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News Briefs 1

Time Warner Shareholders Approve Turner Takeover

Los Angeles Times

Shareholders overwhelmingly approved Time Warner Inc.'s $7.5 billion acquisition of Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Thursday in a deal that vaults Time Warner ahead of Walt Disney Co. as the world's largest entertainment company.

The marriage combines some of the best known entertainment brands in the world: Time Warner's cable systems, HBO cable channel, the Warner Bros. movie studio, the Time Inc. magazines, including Time, People and Sports Illustrated, with Turner's Cable News Network, Cartoon Network, Hanna Barbera cartoon studio, Turner Classic Movies, New Line and Castle Rock and New Line movie studios, and the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks pro sports teams.

"The long march of Time is now complete," Time Warner Chairman Gerald M. Levin told shareholders in the Time & Life Building at Thursday morning's special meeting to vote on the deal. After more than a year of work on the complex transaction, Levin said that he and his executive corps would now focus on operating the company.

Congress Passes Bill to Authorize Construction of King Memorial

The Washington Post

America's largest black fraternity had a dream: to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a memorial here. It finally happened.

Before adjourning, Congress passed legislation authorizing construction of a memorial to King on federal land in Washington. After 12 years of struggle and rejection by four previous Congresses, the bill passed unanimously in the House and then slipped through the Senate quietly Oct. 3 as part of the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act. It will be sent to President Clinton in the next few days.

The legislation authorizes Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation's oldest African-American fraternity, to begin a national fund-raising campaign and design competition for the memorial. The fraternity has 700 chapters in 42 states and more than 100,000 members. The project, to cost an estimated $500,000, will be paid for by private contributions.

Project organizers hope to locate the memorial on the Mall near the Lincoln Memorial, site of King's "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. Final site designation will be made by the Interior Department in consultation with the National Parks and Planning Commission.

45 Accused of Bribing Stock Agents


Federal officials Thursday charged 45 people with bribing undercover agents, who were posing as brokers working out of a small Manhattan brokerage firm, to sell shares of stock.

The arrests of brokers, stock promoters and company officers that had been made by late Thursday afternoon were "the largest single set of arrests ever made in the securities industry," U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White said at a news conference. The nationwide sting operation was conducted by the FBI.

By allegedly bribing brokers to place stock with customers, the defendants named Thursday wanted to drive the prices of those stocks up in order to enrich themselves, White said.

Because the operation is still ongoing, FBI officials would not divulge details of how it worked. Almost all conversations with defendants were recorded on audiotape or videotape, according to court documents.

The individuals charged included many who had been registered brokers," said James Kallstrom, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York office. He said the stocks involved were mostly issued by thinly capitalized companies traded on the OTC Bulletin Board, or, in some cases, NASDAQ.