possible date. Mr Papantoniou says this could be the year if Greece makes rapid progress on meeting the convergence targets but should not be later than This would effectively mean losing the advantages of 20 years of EU membership. Mr Costas -Slznitasr the- prime minister, enjoys a high approval rating, while the opposition..

The budget aims at ensuring that Greece can reach the Maastricht targets in , one year later than its partners. However, the Socialists also want to keep their cam- paign promise of higher pensions and real wage increases next year, and there is little indication that the budget will include the substantive spending cuts, the Commission says are cruciaL On faking office, the Socialists aban- doned Greece's first convergence plan, prepared by a conservative predeces- sor, as too harsh.

The current version is still criticised by unions opposed to cutting jobs in the overstaffed public sector and floating public sector com- panies an the Athens stock exchange. I t calls for reducing the general bud- get deficit from 7. Greece's long-term interest rates, at around 15 per cent, are still well adrift of EU norms and are linked to rates on the month treasury bill.

However, the government Intends to test the waters next week with an auction of fixed coupon bonds with either a three- or five-year maturity. But the mam thrust will be on boosting revenues through the aboli- tion of tax breaks and a fresh crack- down on tax evasion. The general index dropped by 35 per cent. Exchange authorities suspended trading in shares of four companies beavfly traded by Delta Securities, the Greek brokerage house accused of fraudulent dealing. All 65 brokerage houses returned to the trading floor yestisriay.

A remote-controlled explo- sive tare through a group of Afghan veterans and their families who had met at a Moscow cemetery to com- memorate the second anni- versary of the assass i na ti on of one of their leaders. Other police officials have speculated that the kill- ing could be the result of a feud between two rival fac- tions of the Afghan veterans' fluid.

It was one such group, the Russian Fund for Invalids of the War in Afghanistan, whose members were in the cemetery. According to the Russian press, it has enjoyed Armed police march beside mourners at yesterday's funerals in Moscow annual revenues of some Sm. Another Is the Russian Orthodox Church, which accounted for an estimated 10 per cent of cigarette imports earlier this year and has a large stake in an oil- exporting company.

The Kremlin justifies the policy on the grounds that tax breaks are the only affordable way for the cash- strapped government to sub- sidise the country's poor and handicapped. But as they stood under a grey sky ushering their friends' wooden coffins into black vans, Afghan veterans blamed the system for the attack. Powerfully built and with heavily tattooed hands char- acteristic of Afghan veter- ans. But although the government gives these privileges, it does not give any money, so the fund must borrow money from somewhere and one source is criminal struc- tures.

They lend us money with pleasure. Politicians and veterans have accused the govern- ment of creating a hothouse for organised crime with the establishment of the tax-free funds. This week parliament called for an investigation into exemptions given to ostensibly non-profit oagani- sations. For ordinary Muscovites, who over the past five years have watched their city slip out of the secure but restric- tive Communist straitjacket, the lritlingg cast a lurid spot- light on the shortcomings of their new economic order.

The government received approval to privatise the remaining The finance ministry wonts to complete Lufthansa s privatisation by the end of , after poatponmg lt from tTiia year because of next week's massive public offering of shares in Deutsche Telekom. The sale has also been delayed by international air law which require Dae carriers to demonstrate that national shareholders hold majority stakes if they are to retain their rights.

Shares in Lufthansa slumped on thQ ann o uncemen t. Mr Blflm told the Bundestag, the lower house, that the increase, which runs counter to previous promises of hnhWng contributions at or below 20 per cent, was necessary to restock reserves. A rise in the level of contributions was also necessary because of the numbers of people taking early retirement The opposition Social Democrats SFD accused Mr Blflm and the government of demolishing public trust in the pension system.

This was rejected by Mr Blflm who said attempts to lessen the contributions burden had been held up by SPD opposition to the sale of real estate owned by pansinn funds and to government plans to exclude part-time jobs from the pension contributions system. The four, who include Mr Egon Krenz left , the former Communist party leader and head of state, and Mr GGnther Schabowski, one-time party boss In East Berlin, are already on trial accused of Involvement in the killing of people who tried to flee East Germany.

The warrants follow the strengthening of the prosecution's case by a constitutional court ruling this week that although East German law condoned the killings at the Berlin Wall and the farmer Inner-German border, commonly accepted principles of human rights allowed for those responsible to be tried and imprisoned.

Following the issue of the warrants Mr Krenz and his co-defendants, who have been on trial for more than a year, were released on condition that they surrender their ' passports, contact the police once a week and remain in the Berlin-Brandenburg area. Mr Javier Solaria. A resolution agreed beforehand by the governing Popular party, the Socialists I and three regional parties was approved by votes in favour to 23 against.

