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President Clinton has announced a cutoff of all U.S. trade and

April 30, 1995 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ President Clinton has announced a cutoff of all U.S. trade and investment with Iran in hopes of striking a blow against state-sponsored terrorism and convincing Russia to scuttle a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The action, which White House officials concede could cost thousands of American jobs and cause a slight short-term increase in fuel prices, deprives U.S. companies and their subsidiaries of the lucrative Iranian oil market. It also will eliminate U.S. exports, which totaled $326 million in 1994.

Clinton’s plan was outlined in a speech prepared for delivery Sunday night to the World Jewish Congress. Aides said Clinton will sign an executive order later this week, acting under the Emergency Powers Act.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A sharp downshift in consumer spending, particularly on interest-sensitive big-ticket items, slowed the economy dramatically this winter to its lowest growth rate since mid-1993.

The Commerce Department said Friday that gross domestic product, the government’s broadest measure of economic activity, expanded at an annualized rate of 2.8 percent in the first three months of the year. That amounted to little more than half the booming 5.1 percent surge in the last quarter of 1994.

GDP increased 4.1 percent for all of last year _ the economy’s strongest showing in a decade.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The United States will not start trade sanctions cases against any nation as part of an annual review, but eight trading partners have been notified that the Clinton administration expects improvements.

The eight were put on a ``priority watch list″ Saturday because of failure to adequately protect American copyrights, patents and trademarks.

Brazil, Greece, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were informed that they will face special reviews in the coming year ``to ensure that pressure is maintained on these countries for progress,″ the administration said.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ In a blow to farmers, a federal appeals court has ruled that the government can’t require corn-based ethanol as an additive in a cleaner-burning gasoline now sold in 17 states.

The cleaner, reformulated gasoline has been on the market since January under an Environmental Protection Agency directive to help reduce smog-causing pollution from motor vehicles.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals, which last September put a temporary hold on the EPA’s ethanol mandate, ruled Friday that the agency had gone beyond its authority in setting a minimum market share for ethanol.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A former Kidder Peabody bond trader fired for allegedly faking $350 million in profits has filed a $50 million libel lawsuit against the firm and its former owner.

Joseph Jett, 37, accused Kidder and General Electric Co. Friday of a ``continuing campaign and conspiracy″ of libel and slander against him.

The lawsuit apparently was sparked in part by comments in an investigative report on Jett that was prepared after he was fired in April 1994.

The report, released in August, concluded that Jett acted alone to create $350 million in phantom trades and profits.

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ The ex-Orange County treasurer’s stunning plea bargain to fraud could help criminally implicate top brokerage Merrill Lynch and other advisers in the county’s bankruptcy crisis, officials said.

Merrill insisted it acted honestly in the events that led to the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy last December, and there was no indication criminal charges might be added to a civil lawsuit by the county.

But the guilty plea by Robert L. Citron late Thursday is still seen as a turning point in a scandal that’s humbled one of the nation’s most affluent regions.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Intel Corp. is poised to meet increasing demand for microprocessors in large computers _ not just personal computers that have used such chips for 21 years, executives told shareholders.

The company’s annual meeting Friday capped a series of announcements this month of closer ties to computer and software makers, such as Unisys, Oracle and Sequent, which traditionally have made products more powerful than a microprocessor could handle.

Intel chief executive Andrew Grove described the change as a ``redefinition of personal computing.″

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Bill Gates once called banks dinosaurs, but the industry is feeling more like a lion now that the Justice Department has stalled a bid by his Microsoft Corp. to acquire financial software maker Intuit Inc.

Troubled by Microsoft’s push into financial services and still smarting from the year-old ``dinosaur″ remark by the software leader’s chairman, many bankers hailed the Justice Department move. They said Friday it creates an opportunity for them to devise competitive products.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Pepcid, a powerful drug to treat and prevent ulcers, has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter sales for heartburn.

It is the first drug of its class to win government approval to be sold without a prescription.

The FDA said Friday that in clinical studies, Pepcid _ known generically as famotidine _ was up to 28 percent more effective than a placebo in relieving heartburn after the symptom developed, and up to 21 percent better in preventing it when taken an hour before a meal.

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By The Associated Press

Stocks recovered from a morning slump Friday as the Dow Jones industrial average climbed out of a 31-point loss to close 6.57 higher at a record 4,321.27.

The dollar rose, and gold and bond prices fell.

Gasoline prices reached another three-year high, soybeans rose on signs of strong demand, and corn futures were mixed.