Financial
Bangladesh factory owners charged in deadly fire PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JULHAS ALAM, Associated Press   
Sunday, 22 December 2013 07:55

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Police charged the owners of a Bangladeshi garment factory and 11 employees with culpable homicide Sunday for alleged negligence leading to the death of 112 workers in a raging fire that engulfed the factory last year.

It was the first time Bangladeshi authorities had sought to prosecute factory owners in the world's second-largest garment industry. A series of recent deadly disasters — including the Nov. 24, 2012, fire and a factory collapse in April that killed more than 1,100 workers — exposed how harsh and often unsafe conditions can be for many of the country's 4 million workers providing clothing to major Western retailers.

Public Prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul said the 13 people charged Sunday could face life in prison if convicted of failing to ensure safety at the sprawling Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory, located outside Dhaka, the capital.

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Ally paying $98M to resolve U.S. auto-loan claims PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 08:02

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ally Financial Inc. is paying $98 million to resolve U.S. government claims that minority borrowers were charged higher rates on its auto loans than whites with similar credit histories.

The agreement announced Friday by the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the government's biggest auto-loan discrimination settlement to date.

Ally is paying $80 million in damages to about 235,000 African-American, Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers, and $18 million in penalties. The higher rates were charged on auto loans between April 2011 and December 2013, according to the government.

Detroit-based Ally is one of the largest indirect auto lenders in the U.S. Ally doesn't make auto loans directly to consumers; it buys the loan contracts made by auto dealers. Ally sets an interest rate for the loans and allows dealers to charge customers a higher rate, or dealer markup.

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Businessman, Jewish advocate Bronfman dies PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 22 December 2013 07:31

NEW YORK (AP) — Edgar M. Bronfman Sr., the billionaire businessman and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress, which lobbied the Soviets to allow Jews to emigrate and helped spearhead the search for hidden Nazi loot, died Saturday. He was 84.

The Canadian-born Bronfman died at his New York home surrounded by family, according to the family charity he led, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation.

Bronfman made his fortune with his family's Seagram's liquor empire, taking over as chairman and CEO in 1971 and continuing the work of his father, Samuel. Under Bronfman's leadership, Seagram expanded its offerings and was eventually acquired by French media and telecom group Vivendi Universal in 2000.

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Electrolux to expand at North American HQ in North Carolina PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 08:01

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Appliance maker Electrolux announced plans Friday to create more than 800 additional jobs over the next four years in Charlotte as it expands next to its North American headquarters.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker joined Electrolux Major Appliances North America CEO Jack Truong to announce construction of a new six-floor, 375,000 square-foot facility for marketing, research and development and other company operations.

McCrory's office said the company plans to invest $85 million in Mecklenburg County and create jobs by the end of 2017 with average annual compensation of about $100,000.

About half of the Swedish company's nearly 1,500 current North Carolina employees work at the headquarters, which came to Charlotte in 2010 from Georgia. The company also operates a dishwasher manufacturing facility in Kinston and parts distribution center in Henderson County.

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