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Americans’ productivity, the key measurement of how quickly li

March 12, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Americans’ productivity, the key measurement of how quickly living standards can rise, increased 0.7 percent last year. It was the best performance in four years but still below the standard set in the 1950s and 1960s.

The gain, reported Tuesday by the Labor Department, was more than double 1995′s 0.3 percent advance. Though not far short of the typical annual gains seen since the mid-1970s, it was far below the performance in the decades after World War II. In the 1960s, for instance, annual gains on average exceeded 3 percent.

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ATLANTA (AP) _ Responding to a report that Boeing is looking for an exclusive agreement, Delta Air Lines said it still hasn’t made a decision about which airplane manufacturer to go with when it replaces its fleet of L-1011s.

``At this time we are in the process of negotiations,″ Delta spokeswoman Kimberly King said. She also said that the airline wasn’t ready to make any announcement about its fleet plans.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Boeing Co. was seeking an agreement under which it would be the exclusive supplier of Delta’s future planes.

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DETROIT (AP) _ Demand for General Motors’ electric car has fallen sharply since its high-voltage introduction in December.

Although it’s far too early to rate the automaker’s experiment in mass-marketing an electric vehicle, the numbers appear to show a limited appeal even in markets considered prime for the innovative car.

The teardrop-shaped EV1 is being offered for lease only at Saturn dealerships in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. The 26 dealers leased 76 EV1s in December, 48 in January and 31 in February _ a total of 155.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A broker was charged with securities fraud in an illegal stock promotion scheme that revolved around an alleged investigation into the broadcasts of CNBC financial commentator Dan Dorfman.

Phillip John Milligan, the principal of J.P. Milligan Inc., was accused of taking bribes in return for having his brokers peddle the stock of an essentially worthless company to clients, federal authorities said Tuesday.

He also was charged with obstructing an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission by lying to investigators and using threats to coax his employees to give false testimony, the government alleged.

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TOKYO (AP) _ Japan Telecom Co., a major domestic phone company, plans to acquire International Telecom Japan Inc. in a deal creating the country’s No. 2 telecommunications firm.

Japan Telecom vice president Haruo Murakami said today the companies hope to reach a deal by the end of this month. The combined company would have annual revenue of about $3.3 billion, behind only Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. _ the world’s biggest telephone company.

It would be the first merger of major Japanese telecommunications carriers and would create the country’s first company to offer both domestic and international phone services.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal regulators cleared the way for telephone, television and data services, including Internet access, to be delivered via a fledging wireless technology.

The Federal Communications Commission’s action Tuesday is a boost for the technology called local multipoint distribution service, or LMDS. Only one company, CellularVision of New York, is now offering it through a special license.

The wireless service is delivered in a way that closely resembles cellular phone service. But to receive phone, television or data services, customers need a small receiver dish in or near a window.

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PARIS (AP) _ In what protesters dubbed a ``Euro-demonstration,″ thousands of Renault workers from France, Belgium and Spain marched on the automaker’s headquarters to protest a plant closing and job cuts.

The mobilization tapped into the rising anger over Renault’s decision nearly two weeks ago to close its factory at Vilvoorde, north of Brussels, leaving 3,100 jobless. Renault also plans to cut 2,764 French jobs this year.

Tuesday’s protest was a sign of the unease with which many of Europe’s workers view the increased competition _ and lack of government protection _ of a united European market. Many fear losing jobs or benefits.

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CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ After two months of record highs, Egyptian stocks have been caught in a downward spiral, with some top issues losing as much as 25 percent of their value.

The once-dormant stock market is widely seen as the showpiece of Egypt’s ambitious economic reform program, launched in 1991 as the final push to dismantle a legacy of socialist policies.

Those reforms earned Egypt a place among the world’s top emerging markets Several brokers said the slide of the past 10 days was merely a needed pull back from a meteoric rise in January and February.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ After using boycotts to help persuade Mitsubishi and Texaco to improve opportunities for minorities, Jesse Jackson came to Wall Street to launch a new effort to root out corporate discrimination.

Jackson opened an office Tuesday in the heart of the business capital that will serve as an extension of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to pressure companies to increase racial diversity.

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By The Associated Press

Most stock measures drifted lower Tuesday as interest rates rose in the bond market. The Dow Jones industrial average crossed the 7,100 mark for the first time, but surrendered a nearly 33-point gain to close at 7,085.16, up just 5.77 on the day.

The dollar and gold were higher. Bond prices fell.

Palladium futures prices shot up. Soybean futures gained, while cattle surged and hogs dropped.

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