The resolution argued that Nato was undergoing profound changes and that it was in Spam's interest to be a full participant, but maintained a ban on nuclear weapons. Four Canary Island deputies, normally allies of the government, abstained because of uncertainty about where the archipelago would fit in the new command arrangements. This was despite a clause in the resolution calling for Spain to seek command responsibilities in areas of "strategic interest" in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

The Communist -led United Left, strongly opposed to Nato integration, said there should be a fresh referendum. David White. The slowdown in the headline rate, from 3. But it predicted that the central bank would wait until the second quarter of next year before making further cut in its benchmark inkiest rate, currently 6. Programme suffered a new Wow yesterday when the government announced it was calling off the sale of a majority stake In CIC, the country's fifth- largest com- mercial bank.

The sale, scheduled for the end of the year, has faced political opposition and concern. There have been protests about the sale from regional interests concerned about the possible loss of the strong identities of the 11 banks in the group. Mr Jean Axthuls, finance min ister, recently empha- sised the government would demand that the purchaser respected the local character and regional identity of the 11 banks in the CIC group, Conditions of the sale included a stipulation that the buyer respect non-life and life assurance agree- ments with GAN, the state- owned insurance group which owns CIC.

Acceptance of such a sum would' have forced GAN to record a sub- stantial capital Ices. Mr Arthuis yesterday insisted the government remained determined to sell CIC. The minister also indi- cated that the government still planned to sell GAN, but said he did not think the two institutions could be sold at the same time.

Is expected to rule an that sale in Decem- ber or January. BNP yesterday said it regretted the decision not to proceed. SocGen had no comment. The law was passed, after a delay of over two years, after west- ern governments had threatened to penalise Turkey for not complying with International guidelines. Diplomats say the law meets International standards, bat said they would reserve judgment until enforcement was seen to be effec- tive.

Interpol estimates that 75 per cent of heroin seizures and arrests in Europe involve Turkish traffickers or drugs passing through Turkey from Pakistan or Afghanistan. Her- oin seizures in Turkey increased to over 2,kg in the first half of this year Oram nearly 3,kg In the whole of Draft money laundering legisla- tion was put before pgrHaimut in , but its passage was delayed by disputes over wording and general elections at the end of last year.

On Tuesday parliament voted unanimously to. The resources and manpower to [enforce] it are just not there. Christopher, US secretary of state, said after a peace plan review conference, in. After, talks. At the three-hour meeting, Mr Aljja Izetbegovic, the Moslem 'chairman of the Bos- nian presidency, and his Ser- bian and Croatian counter- parts, Mr Maindlo Krajisnik and Mr Kresimir Zubak; endorsed a point action plan to bolster peace.

They once again pledged to com- ply fully with the Dayton agreement, signed last December in. Paris, so as to. Behind-the-scenes, diplo- mats wondered whether it bad been necessary to hold the conference In the first place since the parties have pledged repeatedly to uphold the Dayton accords.

More important will be the London conference next month at which the parties are expected to finalise the two-year consolidation plan. Moreover, diplomats hope that the key elements erf the successor to the Nato-led Implementation Force If or - whose mandate expires next month - will be in place by then. The man who could nor- mally expect to end up in the job in the January poll - whatever his real popularity among members - has already been chosen.

Since then the EPP and the Socialists have effec- tively rotated the job between them. Mr Klaus Hflnsch, a Socialist, has pre- sided over half the current parliament's five-year term. But angered by this politi- cal carve-up, parliament's six other groups are holding talks an fielding a common candidate capable of win- ning enough votes to break the Socialist-Christi an Demo- crat stranglehold. They say a post with an increasingly international profile must go to the best possible candi- date.

Gone are the days when the president just chaired debates and organised the timetable. Mr de Vries denied want- ing the job himself - though Tunny would welcome the candidacy of a man regarded as one of the brightest in parliament He said the Lib- erals had not decided whether to field a candidate.

Mrs Claudia Roth, leader Of the Greens, is urging the smaller groups to back a common nominee. Nobody disputes Mr Gil- Robles' credentials. The y ear-old Spaniard, fluent in five languages, has been in politics since and in the European chamber since il But MEPs suggest he would not be first choice in a tree vote. Hansch: handing aver The fact Mr Gil-Robles did not even face election within his own group has Increased impressions of a political fix. But many MEPs warn that if parliament is to be taken Seriously in its claim to be the EU's democratic con- science, the first reform should be the introduction of presidential elections that are genuinely democratic.

If you can visit 21 1 countries in 5 seconds. If you really want to know what's happening in business around the world, you have two options. You can check out the facts in person. Or you can tap into the Reuters Business Briefing service. For those who can't travel at the speed of light, Reuters Business Briefing is the answer. It's the world's most powerful business information service, constantly updated and delivered online to your PC.

RfcJ database that takes In everything from Australia to Zimbabwe. There's up-to-the-minute news from over 1, journalists. Plus prices for all major currencies, and stock market indices from around the world. To find out what Reuters Business Briefing could do for you. Or call Reuters on and find out how to arrange a free trial. Bear in mind, you'll have to go a long, long way to find a better source of information. When Thailand's economy was booming the corrupt and fractious governments that emerged could, it seemed, be shrugged off.

