The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 04, 2000, Page 2, Image 2

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    Judge rules Microsoft a monopoly
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal
judge on Monday found that Microsoft
Corp. violated the Sherman Antitrust
Act, maintaining “monopoly power by
anticompetitive means” and trying to
take over the Web browser market.
U.S. District Judge Thomas
Penfield Jackson also ruled that
Microsoft violated another section of
the law by “unlawfully tying its Web
browser to its operating system” and
could be sued under state anti-competi
tion laws.
“Microsoft has been held account
able for its illegal conduct by a court of
law,” said Attorney General Janet
Reno.
The judgment sets up a new round
of hearings to determine what punish
ment to impose on Microsoft, includ
ing the question of whether the huge
company founded by Bill Gates should
be broken up.
The judge accepted 23 of 26 argu
ments brought forth by the states that
joined the federal government in the
case.
“We are very pleased with the
court’s ruling,” said Assistant Attorney
General Joel I. Klein. “The decision
will benefit consumers and stimulate
competition and innovation in the high
tech industry.”
Throughout the trial, the judge had
strongly uiged both sides in the case to
reach an out-of-court settlement Those
talks collapsed over the weekend, how
ever, prompting Jackson to issue his
ruling on Monday. Both sides had rea
t< We are very
pleased with the
court’s ruling. The
decision will
benefit consumers
and stimulate
competition and
innovation in the
high-tech
industry.”
Joel I. Klein
assistant attorney general
sons to settle the case. Among them: to
avoid an appeals process that would
likely keep the case in court for several
years.
The judge’s ruling had been
expected to go against Microsoft based
on harsh assessments he outlined last
November in his “findings of fact” In
that document, Jackson found that
Microsoft repeatedly engaged in anti
competitive behavior by taking advan
tage of its monopoly power.
Microsoft stock was battered dur
ing the day, losing about 15 percent of
Newsmakers photo by Chris Hondros
TOM COSTELLO, Nasdaq correspondent for CNBC, talks on a cellular phone with
Nasdaq and Microsoft figures behind him in New York on Monday. Microsoft
shares plummeted after attempts to settle the U.S. federal government’s
antitrust lawsuit broke down over the weekend.
its value.
Sources familiar with the failed
talks, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said on Sunday that negoti
ations in Chicago collapsed after the
company insisted on its own proposal
to settle the lawsuit and not because of
disputes between state and federal
plaintiffs.
Even before the states made new
proposals on Friday, “It was clear
Microsoft was rejecting the govern
ment’s proposal and insisting on their
own approach,” one source said. “That
approach had a lot of loopholes and
would not have been effective.”
Microsoft Chairman Gates con
tended on Saturday that “it became
impossible to settle because the
Department of Justice and the states
were not working together. Between
them, they appeared to be demanding
either a breakup of our company or
other extreme concessions.”
Court rejects federal involvement in trial
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Clinton administration will have no
voice when the Supreme Court later
this month considers a Nebraska case
that could determine the fate of 30
states’ bans on a surgical procedure
opponents call “partial-birth abor
tion.”
The court, in a brief order
Monday, rejected Solicitor General
Seth Waxman’s request that a govern
ment lawyer be allowed to participate
when the Nebraska case is argued on .
April 25.
Waxman, the government’s top
ranking courtroom lawyer, filed a
friend-of-the-court brief lastweek that
supports a Nebraska doctor’s chal
lenge of his state’s restrictive law. The
brief says the state law violates some
women’s constitutional right to end
their pregnancies.
President Clinton twice has
vetoed a federal ban enacted by
Congress, which served as a model for
the similar state laws.
The court’s refusal was unusual.
Such requests by the Justice
Department are granted far more
often than they are rejected.
The administration’s brief said the
law challenged by Bellevue doctor
Leroy Carhart is written so broadly it
could be enforced against more than
one abortion procedure and is too
vague to let doctors know just what
abortion techniques are outlawed.
Even if the law is liriiittd to a sin
gle procedure, the brief said, it unduly
burdens a woman’s right to abortion
because “it fails to provide an excep
tion to preserve the pregnant woman’s
health.”
The surgical procedure at issue
involves partially extracting a fetus,
legs first, through the birth canal, cut
ting the skull and draining its contents.
Partial-birth abortion is not a medical
term. Doctors call the method dilation
and extraction, or D&X.
Although the Nebraska law and
legal dispute focuses on the D&X pro
cedure, far more may be at stake.
Abortion-rights advocates say the
court’s decision could broadly safe
guard or dramatically erode abortion
rights, depending on what state legis
latures can consider when regulating
abortions.
The Supreme Court has not issued
a major abortion ruling since 1992
when it reaffirmed the core holding of
its 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade.
