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SAVINGS BOND RATES DROP: Rates on U.S. savings bonds declined effective Friday. Series EE bonds issued since May 1, 1997, will earn 5.06 percent annual interest from now through October, down from 5.59 percent during the previous six-month period. Bonds issued from May 1995 through April 1997 will pay 4.47 percent for the next six months, down from 4.53 percent. Rates on older bonds vary. For more specific information, visit the savings bond Web site ( or send a postcard asking for an earnings report to Bureau of the Public Debt, 200 Third Street, Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328.

BOSTON CHICKEN LEADERS QUIT: Boston Chicken Inc. of Golden, Colo., said co-chairmen and founders Saad Nadhir and Scott Beck resigned and J. Michael Jenkins was named to replace them. Nadhir and Beck quit less than a year after reasserting control in a failed bid to boost sales at the company's Boston Market restaurants. Jenkins, 51, most recently ran Vicorp Inc., the Denver operator of Village Inn and Bakers Square chains. Boston Chicken, operator of 1,166 restaurants, has been struggling to increase sales and profits to a level that can support more than $800-million in debt. Boston Chicken stock closed Friday at $5, up 71~ cents.

GREEK TV PIRACY TARGETED: The U.S. government filed a complaint Thursday with the World Trade Organization against Greece and the European Union over piracy of television programing in Greece, trade representative Charlene Barshefsky said. "Approximately 150 Greek TV stations continue to broadcast U.S.-owned motion pictures and television programing without authorization and without any payment of compensation to U.S. copyright holders," Barshefsky said.

_ Compiled from Times staff, wire and Bloomberg News reports.