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Winchester Star Newspaper Archive: June 9, 2009 - Page 12

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   Winchester Star (Newspaper) - June 9, 2009, Winchester, Virginia                                B6 NBMY. JUNE 9, 2009 BUSINESS THE WINCHESTER STAR FedEx to campaign against rival UPS By SAMANTHA BOMKAMP AP Transportation Writer NEW YORK - FedEx Corp. is set to launch a multimillion dollar marketing campaign on Tuesday against chief rival UPS Inc., arguing the world's largest shipping carrier is the driving force behind a bill that would make it easier for FedEx workers to unionize. The bill currently before Congress would switch FedEx to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act from the National Railway Labor Act. The Railway Labor Act allows workers to organize, if all workers vote on a union at the same time. That has been a roadblock to unions that could not afford nationwide organizing campaigns. If FedEx Express workers were to be reclassified under the National Labor Relations Act, they could organize one terminal at a time. FedEx's nearly 5,000 pilots are the company's only employees that currently have a union. The company has a total work force of 290,000. UPS has about 425,000 workers; more than half are union members. Most of UPS' unionized workers are members of the Teamsters, FedEx says that UPS will benefit from the legislation because it could potentially drive up costs for its closest competitor. FedEx also argues that more unions would mean a greater chance of work slowdowns or strikes. "It's nothing but a back door attempt to make us less reliable," FedEx's Director of Corporate Communications Maury Lane said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "It's a legislative bailout for a profitable company." FedEx also warns that shipping rates for consumers will "skyrocket" if the change is made. UPS spokesman Norman Black said FedEx's "apparent attempt to raise the noise level here" "doesn't change the facts. "It would appear that FedEx is preparing to spend millions of dollars trying to convince Congress that a FedEx driver delivering a package is different somehow than a UPS driver delivering a package," Black said. "The packages aren't delivered by airplanes, and we don't believe FedEx can fool Congress about that" FedEx plans to launch a Web site on Tuesday called "brown-bailout.com," referring to UPS' nickname, "Big Brown." It will urge consumers to contact their legislators and speak out against the proposed change. The site is part of a multimedia effort, including videos and TV commercials, that will be launched over an unspecified period. FedEx threatened in March to delay a planned purchase of 30 new Boeing 777 cargo planes if Congress reclassifies the Memphis, Tenn.-based company. _ China requires its PCs to come with anti-porn software BEBET0 MATTHEWS/The Associated Press Members of Nigeria's Ogoni community and u\eir supporters rally May 27 in New York to raise awareness of the trial of Royal Dutch Shell. The company has settled a lawsuit that accused the oil giant of playing a role in the executions of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and other civilians by Nigeria's former military regime. Shell settles human rights lawsuit for $15.5 million By CHRIS KAHN AP Energy Writer NEW YORK - Royal Dutch Shell agreed to a $15.5 million settlement Monday to end a lawsuit alleging that the oil giant was complicit in the executions of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and other civilians by Nigeria's former military regime. Shell, which continues to operate in Nigeria, said it agreed t6 settle the lawsuit in hopes of aiding the "process of reconciliation." But Europe's largest oil company acknowledged no wrongdoing in the 1995 hanging deaths of six people, including poet Saro-Wiwa. "This gesture also acknowledges that, even though Shell had no part in the violence that took place, the plaintiffs and others have suffered," Malcolm Brinded, Shell's executive director of exploration and production, said in a statement The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York claimed Shell colluded with the country's former military government to silence environmental and human rights activists in the country's Ogoni region. The oil-rich district sits in the southern part of Nigeria and covers about 400 square miles. The primary complaint against Shell focused on activities by the company's subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Shell, which continues to operate in Nigeria, said it agreed to settle the lawsuit in hopes of aiding the "process of reconciliation." Limited. The lawsuit said in the 1990s, Shell officials helped furnish Nigerian police with weapons, participated in security sweeps of the area, and hired government troops that shot at villagers protesting the construction of a pipeline. The plaintiffs also say Shell helped the government capture and hang Saro-Wiwa, John Kpuinen, Saturday Doobee, Felix Nuate, Daniel Gbokoo and Dr. Barinem Kiobel on Nov. 10, 1995. Saro-Wiwa, leader of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, led rallies against Shell. He blamed the company for myriad oil spills and gas fires in the Ogoni region. "I think he would be happy with this," Saro-Wiwa's 40-year-old son, Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr., said in a telephone interview from London. Though Shell denied any wrongdoing, "the fact that they would have to settle is a victory for us." Besides compensating the families, the money from Shell will pay for years of legal fees. And a large chunk of the settlement - roughly half-will cre- ate a trust that will invest in social programs in the country including educational endowments, agricultural development, support for small enterprise and adult literacy programs. Altogether, the settlement will have a negligible effect on Shell's shareholders, amounting to less than one-hundredth of a percent of Shell's annual revenue. It's comparable to the annual cost of renting one of the supertankers that Shell uses to deliver Nigerian oil to other countries. Shell has consistently maintained that it never advocated violence and that it lobbied Nigerian officials to grant Saro-Wiwa clemency. Critics say that Shell did so because of the bad publicity the case had generated. "Is it enough to bring back the lives of our clients? Obviously not," said Jenny Green, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights. But Green said it will send a message to Shell and other multinationals that operate in developing countries. Scheme targeted Catholics By CAROLYN THOMPSON Associated Press Writer BUFFALO, N.Y. - An 82-year-old western New York businessman who targeted Catholics and retirees for a multimillion dollar Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty Monday to charges that will leave him penniless and likely in prison for the rest of liis life. Richard''iccoli's