বৃহস্পতিবার, ১৬ মে, ২০১৩

Abercrombie & Fitch Agrees To Bangladesh Safety Accord

Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch announced Wednesday that it would agree to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a spokeswoman said.

The pact began circulating last year and aims to improve worker safety and labor rights. It has gained momentum since the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers.

According to MarketWatch, Abercrombie is the first major U.S. retailer to agree to the accord after more than two dozen mostly European companies signed in the wake of the Bangladesh collapse. PVH Corp., maker of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, was the first American company to commit, in March 2012.

In an email to The Huffington Post Wednesday night, Abercrombie confirmed it has verbally agreed to the accord.

"We are committed to Bangladesh and support industry-wide efforts to improve safety standards," Kim Harr, Abercrombie's director of sustainability, wrote in a statement. "We believe this is the right thing to do to bring about sustainable, effective change."

In the wake of the Bangladesh collapse, a number of large global retailers, including H&M and Zara parent Inditex, have agreed to the accord. But some large U.S. retailers, including Gap and Walmart, have failed to sign the legally binding agreement.

On Tuesday, Walmart announced it plans to develop its own safety program aimed at improving conditions in Bangladesh. But the retail giant's announcement was met with much skepticism.

HuffPost reported:

What Walmart announced on Tuesday is a voluntary program that amounts to no more than an aspirational statement, labor advocates said. They portrayed the announcement as a crafty public relations device: Noting that the deadline to sign the stricter industry-wide accord lands on Wednesday, they took Walmart?s statement as a sign the company will not go along with that agreement, while still finding a way to take credit for bold action.

Here are the retailers who have so far committed to the pact:

  • PVH

    PVH, the company that owns labels Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Izod labels, initially made a commitment to factory safety in March 2012 and reaffirmed its<a href="http://www.pvh.com/investor_relations_press_release_article.aspx?reqid=1818634" target="_blank"> commitment after the Bangladesh factory collapse</a>, according to a company press release. PVH has pledged <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-14/h-m-inditex-joining-bangladesh-pact-pressures-wal-mart-retail.html" target="_blank">$2.5 million to the accord</a>, Bloomberg News reports.

  • Tchibo

    German retailer Tchibo also <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/benetton-bangladesh-safety-pact_n_3272219.html?1368543349" target="_blank">signed on to the pact last year</a>.

  • H&M

    Swedish retailer H&M became the first company in the wake of the Bangladesh building collapse to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/13/hm-bangladesh_n_3265762.html?1368453479&utm_hp_ref=business" target="_blank">sign the safety pact</a>. The company said in a statement that it hoped the agreement would help lead to an "industry in which no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures."

  • C&A

    Just hours after H&M made their announcement to sign on to the pact, Dutch retailer <a href="http://www.retaildetail.eu/en/eur-europe/eur-fashion/item/15151-hm-inditex-and-ca-sign-charter-for-safer-factories-in-bangladesh" target="_blank">C&A followed suit</a>.

  • Inditex SA

    Inditex SA, owner of the Zara chain, committed to the pact as well. A spokesperson told CNBC that "the accord has not come out yet, but as you know <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/100731788" target="_blank">we have played a very active part in its development</a>."

  • Tesco

    "For the multinational retailers like Tesco who source from Bangladesh, we must help it to <a href="https://www.tescoplc.com/talkingshop/index.asp?blogid=114" target="_blank">change in a positive way</a>, a way which sustains and improves the livelihoods of all those who work in the industry," Kevin Grace, director of Tesco, wrote in a blog post about the British retailer's decision to join the pact.

  • Benetton

    After initially <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/bennetton-bangladesh-factory-collapse_n_3179523.html" target="_blank">denying its ties to the collapsed Bangladesh factory</a> only to admit later that its <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321843/Benetton-admits-clothes-illegal-Bangladesh-factory-collapsed-killing-900-workers.html" target="_blank">clothes were indeed made there</a>, Italian fashion brand <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/benetton-bangladesh-safety-pact_n_3272219.html?1368539289" target="_blank">Benetton committed to the pact on May 14</a>, according to a company spokesperson.

  • El Corte Ingles

    The Spanish department store group El Corte Ingles said their suppliers signed on to the pact, Scott Nova of the Worker Rights Consortium told The Huffington Post.

