News In Brief

THAT'S WHY THEY'RE MOBILE Add treetops to restaurants, supermarkets, golf courses, cars, and other places where cell phones are being put to use these days. Fortunately for them, a couple of hikers thought to take one along on a visit to southern Poland's Tatra Mountains, where they found themselves about to have a close encounter with an adult bear. They scrambled up a tall spruce, fished out the phone, and called a nearby ranger station for help. As they waited to be rescued, the hikers also phoned seven companions farther down the trail and warned them of the danger.

HOW QUICKLY THEY FORGET From Chicago comes word that the appeal of retired basketball superstar Michael Jordan may be wearing thin. Partners in his restaurant - apparently without even asking his OK, which they say they don't need - are replacing it with one named for "the No. 1 star possible" ... Cubs home run hero Sammy Sosa. Jordan's will remain in business, but in a different and smaller location.

World economic picture looks rosier to the IMF The world's economy is on the rebound, according to a recent report from the International Monetary Fund. It forecasts global growth of between 3 and 3.5 percent in 2000, as a number of economies recover from last year's Asian currency crisis. To protect against future downturns, the officials of the richest nations agreed Saturday to create a so-called G20 forum. The new group will allow a cross section of 20 global economies - including 11 emerging ones - to monitor financial risk. Some of the IMF's latest projections for economic growth in 2000 (with 1999 projections in parentheses):

US (3.7) 2.6

Japan (1.0) 1.5

Germany (1.4) 2.5

France (2.5) 3.0

Italy (1.2) 2.4

Britain (1.1) 2.4

Canada (3.6) 2.6

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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