hearing in U.S. District Court in Buffalo had to be . moved to a larger courtroom to accommodate 150 victims on hand to hear the plea, among them priests and nuns and other investors who considered Piccoli a friend. Investigators determined Piccoli took in more than $31 million between 2002 and early this year from a clientele gleaned largely through ads in Catholic newspapers and his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. In a Ponzi scheme, early investors are paid bogus returns with money collected from later victims. "He took everything I saved, basically," said Carl Bell, 64, a retired plastics worker who drove 2 1/2 hours from Franklin; Pa., hoping to find out how much of the $58,000 he gave Piccoli over the last three years might be returned. More bank directors to resign By The Associated Press NEW YORK - Two more Bank of America Corp. directors are leaving, the company said Monday. The resignations of Jackie M. Ward, former chief executive of Computer General Inc., and Patricia E. Mitchell, CEO of The Paley Center for Media, are, the latest in a; string of changes at the embattled bank's board. In late April, CEO Kenneth Lewis was stripped of his chairman title after a shareholder vote'. Then, in late May, two directors resigned - Robert Tillman, former chairman and CEO of home improvement chain Lowe's Cos., and O. Temple Sloan Jr., who was a director at Bank of America for 13 years. Last week, Bank of America announced four new board appointments, all outsiders. The new directors were former Federal Reserve System governor Susan S. Bies; William P. Board-man, retired executive of Bank One Corp. and Visa International Inc.; D. Paul Jones, former chairman and CEO of Compass Banc-shares Inc.; and Donald E. Powell, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. By GILLIAN WONG Associated Press Writer BEIJING - China is requiring personal computers sold in the country to carry software that blocks online pornography and other Web sites, potentially giving one of the world's most sophisticated censorship regimes even m6re control over the Internet. The software's developer said Monday the tool would give parents more oversight by preventing computers from accessing sites with pornographic pictures or language. Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co., which won a government contract to develop the "Green Dam-Youth Escort" filtering software, was compiling a database of sites to block. Although porn sites are initially targeted, the software could be used to block other Web sites, too, including those based on keywords rather than specific Web addresses. Parents can also add their own sites to the blocking list, Zhang Chenmin, general manager of Jinhui, told The Associated Press. "If a father doesn't want his son to be exposed to content related to basketball or drugs, he can block all Web sites related to those tilings," Zhang said. He said users could disable blocking of any site on the list or even uninstall the software completely, but they will not be able to see the full database. He said the software does not monitor or send data to third parties. China, which has the world's largest population of The Associated Press A man uses a computer at an Internet cafe in Fuyang in central China's Anhui province. Chinese officials.want all personal computers sold domestically to have software that blocks access to online pornography, which It has banned. Internet users at more than 250 million, also has one of the world's tightest controls over the Internet. Through such mechanisms as network-level filters installed at the nation's Internet service providers, the government routinely blocks political sites, especially ones it considers socially destabilizing such as sites that challenge the rul-* ing Communist Party, promote democratic reform or advocate independence for Tibet. The government also bans Internet pornography and this year launched a nationwide crackdown that led to the shuttering of more than 1,900 Web sites. Web sites including Google and Baidu, China's most popular search engine, also have been criticized for linking to suspect sites. Worker files $80 million sexual harassment suit By JENNIFER PELTZ Associated Press Writer NEW YORK - A marketing executive for the renowned toy maker Steiff filed an $80 million lawsuit Monday accusing the company's CEO of raping her in a car during a yearslong campaign of unwelcome advances. Jane Collins' lawsuit says the company, known for its teddy bears and other stuffed animals, did nothing to stop Martin Frechen's "extreme and outrageous conduct," despite her repeated complaints. Through lawyers, Frechen and the company denied her allegations. The lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, where the lawsuit said Frechen sexually harassed Collins during trade shows this winter and in 2007. The rape, according to the lawsuit, happened in 2004 near the German company's North Americanheadquar-ters in Raynham, Mass, A week after fondling her at a corporate event, Frechen - who was moving back to Germany-asked Collins to accompany him to a storage unit where he planned to keep his wife's car, He then closed the storage locker's door and sexually assaulted her in the front passenger seat, the lawsuit said. Collins, a 32-year-old single mother, never contacted police out of fear for her job, Christopher Brennan. She remains assistant marketing manager at Steiff's North American arm, where she started working in 2000, Its global parent, Margarete Steiff GmbH, is based in Giengen an der Brenz, Germany. Frechen says Collins' allegations are meritless. EVEN IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB YOU STILL HAVE CHOICES. During difficult times, it's easy to feel like things are out of your control. So it's essential to consider every financial decision carefully, especially when it comes to your retirement savings. Edward Jones can help. We'll start by getting to know your goals. Then we'll sort through your current situation and work with you face-to-face to develop a strategy that can help you keep your retirement on track.       .,, To make sense of your retirement savings' 'alternatives;; call your Edward Jones Financial advisor today. Jay J. Smith 1825 Valley. Avenue Winchester. VA 22601 (540)722-0218 (540)722-2938 Betty B. Schutte-Box, CFP* 15 W. Main Street Berryvjlle.VA 22611 ; (540)955-9015  SeaoE. Dudley 603 E.Jubal Early Drive Winchester, V A 22601 (540)662-2335    Steve A, Schetrom II 1825 Valley Avenue Winchester, VA 22601 (540)722-2938 Mike Ccsnik 3035 Valley Avenue, Sle 10: (Creehide Station) Winchester, VA 22601 (540)678-8729 Janet E, Davidson, AAMS 101-2 Hyde Court Stephens City.VA 22655 (540) 869-1843 Steve Markland, AAMS 13 W.Piccadilly Street Winchester, VA 22601 (540)722-0767 Ivan W.Snnpp 693 E.Jubal Early Drive Winchester, VA 22601 (540)662-2335 www.edwardjones.com Member SIPC Edwardjones MAKING SENSE OF INVESTING   

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