THE United States will formally charge Japan with failing to open its government markets to American telecommunications and medical equipment products after last-minute trade talks on Saturday failed to break a negotiating deadlock, Deputy US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky said.
The formal notification, to be made yesterday evening by US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, would set in motion a process that could result in trade sanctions against Japan if negotiations over the next two months don't resolve the impasse.
Japan will seek to continue talks even if the US plans to launch sanctions proceedings, a Japanese official was quoted as saying. Tokyo aims to settle the talks by Sept. 30, when US sanctions would come into effect, he said. Group welcomes S. Africa into regional fold
THE Front Line states - the group that helped lead international opposition to apartheid in South Africa - formally dissolved Saturday and welcomed a reformed South Africa into a new political and economic organization.
The group includes Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Nathan Shamuyarira, Zimbabwe's foreign minister, said the Front Line states would become the political and security wing of the South African Development Community, a group South Africa will join in August. France's anti-English law weakened
GO ahead, have a cheeseburger, France's Constitutional Council announced Saturday. The agency was not ruling on nutrition, but on linguistics. The decision substantially weakens a new law meant to stop the invasion of foreign words into the French language. The law barred the use of English words in broadcasting, advertising, and science. But the council ruled that the law encroaches on ``the fundamental liberty of thought and expression'' guaranteed by the Constitution. The council made exceptions to the requirement for French translations in foreign-language broadcasting, advertising, public notices, job applications, and consumer information.