News In Brief

Defense contractor Raytheon Co. agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle federal claims that it failed to do quality-control tests on electronic products it sold to the federal government. The Lexington, Mass.-based firm was also to fire or otherwise punish 26 employees and the senior management in its Quincy, Mass., plant. The payment will reimburse the Department of Defense for the amount it paid Raytheon to conduct the tests. There was no evidence, however, that the products in question were defective, an attorney for the government indicated.

Prospects appeared uncertain this week for the Mexican peso, which managed to rally at last Friday's close after a sharp six-day decline that left it near its weakest level in 15 months. The currency was trading for a time at 10 to the US dollar, before strengthening to 9.89 as markets closed for the weekend. Analysts blamed the trend on concerns that the presidential election - three weeks away - may trigger political turmoil because it figures to be the closest in Mexican history. On a visit to Washington Friday, incumbent Ernesto Zedillo shrugged off the peso's drop and pointed to the inflation rate, which stands at its lowest level in 28 years. But both of the leading contenders to succeed him have warned of the potential for post-election violence depending on the outcome of the July 2 voting.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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