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General Mills was apologizing for packaging a free software version of the Holy Bible with more than 12 million boxes of Cheerios and other breakfast cereal brands due on store shelves across the US as soon as today. Although the boxes do not advertise that a Protestant version of the Scriptures is included on an attached CD-ROM, an internal company e-mail called it "a great bonus to consumers." But, in an indication that the company anticipated controversy, a statement issued late last week for public release said "inclusion of this material does not conform to our policy" of not advancing any particular set of religious beliefs. The $10 million promotion drew sharp criticism from spokesmen for Jewish and atheist groups, although it was not clear whether they knew of it in advance

A speedy internal investigation was promised by the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi, which faced possible government-imposed penalties after reports that it had concealed more than 10,000 customer complaints from the Transport Ministry. The newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun said for the past two years company officials kept separate lists of complaints about its models - one complete and the other, which was submitted to authorities, showing roughly half the complaints. In a related move, Mitsubishi said it would recall, or at least offer to check, 692,000 cars and trucks - especially its popular Montero sport utility vehicle.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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