(The Daily Texan Online)

IBM Corp. confirms plans to cut 15,000 employees

NEW YORK – After months of surreptitious layoff notices, technology giant IBM Corp. revealed that it is in the process of cutting more than 15,600 jobs, or 5 percent of its work force.

The total layoff figures, which IBM never announced publicly, appeared in a Tuesday filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Powell urges governments to protect peacekeepers

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Colin Powell appealed to foreign governments Tuesday to promise to protect American peacekeepers from the reach of a new international war crimes court. A human rights group accused the administration of blackmail.

The appeal comes with a warning that foreign governments could lose U.S. military aid if they decline to cooperate. And that, says Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, is blackmail.

Amtrak halts high-speed Acela commuter service

WASHINGTON – Amtrak pulled its high-speed Acela Express trains out of service Tuesday after discovering cracks in shock-absorber assemblies, the latest in a summer-long series of financial and public-image blows to the struggling passenger railroad.

The entire fleet of 18 trains was halted after inspectors discovered the cracks beneath several locomotives. Amtrak President David Gunn said the trains would remain out of service for at least a few days.

U.S. officials say terror suspect is a “small fish”

WASHINGTON – An American touted by Attorney General John Ashcroft as a significant terrorism figure with plans to detonate a radioactive bomb is probably a ”small fish” with no ties to al-Qaida cell members in the United States, law enforcement officials say.

The FBI’s investigation has produced no evidence that Jose Padilla had begun preparations for an attack and little reason to believe he had any support from al-Qaida to direct such a plot, said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Iraqi military aided by smuggled equipment

WASHINGTON – Spare parts for Iraq’s military are being smuggled from eastern Europe and former Soviet republics, keeping Saddam Hussein’s troops prepared for combat despite an international embargo on weapons trafficking, U.S. defense officials say.

The equipment – from truck tires to aircraft parts – is being brought across the border from Syria and Jordan in trucks, officials believe. They commented on condition of anonymity.

Compiled from Associated Press reports

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