But 16 months of rule by the ousted government of Mr Banharn Silpa-archa has exposed the dangers of a sys- tem which allows the incom- petent to run a slowing econ- omy. The result is an economic situation that is extremely delicate. The need for a sta- ble government with clear national priorities is para- mount.

In political terms it doesn't matter whether Thai- land's export slowdown and rising dependence on short-term foreign capital is part of the Asian-wide cycli- cal downturn or a structural problem associated with the country's transition away from a low-wage, assembly- based economy; in either case the country craves a solid dose of short-term eco- nomic management and long-term economic plan- ning. The race, which pits the Democrat party, the only political party in Thailand with a national base and some measure of ideological consistency, against the rural based and unscrupu- lous New Aspiration party NAP , is too close to call.

An internal poll carried out by the interior ministry, traditionally quite accurate, projects the NAP and Demo- crat party each winning seats in the seat parlia- ment. Most other polls show the NAP and Democrat parties within 10 seats of each other. Since neither party will win an outright majority, a coalition government, which the largest single party tra- ditionally forms, is inevita- ble. But the effectiveness and stability of that coalition is likely to vary widely depending on whether it is led by Mr Chuan Leekpai, Democrat party leader and former prime minister, or by Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, NAP leader and former army commander-in-chief.

Despite the possibility of having to include Mr Ban- ham's severely reduced Chart Thai party, both finan- cial markets and the Bang- kok middle-class, tradition- ally the two destroyers of Thai governments, will give a Democrat-led coalition a chance to work.

Mr Chuan has vowed to reform his plodding decision- making style, while nearly all ministers in his cabinet would be elected MPs, with a consistent policy platform. The NAP is in the running to become the biggest party because Gen Chavalit exer- cised little care in accepting more than 70 former MPs from parties in the Banharn- led coalition, thus importing all the factionalism along with the chance to become premier.

Such politicians will demand the cabinet posts needed to reap the ben- efits of political office. Gen Chavalit says he will hand over vital economic ministries to outside techno- crats. Mr Amnuay Viravan, the former banker who is tipped to lead Gen Chavalit's team of outsiders, has already said he will be unable to do bis job of co-ordinating eco- nomic policy. In Mr Ban- harn 's coalition because of constraints imposed by poli- ticians.

A repeat of the Banharn coalition, albeit with a differ- ent leader, has some worried not just about the Thai econ- omy but about a political stalemate. While they oppose authoritarian rule, they are not satisfied with the performance and integrity of elected govern- ments. It has to be. It better be.

In the July-Septeraber period, average monthly household spending fell by an inflation-adjusted 3 per cent from the previous year to Y While spending on durable items rose sharply, a steep fall in spending on non-dura- ble and semi-durable goods such as clothing, footwear and household items dragged down the overall fig- ure, the agency said.

In September alone, aver- age monthly household spending fell by 4. In seasonally adjusted terms, real spending fell 3 per cent against the previous month and, far the quarter, real consumption fell 3 per cent from the previous year, marking the biggest drop on record. For September, disposable income of salaried house- holds rose 0. The main reason for weak spending appears to be the Many economists believe the decline in household spending is more of an aber- ration than a concrete trend and question the govern- ment's methods of compiling the statistics.

It sur- veys only family units, not individuals. The percentage share given to durable goods in the survey is only about 5 per cent. The results can show new car purchases down in periods when new car registrations have actu- ally gone up. House repairs down 36 per cent for September vear-on-year seemed implausible, while clothing sales data seemed unreliable, he said.

T housands of waiting rural Filipinos shielded their eyes as the presidential helicopter descended on to the dusty sportsfield, accompanied by a phalanx of Vietnam- war- era Hueys. President Fidel Ramos and his cabinet alighted to applause. The isolated town of Iba - deep in the Zam bales jungle - bad been chosen to host the government's fortnightly provincial cabinet meeting.

Armed with a battery of cheques, awards, commenda- tious and speeches, the year-old president plunged into the waiting crowds. A mixture of thea- tre and genuine consulta- tion. Mr Ramos explained his decision to take his cabi- net on excursions round the country every two weeks. The success of the Philip- pines, said Mr Ramos, would be achieved in much the same way as a housewife cooked the local bibingka rice cake. The Filipino speci- ality is heated from below and on top at the same time.

Once forgotten backwaters, such as Iba. With the cash, however, comes greater responsibility. The provincial cabi- net meetings are partly to let them know we are watch- ing. This one was mainly devoted to provincial issues. Outside, hundreds of curi- ous locals knew that the eyes of the nation were trained on Iba for a day. As the cabinet sped off to the waiting fleet of helicopters, the town had a last glimpse of its national leader. The formation whirred noisily over the sur- rounding jungle.

