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California Indian tribes show thousands of members the door

COARSEGOLD, Calif. — The bottom line of the six-page, single-spaced letter that Nancy Dondero and about 50 of her relatives received last month was brutally simple: “It is the decision by a majority of the Tribal Council, that you are hereby disenrolled.”

And with that, Dondero’s official membership in the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, the cultural identity card she had carried all her life, summarily ended.

“That’s it,” Dondero, 58, said. “We’re tribeless.”

For centuries, American Indian tribes have banished people as punishment for serious offenses. But only in recent years, experts say, have they begun routinely disenrolling Indians deemed inauthentic members of a group. And California, with dozens of tiny tribes that were decimated, scattered and then reformed, often out of ethnically mixed Indians, is the national hotbed of the trend.

Clan rivalries and political squabbles are often triggers for disenrollment, but critics say one factor above all has driven the trend: casino gambling. The state has more than 60 Indian casinos that took in nearly $7 billion last year, the most of any state, according to the Indian Gaming Commission.

For Indians who lose membership in a tribe, the financial impact can be huge. Some small tribes with casinos pay members monthly checks of $15,000 or more out of gambling profits. Many provide housing allowances and college scholarships. Children who are disenrolled can lose access to tribal schools.

—James Dao, The New York Times

Drive shortage will reduce chip sales, Intel warns

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel will not let a good crisis go to waste.

On Monday, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors announced that its revenue this quarter would be reduced to $13.7 billion from $14.7 billion because floods in Thailand had sharply cut the world’s supply of disk drives. Without the drives, manufacturers will make fewer personal computers and computer servers, which means fewer semiconductors will be needed.

While clearly bad news for Intel in the short run, the shortage of both components and finished personal computers could prove an opportunity for Intel as it tries to fight the onslaught of tablet computers, particularly Apple’s iPad. It has been trying to build a business in the emerging category of ultrabook computers or ultrathins, which do not use hard drives.

Although the impact of the flood on the hard drive industry has been known since October, PC makers have told Intel over the past two weeks that they would need fewer chips.

“This does not change our view, that demand for personal computers and servers is healthy and growing,” said Stacy J. Smith, Intel’s chief financial officer. Constraints caused by the lack of drives will continue through the first quarter of 2012, he said.

Last week, IHS iSuppli, a technology industry research firm, said that it expected PC shipments to expand in 2012 by only 6.8 percent, down from its previous forecast of 9.5 percent.

—Quentin Hardy, The New York Times

German official backs tax vetoed by Britain

Germany’s foreign minister said Monday that he would like to see a new financial transactions tax imposed on markets in the European Union despite objections from Britain’s government, which vetoed changes in the EU treaty at the economic crisis summit meeting last week partly in an effort to protect the London-based financial services industry from paying such a tax.

“A financial transaction tax would be positive,” said the foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, emphasizing that if there were such a tax, “we would have to include all the European Union,” and not just those members that use the single currency, the euro.

His remarks were implicitly directed at Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, who irritated his EU colleagues at the summit meeting by vetoing proposed treaty changes in part because he felt they lacked safeguards for the future of the City of London, the area that makes up London’s financial district and a vital economic engine for Britain. Cameron’s actions left Britain isolated, and Westerwelle’s remarks suggested that the veto still would not insulate London from changes undertaken by other EU members.

In an interview with the editorial board of The New York Times, Westerwelle also said the door was still open for Britain to join the new economic stability pact that Germany and all other EU members are going ahead with regardless of Britain’s decision. “It is a standing invitation for Great Britain,” he said.

—Rick Gladstone, The New York Times

Antitrust suit in AT&T bid for T-Mobile is delayed

WASHINGTON — AT&T has one month to tell a U.S. District Court judge and the Justice Department whether it will pursue its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA in its current form, in a modified structure, or if it will drop the deal altogether.

Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, of U.S. District Court in Washington, granted a joint motion filed Monday by AT&T and the Justice Department to delay the government’s antitrust lawsuit over the merger. Huvelle set a Jan. 12 deadline for AT&T to decide whether it intends to continue to pursue the deal.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division had sued to block the deal, which it said would result in too much consolidation in the market for cellphone and wireless broadband service and could hurt consumers.

Separately, Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, indicated that he would recommend that the commission vote to block the merger. Subsequently, AT&T withdrew its application from the regulator, saying it intended to focus first on the antitrust case.

—Edward Wyatt, The New York Times