News In Brief

MY WORTHY OPPONENT Clemente Gago faces a tough fight for reelection as mayor of Rabano de Aliste, a town on Spain's border with Portugal. But it may turn out to be more difficult for him if he wins. The vote is still three weeks away, and although Gago has only one challenger to worry about, it's who his rival is that's of concern. Donata Clerigo, who's campaigning on a pledge to better protect the town's women from discrimination, is the incumbent's wife.

YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE Lawyers, who know a thing or two about fighting discrimination in the courts, are having a hard time doing so in Bakersfield, Calif. And it's all because the object of the discrimination in this case is ... them. Developers of an exclusive new subdivision want to exclude members of the bar because, as a class, they're apt to threaten litigation. One did sue, claiming prejudice. A local judge has thrown out the complaint.

Heavy 'Star Wars' box office sales still disappoint critics Since opening last Wednesday, "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" has set the motion picture industry's single-day ($28.5 million) and five-day ($102.7 million) box office records. Still, the much-anticipated release was being called something of a disappointment for failing to break the 1997 Memorial Day weekend debut mark of $72 million by "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Reviews of the new "Star Wars" generally have been mixed, with critics liking its special effects but not necessarily its social themes. The 10 films that scored best at North American theaters over the May 21-23 weekend and their estimated grosses (in millions):

1. "Phantom Menace" $61.8

2. "The Mummy" 13.1

3. "Entrapment" 5.8

4. "The Matrix" 2.7

5. "The Love Letter" 2.6

6. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" 2.5

7. "Never Been Kissed" 1.6

8. "Black Mask" 1.5

(tie) "Life" 1.5

9. "Election" 1.4

Exhibitor Relations Inc./AP

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