International donors have claimed Cambodia's logging is riddled with corruption and has led to widespread destruction affords. After several IMF warnings, Cambodia approved new forestry regulations last month. But the IMF said it wanted to see proof such regulations would be followed. But the commitment of the words will now have to be matched with actions. Narasixnha Rao, was granted bail in a forgery case yesterday and was exempted from having to appear in court during his trial.

Mr Rao, whose government lost power in elections earlier thiK year, is the first former or sitting Indian prime minister ever to face criminal trial - and he feces three criminal proceedings. Bail was set yesterday at RslOO. In the forgery case. Mr Rao is charged with using his position as India's foreign minister in to have the Indian consulate in New York authenticate what he allegedly knew were false documents aimed at defaming a political opponent.

Mr Rao is also a defendant in two other cases and has already been granted bail in those cases. New Delhi Vietnam has Apec hopes Vietnam said yesterday it hoped to become a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Apec forum soon, but fell short of predicting its accession at the group's summit later this month.

A senior Philippine official said on Wednesday that Apec membership could be expanded to countries such as Vietnam as early as this month's meeting in Manila. The moratorium on Apec membership expires this month and the issue of extension is to be discussed at an Apec ministerial meeting beginning November 22, just before the summit.

The Phili ppines , the current Apec chair holder, has said it does not want to see an extension of the moratorium on membership. But it has indicated it would like see the adoption of admission criteria, which are thought to include geographical location and a display of commitment to trade liberalisation.

Hanoi Australian oil market plea Ampol and Cahex. The companies argue that the freer access to petrol supplies at source would help reduce some of the larger distortions in the fuel market, notably the big discrepency between city and country petrol prices. This has been a long-standing complaint of farmers, who claim to be unfairly penalised. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the main competition watchdog, has already urged the government to scrap price controls on petrol and related products.

At present, the conservative Liberal-National coalition holds power with 81 seats in the Legislative Assembly, compared with Labor's Nikki Tail Sentence upheld In China A Chinese court has rejected an appeal by a member of one of the country's politically powerful families, upholding a suspended death sentence for bribery.

But the court showed leniency to Zhou Beifang, Zhou's death sentence was suspended for two years. Such suspensions usually mean the sentence will not be carried out if the prisoner repents and cooperates with authorities. The Zhou family has ties to the family of paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. Xinhua said. He was also found guilty of paying bribes to three people, including former officials of the Beijing city government, so his wife and- daughter could move to Hong Kong, it said. Beijing m A Chinese court today will consider the appeal of dissident Wang Dan against his year sentence for plotting to overthrow the government.

CoS today to find oat how we am help. For further inform ati on on advertising please contact: Denise Reed Tel; Fax: e-mail; denige. Little silver of this period survived the French Revolu- tion and bardly anything of this quality. It was sold by Mr George Ortiz, of the Bolivian tin famil y, and was bought by an anonymous bidder. American buyers accounted for 60 per cent of the suc- cessful bids, but there was also evidence of good demand from Europe and some Asian interest.

One of his many versions of waterlilies. It was the largest sum ever paid for a Monet Nympheas at auc- tion. Among the other highlights were the S7. He is certainly right that in the run-up to the publica- tion yesterday of October's trade balance economists have been paying unusually close attention, to the fig- ures.

Seasonal factors explain some of the deficit and the political vacuum created by today's second round of municipal elections has aggravated market nervous- ness. However, the figures were more than double the level forecast only a few months ago. Coupled with an expected increase In this year's bud- get deficit, the trade figures have prompted a bout of unease among investors and economists about the Brazil- ian economy.

Under a policy of high interest rates, trade liberalis- ation and a stable currency that many economists argue is over-valued, inflation has been brought down from 5, per cent in to less than 10 per cent for this year, its lowest level since , according to Mr Malan.

A sharp rise in average earn- ings and a consumer boom have fallowed. Although the government insists there will be no change in the fundamentals of its macro-economic policy, it has been quick to respond to the growing doubts with a number of specific policy changes. In an attempt to halt the increasing trade deficit, the government exempted exports of raw materials and semi-processed products from value-added tax.

It is also introducing an export The economy is expected to grow by 3 per cent in the year as a whole credit Insurance scheme and is examining the opening of credit lines to importers of Brazilian goods. These fine-tuning mea- sures have reassured econo- mists about the professional- ism of the Brazilian economics team. However, they have not allayed fears that the Real Plan is being put under increasing pres- sure by the fiscal and bal- ance of payments situations.

Mr Rappaport says the October trade deficit, prompted by sharply higher imports, is a serious problem because it underlines the capacity constraint on growth. After a decline in GDP of around 0. The problem for the gov- ernment Is that the trade and current account deficits stand alongside a fiscal bur- den which is proving more stubborn then expected.

