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EU Says Microsoft Agrees to Limit Investment in Britain

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to limit its investment in British cable television provider Telewest Communications PLC after the European Commission objected to its original plan to take a controlling stake.<@SM><@SM><TAB>The huge software maker will buy a 23.7 percent stake in Telewest for about $3 billion but no longer plans to take control in partnership with AT&T Corp.

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MIE Strays From Flex to Class A

MIE Properties Inc. will build a 135,000 square-foot four-story office building in Annapolis, straying from its typical flex product, to help loosen the tight office market in Annapolis. <@SM><@SM><TAB>Construction of the Class A office building

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Gore, Bush Visits to Conferences This Week Put Spotlight on Baltimore

Two national conferences this week will draw the top two presidential candidates and other national leaders to Baltimore, spotlighting a city long in the shadow of neighboring Washington, D.C.<@SM><@SM><TAB>Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush will speak at the 91st annual National Convention of the NAACP, which began yesterday and runs through Thursday.

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Heafner to Buy American Tire Distributors

Heafner Tire Group, Inc. said it will acquire American Tire Distributors, the wholesale operations of Merchants, Inc.<@SM><@SM><TAB>The ATD transaction, which is subject to completion of financing and other items, is expected to close within 20 days. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Pioneer Heart Surgeon Settles Suit

A pioneer heart surgeon who sued the University of Washington for sex discrimination has accepted a $750,000 settlement and resigned from the transplant program she founded.<@SM><@SM><TAB>As part of the settlement, Dr. Margaret Allen, 51, is also barred from leading research tied to the Seattle medical school or its staff.

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Smokers’ Attorney Asks for up to $196 Billion

Smokers in a landmark class-action case asked a jury for a record-shattering $196 billion yesterday to punish the tobacco industry for “a half-century trail of deceit which has decimated millions of Americans.”<@SM><@SM><TAB>“Never have so few caused so much harm to so many for so long, and the day of reckoning has arrived,” attorney Stanley Rosenblatt said as closing arguments began in the two-year trial involving 300,000 to 700,000 sick Florida smokers.

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