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IN OTHER BUSINESS NEWS . .

Alltel Corp. is eliminating about 1,000 jobs, or 3.7 percent of the work force, through early retirement and layoffs so it can compete better.

Bridge Information Systems Inc., a major provider of financial data and news, filed for bankruptcy Thursday and hired an investment banker to consider a sale of the company. Bridge spokesman Joel Weiden said the company did not plan to make layoffs and would continue to operate normally while it goes through reorganization. Bridge is the largest provider of financial data in North America and the No. 2 in the world.

A group led by mining giant Anglo American PLC has reached an agreement to buy De Beers, the world's largest diamond company, for about $17.6 billion in cash and stock. The combined company under the deal announced Thursday would be the biggest mining group in the world.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will announce recalls on 950,000 vehicles in the United States soon for loose parts on a joint in the front suspension that may cause the Mitsubishi Galant, Eclipse, Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger sedans to stall.

Kmart plans to install speedier cash registers that should cut a customer's check-out time by about 20 percent. The Troy-based retailer will allow IBM to replace registers in 2,100 Kmart stores with a faster, more powerful model. The deal is worth about $200 million.

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