How- ever, the government's key social security and adminis- trative reforms have been maioTig extremely slow prog- ress through Congress. And politics is likely to dominated after the local elections because the debate over a constitutional amend- ment to allow President Car- doso to stand for re-election, which could further delay and dilute the reforms.

As with the trade figures, Mr Malan appeals for observ- ers to take a more long term view of the fiscal situation. In the short term, econo- mists expect more fine-tun- ing, such as some form of credit controls to cool domestic demand and more export Incentives. Harsher measures, such as higher interest rates, are thought to be unlikely before the sec- ond quarter of next year, by when the government hopes to have resolved the re-elec- tion issue.

However, the budget and trade deficits have served as a warning to economists that the hard-won achieve- ments of the last two years are not set in stone and that a host of problems remain. US inflation steadies as sales remain stable By Michael Prowse In Washington The US economy is expanding at a moderate pace with little upward pres- sure on inflation, official fig- ures indicated yesterday.

The labour department said the consumer price index rose 0. The annual rate of inflatio n held steady at 3 per cent. Separate data showed a per cent increase in retail sales following a revised 05 per cent gain in September. Sales rose 5.

The figures will be wel- comed by US monetary authorities to help justify their decision not to raise short-term interest rates this week, in spite of a Call in the jobless rate to levels that In the past have signalled upward pressure on infla- tion. Most Wall Street ana- lysts now expect monetary policy to remain on hold until the new year. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates only if tangible evi- dence of upward pressure on prices emerges.

Evidence of a modest increase in wage inflation is not seen as suffi- cient in itself to warrant a monetary tightening. The annual rate of core Infla- tion fell slightly to 2. Excluding cars, sales rose 0. But prospects for the quarter as a whole will depend mainly on the Christmas sales season. A sharp decline in con- sumer spending growth was the main reason for a slow- ing of economic growth in the third quarter to an annual rate of 25 per cent compared with 4.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administra- tion says there have been at least 49 deaths of passengers in vehicles where airbags have Inflated. US rules require airbags to protect an adult not wearing a seatbelt in. European airbag rules are based on the assumption that the occupant is wearing a seatbelt. The difference means that US airbags must deploy more powerfully than in Europe. Although there have been fatalities on both conti- nents.

Various ideas to improve safety include reducing the explosive charge required. Some safety bodies have called for vehicles to be fitted with switches to de- activate a passenger's side airbag if the front seat is occupied by a child or frail adult. Last August, NHTSA solic- ited comment from inter- ested parties after ann ounc- ing its proposal to change the rules.

THe I OS. The irodlop trctauqnes at the legendary W D. Gann can rocremc vnur pmiiu ml itmUii jmit Iuml How? Jjiiib Mdswrll 7-rf. Hiri TM! In Oporto city center, a five floors building with solid traditional construction. Contact: IbiWma Rebate. Via Sacra. Sedated location of Htetandmg beady rith all aspects of wildlife.

Safe sea not far varioos water sports. Present owner retiring. A bank whose high regard among interna- tional fi nancia l community generated S million in funding facilities in A bank that handled Si 1. Hilsnu Akhaa. In an interview with the Finan- cial Times yesterday, the final day of the Middle East and North Africa economic conference in Cairo, Mr Mubarak called on Israel to agree terms, acceptable to Palestinians, on the front-line West Bank town of Hebron Israelis are committed, under the Oslo peace accords signed with Israel's previous Labour govern- ment, to withdrawing from most of the town.

But Mr Netanyahu has halted all progress on the Oslo peace accords and negotiations with Syria, and has rejected the princi- ple of returning conquered Arab land in exchange for peace. In reopening the international agreement which includes Hebron, he has claimed it affords insufficient security to extremist Jewish settlers who live there surrounded by I'm committed to peace.

I'm going to honour the [Oslo] agree- ments. President Mubarak believes tha t their peace treaties with Israel are at risk if Israel gets away with reopening and stalling on its international commitments with the Pales tinians "The point is that now the Arabs are not going to trust any agreement with Israel. Mr Arafat, Mr Netanyahu arid King Hussein went, hut the sole outcome of the gathering was that the still-deadlocked talks on Hebron would continue.

The Cairo economic confer- ence. He hoped the Egyptian-Israeli business council set up quietly on the margins of the conference - with a political committee to lobby for the peace process - would help create momentum Inside Israel, reinforcing corpo- rate Israel's increasingly vocifer- ous advocacy of a peace process from which it has reaped rich dividends.

The Netanyahu gov- ernment. The president concluded point- edly by saying that leaders in the Middle East often had to take risky decisions. President Anwar Sadat, was assassinated. Mr Yit- zhak Rabin, assassinated by a Jewish religious extremist last year, continued with the peace process despite suicide bombings by Islamic fundamentalists. He should take decisions.

