News In Brief

Airbus Industrie announced it will go ahead with plans to build the world's largest passenger plane, a 555-seat superjumbo "cruise ship of the sky." The European aircraft giant said it already has firm orders for 50 and options for 42 more double-decker A380s, the intended successor to rival Boeing's 747. In the US, President Clinton warned the European Union of a trade war over projected government subsidies for A380 development, which is likely to cost at least $10.7 billion.

Gillette Co. will eliminate 2,700 jobs, close eight manufacturing plants, and phase out 13 distribution centers, an announcement said. The moves are part of a plan to save more than $125 million a year and to improve profit growth. The Boston-based shaving-products giant said the reductions would cut across all of its global operations.

In a $2.6 billion, all-stock deal, Ciena Corp. said it is acquiring privately held Cyras Systems of Fremont, Calif. Ciena, based in Linthicum, Md., makes optical networking systems for such customers as Sprint, Bell Atlantic, and WorldCom. Cyras Systems develops similar gear for large metropolitan applications.

Following up a vow to divest itself of an interest in the German communications giant Deutsche Telekom, former partner France Telecom said it has sold 54.9 million shares in the company to a state-owned bank, Kreditan-stalt fur Wiederaufbau, for $2.73 billion. The French company also said it may exercise an option to buy back 1.8 percent of its stock from Deutsche Telekom by January 2003.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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