* A federal judge in Dallas today will consider the amount of a fine for American Airlines' pilots union, held in contempt over a February sickout that canceled thousands of flights and cost millions of dollars. U.S. District Judge Joe Kendall ordered the Allied Pilots Assn. to make a $10-million down payment toward a fine levied for the three days pilots defied his back-to-work order. American's parent company, Fort Worth-based AMR Corp., estimates the work stoppage cost the company more than $50 million. The APA contends that the sickout was within the union's rights. The union and company met last week with a federal mediator in hopes of resolving the disagreement about AMR's purchase of low-fare carrier Reno Air, but no settlement was announced.
* Many of the estimated 1.1 million work-related deaths worldwide each year could be prevented by better safety measures, the U.N.'s International Labor Organization said in a report today. Many of the accidents occur in developing countries that haven't adopted necessary safety measures. The ILO said an estimated 600,000 lives each year could be saved if safety and information practices were improved.
* U.S. financial markets are bracing as the first major U.S. companies begin to report quarterly results. Among those expected this week: Apple Computer, Caterpillar, Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor, General Motors, Mattel and Time Warner.
* Federal economic reports due this week include the Labor Department's report Tuesday on the consumer price index, which is expected to increase 0.3% in March after climbing 0.1% a month earlier, and the Commerce Department's report Wednesday on business inventories, which probably increased 0.2% in February as sales advanced 0.8%.
On Friday, the Commerce Department will report starts of new housing construction in March. Analysts expect they held at a high level, 1.74 million at a seasonally adjusted annual rate compared with 1.8 million in February.
* America Online Chairman Steve Case is scheduled to go to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to press his argument that cable TV operators are unfairly keeping the world's largest online service from competing in the emerging high-speed Internet world. Lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Committee will hear the opposite view from Cox Communications President James Robbins.
* U.S. consumers could get a price break on international telephone calls under new government rules scheduled to be voted on Thursday. The Federal Communications Commission will consider a proposal giving long-distance phone companies such as AT&T more flexibility in negotiating terms and conditions for completing calls for other companies. The move is aimed at driving down expensive so-called call completion rates U.S. companies pay to foreign companies.
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