News In Brief

Forty Los Angeles-area gas-station owners said they will sue Shell Oil and Texaco for allegedly charging them excessive prices for gasoline and rent. And California Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) accused the state's oil industry of not passing lower gasoline prices on to drivers. She said Califor- nians had lost $544 million in the last two months alone. California gasoline prices jumped more than 50 cents a gallon in April to reach record highs close to $1.80. They have since fallen to a statewide average of $1.33. Shell and Texaco joined forces for West Coast and Midwest refining and marketing in January 1998.

Eleven billion dollars in aid to ease the handover of power in Mexico next year is expected to be announced imminently, the Financial Times reported. The London newspaper said $6.8 billion would come from the US and Canada, Mexico's partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The rest would be offered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Mexico is to hold a presidential election in July 2000. But it is still recovering from a plunge in the value of the peso less than a month after Ernesto Zedillo assumed the presidency in December 1994. At that time, the US and IMF came to Mexico's aid with a $50 billion bailout.

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