Some decisions are risky. But where peace is concerned be has to take decisions. The US, how- ever. To stop US citizens employed by -the UN from being disadvantaged, the world body gives them extra pay to cover the tax they pay and the US then reimburses the UN. The net fiscal effect is 2ero.

The US has now told Unido that from January 1 it will stop reimbursing the organisation in this way. It was initially suspected that this was an indirect way to force US employees to resign, so severing yet more US ties with the organ- isation.

But US diplomats then for- mally asked that its citizens be kept on, especially as many hold key positions in senior and budgetary man- agement. US representatives urged Unido to absorb the costs of repayment of tax from its own resources. Mr Mauricio de Maria y Campos, Unido's secretary- general. Wo are especially keen to hang on to the very good ones, but all the govern- ments supporting Unido will have to agree to pay these subsidies if they are to con- tinue.

European diplomats in Vienna say there is annoy- ance with the US over the issue, especially since Wash- ington owes Unido The annoyance has been compounded, by US diplo- mats who recently admon- ished other countries far not paying their does in full and on time to the International Atomic Energy Agency, another UN body based in Vienna and one of the few UN bodies the US supports unreservedly. With the US line seen by Nome governments as self-serving and hypocritical, agreement to subsidise Uni- do'a US employees is thought unlikely to be easily agreed.

T hroughout his tumultuous career. President Mobutu. Sese Seko has always relied on the international community to come to the rescue when a threat to Zaire's national integrity looked in danger of toppling him It happened in the s, when Belgian troops and foreign merce- naries put down a rebellion in the east. It happened twice in the s.

It could be about to happen again. As the international com- munity debates the mandate under which a Canadian-led force will intervene in Kivu province, the question is who stands to ben- efit most from the operation. Will it be the more than lm Hutu refugees facing starvation behind rebel lines, or Mr Mobutu himself, the discredited leader whose departure from the politi- cal scene was ardently desired by the west only a few years ago?

For if tire US has made it dear that its 1, troops will be Involved only in humanitarian operations in Kivu. Now- ft cannot dose its eyes to a violation of our territory. The mandate must take into account the political aspects. Jhe '. Shaba rebate: Fighters drawn from Kessasse's rebels: A group led by the.

Alliance's military commander Andre.. Ngandu Kassasea. Hutu mffiha, known as biterohemwe: responsible tor the genocide In Rwanda that left more than , Tutsi dead, based in the camps hokfing about 7 nr Hutu who fled their homes tearing reprisals. Cyangugu Utitra" R. Luotaba Ft.

Already -Kinshasa residents, always prone to conspiracy theo- ries. Has sent assessment team to the region. Prepared to contribute StejSte troops but says vital detatts! O Ireland: wa provide troops If asked, possibly in a. By doing so it risks losing the support of Rwanda, whose co-operation it needs to deliver aid supplies and accept the lm Hutu refugees aid agencies hope to repatriate. In the eyes of history, the UN will be seen as yet again shoring up an African regime leg- endary for its corruption and human rights abuses.

As for the exiled Rwandan mil- itiamen and soldiers who have terrorised the refugee population and prevented a return, the Rwan- dan government, aid agencies and Zaire - which helped to arm them in the first place - all agree they must be separated from the mass of refugees and disarmed.

But as the full implications of trying to identify and neutralise what Kigali estimates could be as many as , desperate men sink In. That would incense not only Kigali, which has backed the rebel operation in Kivu precisely because it has displaced a force that was preparing to invade Rwanda.

It would also outrage Kinshasa, which wants the camps dissolved and feels the plight of indigenous residents have been ignored in the rush of international sympathy for the refugees. Complicating this already multi- layered conundrum are the inten- tions of the French, who have pushed energetically for interven- tion from the start.

But as tbe rest of the interna- tional community tries to crystal- lise what must surely qualify as one of the most difficult operations it has ever undertaken, French troops look set to be first an the ground. The questions are myriad and. It seemed a masterly exercise in self-contradictory UN-speak. He was refering to Hutu Interahamwe militiamen who helped lead the geno- cide of up to iro people in Rwanda in and who are intimidating refugees in eastern Zaire to stop them returning home.

We have not even been con- sulted by the United Nations about this," said Mr Kabila. Two hours at heavy shell- ing around Goma yesterday morning highlighted the continuing insecurity in exactly the area a UN mis- sion is expected to operate. Mr Kabila, based in Goma, insisted his forces were m aintaining a-Oeasefire. OtkE ers, however; said fighting was talcing place near the Magooga refugee camp, 10km west of Goma.

Some estimates say the Mugunga camp remains home to However, other Goma resi- dents returning yesterday claimed that while fighting was taking place around Magunga, the camp itself was reasonably well stocked with food and water, and with no signs of outbreaks of cholera as aid agencies had warned. Exactly what the interna- tional community intends to achieve through interven- tion in the midst of such confusion is unclear. So far the US has said it proposes to secure Goma air- port for humanitarian assis- tance and establish a corri- dor for five miles back into Rwanda far returning refu- gees.

