Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Article excerpt

NATION

KANSAS CITY

Freeze On Phone Pricing Rules Upheld A federal appeals court continued a freeze on new federal pricing rules designed to open local phone markets to competition. The decision handed a victory to regional phone companies. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Kansas City heard oral arguments on the rules earlier this month, and on Tuesday announced its decision to continue, in part, a temporary freeze enacted last month. Tuesday's action mainly affects the pricing provisions of the rules and will last until the court decides on the merits of the rules themselves, probably in January. Local phone companies are trying to block the new rules, saying they unfairly require the companies to offer services and parts of their networks wholesale to competitors at prices lower than actual cost. State regulators also want the rules blocked, saying they violate states' jurisdiction and should allow for more leeway in rate-setting. Bloomberg Business News WORLD ITALY Pope, Using A Cane, Leaves Hospital Waving to well-wishers and walking with a cane, Pope John Paul II left the hospital Tuesday as doctors pronounced him well-healed from surgery and cleared him to return to work. The pontiff, who had not been seen using a cane since mid-1995, followin g hip-replacement surgery, returned to the Vatican exactly a week after his appendectomy. Doctors at Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome removed the stitches Tuesday and said the operation should end the pope's recurring bouts of fever, which they blamed on an inflamed appendix. Surgeon Francesco Crucitti said he advised the pope, 76, to go easy for the next couple of weeks at least. On Nov. 1, John Paul is to join priests from around the world for several days of Masses, receptions and other ceremonies to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. AP IRAQ U.S. Sees No Meddling With Kurds U.S. officials said Tuesday they had no indication Iranian or Iraqi troops were entering the factional fighting among Kurds in northern Iraq, and in the south, Saddam Hussein's air defenses, while improved, do not challenge U.S. aircraft. "We have no information to confirm the presence of Iranian military forces in northern Iraq," Defense Secretary William Perry said, contradicting a senior Turkish official who cited reports of Iranian troops fighting alongside one of the Kurdish factions. Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said there was no clear evidence that Iraqi troops had moved north to participate in the fighting. Bacon also repeated what defense officials have been saying for more than a month: that Iraq is rebuilding some of its air defense capability damaged in a U.S. raid in September. "They have reassembled some of the air defense capability, but they have not regained the air defense capability that they had beforehand. …

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