News In Brief

CATTLE FUTURES

All 12,500 cows - the entire herd - of Germany's largest dairy farmer are up for sale because it needs money. Wait; shouldn't that read "because HE needs money?" Actually, no. The farmer in this case is the city of Berlin, which has been in the agriculture business for more than a century to keep development from encroaching on at least some of its open space. The herd produces roughly 40 million gallons of milk a year. But there are budget shortfalls to be made up, and so various city assets are being sold off.

IT WAS THE RIGHT TIME

Add to the available buying opportunities the firm of Thwaites & Reed, whose "for sale" sign is posted on the Internet. The high bidder will be getting a business with a 260-year track record and an estimated value of $720,000. Among other responsibilities, the London clockmaker keeps the world-famous Big Ben chiming on time. Alas, says owner Melvin Lee: "One can't stand still."

Season for bestowing film awards gets under way

The New York Film Critics Circle, whose annual picks are watched closely as a potential indicator of future Academy Award winners, bestowed three key honors last week on the drama "Traffic." The circle is chaired currently by David Sterritt, the Monitor's film reviewer. The picks:

Picture: "Traffic"

Director: Steven Soderbergh, "Traffic," "Erin Brockovich"

Actor: Tom Hanks, "Cast Away"

Actress: Laura Linney, "You Can Count on Me"

Supporting actor: Benicio del Toro, "Traffic"

Supporting actress: Marcia Gay Harden, "Pollock"

Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, "You Can Count on Me"

Cinematography: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Foreign film: "Yi Yi (A One and a Two)"

Nonfiction film: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg"

Animated film: "Chicken Run"

First film: "George Washington"

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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