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BUSINESS IN BRIEF
FirstEnergy Chided Over Reactor

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Saturday, April 6, 2002; Page E02

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission criticized FirstEnergy for failing to detect until last month corrosion on an Ohio nuclear reactor that began to appear in 1998. The NRC last month sent a team of special investigators to inspect the shut-down Davis Besse reactor after the company disclosed that it had found a six-inch-deep hole caused by the corrosion that nearly penetrated a steel reactor cap.

More Andersen Workers Going to Rivals

Arthur Andersen reached an agreement for some of its partners and staff in the Pacific Northwest to move to KPMG, people familiar with the talks said. The agreement follows an accord reached on Thursday with Deloitte & Touche, which Andersen said would hire some partners and staff from its tax practice. Andersen failed earlier to negotiate a sale of its entire U.S. operation to KPMG or Ernst & Young.

MORE NEWS

Global Crossing lost a prestigious defense contract potentially worth up to $450 million. The Defense Department initially awarded the contract to the company last year, pulled it back for further review amid protests from competitors and has now awarded the contract to WorldCom. The multiyear contract calls for WorldCom to provide critical communications and data network services to the agency. Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy protection in January and has since been fighting to retain customers.

Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are joining forces to bid for a contact worth up to $4 billion to install luggage-screening devices in the nation's commercial airports. Congress has mandated that all 429 commercial airports install such technology by the end of the year. Raytheon says it has already installed explosive and explosive-trace detectors in more than 50 airports. Northrop has trained 1,000 technicians since Sept. 11 and expects that 30,000 more will require training.

The world's biggest bank, created this week by a merger in Japan, got off to a shaky start. On Monday, Mizuho Financial Holdings' ATMs went off line across Japan. Then a computer glitch blocked millions of money transfers, preventing customers from paying bills. Yesterday, about 30,000 people found they had been billed twice for credit card purchases. Mizuho, which combines Fuji Bank, Dai-Ichi Kangyo and the Industrial Bank of Japan, was created in part to show Japanese banks are learning how to become more efficient through consolidation.

New York Times Co. will spend $100 million to buy half of Discovery Communications Civilization channel. The Times's television production unit will create $40 million worth of programming and sell it to Bethesda-based Discovery over the next five years. The deal means the Times will be represented on the editorial board of the six-year-old channel and help determine what shows it broadcasts to 14 million U.S. homes.

Ford and DaimlerChrysler announced discounts on small sport-utility vehicles as rivals cut into sales of the Ford Escape and Jeep Liberty. Ford is offering $500 rebates nationwide on its Escape. DaimlerChrysler added $1,000 incentives on Liberty leases in the Northeast.

A Dreyfus fund director, Martin Fife, was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with participating in a $52 million fraud in which investors were promised high returns on Treasury bills. Dreyfus is owned by Mellon Financial, the No. 7 U.S. asset manager.

LOCAL BUSINESS

Radio One, a Lanham company that owns or operates 65 radio stations aimed at African American listeners, said it will sell 10 million shares of its Class D common stock at $20.25 a share to pay down debt. The sale is valued at $170 million.

RECALLS

Peg Perego is recalling several models of infant car seats because of a flaw in the restraining belts, which have an adjustment mechanism that could falter if too much weight is put on it. The affected models -- the Primo Viaggio infant car seat, Primo Viaggio infant car seat with base, Pliko Travel System, Primo Viaggio System, Atlantico Travel System and Atlantico Trek System SNG -- were made between May 20, 2001, and Feb. 15. The production date can be found on a white sticker between the straps on the back on the seat. Consumers can contact the company at 877-737-3468 for repair instructions.

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers

2002 The Washington Post Company