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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Dutch probe baby milk shortage

Category : Business, World News

The Dutch government is investigating a shortage of certain brands of baby formula, as well as potentially illegal exports to China.

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Death is tobacco companies’ business | Tanya Gold

Category : Business

You can’t blame tobacco firms for resisting plain packaging. But what’s the government’s excuse?

The coalition government acts as an agent for Big Tobacco, even as it auto-moralises. I do not think it is mad to call its actions murderous. It has pulled excellent anti-smoking legislation from the Queen’s speech on Wednesday, which would have forced the tobacco companies to use only plain packets, and chopped their one remaining marketing strategy entirely dedicated to cutting new smokers off at the knees. (Established smokers rarely change brands.) Potential smokers would have seen a dull, unfashionable box, illustrated with a photograph of gangrene or something equally hideous, rather than a glossy confection designed to mislead. Now the policy is ash and Big Tobacco is free to pursue its vocation of severely shortening the lives of one in two of its customers. And where the UK leads, the world follows; this is good news for tobacco’s markets elsewhere.

Could this be connected to Lynton Crosby, who will oversee the strategy for the 2015 election? He was the marketing man behind tobacco’s attempts to thwart plain packaging in Australia – although there, at least, he failed. Or does the government feel pressure from Ukip, some of whose members seem to think that smoking, along with misogyny, homophobia and racism, is patriotic? (I once watched a Ukip grandee rub a black girl’s hand on a platform and say, “Look, it doesn’t come off”). Of course Ukip backs smoking. It thrives on the rhetoric of the pub and assumes that because everyone smoked on D-Day, it was the smoking that won the war. The freedom to smoke is a freedom of sorts – and Nigel Farage smokes. This is like David Cameron legislating for morning coats; and if only Farage felt the same liberalism towards gay marriage.

Who else smokes these days? Children mostly, and poorer children more than anyone, and the numbers are rising. Two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18, and 39% before the age of 16; only half will manage to stop before it kills them, although most wish they could. Andrew Lansley, the former health secretary, acknowledged this in 2011 when the government was still mouthing anti-inequality bites. “Smoking rates are much higher in some social groups, including those with the lowest incomes,” he wrote. “These groups suffer the highest burden of smoking-related illness and death. Smoking is the single biggest cause of inequalities in death rates between the richest and poorest in our communities.” How true. Yet smoking is a stick to beat the poor with: that benefit claimants all smoke and watch Sky TV is one of the government’s favourite cliches. Perhaps now they see its use.

When representatives of Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International met the government this year, Imperial Tobacco threatened to pull its packaging manufacture from the UK even though plain packaging and no packaging are hardly the same thing; no one is suggesting cigarettes be delivered by elf. They insisted plain packaging would assist counterfeiters and smugglers. If this fascinates you, I suggest you watch British American Tobacco’s amusing and ostensibly racist promotional video Who’s In Control?, in which cartoon eastern European gangsters drool over the financial possibilities of regulation – although anti-counterfeiting measures can easily be incorporated into plain packets. Are these theoretical gangsters Bulgarian, or Romanian, is the obvious question. Elsewhere in Who’s In Control, the super-imposition of physical violence and drug abuse with regulation veers into paranoia.

We could muse further on these apocalyptic fantasies, but the tobacco companies will not publish their impact studies. They were burnt before, when a 2011 BAT report designed to thwart plain packaging in Australia was shown to be ruthlessly skewed and scientifically worthless. It is true that the exact impact of plain packaging is unknown, and will remain so while the tobacco companies so diligently oppose it. But the independent studies undertaken all agree – young people and women don’t like plain packets, and tobacco knows it. By its terror shall we know its desires.

I don’t blame the tobacco firms. Death is their business. When BAT says, after exhausting its arguments, that “We will take every action possible to protect our brands, the rights of our companies to compete as legitimate commercial businesses selling a legal product, and the interests of our shareholders”, I almost admire its dedication to cash. Yet the British government, theoretically dedicated to the health of its citizens, has a duty not to sink to lobbyists, even if Nigel Farage does smoke. It attacks the habits of the poor, but does nothing helpful. As ever with this government, hollow rhetoric will do.

Twitter: @tanyagold1

Bangladesh factory collapse: rescuers find owner’s gun as death toll hits 550

Category : Business

Dhaka police are questioning Rana plaza owner Sohel Rana about gun licence, and have arrested structural engineer

Rescue workers combing through the rubble of the factory complex that collapsed in Bangladesh killing more than 500 people have found a pistol belonging to the building’s owner.

Dhaka police say that Sohel Rana has accepted that the weapon belonged to him. They are investigating whether he had a licence to own the weapon. The discovery did nothing to improve the public image of Rana, now portrayed as a gangster figure able to use his power to circumvent building regulations.

There have already been accusations that he muscled out competitors and illegally grabbed the land on which the Rana Plaza stood before its collapse.

