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April 20, 2001

* KPMG Consulting Inc. said it will fire as many as 550 people in the U.S. and Canada, or about 5% of its work force, as demand for its consulting services declines. The company said the weakness predominated in the financial services market during the end of the first quarter. KPMG Consulting, which went public in February, said the layoffs will result in a charge of $20 million for the current quarter.

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* Starbucks Corp. said it would open its first store in Israel this fall in the latest overseas expansion of its coffeehouse shop empire. After building an initial cluster of five to 10 stores, starting in Tel Aviv, Seattle-based Starbucks eventually could expand its Israeli chain to 100 units. Following its model for other international expansions, Starbucks will operate the stores under a joint venture, dubbed Shalom Coffee Co., with Israel's Delek Group, which owns fuel, real estate and investment interests there.

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