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August 22, 2012

Four people shot in parking lot of Wal-Mart store north of Austin, Texas

Four people shot in parking lot of Wal-Mart store north of Austin, Texas

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Texas
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Witnesses heard gunshots in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Cedar Park, Texas, near Highway 183, on Sunday morning. Police arrested eighteen year-old Soloman Onwukaife at the scene. Four, including the gunman who had facial wounds unrelated to the shooting, are being treated for injuries after the incident. A fifth victim has been released.

Cedar Park Police Captain Mike Harmon said authorities arrived at the parking lot around 4:30 AM local time. There they arrested Onwukaife, who has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Cedar Park Wal-Mart was closed down briefly on Sunday morning; however, no staff or customers were injured.

Police have released the names of the victims, eighteen-year-old Cody McGrath, nineteen-year-old Shayne Davis, nineteen-year-old Zacharia Gietl and 22-year-old Leland McGlocklin. As-of Monday, Gietl has been released from hospital whilst the others remain in critical, but stable, condition. Police informed media the incident occurred follwing a dispute which began at a nearby party where alcohol was being served. After moving the fight to the parking lot, Onwukaife is alleged to have shot the four victims.

Onwukaife was expected to be released on Monday, after which he would immediately be jailed. Police advised media the investigation is on-going and more charges may still be filed. Specifically, Police are trying to determine if any other participants in the fight were armed.



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December 23, 2011

Walmart recalls infant formula after baby death

Walmart recalls infant formula after baby death

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Health
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Trypticase containing Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria.
Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Retail store group Walmart has removed an infant formula from over three thousand of their stores in the United States. The decision was taken in the aftermath of the death of a baby who suffered from Cronobacter sakazakii, an infection which is extremely rare but poses a significant risk to babies born recently and those born prematurely should they contract it. A second newborn baby has also contracted the infection, which is most frequently discovered in plants like rice and wheat.

Ongoing tests are now attempting to establish whether or not the powdered infant formula is connected to the bacterial infection the two babies suffered from in the US state of Missouri. A statement from Walmart says that the company is taking the product Enfamil Newborn Formula off their shelves “out of an abundance of caution”. Speaking on behalf of Walmart, Dianna Gee stated that the group express their “deepest condolences” to the family of Avery Cornett, who died after removal from life support. Gee informed Agence France-Presse that lot number ZP1K7G had been removed and “Walmart customers who may have purchased the item at our stores can return it for a full refund or exchange it for another brand of formula”.

The manufacturer of Enfamil Newborn Formula has also stated that tests made before shipment of the product came back as negative. Chris Perille, a spokesperson for Enfamil manufacturer Mead Johnson Nutrition, has said: “The batch of our product used by the child’s family tested negative for Cronobacter when it was produced and packaged, and that has been reconfirmed from our batch records following this news”. Mead Johnson are “highly confident in the safety and quality of our products — and the rigorous testing we put them through” and is “working with the health authorities to support their efforts to identify the source or cause of this infant’s infection,” according to Perille. The U.S. government has reportedly made no recall of the product.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has referred the infant formula to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration for examination and has advised parents that “powdered infant formulas are not commercially sterile products” and destroying bacteria amongst the production process may not be possible, while “no exclusively breastfed infants have been reported to have” contracted Cronobacter sakazakii. Pending test completion, “it cannot be determined whether the illness is linked to Enfamil Newborn Formula 12.5 oz. cans lot #ZP1K7G or an outside source”, according to a statement from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The department has also suggested that parents observe the World Health Organisation’s ‘Guidelines for the safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula’, which recommends “washing your hands with soap and water, thoroughly sterilizing all feeding equipment in hot, soapy water and preparing enough formula for only one feeding at a time”.



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March 13, 2011

iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

iPad 2 goes on sale in United States – Wikinews, the free news source

iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

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An iPad 1 (left) next to an iPad 2.

The new version of Apple Inc.’s tablet computing device, the iPad 2, has gone on sale in the United States at Apple Stores and a number of other retailers (including Wal-Mart, Target, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Verizon, and AT&T), a shift from last year’s launch which was only available through Apple’s stores. The product will go on sale internationally on March 25.

The device was announced on March 2 at an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. CEO Steve Jobs emerged from sick leave to make the announcement.

The new model has cameras on the front and back.