Furthermore, despite the military and political nature of the conflict, the US opposes any operation to dis- arm combatants forcibly. Distribution of emergency supplies will also pose pro- found logistical problems. A US military assessment team, expected in Goma shortly, will find a once beautiful town still depleted of many of its people, its infrastructure in decay after years of neglect, without telephones and most goods in short supply or unavail- able.

Many townspeople are therefore looking forward to the economic boom military intervention will bring. But dealing with local authorities, anxious for for- mal recognition, will be far more awkward. Even those aid agencies and diplomats who have dealt with Mr Kabila acknowledge the ter- ' ritordal integrity of Zaire and I the legitimacy of its govern- ment in Kinshasa.

But the emergence of the Mai Mai militia and Bamy- axnulenege forces now in control of parts of the east reflects the impotence of Zaire's central administra- tion. The US and Britain say they want a short-term role, with a clearly defined, lim- ited mandate to protect humanitarian assistance. The messy and confusing reality they will find once on the ground, say aid workers, seems unlikely to permit such a neat solution. The Financial Times plans to publish a Survey on World Nuclear Industry on Monday, December 2 The Survey will look at the issues facing the industry and its suppliers and will examine the opportunities in the main markets around the world.

The award-winning Kansei international Airport has been burft, fiteraify. Japan Airlines flies there direct 14 times a week, delivering you from London, Paris, and Frankfurt straight to the heart of Japan's industrial and business area.

From there you can travel onwards to 20 destinations throughout Japan and the Asian Pacific region. Your call will be most welcome. About representatives of nongovernment organisa- tions. These demands are strongly opposed by Singapore and other Asian countries. Mr Benedict Cheang, direc- tor of operations at the Sing- apore police force, said yes- terday that NGOs would be given a space to hold press briefings during the confer- ence but would not be allowed to protest in public.

These permits are seldom If ever granted. They are disruptive to the general law and order situation, which we feel that the par- ticipants of the conference should enjoy so that they can have a successful. Singapore, which is paying much of the cost of the WTO meeting, is keen to prevent controversy spilling from the conference hall on to the streets.

More than 2. The enter- prise be heads in fihiria has a big brand name in motor- bikes and a licensing agree- ment with Honda of Japan. But he feels hard done by. Jialing Group, which has had a licensing agreement with Honda since Many foreign companies in China have got the same problem. But Chinese man- agers, such as Mr Zhao, probably feel more frus- trated - and more aggrieved by the inadequacies of their own legal system to cope with fakes. China is the world's number one pro- ducer.

He is among the trickle - but inrrpflaing number — of Chinese factory bosses com- plaining more loudly about the costs of counterfeiting. And these voices may prove more effective in the end than international pres- sure on China about the problem. The more famous the brand name, the more likely it is to be copied. Of the total. Counterfeiters are able to undercut.

Another important cause of counterfeiting is the growth in the number of parts suppliers. Jialing, for example, makes only a third of its components; the rest come from outside suppliers, who tend to overproduce either through bad planning or deliberately so to service counterfeiters.

Counterfeiting of motor- bikes is a nationwide prob- lem. Dubai believes Pech- iney is playing a key role in resisting pressure from Brit- ish aluminium companies to remove the EITs 6 per cent duty. Pechiney Is one of four international companies bidding for a SlOm-SlSm contract for envi- ronment-friendly equipment to extract residues from alu- minium smelter pots.

The ministry of health in Pretoria said yesterday it was concerned that the EU ban -imposed temporarily while the dangers are investigated - would apply to the entire country, when the outbreak was confined to just one area. The EU has said it wfll review the ban If research confirmed that the disease could not spread through eating ostrich meat Congo disease, which causes severe internal bleeding and is fatal in a third of cases, is transmitted by ticks.

Previous outbreaks in South Africa have been localised and quickly contained. However, medical officials believe this is the first time there has been evidence of the ticks being carried by ostriches. The EU ban is potentially serious for South Africa, which supplies about 80 per cent of world demand for ostrich meat.

The two abattoirs belonging to the Klein Karoo co-operative in Oudtshoorn, which slaughter about 5. The abattoir, workers are reporting daily for medical checks. One proposal being considered was to quarantine the birds for two weeks before slaughter. He said Washington was apparently now satisfied that it could tackle the prob- lem of unfair competition from foreign telecoms com- panies through licensing conditions applicable to all.

US officials say they hope to draft new licensing rules by the end of the year. US officials also assured negotiators this week that Tuesday's US Supreme Court ruling on regulation of local telecoms networks would not - impair. Last April the US scuppered the talks by threatening to remove both types of service from a liber- alisation deal The US and EU now hope that the ground has been cleared to seek better market access commitments from others, especially in Asia and Latin America.

