Business Highlights

___US, Chinese envoys to meet in October for tariff war talksBEIJING (AP) — U.S. and Chinese envoys will meet in early October for more talks aimed at ending a tariff war that threatens global economic growth. Stock markets rose on the announcement but there has been no sign of progress since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed in June to resume negotiations about the fight over trade and technology. Earlier, investors were rattled by a report that officials were struggling to agree on a schedule for talks, originally planned for this month.___A slowdown in US business formation poses a risk to economyWASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a decade-plus of economic growth, Americans have slowed the pace at which they’re forming new companies, a trend that risks further widening the gap between the most affluent and everyone else. The longest expansion on record, which began in mid-2009, has failed to restore entrepreneurship to its pre-recession levels.___US farmers hope Trump delivers on trade deal with JapanWASHINGTON (AP) — American farmers have not only had to endure retaliatory tariffs from China and other nations hitting their pocketbooks, they’ve had to watch as most of their top foreign competitors use free trade agreements to make inroads into Japan. While President Donald Trump ditched American efforts to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, competitors such as Canada, Mexico and Australia forged ahead with a revamped version of TPP.___Friends with benefits: Can Facebook tackle your love life?SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is tackling a new frontier: love. Facebook Dating, its matchmaking service already available in Brazil and 18 other countries, is arriving in the U.S. on Thursday. But after years of privacy missteps by the social network, it remains to be seen whether people will trust it with their love lives.___US productivity climbs 2.3% in second quarterWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity rose at a healthy pace in the second quarter but dropped at American factories, another sign of trouble for manufacturers. The Labor Department says overall productivity — output per hour worked — rose at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 2.3% in the April-June period after rising 3.5% from January through March.___Johnson seeks UK election bid as political foes push backLONDON (AP) — Boxed in by opponents and politically abandoned even by his own brother, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is struggling to keep his Brexit plans on track. He is accusing lawmakers of thwarting democracy by blocking his plan for a new election. Johnson remains determined to secure an election after lawmakers rejected his attempt to trigger one as part of their effort to stop the U.K. from leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal.___States, politicians back gun-maker in Sandy Hook appealHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Ten conservative states and nearly two dozen Republican members of Congress are supporting gun-maker Remington Arms as it fights a Connecticut court ruling on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. They filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week asking justices to overturn the ruling. Remington made the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators at the Connecticut school in 2012. A Connecticut court ruled victims’ families can sue Remington over how it marketed the rifle.___Survey: Businesses added a solid 195,000 jobs in AugustWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses added a healthy 195,000 jobs last month, a sign companies are still hiring despite the Trump administration’s trade war with China. Payroll processor ADP says that hiring occurred broadly among small, medium-sized and large businesses.___China urges release of Huawei exec with new Canadian envoyBEIJING (AP) — China has urged Canada to “reflect on its mistakes” and immediately release a Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman made the comments Thursday following the appointment of a new Canadian ambassador to China. Relations between China and Canada were severely damaged when Meng Wanzhou — the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder — was arrested at Vancouver’s airport last Dec. 1 at the request of the U.S.___Russian, Italian accused of trying to seal GE trade secretsWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. federal prosecutors say two men from Italy and Russia have been charged with trying to steal trade secrets from an American aviation company. The Justice Department unsealed a criminal complaint on Thursday accusing the two of plotting to steal intellectual property, including engineering patterns, from Ohio-based GE Aviation.___Plans for new US-China trade talks boost US stock indexesNEW YORK (AP) — Investors powered U.S. stocks to broad gains Thursday, cheering plans for another round of trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, and drawing encouragement from a batch of positive economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged nearly 400 points, bond yields jumped and the price of gold fell as investors regained a bigger appetite for riskier holdings.___The S&P 500 gained 38.22 points, or 1.3%, to 2,976. The Dow rose 372.68 points, or 1.4%, to 26,728.15. The Nasdaq climbed 139.95 points, or 1.8%, to 8,116.83. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 25.99 points, or 1.8%, to close at 1,510.75.The Associated Press read more

Founder of French breast implant scandal firm jailed

first_imgA FRENCH COURT has convicted of fraud the ex-managers of a firm whose faulty breast implants sparked a global health scare, and sentenced the company’s founder to four years in jail.The now-defunct firm, Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) was at the centre of worldwide concern two years ago after it was revealed to have used cheaper industrial-grade silicone in thousands of breast implants sold worldwide.The court sentenced PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas to four years in prison, fined him €75,000 and banned him permanently from working in medical services or running a company.‘Sorcerer’s apprentice’Mas, a 74-year-old dubbed “the sorcerer’s apprentice of implants” by prosecutors, did not react as the verdict was read out in court.“I am disappointed but not surprised,” Mas’s lawyer Yves Haddad said, blaming the verdict on “strong pressure” due to the public nature of the scandal and announcing plans to appeal.Haddad said it was “shocking” that Mas had not been given a suspended sentence as he had no previous criminal record.Four other former PIP executives were also convicted by the court in Marseille on the charges of aggravated fraud and given lesser sentences.The scandal first emerged in 2010 after doctors noticed abnormally high rupture rates in PIP implants.Some 300,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have received the faulty implants.During a month-long trial in April, the defendants admitted to using the industrial silicone but Mas denied the company’s implants posed any health risks.More than 7,500 women have reported ruptures in the implants and in France alone 15,000 have had the PIP implants replaced.More than 7,000 women had declared themselves civil plaintiffs in the case and several dozen were in court for the verdict.“It is an important symbolic first step – the first time that we can use the word ‘guilty’ for Jean-Claude Mas,” said Alexandra Blachere, the head of an association of women given the implants.Industrial gel saved PIP millionsThe court also sentenced PIP’s former general manager Claude Couty to three years in prison, with two years suspended.Quality control director Hannelore Font and production director Loic Gossart were both sentenced to two years in prison, with one suspended, and research director Thierry Brinon was given an 18-month suspended sentence.Mas founded PIP in 1991 to take advantage of the booming market for cosmetic implants.Health authorities later discovered he was saving millions of euro by using industrial-grade gel in 75 percent of the implants. PIP’s implants were banned and the company eventually liquidated.PIP had exported more than 80 percent of its implants, with about half going to Latin America, about a third to other countries in western Europe, about 10 percent to eastern Europe and the rest to the Middle East and Asia.Some of the defendants, including Mas, have also been charged in separate and ongoing manslaughter and financial fraud investigations into the scandal.Suspicious deathThe manslaughter probe is related to the suspicious 2010 death from cancer of a woman who was fitted with the implants.German safety standards firm TUV, which approved the implants for market, was last month found liable in the case.A European Commission report found in October that the defective breast implants contain no potentially toxic compounds.Approximately 1,500 Irish women were fitted with the defective implants, with 138 ruptures being reported in Ireland by May of this year.It was announced in early May that the cost of removing the PIP implants from Irish women would be covered by the three clinics which used the faulty products.- Additional reporting AFP. – © AFP, 2013Read: Silicone in controversial PIP breast implants won’t cause cancer says report>last_img read more