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Serbia Approves a Milosevic Funeral in Belgrade

By Nicholas Wood

The Serbian government offered to allow the funeral and burial of Slobodan Milosevic to take place in Belgrade, paving the way for a gathering of his ultranationalist supporters. Government officials said that a warrant for the arrest of Milosevic’s wife, Mirjana Markovic, would be removed, enabling her to attend what the one senior government official insisted would be a private ceremony.

Markovic had been wanted by a court in Belgrade after she failed to appear at a hearing last year to face charges of fraud related to an apartment sale. She is believed to have been living in Moscow for the last three years. Despite the government’s wishes for a quiet private funeral ceremony, members of Milosevic’s Socialist Party appeared to be seizing the opportunity to try to revive its flagging popularity by planning a gathering of supporters.

“I believe that first he has to be placed somewhere so people have a couple of days to express their respects, and then a large funeral,” said Vladimir Krsljanin, a former foreign relations adviser to Milosevic. “There will be foreign delegations and speeches and so on,” Krsljanin said. He added the government needed to provide for the kind of ceremony the former president deserved.

“Such a large gathering of people and emotions can turn into something else, if the government doesn’t show maturity. You can not act against the masses.”

Preparing the way, Deputy Prime-Minister Mirosljub Labus told regional news stations that the government had informed the Milosevic family that it would allow the family for “a private funeral.”

Democrats Retreat On Call
To Censure President

By Carl Hulse

Senate Democrats on Monday blocked an immediate vote on a call by one of their own to censure President Bush for his eavesdropping program. The Democrats acted after Republicans had said they were eager to pass judgment on a proposal that they portrayed as baseless and disruptive to the anti-terror effort.

Minutes before Sen. Russell D. Feingold, D-Wis., formally introduced his resolution reprimanding Bush, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said Republicans were ready to vote by the end of the day or on Tuesday.

“When we’re talking about censure of the president of the United States at a time of war, when this president is out defending the American people with a very good, lawful, constitutional program, it is serious business,” Frist said. “If they want to make an issue out of it, we’re willing to do just that.”

Democrats, while distancing themselves from Feingold’s assertion that the president “plainly broke the law” in approving surveillance without warrants, said his proposal merited more consideration than a hasty vote.

Capital One Reported on Deal
Of $14.6 Billion for North Fork

By Andrew Ross Sorkin and Eric Dash

The Capital One Financial Corp. agreed Sunday to acquire the North Fork Bancorp. for about $14.6 billion in cash and stock, people involved in the negotiations said.

The acquisition, which is expected to be announced Monday, would give Capital One a strong retail banking foothold in the Northeast as growth of its nationwide credit card franchise slows.

The transaction would also the end the independence of North Fork, based in Melville, N.Y., which transformed itself over the past decade from a small community bank into a regional player through a series of acquisitions.

Over the past few years, Capital One has hinted about its retail banking ambitions.

Other standalone credit card companies, beset by higher borrowing costs as well as a slowdown in credit card growth, have been snapped up by larger competitors. But Capital One has been determined to remain independent and diversify its business.

Last fall, the company acquired the Hibernia National Bank, which operates more than 300 branches in Louisiana and Texas. It has expanded its presence into other areas like auto, home equity and college loans.

With the acquisition of North Fork, the combined company will have deposits of more than $84 billion, a managed loan portfolio of more than $143 billion, more than 50 million customer accounts and 655 branches.

Mad Cow Disease Confirmed
In Alabama

By Donald G. Mcneil Jr.

The nation’s third case of mad cow disease has been confirmed on a farm in Alabama, the Agriculture Department announced on Monday.

The animal was killed last week by a private veterinarian after it collapsed, and it was buried on the farm, which the department did not identify.

“It did not enter the animal or human food chains,” said Dr. John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for the department.

The cow’s teeth suggested that the animal was more than 10 years old, Clifford said, meaning it was born before the 1997 ban on feed that contained parts from cattle and other ruminant animals.

The department will now try to trace where the cow was born and find other members of its birth herd, which presumably ate the same feed.

Consumers Union said the finding of a third infected cow “underlines the need to take additional precautions.” The group wants a ban on feeding restaurant waste, sweepings from chicken coop floors, and cows’ blood to cows.