War talk rattles market
Oil prices rose to new intraday highs in Asia yesterday on fears Turkey would pursue Kurdish rebels into Iraq and disrupt oil supplies in the region. A weakening US dollar, low US crude inventories and increased buying by investment funds also supported prices, analysts said. Light, sweet crude for delivery next month rose US$0.51 to US$86.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midafternoon yesterday in Singapore. Despite the gains, oil is still below inflation-adjusted highs hit in early 1980.
Microsoft drops appeal
Microsoft Corp said yesterday it had submitted a request to withdraw an appeal against an antitrust ruling by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). "It is important to note that Microsoft remains committed to [South] Korea and continues to work closely with the FTC to ensure that [South] Korean consumers benefit from vibrant competition in the IT industry," Microsoft said in a statement. It also said that the company had submitted the withdrawal request to the Seoul High Court. It did not elaborate. In February of last year, the KFTC ruled that Microsoft had abused its dominant market position in Korea to tie certain software to its Windows operating system.
WTO rules against US
The WTO has found that the US failed to scrap a series of illegal subsidies paid out to local cotton growers, a ruling that could open the door to billions of dollars' worth of Brazilian trade sanctions against the US, trade officials said on Monday. The result is a major victory for Brazil's cotton industry and for West African countries that have claimed to have been harmed by the US payments. The three-member WTO compliance panel upheld its findings from an interim report released in July, said Roberto Azevedo, the Brazilian foreign ministry's trade chief.
Cardboard firm to pay fine
Australia's competition watchdog yesterday recommended a company headed by the country's third richest man, cardboard box billionaire Richard Pratt, pay a record fine for participating in a cartel. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission called for Pratt's company, Visy, to pay a A$36 million (US$32.4 million) fine for breaching anti-trust laws through a secret price-fixing deal struck with rival Amcor. The previous Australian record fine for cartel behavior was US$15 million. Pratt, whose personal wealth was estimated at A$5.4 billion in this year's Business Review Weekly rich list, admitted earlier this month that Visy's deal with Amcor breached Australian anti-trust laws.
Danone pulls out of venture
French food giant Danone, which is embroiled in a long and bitter public feud with a Chinese partner, said yesterday it was backing out of another venture in China. Groupe Danone SA will sell its entire 20.01 percent stake in Shanghai-based Bright Dairy and Food for 955 million yuan (US$127 million), separate company statements said. Besides its partnership with Bright Dairy, Danone also has a troubled tie-up with China's top drinks company Wahaha Group. The two firms are in the midst of bitter disputes linked to their joint ventures and ownership of the Wahaha trademark.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus