News In Brief

A shakeup of the multibillion-dollar tire industry was expected to come from a new set of joint ventures between Goodyear of the US and Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries. In a deal announced simultaneously in New York and Tokyo, Goodyear will assume 75-percent control of the 14 factories operated by the two companies in Western Europe and of two Sumitomo plants in the US. Sumitomo will control the alliance's operations in Japan. Goodyear is the world's third-largest tiremaker; Sumitomo is fifth. Goodyear also announced new cost-cutting measures that will result in the loss of 2,800 jobs.

With 330 days left until the arrival of 2000, Kremlin officials said they'd seriously underestimated the cost of fixing Russia's Y2K computer problems and would need as much as $3 billion to tackle them. They appealed to the US for help before systems that control the world's second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons are destabilized. President Boris Yeltsin's draft budget for fiscal year 1999 anticipates revenues of only $21 billion.

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