Thursday, October 15, 2015

Missing Briefs

The Globe must have used Invisible Ink:

"VW says 8m cars in Europe are part of emissions probe

BERLIN — Volkswagen says 8 million cars in the European Union are affected by an investigation into the manipulation of emissions tests. Volkswagen has previously said 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide had engines fitted with software that can help them cheat US emissions tests. ‘‘Rest assured that at the moment we are working hard and coordinating closely with the authorities and the [German] federal government on a technical solution for the vehicles concerned,’’ VW told German lawmakers in a letter. ‘‘We know that the wrongdoing of a few people has caused great harm to our entire company.’’ As the US Congress prepares to question VW officials, German media reported over the weekend that the company is focusing on three development managers. Bild newspaper reported that Heinz-Jakob Neusser, head of development, and engineers Ulrich Hackenberg and Wolfgang Hatz had been put on forced vacation. Bild reported that VW’s investigation turned up contradictory information on Hackenberg’s possible involvement, while Hatz denied knowledge. VW’s top manager in the United States, Michael Horn, is to testify before Congress on Thursday.

See: GM and VW


FTC, too, is investigating VW, whose North America chief has quit

Volkswagen to change system for exhaust in new cars

Driver pleads not guilty in fatal crash

Tesla’s autopilot lets cars change lanes by themselves

Did you know Orange is the New Green?

American Apparel seeks Chapter 11 protection

NEW YORK — American Apparel has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection almost a year after ousting founder Dov Charney, who is locked in a legal fight with the retailer. In August, the company warned it didn’t have enough financing to keep operating for the next year and that investors could suffer big losses. It has lost money every year since 2010 as competition from fast-fashion retailers increases. The company is being sued by former CEO Charney, who was fired in December following allegations he had violated its sexual harassment policy. He denies the charges. Charney has also filed a $30 million lawsuit against Standard General, one of the company’s biggest shareholders, alleging defamation. The Los Angeles company said its US stores — as well as wholesale operations and US manufacturing — will continue to operate. International stores are not affected. Its bankruptcy plan would wipe out more than $200 million in bonds held by the retailer in exchange for equity interests. Lenders would provide about $90 million in debtor-in-possession financing. American Apparel’s board has approved the restructuring, which needs US Bankruptcy Court approval.

Related: Charney Knowledge

Looks like he's finished.

Mass. gas prices hold steady

Gas prices were unchanged in Massachusetts last week, AAA Northeast said. Its survey found prices steady at $2.14 a gallon after weeks of incremental declines. Prices are still $1.18 less than a year ago, when the average for unleaded self-serve was $3.32. The auto club said the low price in its latest survey was $1.99, and the high was $2.69. The price of gasoline is closely tied to the price of crude oil, which has fallen sharply since summer 2014.

Isn't this a nice flow? Into the car, getting down to business, driving back, and then breakfast:

Some gluten-free Cheerios really aren’t

NEW YORK — General Mills Inc. is recalling 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced in July at a plant in Lodi, Calif. The cereal is labeled gluten-free but contains wheat flour that was inadvertently used in a gluten-free oat flour system. People with conditions like wheat allergies or celiac disease who consume the cereals might suffer an allergic reaction or discomfort. The boxes have ‘‘better if used by’’ dates of July 2016 and the plant code ‘‘LD.’’ JPMorgan Chase analyst Ken Goldman said the recall affects about 1 percent of the Cheerios the company makes in a year. ‘‘Our biggest concern is over reputational risk, because the new gluten-free Cheerios just launched,’’ Goldman said.

It's a honey of an O.

Customer sues over pesticide on marijuana

DENVER — Two marijuana users in Colorado filed a lawsuit Monday against a grower they said used an unhealthy pesticide — a case that lawyers say is the first US product liability claim involving the legal marijuana industry. The plaintiffs face an unusual dilemma: The US government still regards almost all marijuana as illicit, and there are no federal safety guidelines for growing it. Colorado has a list of pesticides that are acceptable for pot, but it leaves out several pesticides used on food and tobacco. The lawsuit targets use of the fungicide Eagle 20 EW by a Denver marijuana company called LivWell, where authorities seized thousands of plants earlier this year because they were treated with the pesticide. Eagle 20 EW is used on grapes and hops but can be dangerous if heated and is banned for use on tobacco. LivWell insists its products are safe. Its confiscated plants were returned after they passed safety tests. LivWell no longer uses Eagle 20 EW. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. Alaska could see retail sales next year.

Best thing you can do there: do not smoke. 

Are you surprised the pot is being poisoned by those who never wanted it in the first place?

While on the subject of drugs:

For $14.6 million, drug maker settles charge of illegal payments in China

WASHINGTON — Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay $14.6 million to settle civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that its joint venture in China gave cash and other benefits to government health care providers in exchange for drug sales. The SEC said sales personnel plied staffs at hospitals owned or controlled by the Chinese government with cash, jewelry, meals, travel, and entertainment. The agency says the joint venture, of which Bristol-Myers Squibb is majority owner, inaccurately recorded the cash and gifts as legitimate expenses from 2009 to 2014. Bristol-Myers Squibb failed to take action in response to red flags indicating the payment of bribes, the SEC alleged. The drug maker neither admitted to nor denied the alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits the bribery of foreign officials or executives to secure or retain business. The company is returning $11.4 million in profits plus $500,000 in interest and paying a $2.75 million penalty.

Yup, no one going to jail for corruption or anything. SEC $ettles again.

Data hack confirmed at 7 Trump hotels

NEW YORK — Customer credit and debit card numbers may have been stolen from seven Trump hotels. The Trump Hotel Collection said on its website that hackers gained access to its systems between May 2014 and June 2015. Hotel restaurants and gift shops were also hacked. The hotel operator said an independent investigation has not found any evidence of customer’s information being misused. The company is offering affected customers a year of free identity theft protection. Affected are the Trump SoHo New York, Trump International New York, Trump National Doral in Miami, Trump International Chicago, Trump International Waikiki in Hawaii, Trump International Hotel and Tower Las Vegas (left), and Trump International Toronto. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is chairman and president of the company, and three of his children have executive roles. Trump Hotel said it is working with the Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation to help ‘‘catch these criminals and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.’’  

Problem is, they all either work for the USraeli government or the Jewish mafia.

Buyouts coming at Tribune as revenue slips

NEW YORK — Tribune Publishing, owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and other newspapers, is offering buyouts to employees. A memo from the company says it needs to reduce costs but does not specify by how much. Nonunion employees with more than a year of service have until Oct. 23 to apply. As of December, Tribune had about 8,000 full- and part-time employees at 11 major daily newspapers; 12 percent were represented by unions. Tribune Publishing, created when Tribune split its newspaper and broadcasting assets last year, has been in turmoil since the firing of Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner in September. A former investment banker and deputy Los Angeles mayor, he was hired as publisher in August 2014. Prominent Los Angeles residents, including former mayors Richard Riordan and Antonio Villaraigosa, protested the firing of Beutner. The Los Angeles Times has reported that Tribune Publishing rejected an offer from philanthropist Eli Broad to buy the Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Then, in late September, Tribune Publishing cut its outlook for the year, citing lower expectations for revenue."

At least the economy is in recovery so it should really be easy for the third-rate propagandists to find work.

And then it happened again(?).

NDU: Germany orders Volkswagen recall, affecting 8.5 million cars