About 35,000 workers at General Motors Corp. will retire or take a buyout to help shave costs. While the workforce reduction will benefit the corporation, it is only half of what GM needs to return to profitability, industry analysts say. The Detroit-based automaker announced plans in November to cut its 113,000-person hourly work force by 30,000 and close 12 plants by 2008. GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said the cuts will save the company about $5 billions in structural costs annually.

In a happy ending for descendants of American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, the remains of the author's wife and daughter were reinterred next to those of Hawthorne, who died in 1864. Sophia Peabody Hawthorne had been buried in England, where she traveled after her husband's death. Her remains and those of their daughter, Una, were put to rest Monday at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Mass. More than 40 descendants attended the ceremony. Hawthorne is the author of, among other works, "The Scarlet Letter."

A report by the US surgeon general says only smoke -free places can protect nonsmokers from involuntary smoking. More than 126 million people are exposed to secondhand smoke,contracting smoking related illnesses, the report said. "Nonsmokers need protection through the restriction of smoking in public places and workplaces," said Richard Carmona, the surgeon general. Carmona is especially concerned about children who are affected by their parentssmoking habits.

Hundreds of black clergy members meeting in Dallas agreed to work together to counteract the political influence of conservative Christians and to mobilize black voters for the fall elections. At the three-day conference, which began Monday, attendees said the public has been distracted by important moral issues such as the war in Iraq, voting rights, affirmative action, and poverty, because conservative Christians have focused attention on gay marriage and abortion controversies.

The nation's three most commonly purchased electronic vot ing machines are all vulnerable to fraud, says a new study by The Brennan Center Task Force on Voting System Security. Voting machine experts and security officials said about 80 percent of voters will vote on one of these electronic systems in the November midterm elections.

Univision's board announced the sale of the nation's largest Spanish-language broadcaster for $12.3 billion to a consurtium of investors.Univision dominates the US Hispanic media market through its three television networks with over two dozen television stationsand Spanish-language radio stations.

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