  • Next

    Nova also confirmed that British retailer Next has signed on to the accord.

  • Primark

    Primark, a British retailer that <a href="http://business.time.com/2013/05/02/bangladesh-factory-collapse-is-there-blood-on-your-shirt/" target="_blank">admitted some of its clothing was made at the collapsed factory</a>, was also one of the first retailers to <a href="http://metro.co.uk/2013/05/14/primark-hm-and-zara-sign-bangladesh-safety-agreement-3758237/" target="_blank">sign on to the pact</a>.

  • Mango

    Mango, which was one of the companies that <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/30/jcpenney-mango-among-companies-that-used-fatal-bangladesh-factory.html" target="_blank">sourced products from the fatal factory,</a> agreed to the accord, a spokesperson told The Huffington Post.

  • Marks & Spencer

    British retailer Marks & Spencer, which <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-bangladesh-building-safetybre94d0i3-20130514,0,3758384.story" target="_blank">sources from 60 factories in Bangladesh</a> according to the Chicago Tribune, committed to the accord on May 13.

  • Carrefour

    The French retailer <a href="http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20130514&id=16476984" target="_blank">Carrefour</a> announced on May 14 that it would sign the accord, according to Reuters.

  • Loblaw Companies

    Loblaw Companies, the owner of Joe Fresh, committed to the accord on May 14 according to a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. The Canadian brand was <a href="http://business.time.com/2013/05/02/bangladesh-factory-collapse-is-there-blood-on-your-shirt/" target="_blank">manufacturing apparel</a> at the Rana Plaza factory, Time reports.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch

    Abercrombie & Fitch verbally agreed to the accord on May 15, a company spokesperson confirmed to HuffPost.

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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/15/abercrombie-bangladesh-safety_n_3282613.html

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Intestinal bacterium Akkermansia curbs obesity

May 15, 2013 ? A dominant and useful bacterium called Akkermansia muciniphila is present in the intestinal system of all humans, from babies to the elderly. This microorganism is found in the intestinal mucus layer that protects against intruders. Even more remarkable is that this bacterium has a favourable effect on the disrupted metabolism associated with obesity.

Prof. Patrice Cani from Brussels and Prof. Willem de Vos from Wageningen University, together with their colleagues, published these findings in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). They see potential in deploying Akkermansia bacteria to further understand and treat obesity and medical consequences.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are both characterised by symptoms including inflammation, changes in the composition of the intestinal bacteria and the disruption of the natural barrier in the intestines. Ten years ago, researchers at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, discovered the bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila (named after the Wageningen microbial ecologist Dr Antoon Akkermans, 1941-2006), which was able to grow in the mucus layer of the intestines. The bacteria were apparently present in large numbers in humans (and rodents) that were not overweight. Fewer were present in humans and rodents with inflammations or obesity. The microbiologists at Universit? Louvain in Brussels and their Wageningen colleagues wondered what the role of this bacterium could be.

In the article that appeared on 13 May in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team concluded that the bacteria are less frequent in mice with induced obesity and with type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. Furthermore, administering rather indigestible fibres such as oligofructose, known for its advantageous effect on intestinal biota, resulted in a recovery of the Akkermansia population in mice. The presence of the bacteria strengthens the intestinal barrier and is also inversely correlated with weight increase (fat storage), inflammation reactions in fatty tissues and insulin resistance. However, is there also a causal relationship between the favourable developments and the occurrence of Akkermansia bacteria?

To check that, the researchers administered Akkermansia bacteria to ordinary mice on various diets. With a normal diet, no effect was noticed but in mice that became overweight as a result of a high-fat diet, the Akkermansia bacteria caused a reduction in fat development and associated metabolic defects, without affecting food intake. After the administration of Akkermansia bacteria, there was an increase in endocannabinoid levels, a substance that ensures blood glucose remains at the correct level. In addition, the intestinal barrier function was strengthened. Only intact, living bacteria produced these results; the researchers noticed that bacteria that had been heated beforehand had no effect. Although human studies have not yet been carried out, the results seem to show potential; a treatment with Akkermansia bacteria could reduce inflammation and may prevent obesity.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/strange_science/~3/qgxd2YuZVW0/130515113744.htm

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বুধবার, ১৫ মে, ২০১৩

Deal of the Day ? Dell XPS 10 32GB Dual-core Windows RT tablet

Tuesday’s LogicBUY Deal is the?10.1″ Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet for?$299.99 after a $150 discount. ?Features: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz Dual-core processor 32GB storage 1366 X 768 10.1″ screen with 10pt multi-touch and pen support 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 2MP Webcam, 5MP back camera Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT 1 Year ProSupport [...]

