1,500 Dead In AT&T Cost-Cutting Measure

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Vol 33 Issue 24

Comedy Central Celebrates One Millionth Airing Of Cheech & Chong: Still Smokin'

NEW YORK—Comedy Central reached a milestone at 3 a.m. EST Monday, when it aired Cheech & Chong: Still Smokin' for the one millionth time. "This is a film that deserves to be seen again and again," said Comedy Central president Alan Scherr of Still Smokin', which ranks ninth on AFI's listing of the 100 greatest films of all time. "This landmark 1983 work, in which Cheech and Chong journey to Amsterdam to raise money for a bankrupt film festival by holding a dope-a-thon, is an enduring, towering classic. Cheech displays an astonishing acting range in the film, playing characters ranging from Limey Bitters to Tristan DeNiteaway, to the uproarious E.T. parody, 'Eddie Torres, the Extra-Testicle.' See it hundreds of times."

Local Christian Sees Parallel To Your Situation In Bible

TALLAHASSEE, FL—According to local Christian Matthew Peete, a remarkable parallel exists between your current situation and events chronicled in The Bible. "You know, when Job was being tormented by the Devil, he felt like giving up, the same as you," Peete said. "But Job had faith that God would deliver him, and He did. You need to have faith, because, just as God tested Job, the Lord is testing you with your wife's infidelity."

Industrial Light & Magic Creates Believable Storyline

SAN RAFAEL, CA—In the special-effects company's most dazzling achievement yet, Industrial Light & Magic has created a storyline for the upcoming sci-fi thriller Orbital Velocity that is actually believable. The storyline, developed by ILM technicians using state-of-the-art 3-D computer imaging, is said to be even more plausible and non-contradictory than Godzilla's. "By digitally enhancing the original draft of the script, we were able to create a plot that is virtually linear," said ILM technician Colin Northrop. "When you see it up there on the screen, you'll swear you were watching something engaging."

Area Fifth-Grader Won't Shut Up About Raccoons

GOSHEN, IN—For the 41st straight day, Goshen fifth-grader Peter Driscoll refused to shut up about raccoons Tuesday. "The largest raccoon ever recorded weighed over 60 pounds," Driscoll said. "Baby raccoons are called kits and gestate for 63 days." "He just won't stop with the damn raccoons," said Valerie Driscoll, Peter's mother. "I don't know how much more of this I can take." Peter also noted that the name "raccoon" comes from the Algonquin word "arakun," which means "one who scratches with his hands."

NYC Health Department Cracks Down On Food Vendors Who Fail To Wipe Off Meat With Rag

NEW YORK—New York City Health Department officials announced a major crackdown on non-meat-wiping food vendors Monday. "Effective June 30, when a hot dog falls to the pavement, the vendor must pick it up and wipe it thoroughly with a rag before selling it," Deputy Health Commissioner Louis Holman said. "Further, the rag must be kept at least two feet off the ground and rinsed weekly." The new ordinance is the strictest passed by the city's Health Department since a 1996 law requiring food-service workers to be fully clothed.
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Man Considers Nodding Approvingly After Friend’s Drink Purchase

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1,500 Dead In AT&T Cost-Cutting Measure

NEW YORK—Seeking to reduce costs and streamline internal operations, AT&T eliminated 1,500 mid-level employees Tuesday.

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"The telecommunications industry is an incredibly competitive one and, unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary to make cuts in order to ensure longterm fiscal viability," said AT&T chief executive C. Michael Armstrong, standing among 10-foot-high piles of former employees. "It's a shame that these people are no longer with us, but the end result should be a leaner, stronger AT&T."

More employee liquidation is planned in the near future, with over $23 million in staff cuts over the next 18 months through buyouts, early-retirement incentive packages and pneumatic bolt guns.

Addressing stockholders at a meeting yesterday, Armstrong said he is "extremely excited about the positive impact these changes will make." The company's stock jumped from 62 1/4 to 72 following the announcement of the personnel cuts, the second-largest terminal layoff in AT&T history.

"After a 15 percent drop in profits over the last two quarters, we knew we had to shake things up," said AT&T vice-president of human resources Harold W. Burlingame. "Once we made the decision to eliminate some personnel, our priority was to do so in the most quick and painless way possible. I believe we accomplished this.''

Burlingame expressed regret that AT&T was unable to provide the employees greater advance notice of their liquidation.

"Whenever we let employees go, we try to let them know well in advance, so they have ample time to say goodbye to co-workers, supervisors and loved ones," Burlingame said. "But in this case, we unfortunately couldn't, because we really needed to have them working hard right up to the minute we assembled them in the cafeteria."

Burlingame said AT&T has no plans to offer the 1,500 departed employees severance pay, claiming it would be "of little use to them." He thanked the employees for their many years of loyal service to AT&T and expressed hope that they ultimately find themselves in an even better place.

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