Taiwan's far trade group to fine comparative ads

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TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has warned the island's leading car companies, including Yulon Motors and Ford Lio Ho, that they face stiff fines if they fail to adhere to regulations covering comparative advertising.

An FTC spokesman said car firms have recently violated the regulations by making comparisons between products in different size segments. The rules state that comparisons may only be made between products in the same size segment and that sources of information must be identified.

Continued violations will result in financial penalties, the spokesman confirmed.

Menatep group buys interest in Moscow Times.

MOSCOW -- The Russian financial group Menatep has purchased a minority interest in Independent Media, the parent company of the Moscow Times, according to the Moscow Times editorial staff.

Neither side revealed how much was invested or how many shares were transferred, but the deal gives Menatep one board seat. In addition to the Moscow Times, Independent Media publishes the St. Petersburg Times, the Russian- language editions of Playboy, Cosmopolitan, Good Houskeeping, and several other publications.

Communist leader's ally ousted as editor of Russian paper

MOSCOW -- Russia's pro-Communist newspaper Pravda may soon return to Russian newsstands under new editorial leadership.

Pravda's editorial staff shut down operations on July 24, three days prior to the planned suspension of the publication by its owners, because they were angered by the owners' decision. Since 1992, the paper has been financed by Greek millionaires Theodoros and Christos Giannikos.

According to the Open Media Research Institute, the newspaper's weekly supplement Pravda-5 reported on July 26 that its top editor, Vladimir Ryashin, would soon replace Pravda's Editor in Chief Aleksandr Ilin, who had close ties to Communist party leader Gennadii Zyuganov.

Meanwhile, Pravda-5, which has a circulation of about 270,000, has started publishing on a daily basis--a move which increases the pressure on Pravda's editorial board and its owners. Pravda-5 is also a left-wing paper, but its format and subject matter give it a more youthful appeal. Theodoros Giannikos reportedly told other Russian press that the decision to replace Ilin was for financial rather than political reasons. Pravda has suspended publication five times in five years.

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