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Thu, Jun 14, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ MINING

Tibet plans eco-friendly ban

Local officials in Tibet plan to ban the mining of gold, mercury, arsenic and peat to preserve mineral resources and protect the environment, state media reported yesterday. "Mercury and arsenic mining can pollute water supplies, peat mining can destroy wetlands and gold mining can ruin grasslands and rivers," Wang Baosheng, director of Tibet's Land and Resources Department, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency. The report did not say when the ban would come into effect.

■ COMPUTERS

Energy initiative launched

Google and Intel are leading a consortium of major technology companies in an effort to sharply reduce the amount of power wasted by personal computers and servers. The energy-saving effort, announced on Tuesday, is called the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Companies agreeing to Climate Savers standards will try to build machines that are at least 90 percent efficient in their power use by promoting new technologies, setting new standards and encouraging more efficient use by consumers. The group envisions better power management in computers, roughly equivalent to taking 11 million cars off the highway.

■ BANKING

China's ICBC looks overseas

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (中國工商銀行, ICBC), the nation's largest lender, has applied for US and Russian banking licenses as it seeks to expand internationally, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing the bank's chairman. "We have applied to regulatory authorities in the US, Russia and other places to set up operations," Jiang Jianqing (姜建清) told the newspaper. ICBC is now one of the world's biggest banks by market capitalization. Only 3.1 percent of its pre-tax profits came from outside China last year.

■ BEVERAGES

Cucumber soda hits Japan

Japanese are staying cool as a cucumber this summer with "Pepsi Ice Cucumber" -- a new soda based on the crisp green gourd. The soft drink, which hit stores here on Tuesday, doesn't actually have any cucumber in it -- but has been artificially flavored to resemble "the refreshing taste of a fresh cucumber," said Aya Takemoto, spokeswoman of Japan's Pepsi distributor, Suntory Ltd. "We wanted a flavor that makes people think of keeping cool in the summer heat," Takemoto said. "We thought the cucumber was just perfect." The soda is on sale just for the summer and only in Japan and Suntory aims to sell 200,000 cases over the next three months.

■ TRADE

China hits back at US food

China has launched a crackdown on US food imports, seizing "rancid" pistachio nuts and vowing tough inspections in the wake of Washington's own offensive rejecting suspect Chinese food and drug ingredients. China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine told inspectors to step up checks of pistachio nuts from the US after a 20 tonne shipment was found to have rotting nuts infested with ants, Xinhua news agency reported late on Tuesday. The pistachio shipment would be destroyed, it said. Last week, China destroyed or returned nutritional supplement capsules and raisins from the US after detecting unacceptable levels of bacteria.

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