MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Environmentalists vowed Monday to tie themselves to centuries-old trees at Monza if track officials insist on attempting to cut them down in the name of Grand Prix safety.

''Even if it means going against the law, we will take all non-violent measures to prevent those trees from being destroyed,'' said Alberto Zangirolami, a spokesman for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The trees - 524 of them - were targeted for removal when track officials sought ways to widen the Grand Curve at Monza for safety reasons.

Safety issues moved to the forefront in Formula One racing earlier this year when Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger were killed in crashes during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Italy.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - More than 200 disabled youths from five countries began competing Monday in the World Sports Festival for Disabled Chilren.

Michelle Benton, a 13-year-old from Caney, Kansas who was born almost totally blind, won one of the day's first races, the 100 meters, in 16.4 seconds.

The two-day festival includes track-and-field, swimming, arm wrestling, swimming, boat races and dart throwing.

Most of the competitors are from Russia and Belarus, but the United States, Britain and Sweden also sent small squads.

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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - The Calgary Flames announced Monday that six people have purchased shares in the NHL team, bringing its ownership role to nine and helping to ensure that the franchise will stay in Calgary.

Former owners Normie Kwong and Sonia Scurfield sold their shares in the club, reportedly totaling 34 percent, for a reported $25 million.

The new investors are Grant Bartlett, president of Archer Resources Ltd.; Murray Edwards, president of EDCO Financial Holdings Ltd.; Ronald Joyce, president of Tim Hortons Donuts Ltd.; Alvin Libin, vice-president of Crownx Inc.; Allan Markin, chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., and John McCaig, chairman of Trimac Ltd.

They join owners Harley Hotchkiss and brothers Daryl and B.J. Seaman.

''In making this revision, we wanted to establish a mechanism to provide for orderly succession of private ownership to ensure the franchise stays in Calgary,'' Hotchkiss said.

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ATLANTA (AP) - United Parcel Service, the Atlanta-based package delivery company, said Monday it would become an international sponsor of the 1996 Olympics.

Most of the money from international sponsorship deals, negotiated by the International Olympic Committee, go to the IOC and sports federations. Organizers of the 1996 Games in Atlanta get about one-third of the proceeds, which were not disclosed.

The sponsorship gives UPS, among other things, exclusive rights to use the Olympic symbols in its advertising and packages.

In addition to its monetary contribution to the Olympics, UPS also will provide distribution services to the Games, according to Billy Payne, president of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.