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News Briefs

19 Marines Die in Crash Of Controversial Aircraft


Plans to deploy a controversial military aircraft now in the final stages of testing were cast in doubt Sunday after 19 Marines were killed in a weekend crash that ranks among the most deadly peacetime accidents in years.

A tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey, built to take off like a helicopter but then rotate its propellers 90 degrees to fly like a fixed-wing craft, crashed nose down Saturday night near a municipal airport at Marana, Ariz., about 15 miles northwest of Tucson.

The aircraft, which was landing when it crashed, was participating in an exercise simulating the rescue of personnel from a hostile environment.

Of the 19 dead, 14 were combat troops from Camp Pendleton north of San Diego, one was from the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego, and four were Osprey crew members from a helicopter squadron in Quantico, Va.

Pressure From Conservatives Won’t Stop Reform, Khatemi Supporters


The victory by President Mohammed Khatemi’s reform-minded supporters in Iran’s parliamentary elections two months ago has been followed by a series of candidate disqualifications, arrests and an assassination attempt against one of their main strategists.

The reform advocates say the actions taken against them demonstrate the continued power of conservative parts of the government. But they pledge that the setbacks won’t slow the movement’s progress toward a more flexible kind of Islamic rule in Iran.

“There are some concerns about these actions ... but it is not unprecedented,” Hadi Semati, a political scientist and reformist adviser, said in a telephone interview. “Any time there is movement on (the reformist) side, there are responses on the (conservative) side.”

Reformers allied with Khatemi seized control of parliament from Iranian conservatives in a February election that left them poised to fill about 200 of the 290 seats.

CA to Spin Off Part of interBiz Division


Computer Associates International Inc. plans to spin off portions of its interBiz division as separate companies in initial public offerings that could begin as early as this summer, CA Chairman and Chief Executive Charles Wang said.

Dealing in software products and services for companies conducting business over the Internet, the interBiz is considered among CA’s fastest growing divisions. CA has said around 45 percent of its business is in Internet-related products.

Speaking at a private briefing at the company’s annual CA World conference in New Orleans, Wang said the first likely candidate for an IPO would be its ACCPAC accounting software arm. Other elements of the interBiz division will follow as they reach “critical mass,” Wang said.

The ACCPAC arm appears to be approaching that level. CA said it is the largest seller of desktop accounting software in North America.

“We have several business units we feel should be independent,” Wang said.

Turning to the IPO market would help CA address frustrations about its share price, which has languished at around $60.