The iPad 2 has an all-new design and has several improvements over the original iPad. The device runs on a dual-core Apple A5 CPU. According to Jobs, the CPU’s new dual-core capability enhances multitasking and doubles the processing speed. Apple additionally introduced a magnetic ‘Smart Cover‘ accessory that snaps to the front screen of the device along with several new apps ported from the Mac OS X operating system and the iPhone. These include iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth. The new iPad introduces front and rear cameras which enable FaceTime and video. The new tablet is fifteen percent lighter and 33 percent thinner than the previous version—thinner than an iPhone 4—and has beveled edges. It is available in black and white and continues to be capable of ten hours of battery life on a single charge.

Shoppers in Chicago with their new purchases.

The announcement came after months of rumors about the successor to the original iPad. Competitors have designed tablets to compete with the iPad, such as Motorola’s Xoom powered by the Android operating system. Apple, who normally follows a yearly product cycle, has pressed its iPad successor into the marketplace almost a full month earlier than usual.

Tablet computers have existed for years but, until recently, have not been popular amongst consumers. Tablet sales totaled 90,000 in 2009. Apple sold nearly fifteen million iPads worldwide in 2010, generating US$2 billion in revenue within three months. In 2010, Apple held a 75% share of the tablet computer market. According to one analyst, even with competition, iPads will still make up at least 20 million of the more than 24 million tablet computers sold in the United States in 2011. An analyst predicted ‘conservatively’ that 35 million iPad 2s will be sold in 2011. One analyst credits Apple’s enormous App Store for the iPad’s continued domination. Apple also holds an advantage in price over other tablets, many of which are still first generation devices. An analyst at J.P. Morgan predicts an overabundance of tablets caused by faltering demand. This could have drastic effects on competitors.

The iPad connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and 3G models of the new device can connect to the wireless networks of AT&T or Verizon Wireless. The iPad 2 will start at US$499—the same starting price of the original iPad. The equivalent model of the original iPad has been reduced to US$399.


Timeline of Apple touchscreen devices



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January 25, 2010

Sam\’s Club to cut 11,000 jobs

Sam’s Club to cut 11,000 jobs – Wikinews, the free news source

Sam’s Club to cut 11,000 jobs

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Monday, January 25, 2010

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Sam’s Club, operated by Wal-Mart Stores, has announced that it will be cutting about 11,000 jobs, most of which are product-demo part-time jobs. The announcement was made by Sam’s Club’s President and Chief Executive Brian Cornell.

The president commented that the move was intended to increase sales and customer loyalty, and not to lower costs. “Operationally, we see this as a net neutral,” he said. Cornell said he believes a large part of of the fired workers would be hired by Shopper Events LLC of Rogers, Arkansas, a marketing firm.

In addition to the cuts, Sam’s Club said it would be outsourcing its in-store product demonstration and sampling to a third-party firm, the marketing company Shopper Events.



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August 1, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: August 1, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: August 1, 2008 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: August 1, 2008

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A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, August 1, 2008.

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Wal-Mart warning U.S. managers about labor bill

Rueters and the Wall Street Journal reported today that Wal-Mart executives have begun warning store managers and other employees about the implications of Democratic victory in the United States 2008 Presidential race.

The Employee Free Choice Act, which aims to “amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.”

Wal-Mart opposes the EFCA which would allow for “workers to unionize by signing a card rather than holding a vote,” Rueters Reports.

“We believe EFCA is a bad bill and we have been on record as opposing it for some time,” Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar told Rueters. “We feel educating our associates about the bill is the right thing to do.”

The Wall Street Journal cites conversations with about 12 employees in seven states.

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August 29, 2007

Wal-Mart owes back taxes, according to State of Wisconsin

Wal-Mart owes back taxes, according to State of Wisconsin

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

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According to the state of Wisconsin, Wal-Mart has avoided paying millions of dollars in state taxes by paying rent on 87 Wisconsin properties. The Wisconsin State Department of Revenue call this behavior “abusive and distortion of income.”

Wal-Mart is doing this by setting up one subsidiary to run all its stores and setting up another subsidiary to own its real estate. The operating subsidiary then pays the rental cost to the real estate subsidiary and takes a tax deduction for the rent. This money will, however, end up in the corporation’s own pocket.

As a result of Wal-Mart’s actions, the state tax auditors say that Wal-Mart owes more than $17.7 million in back corporate income taxes, interest and penalties from 1998-2000.

The Wal-Mart corporation claims that they are doing nothing wrong, rather they are taking advantage of an overlap of state and federal tax laws in an effort to reduce their taxes and costs.


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July 12, 2007

US stocks surge, Dow Jones index reaches record

US stocks surge, Dow Jones index reaches record

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The New York Stock Exchange
Image: Colin Gregory Palmer.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at a new record high of 13,861.73 as United States stock markets rose sharply. This is the first time the Dow got above 13,700. Today’s 2.1% rally is the index’ largest single-day percentage gain in nearly four years.

