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LTV Corp., the nation's third-largest steelmaker, filed for bankruptcy but reached a financing deal with Chase Manhattan Corp. to avoid an outright shutdown. The Cleveland-based company with 18,000 workers has been unprofitable since 1997. It says unfairly priced imports have driven steel prices to 20-year lows. The Chapter 11 filing will give LTV time to obtain loans and preserve relationships with customers and suppliers, the company said. But it warned of a shutdown if there is no new financing.

Twenty-four current and former Kmart employees filed a lawsuit against the company, charging they were discriminated against when they returned to work after job-related injuries. Workers from the Kmart Retail Distribution Center in Pennsylvania claim the company denied them job advancement and overtime. They seek back pay and a return of jobs to those who were dismissed.

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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should OK cuts in oil production at its next meeting Jan. 17, six Persian Gulf nations declared in a communique issued Sunday at a summit in Bahrain. A senior Saudi oil official specified that output should be reduced by 1.5 million to 2 million barrels a day to bring prices to about $25 a barrel. Over the past year, OPEC has increased production four times in a bid to stabilize soaring markets, but now, prices have fallen below $22 a barrel. The communique by the Gulf Cooperation Council follows similar comments by Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, and Venezuela.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society