That landmark ruling said women
have a constitutional right to abortion.
A federal appeals court struck
down the Nebraska law along with
those in Iowa and Arkansas. But near
ly identical laws in Illinois and
Wisconsin were upheld by another
federal appeals court.
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Mostly sunny Partly cloudy
high 63, low 45 high 76, low 44
Nel?raSkan
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The Daily Nebraskan (USPS144-080) is published by tne UNL Publications Board, Nebraska
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ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1999
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Officials plan to turn
Elian over to father
MIAMI (AP) - The federal gov
ernment on Monday began working
with Elian Gonzalez’s Miami relatives
on a plan to turn the 6-year-old boy
over to his father when he arrives in the
United States, a federal official said.
Meanwhile, 100 protesters outside
the relatives’ Little Havana home prac
ticed forming a human chain and
vowed they would stop at nothing to
keep the boy from returning to Cuba.
“They would have to go over the
bodies of all of us Cubans who are
here,” said Maria Gonzalez, 70, who is
not related to the b$y~ “They would
have to kill us all.” -
Immigration officials had
demanded that the relatives sign an
agreement to hand over the boy if their
legal battle to keep him in the United
States failed.
On Monday, immigration officials
dropped a threat to revoke Elian
Gonzalez’s legal status. Justice
Department officials were working
with attorneys for Elian’s Miami rela
tives on a plan for handing the boy
over, said a Justice Department offi
cial,^ho requested anonymity.
“Our goal is to reunite Elian and
his father,” said Maria Cardona, a
U They would
have to go over
the bodies of all
of us... They
would have to kill
us all.”
Maria Gonzalez
protester
spokeswoman for the Immigration
and Naturalization Service. “The issue
is not whether we will transfer Elian to
his father, but when and how.”
Armando Gutierrez, a spokesman
for the Miami relatives, said he would
not comment on the negotiations.
The family is appealing a federal
judge’s ruling that affirms an INS
order to return the boy to his father in
Cuba.
Elian’s father, stepmother and
half-brother were among 28 people in
Havana applying on Monday for visas
to come to the United States.
■ Massachusetts
State first to put new, stricter
gun regulations into effect
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts
put the nation’s strictest gun regula
tions into effect on Monday, using
consumer-protection rules to ban
cheap “Saturday night specials” and to
require childproof locks on any gun
sold in the state.
The state will contact gun manu
facturers and sellers within 15 days to
inform them of the regulations, which
also require safety warnings with each
gun, tamper-resistant serial numbers
and indicators on semiautomatic
handguns that tell if a bullet is in the
chamber.
Thirty-four other states have
passed legislation that would allow
them to regulate handguns as they
would other consumer products, but
Massachusetts is the first to actually
impose such regulations.
■Japan
Japanese government in crisis
after prime minister has stroke
TOKYO (AP) - Prime Minister
Keizo Obuchi was on life support on
Monday after a stroke, leaving the
Japanese government to grapple with
a leadership crisis and the possibility
of dissolving the Cabinet and finding
a successor.
There also was growing anger
over the delays by the government in
reporting Obuchi’s illness to the pub
lic.
Despite assurances from officials
that Japan would not veer from its eco
nomic and political course, specula
tion was rife that Obuchi’s illness
could plunge Japan into turmoil and
possibly lead to early elections.
However, media reports say the
Cabinet could resign as early as
Wednesday so a new one can be
formed.
■ Russia
Villagers contract typhoid
from bodies in river
VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia (AP) -
Bodies of people killed in the Chechen
war are decomposing in a river and
causing scores of villagers to come
down with typhoid fever, local offi
cials said on Monday.
The report of 74 cases of the
potentially fatal disease in the village
of Lermontov-Yurt came during a lull
in the war that has gripped the republic
for seven months. It adds a new
dimension to the plight of Chechnya’s
people, most of whom have lost
homes and family members in the
fighting.
The war has left hundreds of
unburied bodies, many lying in the
republic’s forests and mountains or at
the bottom of its waterways.
■ Washington, D.C.
Two additional prosecutors
hired to Clinton investigations
WASHINGTON (AP) -
- Independent Counsel Robert Ray
announced on Monday he is hiring
two federal prosecutors from Tampa,
Fla., in the investigation of President
Clinton and the first lady.
Joining Ray’s office are Latour
LafFerty, an assistant U.S. attorney
who has handled organized crime
cases, and Monte Richardson, who
prosecuted complex fraud cases
before joining the federal prosecutor’s
office in Tampa.
Ray has said he is adding staffers
to help him determine whether to file
criminal charges against Clinton in the
Monica Lewinsky scandal. Ray’s
office also is compiling final reports
on the six-year Whitewater investiga
tion of the president and first lady.