News In Brief

For the first time in its short history, the central bank of the European Union raised interest rates as a check against inflation. The bank's governing council returned its key securities-refinancing rate to 3 percent, an 0.5 percent increase. It had cut the rate by the same amount in April to help stimulate the EU's weaker economies. The marginal-lending and overnight-deposit rates also rose by 0.5 percent - to 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively. The central bank has yet to observe its first anniversary.

American Home Products and Warner-Lambert Co. said they're merging in a $71 billion deal, the biggest in the industry to date. It would create the world's largest prescription drugmaker. Warner-Lambert, which makes Certs and Schick razors as well as drugs, has been the US's fastest-growing pharmaceutical company for the past two years. The new entity will be called AmericanWarner Inc.

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