News In Brief

Apparently spurred by the Federal Reserve's latest cut in interest rates, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index opened strongly in trading Thursday. Despite the 0.25 percent reduction, the sixth so far this year but smaller than investors had hoped for, the Dow rose 138 points, the Nasdaq 42, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index 14 points in the first two hours of trading.

Last year's order by a federal judge that Microsoft must be split in two was overturned by the US District Court of Appeals in Washington as the Monitor went to press. The antitrust case also was sent back for review by a new judge. The long-awaited ruling came almost five months after the appeals court heard the software giant's arguments against the breakup order by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and criticized him for improperly conducting himself in the case. (Story, page 1.)

The tobacco industry scored a key victory in its battle to post indoor or outdoor ads near schools and public playgrounds as the Supreme Court overturned a lower-court ruling in a Massachusetts case. The justices said a state may not impose its own restrictions beyond federal law that bans tobacco advertising on TV and requires health warnings on cigarette packs. (Story, page 1.)

For the first time, National Basketball Association teams made high-school seniors the top two choices in their annual player draft. With the first pick, the Washington Wizards selected Kwame Brown of Brunswick, Ga. The Los Angeles Clippers followed with Tyson Chandler of nearby Compton, Calif. In no previous draft had a high-school player been chosen higher than third. Four foreign nationals also were picked in Wednesday night's first round.

A new electricity-generating plant, the first in California in almost 13 years began operating in time to help ease the state's hot-weather energy woes. Sunrise Power Project, a natural gas-fired facility near Bakersfield, is to be followed on line by two more plants next week and by a fourth later this summer. It is expected to produce enough electricity to power a city of 900,000 people, about the size of San Jose.

Jack Lemmon, who died in Los Angeles, won two Academy Awards and was nominated for six others in a film/TV career that began shortly after World War II. His Oscars were for best supporting actor in "Mister Roberts" (1955) and for best actor in "Save the Tiger" (1973). But he may be best remembered for his association with comedian Walter Matthau, with whom he starred in "The Fortune Cookie," "The Odd Couple," "Grumpy Old Men," and its sequel, "Grumpier Old Men."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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