World and Nation

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The Two Apples End a Long- Running Trademark Fight

The long and winding road has come to an end for the Beatles, at least as far as the dispute over their Apple logo is concerned.

Apple Inc., the maker of the iPod, and Apple Corps, the guardian of the Beatles’ music interests, announced on Monday that they had settled their dispute over the technology company’s name and its use of an apple logo.

Under the new agreement, Apple Inc. now owns all the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain trademarks back to Apple Corps Ltd., the London company founded by the Beatles in the late 1960s.

The agreement immediately raised speculation that the Beatles’ music, which has been unavailable on legitimate digital music services, might soon be licensed for downloads from the Apple iTunes service.

Neither company would comment directly on that prospect, though both sides said they were happy to have worked things out.

“We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks,” said Steven P. Jobs, chief executive of Apple Inc., who is widely known as a huge fan of the Beatles’ music. The companies declined to provide further details of the settlement.

The new agreement replaces one signed by the companies in 1991, when Apple Corps, which represents Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr; the estate of George Harrison; and Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, moved to ensure that the computer company did not use the apple logo in the music business. The Apple Corps logo is a Granny Smith apple. The logo for Apple Inc. is an apple with a bite taken out of it.

Libby’s Grand Jury Tapes Of 2004 Are Heard in Court

Prosecutors in the perjury trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. on Monday played audio tapes in which Libby was heard testifying under oath before a grand jury that he had not discussed the identity of a CIA operative with fellow administration officials in the summer of 2003.

The sound of Libby’s disembodied voice coursing through the courtroom vividly underlined the contrast between his sworn account and the testimony of the parade of prosecution witnesses presented to the jury in the last two weeks.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is charged with lying to that grand jury and to FBI agents who were investigating the leak to reporters of the identity of the CIA officer, Valerie Wilson.

The jury on Monday listened to 90 minutes of Libby’s grand jury testimony from March 5, 2004, in which he was questioned in a straightforward, almost friendly manner by the chief prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Libby was heard responding in earnest tones, as if he were sometimes straining to remember correctly.

On the tape, Libby was heard saying repeatedly that he could not recall any conversation he ever had with Marc Grossman, a State Department official, about Wilson.

Grossman, who was then the undersecretary of state, has already testified about two such conversations. Grossman told the jury that Libby anxiously asked him that summer about news that a former ambassador had traveled to Africa to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium there for his nuclear weapons program.

National Survey Finds Eating Disorders on the Rise

In the first nationally representative study of eating disorders in the United States, researchers have found that their incidence is growing among both men and women, and that binge-eating disorder is even more common than the better known anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The nationwide survey of more than 2,900 men and women, published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry, found that 0.6 percent of the population has anorexia, 1 percent has bulimia and 2.8 percent has a binge-eating disorder.

Lifetime rates of the disorders, the researchers found, are higher in younger age groups, suggesting that the problem is increasingly common. Eating disorders are about twice as common among women as men, the study reports.

Experts not involved in the study called it significant.

“This is probably the best study yet conducted of the frequencies of eating disorders in American households,” said Dr. B. Timothy Walsh, director of the eating disorders research unit of the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center.

Wal-Mart and Studios in a Deal Over Downloading Movies

Wal-Mart Stores may have lost the online DVD rental battle, but it has no plans to lose the higher-stakes video downloading war.

On Tuesday the company will introduce a partnership with all of the six major Hollywood studios – Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Universal – to sell digital movies and television shows on its Web site, becoming the first traditional retailer to do so.

The move plunges Wal-Mart into competition with several established sites, like, CinemaNow and iTunes, and given the chain’s penchant for price cutting, could drive down the cost of a digital download.

But supremacy in the digital movie business could prove elusive for Wal-Mart, a company that is used to being the No. 1 seller of everything from DVDs to diamonds.

Apple already dominates the online music and movie industry, leaving a sliver for everyone else to fight over. And Wal-Mart has already stumbled once before with online video rentals, shutting down its DVD rental business two years ago and referring users to its rival Netflix instead.