Mr McMillan said yester- day that six countries had indicated their intention to make new or revised offers by the time of the WTO min- isterial meeting in Singapore next month. South Africa plans to make an offer for the first time and revised offers are expected from Singapore.

South Korea, Mexico, Poland and India. Canada and Brazil hope to present improved offers In January, while Slovakia put In a revised offer yesterday. However, Malaysia and Indonesia, neither of which has made an offer so far. In June and in February the European Commission reclassified almost all networking equipment, taking it out of a lower tariff computer-related category with 2 per cent tariffs into a telecommunications classification with 7. The US says this is a violation of tariffs agreed in the Uruguay Round.

A Taney Dunne, Washington US warns the Philippines The US has warned the Philippines that it may be reinstated on Washington's "priority watch list" for intellectual property rights 1PR violations if It fails to enact a bill protecting copyrights this year.

The US is the Philippines' largest export market. Unocal, along with Its partner in the Sl. The company has often rejected this claim. In addition to being able to conserve foreign reserves, the fertiliser will help the regime boost rice exports, which fell to about Approximately half of government hard currency expenditure in Burma goes to purchase military equipment.

Robert Gitoens. Mr Tain Saville, nhiaf exec- utive of CrestCo, which oper- ates Crest, said restrictions on some brokers might be imposed as an alternative to delaying Crest's start by the due date in April. However, regulators might take action against firms responsible for the build-up of 30, unsettled transac- tions within Crest. Delaying Crest would create extra costs, he added.

The Stock Exchange and the Securities and Futures Authority are visiting firms participating in Crest to see how they are coping. The SFA has the power to restrict business by any of Its members' firms. Crest has suggested that many of the worst-performing firms are smaller private client brokers linked to the system with off-the-shelf software.

Mr Saville said the perfor- mance of these software packages varied greatly. However, the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers warned that Its members would protest against any attempt to penalise them because they could not do what Crest demanded. The most serious delays to the system had occurred at the end of last month, and changes had been made to speed up settlement. These have reduced the number of transactions taking more than 30 minutes. Mr Saville said the soft- ware had been adjusted to prevent firms which used Crest more intensively than others taking up excessive processing capacity, ft was also possible for Crest to upgrade its processing capacity easily.

However, they would be amended to work better this month. Investment bank settle- ment directors have written to Mr Saville to demand that Crest meets agreed service standards. The rush to beat the dead- line has caused a sharp blip In this year's truck registra- tions. After surging by per cent in September, regis- trations of vehicles of more than 35 tonnes slumped by almost 40 per cent last month. But in the tough haulage market such apparently modest sums can make a big difference, says Mr David Thomas, director of commercial vehicles at Mercedes-Benz UK.

The headline price figure masks additional factors which make new trucks even less appealing than Euro 1 models. Many manu- facturers have been offering big discounts on their older vehicles to clear the way for Euro 2 standard stock, help- ing to explain the surge in September sales. Hauliers tend to be extremely conservative, and most are happy to stick with a model which has proved reliable even when it is about to be superseded.

Native caution has been reinforced by rumours that some Euro 2 models are less fuel-efficient than their pre- decessors. Manufacturers admit they have been taken aback by the market's reaction to the new rules. Many had pre- dicted a distortion. But we all expected it would come earlier. In Belgium and the Netherlands, by contrast, Euro 2 standard vehicles were on sale in response to hauliers' demand months before the new rules came into force. Mr Thomas said the transport industry in Britain tends to accept new standards with reluctance.

Truckmakers fear the impact of the new rules will continue to distort UK regis- trations until the end of the year. However, the distortion has masked a broader decline In truck demand in recent months. After a strong start to the year, the rate of increase in new truck registrations slipped to 0. The fall was even sharper for heavy vehicles of more than 15 tonnes, with a 3. In an attempt to increase competi- tiveness at the market following the completion of its recovery plan, Lloyd's is to create five business units to provide essential services.

Mr Ron Sandler. Including the administration of members' funds. The new units come on stream, on January 1 and will be expected to have prepared business plans by the end of the first quarter of Some Job losses were expected. Inflation surge sparks rate rise fears By Robert Chote, Economics Editor An unexpected surge in the government's target mea- sure of inflation yesterday forced the Treasury on to the defensive and prompted speculation that interest rates might have to rise again this year.

The underlying rate of inflation - which excludes mortgage interest payments - rose to 3. This was the biggest monthly jump in more than six years and took underly- ing infla tion to its highest level since September The headline inflation rate!

The main sources of upward pressure were mortgage pay- ments, petrol prices, insur- ance premiums and seasonal food prices. This October prices were flat, leaving the retail prices index at House- hold insurance premiums and seasonal food prices both fell last month, but by less than in October The December short-sterling contract indicates that rates are expected to rise by half a point next month to 65 per cent. The pound climbed on expectations of higher base rates, closing 0.

During the day it hit a four-year high against the US dollar and a month high a gainst the D-Mark.

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