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Monarchists Mobilize To Restore Russian Czar

Los Angeles Times

In an ornate building near Red Square that was once the palace of the Russian nobility, more than 1,000 monarchists gathered Thursday with the aim of restoring the Romanov dynasty.

In a cross between political convention and costume party, the first meeting of the All-Russian Monarchist Assembly attracted royalists from every political and fashion sect of the new Russia.

Elegant descendants of Russian nobles, some introducing themselves as princes and counts, came in bow ties. Neo-fascists came in black leather jackets. Cossacks in tall woolen hats, teen-agers in knee-high leather boots, middle-age men in White Army officer uniforms, and Russian women in heavy eye shadow all gathered in a hall bedecked with 46 massive chandeliers to proclaim their royalist creed: "God, Czar and Country."

The leading candidate appeared to be the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, who is descended from Nicholas' brother, or her son.

Twenty States Reach $36M Settlement with Insurers

The Baltimore Sun

Twenty states reached a $36 million settlement Thursday in their six-year legal fight against more than 30 insurance companies that they alleged had conspired to force higher prices by limiting coverage.

The states' attorneys general had claimed in a 1988 lawsuit that ITT Hartford, Aetna Casualty and Surety Co., Allstate Insurance Co., Cigna Corp. and 28 reinsurance carriers conspired to place limits on commercial general liability insurance available to state and local governments and businesses.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the insurance industry will be forced to change the way it shares information under its unique exemption from federal antitrust laws.

Regulators and insurers both claimed victory Thursday.

Ellen S. Cooper, chief of the antitrust division for the Maryland attorney general's office, said the defendants would spend $26 million to create the Public Entity Risk Institute to help state and local governments learn about risk management and liability reduction techniques. They also will set up a national database to give governments information to help them hold down insurance costs. The remaining $10 million will go to legal fees.

Americans' Sex Habits: More Conventional than Thought

The Washington Post

A major national survey on sexual habits has found Americans to be far more conventional than previous studies indicated, with more than 80 percent of adults reporting that they had just one sexual partner, or no partners, over the past year.

The $1.6 million survey, described by experts as the most comprehensive, scientifically accurate study of its kind, found that only 3 percent of adults had had five or more sexual partners over the previous year.

The study by a team of researchers based at the University of Chicago has been eagerly awaited by scientists who have decried the lack of detailed data on sexual behavior, which they say is critical in predicting the spread of AIDS.

Among the findings:

-When frequency of sex is considered, adults fall roughly into three groups: nearly 30 percent have sex with a partner only a few times a year or not at all, 35 percent have sex once or several times a month, and about 35 percent have sex at least two or more times a week. On average, Americans have sex about once a week.

-Among those who are married, 75 percent of men and 85 percent of women said they had been faithful to their spouses.

-More than one in five women - nearly 22 percent - said they had been forced by a man to do something sexual.

The results are to be released in two books, "Sex in America," published by Little Brown and Co., and the full 700-plus page study, "The Social Organization of Sexuality," published by the University of Chicago Press.