News In Brief

USG Corp. filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. The move also involves three subsidiaries, US Gypsum, USG Interiors, and L&W Supply Corp. The Chicago-based building products manufacturer is named in more than 250,000 asbestos-related, personal-injury lawsuits - 22,000 of them in this year alone. It is the seventh such company to file for bankruptcy.

Homestake Mining Co. agreed to be acquired by rival Barrick Gold Corp. of Toronto in a $2.3 billion, all-stock deal. The combined company will be the world's second-largest gold-mining operation. Homestake is based in Walnut Creek, Calif.

The sporty but weak-selling Honda Prelude will be discontinued next year, USA Today reported. The newspaper cited a senior executive as saying the Japanese automaker plans to introduce a hybrid gasoline/electric version of the popular Civic sedan.

In the latest wave of corporate layoffs:

* Another 6,000 jobs are expected to be cut by Deutsche Bahn, Germany's government-owned railway system, a published report said, quoting union sources. The financially troubled company announced last month it would lay off 9,200 employees.

* Merrill Lynch expects to cut 3,300 jobs by year's end, the financial services group announced. The across-the-board layoffs will equal 5 percent of its work force.

* International Paper, the world's No. 1 forest products company, said it will eliminate 3,000 jobs, 10 percent of its work force, over the next 12 months. All of those affected will be salaried employees based in the US.

* Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, the British-French information technology group, announced 2,700 layoffs, many of them in its US operations.

* Philips, the Dutch electronics giant, will cut 1,235 jobs in the process of abandoning the production of cellphones, the company said. Much of its remaining cellphone work will be transferred to a partner, China Electronics Corp.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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