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News Briefs II

Computer Glitch Halts NYSE Trading for 59 Minutes

Los Angeles Times

In a rare technological black eye for the world's biggest stock market, a malfunctioning computer switch forced a 59-minute halt in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

Although the NYSE described the glitch as an isolated hardware failure, the mishap highlighted the exchange's - and the entire industry's - vulnerability to such gremlins as global securities trading grows increasingly automated.

The shutdown also cost NYSE member companies an undetermined amount of money in lost business. Officials said that as of late Monday they were aware of no complaints from investors about mispriced or otherwise bungled trades.

Still, some investors may have made trades based on incomplete information, experts said.

Overall, blue-chip stocks - most of which call the NYSE home - were little changed Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average eased 20.08 points to 8,432.21.

Monday marked the first time that equipment trouble had halted NYSE trading in midstream, although a software problem caused a one-hour delay in the opening of trading on Dec. 18, 1995. Before that, a power outage in New York City shut down NYSE trading for 24 minutes on Oct. 22, 1991.

Peru, Ecuador Sign Pact Ending Border Dispute

The Washington Post

Peru and Ecuador, which fought three territorial wars this century and almost clashed again three months ago, signed a landmark peace agreement Monday that resolved their violent border dispute with an innovative plan that includes creation of two national "peace parks" near the most-contested stretch of their frontier.

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and Ecuadoran President Jamil Mahuad were hailed for overcoming strong internal opposition to the accord at an elaborate ceremony in Brasilia - site of most of the talks.

The two leaders finally ended the border conflict after forcing resolutions through their legislatures that allowed the matter to go to binding arbitration with four mediators - the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

The agreement reaffirms the border set in the 1942 Rio de Janeiro Protocol, which declared the bulk of the disputed land in the Amazon region as Peru's. But there is one exception: Ecuador will now become owner in perpetuity of Tiwinza, a one-square-mile outpost in Peru where Ecuador buried the bodies of 12 of its soldiers killed in its most recent war with its bigger, more powerful neighbor in 1995.

The two nations also agreed to demilitarize a 50-mile stretch of border in the isolated Cordillera del Condor mountain range, once heavily patrolled by both nations and still monitored by 200 peacekeeping troops from the four mediating nations. Soldiers will gradually be replaced with forest rangers and police who will run two separate national parks in what is one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth.