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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to 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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Enron chief set for reduced sentence

Category : Business

The former boss of scandal-hit Enron, Jeffrey Skilling, is set to have up to 10 years taken off his prison sentence.

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‘Traces of pork’ found in prison food served as halal

Category : Business

Supplier of meat pies and pasties to prisons suspended after FSA informed of contamination

The Ministry of Justice is suspending one of the suppliers of meat to prisons after it discovered that halal pies and pasties sourced from a properly halal certificated supplier may contain traces of non-halal meat.

The products concerned have been withdrawn immediately, a spokesman said.

He added: “All prisons have been informed about this very regrettable incident and we reported this issue to the Food Standards Agency immediately.

“We are taking immediate steps to suspend the contract with the relevant subcontractor.”

Justice minister Jeremy Wright said: “This is an absolutely unacceptable situation and one which we regret greatly. Clearly this must be distressing for those affected and they can be reassured we are doing everything we can to resolve the situation. The prison service is investigating this as a matter of urgency.

The FSA said the incident involved traces of pork.

A spokeswoman said: “The FSA has been informed that a number of meat pies and pasties supplied to UK prisons which were labelled and served as halal contained traces of pork DNA. The local authority is investigating how this contamination came about and whether these products have been distributed further across the UK.”

This related to the local authority where the supplier is based, she said. She declined to say which one it was.

On a more general theme relating to recent stories about mis-description of food, she said: “People have a right to expect that the food they are eating is correctly described. We have called an urgent meeting of major retailers and suppliers on Monday to ensure that everyone is fully aware of their responsibilities.

“It is the responsibility of food businesses to ensure the food they sell contains what it says on the label. We are considering, with relevant local authorities, whether legal action is appropriate following the investigation.”

The Prison Reform Trust said it welcomed the immediate apology and investigation.

Its director Juliet Lyon said: “This is not a matter of dietary preference but of Islamic law.

“There are clear hospital and prison rules that halal meat must be on the menu.

“This lapse will have offended and distressed high numbers of Muslim prisoners and their families so apologising, suspending the supplier and investigating the incident are the right steps for the Ministry of Justice to take.”

Food and farming minister David Heath said: “People have a right to expect that the food they are eating is correctly described. I have made it clear that I want an urgent meeting with major retailers and suppliers first thing next week to get to the bottom of this completely unacceptable situation.”

Ex-commodities firm chief sentenced to 50 years

Category : Stocks

Peregrine CEO Wasendorf, who admitted to stealing clients’ funds, sentenced to 50 years in prison.

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S Korea jails key business leader

Category : Business, World News

The chairman of one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, SK Group, is sentenced to four years in prison for embezzling company funds.

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Madoff brother gets prison term

Category : Business, World News

The brother of Bernard Madoff, the disgraced Wall Street financier, is given 10 years in prison for his role in his brother’s massive Ponzi scheme.

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Ikea says sorry to East German political prisoners forced to make its furniture

Category : Business

Peter Betzel, head of Ikea Germany, apologises for the flat-pack furniture company’s use of prison labour in the 70s and 80s

It has become a retail byword for affordable, functional furniture: plain, cheerful items with a certain Nordic wholesomeness about them that millions of consumers the world over can’t seem to resist.

But on Friday Ikea became associated with something darker when it admitted that at least some of its cupboards, chairs and other household products were produced by East German prisoners incarcerated for their political beliefs.

A roomful of angry former GDR prisoners first watched – and then started to vent decades worth of anger – as a squirming Peter Betzel formally apologised for using prison labour in the 1970s and 1980s.

“We regret wholeheartedly that this happened,” said Betzel, head of Ikea Germany, after an independent report by auditors Ernst and Young confirmed that Ikea managers knew of the practice.

“It is not and never was acceptable to Ikea that it should be selling products made by political prisoners and I would like to express my deepest regret for this to the victims and their families”.