Detectives are continuing to investigate Rana’s background and have also arrested the structural engineer, Abdur Razzak, previously credited with raising the alarm about the danger of collapse. Detectives are investigating his role in advising Rana on adding three storeys to the building; their weight is one of the main suspected causes of the collapse. Razzak was said to have been alarmed by cracks which appeared the day before the collapse, but Rana and some factory owners are understood to have claimed he told them it was safe for the building to remain open.

Yesterday the death toll from the collapse had risen to 551, with fears that there may still be a large number of bodies under the structure. Workers pulled 19 bodies from the rubble on Saturday morning, the 11th day of the rescue operation, having recovered 80 the day before.

Meanwhile, western brands are facing mounting pressure to improve working conditions. Leading UK brands have been urged to sign up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, which provides for independent structural inspections of factory buildings, with the reports to be made public. But so far only two groups have done so, the US-based PVH which owns Calvin Klein and Timberland, and German retailer Tchibo.

UK brands say they are following the lead of the Ethical Trading Initiative, which is instead supporting a Bangladeshi government national action plan launched in March. That plan does not involve structural inspections, although the government has ordered factories to produce building certificates within a month.

The textile industry is worth £13 billion a year to the Bangladeshi economy and companies there are desperate to persuade Western brands to stay, despite concerns over safety in factories where hundreds of people have died in fires and collapses in recent years.

The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association has promised action to prevent a repeat of the Rana Plaza disaster and urged brands not to cancel orders.

Disney, however, has announced that it is halting all production in the country by the end of March next year. Other major brands met in Germany on Monday to discuss what could be done to improve factory safety in Bangladesh.

A statement issued on Thursday from the ETI – whose members include Primark, M&S and Walmart – said that UK retailers would take a common approach to fire and building safety. They would improve factories to an agreed minimum standard and would strengthen the role of health and safety committees in unsafe factories.

ETI director Peter McAllister said: “We are appalled by the recent factory fire tragedies, and last week’s deplorable Savar building collapse. Together with our company, trade union and NGO members, we are committed to driving real, sustainable change for workers by tackling the chronic, widespread health and safety issues that plague Bangladesh’s garment sector.”

But Bangladesh’s Finance Minister, AMA Muhith, did little to boost confidence in change when he dismissed the collapse during a visit to Delhi, saying: “The present difficulties … well, I don’t think it is really serious – it’s an accident. And the steps that we have taken in order to make sure that it doesn’t happen, they are quite elaborate and I believe that it will be appreciated by all.”

The country’s home minister, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, struck a more aggressive note on Friday when he warned more arrests could follow. ”This is a case of sheer negligence and sheer arrogance,” Alamgir said in an interview. “Arrogance on the part of the owner and negligence by the engineers and the local government authorities.”

Primark, which acknowledged that it bought from a factory in the collapsed building, has urged other brands which used it to join it in offering financial assistance to the families of victims.

Winning Brands Corp. (WNBD: OTC Link) | Symbol Change

Category : Stocks

Thu, Apr 25, 2013 12:00 – Winning Brands Corp. (WNBD: OTC Link) – Symbol Change – The symbol, WNBD, is no longer a valid symbol for Winning Brands Corp.. As of Thu, Apr 25, 2013, the new trading symbol is WNBDD. You may find a complete list of symbol changes at otcmarkets.com.

See the rest here: Winning Brands Corp. (WNBD: OTC Link) | Symbol Change

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Tremor Video, Internet Advertising Bureau UK, Nielsen and Performics Announces Results of TV and VOD: Friends With Benefits

Category : World News

Study Results: Brands Can Use Digital Video Advertising Channel to Drive Brand Awareness and Message Association, and to Complement TV Campaigns

Read more here: Tremor Video, Internet Advertising Bureau UK, Nielsen and Performics Announces Results of TV and VOD: Friends With Benefits

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VIDEO: Supermarket brands ‘causing confusion’

Category : Business

Some supermarket own-brands are so similar in looks to some household names, they are confusing customers, according to consumer group Which?

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Yum Brands still struggling in China amid bird flu fears

Category : Business

Yum Brands said Wednesday that its same-store sales in China had dropped amid a continuing food-safety scare.

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Twinkies sold in private equity deal

Category : Business

Hostess Brands is selling its cake bakery business, which includes Twinkies cakes, to two private equity companies.

The rest is here: Twinkies sold in private equity deal

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Drinkers sue over ‘watered-down’ Bud

Category : Business, World News

US beer lovers are suing Anheuser-Busch for allegedly watering down its Budweiser, Michelob and other popular American beer brands

Continue reading here: Drinkers sue over ‘watered-down’ Bud

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Republic of Texas Brands Incorporated (RTXB: OTC Link) | Attorney Letter with Respect to Current Information

Category : Stocks

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 07:40 – Republic of Texas Brands Incorporated (RTXB: OTC Link) released their Attorney Letter with Respect to Current Information concerning Attorney Letter quarterly 12.31.2012. To read the complete report, please visit: https://www.otciq.com/otciq/ajax/showFinancialReportById.pdf?id=99498.

Read the original: Republic of Texas Brands Incorporated (RTXB: OTC Link) | Attorney Letter with Respect to Current Information

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