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News Briefs

Socialists’ Alliance Wins Majority In Hungarian Parliament

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

A center-left alliance led by ex-Communists won a majority of seats in Hungarian parliamentary elections Sunday, setting the stage for Peter Medgyessy, a former finance minister and banker, to become this country’s next prime minister.

“So, we have won!” a jubilant Medgyessy declared to supporters at the headquarters of the Hungarian Socialist Party.

During a harsh and divisive campaign, Socialist supporters complained that they were often described by Prime Minister Viktor Orban and other leaders of his center-right Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Party not as the opposition but as enemies.

Medgyessy, 59, pledged Sunday night that he will serve all citizens.

“My conviction is that after forming the government, we must unify the country,” he said. “I repeat what I said several times: It’s my intention to be the prime minister of 10 million Hungarians, not two times 5 million. There are 10 million important people in Hungary, regardless of whom they voted for.”

President of China’s Heir Apparent To Begin U.S. Trip Today

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- BEIJING

The man expected to take over as leader of the world’s most populous nation leaves Tuesday on a diplomatic tour that will take him to Washington and a possible meeting with President Bush.

Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao is scheduled to stop in Singapore and Malaysia before traveling to the United States on Saturday for a weeklong visit that will allow American officials to take further measure of the man nearly everyone believes will succeed President Jiang Zemin within a year.

Hu’s visit comes as Sino-U.S. relations, which enjoyed a revival after Bush came to China in February, have hit another rocky patch over what Beijing perceives to be an alarming tilt by the Bush administration toward Taiwan.

The subject of Taiwan is likely to dominate Hu’s agenda in Washington, including an expected meeting with Bush, who invited Hu to the United States while in Beijing two months ago. The two men met for the first time then, chatting briefly over tea right before Bush delivered a speech at Hu’s alma mater, Qinghua University.

Microsoft’s Gates Says Windows Hurt By Sanctions

CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- WASHINGTON

In his first courtroom appearance during Microsoft Corp.’s marathon antitrust battle, chairman Bill Gates said Monday the software giant would effectively disintegrate if a federal judge accepted the proposed judicial order by the nine states that refuse to settle the case.

Microsoft’s opponents accused Gates of crying wolf, exaggerating the problems for the company, the software industry and consumers. The states are unhappy with a proposed settlement between the company, the Justice Department and nine other states.

Armed with PowerPoint slides to help make his case, Gates told U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly the non-settling states would give competitors too much access to Microsoft’s trade secrets.

They could make their own versions of the Windows operating system and applications, Gates said, making it impossible for Microsoft to earn the type of profits necessary to fund the research and development that leads to new products.