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BBC to Shut Down 5 Language Services

The state-funded British Broadcasting Corporation has announced plans to shut down five language services as part of efforts to cut costs.

The BBC World Service said Tuesday the five languages to be cut are Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian, the English service for the Caribbean region and Portuguese for Africa.

The BBC says it will release details on the service cuts Wednesday, while the National Union of Journalists plans to hold a protest march outside BBC headquarters in London.

Union officials say the language cuts will cost hundreds of jobs and severely damage British national interests.

The BBC announced Monday it plans to close down 200 Internet websites and cut 360 jobs over the next two years.

Officials say they will save about $54 million.

They say the move is a response to funding cuts by the British government.

Websites to be closed include those targeting teenagers and a football (soccer) chat site.