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GROUP THREATENS TO REVEAL AOL E-MAIL ADDRESSES

A group that says it represents small Internet businesses has threatened to make public the e-mail addresses of 5 million America Online members if AOL continues to bar the businesses from pitching products to its subscribers.

The Chino, Calif.-based National Organization of Internet Commerce plans to post the e-mail addresses on the Internet on Jan. 8, Joe Melle, the group's president, said Wednesday.

"We would avail ourselves of any legal remedies we need to protect our members . . . from this threat," said AOL spokesman Rich D'Amato. "We see this threat as some sort of cyber-terrorism."

Melle said his company, TSF Marketing, collected the addresses from chat sites and other Internet locations used by AOL subscribers.

AOL, which has about 10 million subscribers, has been waging a legal battle against companies that send unsolicited junk e-mail -- known as "spam" -- to its members.

Mortgage rates edge higher
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage interest rates rose slightly this week from a 22-month low.

The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 7.03 percent, up from 6.99 percent last week, Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, said Wednesday.

Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, averaged 6.61 percent this week, up from 6.57 percent.

On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.50 percent, down from 5.53 percent.

The rates do not include points.

Florida to lose 6,000 bank jobs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- NationsBank Corp. expects to cut more than 6,000 jobs in Florida as it takes over Florida's Barnett Banks Inc.

Rusty Rainey, who leads NationsBank's merger transition, said that a hiring freeze in effect since the merger was announced in August should mean that many of the jobs will be eliminated through attrition rather than actual layoffs.

Rebecca Rust, bureau chief for Labor Market Information in Florida, said Wednesday the strength of the Florida economy should be able to absorb a loss of that size without affecting the state's jobless rate.

Some analysts had predicted that NationsBank would eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs because the Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant promised Wall Street investors a 55 percent cost savings from the Barnett acquisition.

Tobacco firms sued over asbestos
NEW YORK (AP) -- Trustees of a fund that owes more than $6 billion to asbestos victims are suing seven tobacco companies, claiming cigarette makers share responsibility for illnesses suffered by asbestos workers.

Directors of the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn, accusing the tobacco companies of avoiding their share of asbestos damages through "an aggressive campaign of disinformation and deceit."

The defendants were identified as The American Tobacco Co., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., B.A.T Industries PLC, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Philip Morris Inc., Liggett Group Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co.

Boeing to sell longer-range 747
SEATTLE (AP) -- The Boeing Co.'s board of directors has approved the marketing of a new, longer-range version of the 747 jumbo jet.

The plane, known as the 747-400IGW, is an increased gross weight version that will be able to fly several hundred miles farther than the 8,000-mile range of the present model, depending on whether one or two additional fuel tanks are used.

Australia's Qantas has asked Boeing to build three of the new jumbo jets. If other carriers also order it, the model could be ready for delivery by late 2000, Boeing said.

Northwest hiking some fares
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) -- Northwest Airlines said Wednesday it is raising some of its advance-purchase fares by up to 8 percent, charging more for travel during peak times and less during off-peak days.

The fare increase averages 3.5 percent, said Marta Laughlin, a spokeswoman for the carrier.

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