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YACHTSMAN DEAD: Eric Tabarly, France's best-known yachtsman, who crisscrossed oceans to win numerous solo titles, was declared dead Sunday after falling overboard near Wales during the weekend. He was 66. Tabarly was knocked into the sea late Friday night while changing the main sail as his century-old sailboat - the Pen Duick - headed toward Scotland in rough seas, the boat's crew said in a statement. He was declared dead Sunday morning by officials in the Brittany port of Brest and in a tribute by President Jacques Chirac, after air and sea searches failed to locate him.

SHUT DOWN FUND? A legal defense fund for Louise Woodward should be shut down, one of its founders said Sunday in an interview broadcast days after the former au pair's mother denied forging a bill to get money from it. Sue Woodward, Louise's mother, regarded the money in the fund as her own, trustee Jean Jones said in the Sky TV interview. Jones, who has recently left the fund's organizing committee, said at first Sue Woodward's sole concern was for her daughter, convicted in Massachusetts last fall of second-degree murder in the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen, who had been in her care. But the mother's primary concern then "became money - the money became God," Jones said.

Across the nation

GM TALKS RESUME: Contract talks recessed Sunday afternoon in efforts to end two strikes at General Motors Co. parts plants that have idled about 60,000 GM workers. GM officials met separately with representatives of two United Auto Workers union locals at the Flint (Mich.) Metal Center and the Delphi Flint East plant. Negotiations were scheduled to continue at both plants Monday morning. The walkout by 9,200 parts workers and the ensuing layoff of about 50,000 at others at plants across North America have cost GM millions of dollars, according to analysts.

GASOLINE PRICES FALL: An oversupply of crude oil has helped push gasoline prices down about 3 cents a gallon nationwide over the past two weeks. The overall average of all grades and services was just over $1.11 a gallon Friday, down 2.93 cents since May 29, the Lundberg Survey reported Sunday. The overall average was 16 cents lower than a year ago. At self-service pumps, the average price for regular gasoline was about $1.06 per gallon, mid-grade was about $1.16 and premium $1.24. At full-service pumps, regular was about $1.50, mid-grade was about $1.58 and premium was about $1.66.

BOND DENIED IN SLAYING: A Chicago judge Sunday denied bond for a couple accused of the "despicable" act of killing their 16-month-old daughter to silence her cries and dismembering her body. Joan Tribblet and Everett Johnson are accused of beating to death or strangling Onowanique Tribb-let on a December night when they were frustrated by her crying, police said. The couple then cut her body apart, police said. Some body parts were soaked in battery acid so they would disintegrate, authorities said. Her hands, feet and a forearm were fried in a pan and other parts were chopped in a blender the couple borrowed from a neighbor, police said.

In other news . . .

RESCUE WORKERS found 97 corpses Sunday on an island off western India, raising to 931 the death toll from the cyclone that pounded Gujarat state last week.. . . A JAPAN AIRLINES plane swerved halfway off the runway and stuck in the mud while it landed in heavy rain at Manila's airport Sunday, blocking the tarmac and forcing the airport to close.. . . A SLOW-MOVING storm system poured heavy rain on parts of the Northeast on Sunday, and thunderstorms rumbled across the Midwest.