Cleanup may cost jobs
Japan’s embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) plans to shed more than 1,000 jobs through voluntary retirements by the second half of next year, sources told Reuters, as it seeks to win more financial aid to clean up its crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. TEPCO is working on a reorganization plan to fend off more drastic proposals, including possibly dragging the company through bankruptcy in return for a publicly funded cleanup and shutdown of its Fukushima reactors. The government has agreed to spend ￥47 billion (US$470 million) on dealing with about 1,000 tanks of radiated water at TEPCO’s crippled plant. The Japanese government is considering paying part of the cost to decommission the nuclear reactors.
UK clients being spammed
Cybercrime investigators are looking into a barrage of spam sent to millions of British banking customers designed to freeze their computers and demand a ransom, Britain’s National Crime Agency said on Friday. The agency, which began operating last month, said its National Cyber Crime Unit had become “aware of a mass e-mail spamming event which is ongoing, where people are receiving e-mails that appear to be from banks and other financial institutions.” The agency said it considered the attack a “significant risk.” It added that while the spam e-mails may have been sent out to “tens of millions of UK customers,” they appear to be targeted mainly at small and medium-sized businesses. The spam carries an attachment that appears to be correspondence related to the text of the e-mail — such as a voice mail or fax or details of a purported suspicious transaction or invoice seeking payment, but the attachment injects a malicious program into the computer, the agency said.
Diaper firm plans spin-off
Kimberly-Clark Corp, the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, plans to spin off its healthcare business, leaving management to focus on its consumer and professional brands. The tax-free deal would create a stand-alone, publicly traded company with about US$1.6 billion in annual sales, Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark said on Thursday in a statement. The unit that would be separated makes products such as sterile wraps, surgical face masks and catheters. About 70 percent of its sales last year were in North America, with most of the rest in Europe and Asia. Kimberly-Clark’s intent to separate its healthcare unit contrasts with competitors such as Clorox Co and Newell Rubbermaid Inc that are seeking to deepen their operations in the market.
Geithner joins Warburg
Former US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner is joining private-equity firm Warburg Pincus, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Geithner, who played a major role in combating the global financial crisis during the four years he served as US Treasury secretary, will join the New York-based firm in March as president and managing director, the newspaper reported Geithner as saying in an interview. Geithner stepped down as US Treasury secretary in January.