3167       Registered: 30-Oct-01      Last updated: 31-Oct-01      Posted to email: 30-Oct-01

US government drops lawsuit against Microsoft

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - In a move that took the computer industry by surprise, the U.S. Department of Justice has withdrawn all Federal lawsuits against Microsoft Corp. "After the recent attacks on American civilians and military personnel," said a Justice spokesperson, "we've re-evaluated our priorities, and the Microsoft case just isn't one of them any more. Our resources are better spent defending the American public from the more immediate threat of terrorism."

In other news, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that FBI investigators suspect that Osama bin Laden, the accused mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, may be hiding out at a Redmond, Washington, software development company's headquarters. "We have shared our data with the Defense Department, and preparing for possible joint operations in that region of the country." said Ashcroft.

The Department of Defense would neither confirm nor deny the presence of Navy guided missile cruisers in Puget Sound.