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News Briefs

Apple Introduces its Power Mac G4

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- SAN FRANCISCO

Apple Computer introduced a new version of its desktop computer Tuesday, crowing that its new Power Mac G4 is much faster than many newer business and personal computers using Intel’s flagship Pentium III microprocessor.

The news helped push Apple shares up $3.19 to $65.25 on Tuesday, about double where they traded in March, and at their highest level since 1993.

Adding a new product to Apple’s nearly two-year resurgence, the 400 megahertz versions of the Power Mac began shipping Tuesday at $1,599 without a monitor, and two faster versions are scheduled for release in September and October.

“It’s the most powerful personal computer ever brought to market,” said Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs in introducing the Power Mac G4 to an enthusiastic throng at a Seybold Seminars publishing convention in San Francisco.

Apple also said it has received 140,000 orders in just 40 days for its new iBook portable computer aimed at consumers, more than double the company’s shipments of its higher-priced PowerBook portable in the entire second quarter.

Apple posted about $1 billion in losses in 1996 and 1997 and seemed close to going out of business. But Jobs, who co-founded Apple, returned to run the company in August 1997. And the introduction last year of its wildly popular candy-colored iMac computer helped revive the company.

Sampras Withdraws from U.S. Open

THE WASHINGTON POST -- FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y.

The tear in the cartilage in Pete Sampras’ lower back is only two millimeters long, but it was big enough to throw the U.S. Open into turmoil Tuesday when the top-seed was forced to drop out. The withdrawal ends Sampras’ bid at a record 13th Grand Slam title, wrecks a showdown with fellow American Andre Agassi and wipes out any chance Sampras had to hold on to the world’s No. 1 ranking.

“The last three days have been hell -- the worrying about not playing and the stress,” Sampras said. “Then we finally got some tests done on it and that was really that last straw that said, ’that’s it, it’s over.’ ”

Sampras had been on a course to meet Agassi in what would have been a blockbuster final, but his injury threw the upper half of the draw wide open. No. 5 seed Gustavo Kuerten and No. 7 seed Todd Martin each will have a better chance after advancing Tuesday, although Britain’s Tim Henman, the No. 6 seed, was upset, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 6-3, by Argentina’s Gullermo Canas.

Afterward, the Wimbledon semifinalist said he “played horrendously” against Canas, ranked No. 68.

“It was probably an all-time low for me,” Henman said. “I don’t know really where to begin to sort of describe the way I was playing. I’m No. 5 in the world at the moment. That’s the highest ranking I’ve ever been, and I couldn’t be more dissatisfied with my game.”

Russia Renews Fighting in Dagestan

THE WASHINGTON POST -- MOSCOW

Russia has opened a new offensive against Islamic separatist forces in the southern republic of Dagestan, and officials said Tuesday that three days of fighting had brought fresh casualties, including eight Russian soldiers.

The new warfare, which has shifted to a new area, came only days after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared victory over a group of Chechen fighters who had crossed into Dagestan on Aug. 7 and seized several villages. Their declared aim was to expel Russia from Dagestan, but after heavy attacks, they appeared either to have been forced back into Chechnya or wiped out.

“The Chechen gunmen had made an extremely bad mistake,” Putin said in a newspaper interview published Tuesday.

Since Sunday, Russian Interior Ministry forces have taken control of two Islamic villages just southwest of the capital, Makhachkala, that had been a center of Islamic rebellion in recent months. Spiritual leaders there had declared their independence from Dagestan last year and instituted Islamic law. At the time, Russia did little about it.