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World Briefs

ITALY

Examining business, technology and regulatory areas in the rapidly expanding European electronic retailing sector, the Electronic Retailing Assn. (ERA) will hold its 1998 European conference June 7-9 in Venice.

Keynote speaker will be techno pundit Nicholas Negroponte, author of the New York Times bestseller “Being Digital,” who will look at the impact of the digital age on telecommunications and electronic retailing.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Nova TV general manager Vladimir Zelezny’s acquisition of the majority stake in license holder CET-21 has been overturned in court.

The ruling invalidated the results of a February general meeting, at which Zelezny was granted majority control of license-holder CET-21. A suit filed by license co-owner Peter Krsak was upheld and the results of the general meeting overturned, on the grounds that Krsak was not properly notified. Zelezny is appealing.

SPAIN

MADRID — The first edition of the Malaga Festival of Spanish Film wrapped Saturday, with the 10 million peseta ($65,000) first prize in the official section going to debut helmer Miguel Albaladejo for his quirky comedy “The First Night of My Life,” set on New Year’s Eve, 1999.

Second prize went to Catalan vet Josep Maria Forn for a well-crafted political thriller, “Sub Judice.” Acting prizes went to Kiti Manver (“A Perfect Couple”) and Emilio Gutierrez Caba (“The First Night”), while best new director went to Manuel Toledano for his English-language “Shampoo Horns.”

— Jonathan Holland

MEXICO

MEXICO CITY — Televisa announced Monday an agreement to sell its billboard-advertising company to Outdoor Systems Inc., the largest out-of-home media company in the U.S. and Canada.

Pending regulatory and other approvals, Outdoor Systems will pay $215 million for Vendor, Mexico’s largest billboard company and the only one with national coverage.

Televisa owns a 44% stake in Vendor, the controlling interest.

— Mary Sutter

JAPAN

TOKYO — A 27-year-old man was arrested on Saturday for shredding a screen at a movie theater in Yokohama that was showing a movie about the Rape of Nanjing.

The attack came just hours after a member of a radical right-wing group called the movie theater and demanded that they stop showing the Hong Kong-Chinese production “Don’t Cry, Nanking.” The group also sent a protest letter to the theater.

Japan’s radical right-wing and conservative forces maintain that the 1937-38 Rape of Nanjing, in which the Japanese Imperial Army conducted a systematic campaign of murder, rape and destruction, is a historical fabrication hatched by the Chinese.

— Jon Herskovitz

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