Source: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2013/05/14/deal-of-the-day-dell-xps-10-32gb-dual-core-windows-rt-tablet-2/

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Postable Offers An Alternative To The Handwritten ?Thank You? Card, With Results That May Fool Your Nana

Postable4-SelectedCardA handwritten note is becoming a lost art in the age of email, Facebook, SMS, and more messaging apps than you can count. But if anything, that rarity has only led to increase its value and perceived thoughtfulness, even as our penmanship skills decline. Today, a startup called Postable is bringing back the "handwritten" note with a service that allows you to type in handwriting fonts, then print to high-quality card stock.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/_Q3RLpG6uYI/

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Panasonic refreshes Toughbook H2 with faster processor, bigger storage and stronger shell

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We've never understood why Panasonic chose to brand its top-line tablet as the Toughbook H2, but given the hairy-chested types who build and use the gear, we're not gonna challenge 'em. The company hasn't messed too much with the Windows 7 slate, except pushing the top chip to a 2.8GHz Intel Core i5-3427U and to swap out the 320GB 7,200RPM shock-mounted HDD for a 500GB model. Panasonic has also tweaked the hardware's polycarbonate-encased magnesium alloy chassis, with MIL-STD-810G1 ensuring that the gear will survive drops from six-feet, as well as IP651 weather-proofing. The 3.5-pound unit also sees its battery life pushed to seven hours and also gains boosted WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1+EDR connectivity. Once you've selected a unit, there's a hefty list of possible add-ons, including barcode scanners, smart card readers, Gobi-running 3G, LTE and GPS options. There's even a model that meets MIL-STD-461F standards for electromagnetic protection -- useful if your day job involves battling superheroes. The standard unit will set you back $3,349 and comes with a three-year international warranty, so you'd better get buttering-up your procurement manager now.

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Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/QDZUqRYUZEY/

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US government files morning-after pill appeal

NEW YORK (AP) ? The Obama administration on Monday filed a last-second appeal to delay the sale of the morning-after contraceptive pill to girls of any age without a prescription.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn last week refused to delay enforcement of his month-old decision while the government challenges it, but he said the Justice Department had until Monday to appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

The government filed paperwork with the appeals court shortly before the noon deadline, saying it believes the judge overstepped his authority and that the administration will likely prevail in its appeal of the overall decision.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the underlying lawsuit, said it would answer Monday's legal filing within 10 days. The appeals court will then issue a ruling on whether to delay enforcement of Korman's ruling.

Korman said politics was behind efforts by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to block the unrestricted sale of the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill and its generic competitors.

Sales of the morning-after pill had previously been limited to those who were at least 17. The FDA announced earlier this month that the contraception could be sold without a prescription to those 15 and older, a decision Korman said merely sugarcoated the appeal of his order lifting the age restriction.

If the government fails, it would clear the way for over-the-counter sales of the pill to younger girls.

The government warned that "substantial market confusion" could result if Korman's ruling was enforced while appeals are pending. The judge dismissed the reasoning as a "silly argument."

Korman ordered levonorgestrel-based emergency contraceptives be made available without a prescription, over-the-counter and without point-of-sale or age restrictions.

The judge said he ruled against the government "because the secretary's action was politically motivated, scientifically unjustified and contrary to agency precedent" and because there was no basis to deny the request to make the drugs widely available.

In court papers, Reproductive Rights attorneys have said that every day the ruling is not enforced is "life-altering" to some women.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/us-government-files-morning-pill-appeal-161422988.html

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মঙ্গলবার, ১৪ মে, ২০১৩

Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine?s 2-year-old son has impressive striking

This is Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine's 2-year-old son, and he has some training to do on this laundry basket. Check out his technique on low kicks. Clearly, he has been watching his dad and learning from him. The older Saffiedine is making his UFC debut in July against Robbie Lawler. Will he be as effective as his son is against the laundry hamper?

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mma-cagewriter/strikeforce-champion-tarec-saffiedine-two-old-son-impressive-133912029.html

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