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News Briefs I

Albright to Resume Mediation Bid By Meeting With Netanyahu

Los Angeles Times

On the day he had hoped to preside over the start of a new round of Middle East peace talks, President Clinton instead Monday directed Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to start anew on the task of trying to persuade Israel to accept U.S. conditions for a summit.

Albright will meet Wednesday in Washington with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of his rejection of a U.S. proposal that the administration had set as a condition for Israeli-Palestinian-U.S. talks.

It was an embarrassing turn of events for Clinton, who had given Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat until Monday to settle a festering interim dispute to clear the way for the start of negotiations over a final peace treaty.

Although the administration had hinted that Washington might end its role as Middle East go-between if the Israelis and Palestinians rejected a U.S. formula to break a 14-month stalemate, Clinton ordered an immediate resumption of U.S. mediation.

Clinton held a White House meeting Monday with his top Middle East strategists and afterward expressed "regret" that Monday's planned meeting with Netanyahu and Arafat had fallen through.

United Arab Emirates To Buy Lockheed Martin F-16s

washington post

The United Arab Emirates will announce Tuesday that it has chosen Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-16 fighter over competing European aircraft in a deal worth up to $6 billion, according to industry and government sources.

Vice President Al Gore will join Crown Prince Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan in making the announcement after a separate visit the prince will have with President Clinton at the White House. The deal could cover as many as 80 F-16s, which are made at a plant in Fort Worth.

The F-16, a mainstay of the U.S. Air Force arsenal and a popular multipurpose fighter used by several U.S. allies, including Israel and Jordan, is being chosen over the competing French-made Rafale fighter and the Eurofighter.

The choice of the F-16 is a huge boost for Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin because the U.S. Air Force has largely concluded its purchases of the plane, which will be replaced in the next century by the Joint Strike Fighter. Largely on the strength of international sales, the F-16 remains one of the top-selling products made by Lockheed Martin.

Apple Announces New Strategy for Operating System Upgrade

los angeles times
san jose, Calif.

Apple Computer announced a new strategy for upgrading its operating system software that the company and some key software developers agree will make it far easier to produce products for the Macintosh.

Mac OS X, slated for release in fall 1999, will also enhance the system's speed and stability, and allow several programs to run simultaneously, interim CEO Steve Jobs said at Apple's annual developer conference Monday.

Apple hopes its new strategy will shore up support among its restive developers - many of whom have reduced their Macintosh efforts or abandoned the platform altogether in favor of the far-larger Microsoft Windows market.

Adobe, as well as Microsoft and Macromedia, all important Macintosh developers, greeted the plan enthusiastically. Support from such companies could dictate Apple's long-term viability.

Apple hopes that such endorsements will help recapture consumers who have avoided buying a Macintosh due to an erosion in long-term support among software developers.