U.S. jobless claims downThe number of Americans...

U.S. jobless claims down

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in nearly two months, the government reported yesterday.


The Labor Department said initial claims totaled a seasonally adjusted 348,000 in the week that ended June 11, a decline of 11,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 359,000.

Chess King, Garage file Chap. 11


Twelve one-store subsidiaries operated by Merry-Go-Round Enterprises Inc. have filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy law.

The stores, bearing the Chess King and Garage names, are among about 1,360 operated by the Joppa-based fashion retailer. Merry-Go-Round itself sought bankruptcy protection in January after experiencing poor sales and cash-flow problems.

The filings were made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore.

Merry-Go-Round's latest filings were "a technical move" designed to yield "maximum flexibility in their reorganization efforts," a company spokesman said.

He was unable to say whether the stores will close.

Travelers Insurance chief resigns

Travelers Insurance Cos. President Richard H. Booth resigned days after the insurer said he wouldn't be running a new health-care business formed with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

Mr. Booth, 47, also is stepping down from the board of the insurance company's parent, Travelers Inc., which was formed in a December merger with Primerica Corp.


Travelers said Tuesday that it will merge its health insurance operations with Met Life's.

House votes to abolish ICC

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to abolish the Interstate Commerce Commission, the nation's oldest independent regulatory agency.

The ICC, founded in 1887, regulates rates set by railroads and trucking companies to carry freight.

Supporters of the amendment said the ICC was no longer needed as a separate agency because most rail and truck rates have been deregulated. The amendment would transfer the ICC's remaining functions to the Transportation Department.

The Senate would also have to approve the action before the ICC could be abolished.


Euro Disney tops in France

Despite recent financial problems, Euro Disney has surpassed the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre as the top tourist attraction in France.

The Tourism Ministry said yesterday that Euro Disney attracted 12.9 million visitors in 1993, compared to 5.5 million for the Eiffel Tower and 4.9 million for the Louvre.