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From Times Staff and Wire Reports

UPI Cleared to Cancel Benefits: United Press International can seek bankruptcy court permission to cancel employee benefits, such as severance pay, guaranteed by its labor contract, a federal judge ruled. The financially troubled news agency also told its employees that all vacation time they earned before UPI sought bankruptcy protection Aug. 28 was being put on indefinite hold. U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan permitted UPI, which began a new round of layoffs Tuesday, to ask a New York bankruptcy judge to let it cancel contract provisions such as severance pay and two weeks' notice of layoffs. Kevin Keane, president of the Wire Service Guild, which represents employees, said he could not immediately comment on Hogan's ruling.

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