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Fickle Paramount In a dramatic turnaround, prompted by a stinging defeat in the Delaware courts two weeks before, Paramount's board recommended its shareholders accept the hostile buyout offer of Barry Diller's qvc Network. The board decision, which stockholders will now consider, is a hard blow for Paramount chairman Martin Davis, who had sought to negotiate a friendly but $500 million-less-generous takeover by Viacom. In its final bid, qvc added a mere $100 million in cash to the $10 billion-plus offer it had already made. Viacom may still increase its own offer.
Happy New Year The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted a sluggish rate of growth in 1994 for the G-7 leading industrialized countries. The exception? North America, where the group foresees a 3.1% increase in gross domestic product for the U.S. and a 3.7% rise for Canada. Meanwhile, the U.S. Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at a 2.9% annual rate during the third quarter.
Colder Pizza Responding to a nearly $79 million jury award to a woman struck and injured by a Domino's Pizza driver, the company announced it would abandon its very successful marketing ploy and no longer promise to deliver its pizzas within 30 minutes.
No Handguns at Wal-Mart Starting in February, Wal-Mart will stop selling handguns at its stores, though will still offer them through catalogs and continue selling shotguns and rifles in stores. ''The mood of the country is changing,'' said a spokesman.
Fossil Find Paleontologists have believed for a long time that the first amphibians to crawl on land became extinct 190 million years ago. But scientists in Australia announced that they have uncovered the jawbone of a labyrinthodont, forerunner of the land dinosaurs, that was alive and well as recently as 110 million years ago. Apparently the unique climate and relative isolation of the continent helped to protect the ancient order from its predators.
THE ARTS & MEDIA
CBS Shutout NBC snatched up the last available National Football League television package, retaining its rights to broadcast American Football Conference games for four more seasons and shutting out CBS from an N.F.L. deal for the first time since the mid-1950s. CBS, which had previously lost its National Football Conference contract to upstart Fox, will now field a severely shriveled sports lineup featuring NCAA basketball and the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Cultural Anti-Imperialism In the wake of the failure of GATT negotiations to resolve differences between the U.S. and Europe over entertainment exports, Spain imposed additional restrictions on American movies, and France approved a law requiring radio stations to play French music at least 40% of the time, starting in 1996.