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World Briefs I

Caterpillar, UAW at New Crossroads in Contract Talks

The Washington Post

The bitter six-year labor dispute between the United Auto Workers and Caterpillar Inc. Monday entered uncharted territory in the wake of this weekend's unexpected rejection of a settlement by the union rank and file.

Officials in both camps said they were uncertain of their next move in the dispute. Both sides now must grapple with difficult choices, with the company facing possibly millions of dollars in fines for anti-union activities and the union possibly losing its right to represent Caterpillar workers.

In weekend balloting in four states, a tentative contract was rejected by 58 percent of the members voting despite a recommendation for approval by UAW leaders.

The rank and file rejection is a major political blow to the UAW's national leadership. Union leaders now must decide whether to try to get a new agreement or press on with a record 440 legal complaints against the company with the National Labor Relations Board. The union had agreed to withdraw the NLRB complaints as part of the new contract deal.

Union victories at the NLRB could cost the company millions of dollars in back pay and damages and the reinstatement of UAW members whose jobs had been taken by replacement workers.

Should the union fail to win, it could mark the beginning of the end of union representation for 12,000 well-paid Caterpillar workers in the United States who would earn an average of $32 an hour in wages and benefits under the contract offer they just rejected.

.Tobacco Companies Deny Charges That They Market to Children

The Washington Post

Tobacco companies insist that they do not market to children and that youngsters are not influenced by tobacco advertising. But two new studies indicate that young people's decisions to begin smoking are influenced by advertising-and that ads for tobacco brands popular among 12- to 17-year-olds are concentrated in magazines that attract those readers.

In a study in the Feb. 18 Journal of the American Medical Association, John P. Pierce and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, polled youngsters in 1993 and again in 1996 who had never smoked and said they weren't likely to. Those who could name a favorite ad, or who had acquired tobacco-brand clothing or trinkets in 1993, tended to smoke later, the researchers found. Promotion accounts for about a third of the decision to experiment with tobacco products, the researchers estimated.

The second study, by Charles King III and colleagues at Harvard University, Boston University and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, studied readership figures and advertising in 39 magazines in 1994. Magazines with the highest youth readership had the most ads for cigarette brands most popular among young people, the researchers found. "It is impossible to demonstrate an intent to target youth from an analytical study such as this one," the researchers acknowledged. Nonetheless, they said, the results "argue that cigarette advertising in all magazines should be eliminated."

Three Accused of Spying For East Germany Plead Not Guilty

The Washington Post

Lawyers for three Washington area residents accused of spying for East Germany in the 1980s are seeking to have most of the government's evidence thrown out, saying the FBI illegally targeted their clients because they belonged to leftist organizations.

Former Pentagon lawyer Theresa Marie Squillacote, 40, her husband, Kurt Alan Stand, 43, both of Northeast Washington, and their college friend James Michael Clark, 49, a Falls Church, Va., private investigator, were arraigned Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage.

All three are being held without bond until their July 20 trial. The government alleges that they passed classified documents to East German spymasters and later sought to work for the Soviet Union, Russia and South Africa.

Lawyers for all three defendants argue that the FBI misused its authority when it began tapping their phones using a secret warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The law allows searches and wiretaps of foreign agents even when there isn't enough evidence of a crime to justify a regular warrant.