US INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION INDEX RISES Increased manufacturing of consumer goods helped boost output at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities by a moderate 0.4 percent in July after a two-month slump, the government said yesterday. The gain in the Federal Reserve's industrial production index the best in five months came despite a decrease in auto production. Economists are hoping the advance in the index signals the start of a shift out of a stagnation in the industrial sector this year. Analysts are a bit more optimistic about the futur e because automakers plan increased production. AT&T merges with McCaw

American Telephone & Telegraph Co. said yesterday it had agreed to merge with McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. in a $12.6 billion stock swap that would combine the leaders in long-distance and wireless phone service. AT&T is a global leader in long-distance telephone service, while McCaw is a pioneer in cellular, paging, and other wireless communications services that make up the fastest-growing segment of the telecommunications industry. AT&T and McCaw say they expect no jobs will be lost because of t he merger. Tailhook continues

Three Navy and Marine Corps officers have been charged with assault stemming from the 1991 Tailhook convention.

The Pentagon inspector general's April 12 report referred 140 cases of alleged officer misconduct to the secretary of the Navy for action. The Marine Corps has disposed of nearly all its cases, charging one officer with assault, according to The Washington Times. The Navy has charged two officers with assault; three others are awaiting possible court-martials; 41 other Navy cases were disposed of through a closed-door, nonjudicial procedure; and 71 cases remain unresolved. Minnesota floods again

Flooding abated today in southern Minnesota after weekend storms dumped near a foot of rain, but hundreds remained out of their homes. More than 1,500 people forced from their homes remained in shelters, according to the Mower County sheriff's department and Red Cross. Many roads remained closed.

Cedar River crested at 21.3 feet Sunday night, 10 feet above a flood warning stage. Three deaths were indirectly tied to the storms. Debt chief heads Brazil Bank

President Itamar Franco has nominated Pedro Malan, Brazil's top foreign debt negotiator in New York, as president of the Central Bank.

Andre Lara Resende was chosen to replace Mr. Malan in New York. Central Bank President Paulo Cesar Ximenes quit on Friday after weeks of clashes with Franco over monetary policy.

The nominations politically strengthened Finance Minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the most powerful Cabinet member. The government is now expected to scrutinize the nation's 238 banks, many of which reported record profits for the first semester of 1993. Iranian reformer tossed out

In an unexpected rejection of President Hashemi Rafsanjani's economic policy, the Iranian Parliament refused today to reappoint his economy and finance minister, sources in Tehran said. The legislature's failure to endorse Mohsen Nourbaksh was one of the heaviest political blows to the president since he was elected in July 1989.

Many legislators had bitterly opposed Nourbaksh's drives to privatize state-run industries, slash subsidies on basic commodities, and streamline the multiple exchange-rate system. Vietnam dispatches workers

Vietnam has sent 5,000 workers to foreign jobs since January, mostly in Libya and South Korea, the union Newspaper Lao Dong said yesterday. It said the workers had been sent under bilateral labor agreements and that another 700 would be heading soon to Libya, bringing the number of Vietnamese workers in that north African country to 1,700.

The newspaper said Vietnam expected to send a total of 7,000 workers abroad this year. Before the collapse of the Soviet bloc, most Vietnamese working abroad went to eastern Europe, but since then the Arab countries mainly Libya, Iraq, and Algeria have been the main destination.

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