The company insists that nothing comparable goes on today. But already questions of compensation are being raised that could cost the company dear, not to mention the reputational damage of being seen to profit from people who were fighting for freedom.

Alexander Arnold was one such. He was sent to prison at 22 for “distributing anti-communist propaganda” – handing out flyers containing poems by Bertolt Brecht and Hermann Hesse. He says he still has nightmares about the isolation cell where he was sent if he failed to keep up with the heavy work load. Arnold made parts for office chairs.

“By the end of my 11-month sentence, I knew every part of the process,” he said. “From the rollers on the feet to the spine of the chair”. He was also well aware that he and his fellow prisoners were working for a major western European company, none other than the Swedish flat-pack furniture giant, Ikea. “It was no secret,” he said. “Their name was on the boxes which the products were packed into and the prison guards didn’t keep it a secret from us. Everyone knew. I am relieved that this is finally coming to light,” said Arnold, 51. “I’m glad that Ikea is taking responsibility but I’m sorry it took someone other than Ikea to bring this to light”.

Arnold recalled how he and fellow workers had been set productivity targets. “Each day we worked what amounted to two and a half working days of that of a normal worker on the outside,” he said. “If we slipped to below 80% of the target set, that’s when they’d throw you in the isolation cell, for 10 days at a time”.

The Ernst and Young report said that while Ikea had had a policy of visiting production facilities to control working processes, access to East German suppliers had been restricted. Dieter Ott, 49, a former prisoner from Naunburg who worked on a punch press making parts for Ikea cupboards and doors, asked why Ikea had not questioned why it was not allowed to visit workers.

“Did you not suspect something? And after all, you were working with a country that was separated from Sweden by a hulking great wall. Surely that should have given you reason enough to ask if you should have been working with East German suppliers?”

Anita Gossler, 79, who was sent to Hoheneck prison for her resistance to the regime and who described how her three-month old baby was taken from her, asked Betzel if Ikea could offer assurances that it was no longer using political prisoners in other parts of the world, particularly in China, where considerable quantities of furniture products are made. “How can you guarantee that in a place like China you really know what’s going on in the factories?”

Betzel said the company had had a strict system of checks and balances in place since 2000. “We now have a very well organised control system with well over 1,000 control checks being carried out every year.” The company said it had received tipoffs that it had been using forced labour, but had taken insufficient action against the claims.

“We took steps to ensure that prisoners were not used in production, but it’s now clear to us that these were not decisive enough,” Betzel added. Gossler, who as a prisoner made sheets, aprons and table cloths for companies other than Ikea including leading west German clothing and household catalogues, welcomed the company’s announcement that it planned to donate funds to research projects on forced labour in the former GDR.

“There were many companies involved in this practice,” she said. “And finally they should all be named and shamed. Ikea has put its head above the parapet and admitted its guilt but there are plenty of others who should also be approached for compensation.”

Sean Quinn begins 9-week sentence

Category : Business

Sean Quinn has been taken to prison to begin his nine-week sentence for contempt of court.

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Pre-Marketing: Chinese tech threat?

Category : Business, Stocks

Congress vs. Huawei, the making of Mitt Romney; and, how to run your hedge fund from prison.

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Last Western Guantanamo detainee returns to Canada – Boston Globe

Category : Stocks

Boston Globe
Last Western Guantanamo detainee returns to Canada
Boston Globe
By Rob Gillies | AP TORONTO — The last Western detainee held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay returned to Canada on Saturday after a decade in custody and was transferred to a maximum security prison where he awaits parole, Canada's public
Detainee sent to CanadaDetroit Free Press
Khadr 'relieved' as return to Canada puts his fate in prison system's handsGlobe and Mail
Omar Khadr returns to
The Press Association

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‘Raid’ on Motorola trade secrets

Category : Business

A former Motorola employee is sentenced to four years in prison for stealing trade secrets worth millions of dollars.

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