Analysts cite earnings reports that exceeded forecasts as a catalyst for the buying spree. Most notably, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest private employer and retailer, which reported that same-store sales increased by 2.4%.

“Consumer are still spending so that was something for people to hang their hats on,” said Hugh Moore of Guerite Advisors, when explaining the rally.

Another contributing factor is being reported to be the announced acquisition of Canadian aluminum company Alcan Inc. for US$38.1 billion by multinational mining company Rio Tinto Group. This led to speculation, it is said, that Alcoa Inc., the leading aluminum producer in the US, may soon be the target of a take-over.

Other benchmark indices also posted major gains today. The S&P 500 Index climbed 28.94 to 1,547.70, also a record high. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 49.94 to close at 2,701.73, the highest since March of 2001.

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February 7, 2007

Wal-Mart to face court trial

Wal-Mart to face court trial – Wikinews, the free news source

Wal-Mart to face court trial

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A typical Wal-Mart store exterior.

A federal court has upheld a ruling given in 2004 granting class action status for a suit against the American retail giant Wal-Mart. As many as 1.6 million or more women employees might file civil suits alleging Wal-Mart discriminated against their sex.

Walmart logo2.gif

Six women in 2001 claimed that the company paid them less than men.

“It is time for Wal-Mart to face the music,” said Brad Seligman, a lawyer representing the female plaintiffs. “Two courts now have ruled that Wal-Mart is going to have to face a jury … We fully expect Wal-Mart to keep appealing but we’re very confident now that two courts have upheld this (class) certification.”

“Factual evidence, statistical evidence and anecdotal evidence present significant proof of a corporate policy of discrimination and support plaintiff’s contention that female employees nationwide were subjected to a common pattern and practice of discrimination,” said Judge Martin Jenkins.

This lawsuit only counts for female workers that have worked for the company since December 26, 1998.

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November 17, 2006

New PlayStation 3 lines people up in stores today

New PlayStation 3 lines people up in stores today

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Friday, November 17, 2006

PlayStation 3 on display at the Tokyo Game Show

The new PlayStation 3 is getting more people lining up in stores than people walking out. EBay has pages full of PlayStation 3s, retailing at US$500-$600, auctioning at about US$3,000 up to US$5,000. The gaming console, which would normally sell for between five to six hundred dollars, sold out in minutes at stores across the US.

Some incidents of violence have been reported. Two gunmen in Putnam, Connecticut, for example, came up to 15 to 20 people standing outside Wal-Mart a little after 3:00 a.m. EST and demanded money. One man resisted and was shot in the chest and shoulder. Police are now searching for the suspects.

EBay is restricting PlayStation 3’s to only experienced eBay sellers with high ratings. Only one PS3 can be listed per eBay account. The listing has to include a photo of the pre-order receipt and the seller must guarantee shipment within 30 days starting from the date of purchase.

One individual stood in line for 3 entire days in order to purchase the PS3. He claimed to have bought the game console for $300 and then sold it on Ebay for a grand total of $3000.

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November 8, 2006

Three Walmart superstores open in Canada

Three Walmart superstores open in Canada

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

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Wal-Mart Canada’s first three supercenters opened in Ancaster, London and Stouffville, Ontario.

The idea originally started in the United States in late 2005 and was announced that it would be arriving in Canada.

Flat screen TVs suspended from the ceiling will feature a television network, featuring fashion shows of Wal-Mart’s clothing lines, TV commercials featuring brands the retailer carries, and corporate messages.

A Wal-Mart supercenter in Madison Heights, Virginia.

With an expanded selection of electronics, hardware, home and housewares, the Wal-Mart supercentre could be compared to Future Shop, Home Depot, Home Outfitters, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Fortinos. The supercentre has wider aisles, higher ceilings, clear signage, and cash registers in selected departments such as electronics and clothing.

“Our goal is to become the one-stop shop for customers,” said Mario Pilozzi, chief executive of Wal-Mart Canada. “You see how fresh that is today? We are going to maintain that freshness in these stores.”

Wal-Mart’s Canadian supercentres are more sophisticated then their U.S. counterparts, because Canadian grocers have created higher expectations among the average consumer, company officials say.

However, Wal-Mart openings are controversial in many communities. Activists claim they can be detrimental to local economies, driving out locally owned businesses, lowering wages, and leading to suburban sprawl.

Wal-Mart already has plans to open fourteen new supercentres in 2007, of them Scarborough, Sarnia, Brampton and Vaughan will be early in the year.

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