Candace Owens brands Chrissy Teigen a ‘massive, disgusting hypocrite’ over Courtney Stodden bullying row as she unearths MORE vile past tweets from the model



Candace Owens has branded Chrissy Teigen a ‘massive, disgusting hypocrite’ after the model apologised for sending Courtney Stodden abusive tweets encouraging the former teen bride to commit suicide.

Political commentator Owens, 32, took to Twitter on Thursday after the apology as she unearthed more vile tweets Teigen, 35, made in the past.  

Addressing the recent Stodden controversy, Owens penned: ‘Chrissy Teigen has offered a public apology to Courtney Stodden for encouraging her to commit suicide as a teenager, but ONLY because I blew the story up.

‘The media has given Chrissy a pass for YEARS as she has monstrously attacked people, repeatedly for simply existing.’ 

Owens then shared unearthed posts, one aimed at Lindsay Lohan in 2011, that said the actress ‘adds a few more slits to her wrists when she sees emma stone [sic]’, while another alleged tweet targeting politician Sarah Palin read: ‘listen. i don’t want much from sarah palin. i just want her to admit partial fault, then shoot herself in the face. is that wrong? [sic]’

Addressing Teigen’s tweet about Lindsay Lohan, Owens shared: ‘Another @chrissyteigen suicide tweet. This time dedicated to Lindsay Lohan. 

‘Isn’t John Legend’s wife just SO FUNNY when she encourages self-harm? All of you celebrities are massive, disgusting hypocrites who treat people like dirt.’ 

In response to the tweet about Palin, Owens tweeted: ‘Chrissy Teigen also pleaded with Sarah Palin to commit suicide by shooting herself in the face. @target is still carrying her products.’

MailOnline has contacted Teigen’s representatives for comment.  

The unveiling of the tweets comes after Teigen has repeatedly come under fire for a string of vile remarks made over the years. 

Back in 2018, Twitter users unearthed several outrageous comments made by Teigen, including one in which she ridiculed transsexual contestants on America’s Next Top Model by posting: ‘God. Can we just come out and call the freaking show America’s next top tr***y because this s**t has been t***tastic for the past five years.’ 

She also mocked Lady Gaga’s appearance with the post: ‘Aaaaah. I feel like lady gaga. But with lady parts.’

She taunted Demi Lovato about her stay in an addiction clinic: ‘demi lovato is out of rehab! I hope she made the bed for Charlie.’

When Mariah Carey announced she was having twins, Teigen cruelly shamed her: ‘why is anyone surprised mariah is having twins? I was always pretty positive there were 2-15 babies growing inside of her.’

She attacked Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham: ‘farrah Abraham now thinks she is pregnant from her sex tape. In other news you’re a whore and everyone hates you.’

She lashed out at Avril Lavigne: ‘If u told me I could I have kid but it would be exactly like avril, I would choose to have a barren, sterile existence that ends when I die.’ 

She mocked comedian Jay Mohr over the name of his baby son.

‘NikkI Cox and Jay Mohr named their son Meredith. Their son, Meredith. Meredith is their son’s name. The name of their son is Meredith.’

And she attacked then nine-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis for her presenting performance at the 2013 Oscars. ‘Is it okay to call a small child cocky?’ she tweeted.

Although Teigen did not apologise at the time for her past tweets, she recently issued an apology to Courtney Stodden, after the model accused her of cyber bullying.

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Conor McGregor brands Khabib Nurmagomedov “homophobic” in deleted x-rated rant


Conor McGregor launched an astonishing Twitter rant about his former UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov – labelling the Russian ‘homophobic’.

The two went head-to-head at UFC 229 in October 2018 with Nurmagomedov successfully defending his lightweight title via submission.

There had been extensive speculation regarding a rematch only for the former lightweight world champ to announce his retirement.

Nurmagomedov, 32, decided he would be leaving the UFC following his win over Justin Gaethje in October of last year, a decision which has since been confirmed.

However, that has done little to stop McGregor taking shots at his old foe in a series of now-deleted posts on the social media site.



Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor in 2018
Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor in 2018

The Notorious was initially responding to a user who claimed the commentary on their bout was biased towards his opponent.

He replied: “Real dirty. I’ve felt the commentary wrath a few times. Imagine this was the round I had won too.

“The guy was holding onto me crying to referee saying I was breaking the rules or some s***.

“And they try and say that I said this only business s***. Absolute horse plop.”



McGregor began by responding to a criticism of the commentary of his UFC 229 fight with Khabib
McGregor began by responding to a criticism of the commentary of his UFC 229 fight with Khabib


The Notorious then labelled his old rival as 'homophobic' before deleting posts
The Notorious then labelled his old rival as ‘homophobic’ before deleting posts

And in a subsequent reply to a tweet which claimed he cheated by holding Khabib’s shorts, he said: “I wasn’t holding his shorts! I was ramming my fingers up his homophobic ass.

“And just look at this happy face here. He loves it. He’s a fingers in the booty ass b****.”

Although a rematch with Khabib is unlikely, McGregor will get a chance to exact revenge on his most latest defeat, when he takes on Dustin Poirier in their trilogy deciding fight in July.

The Irishman has promised a ‘flawless performance’ as he looks to re-enter the title picture at 155lbs.

“July 10th I will do this absolutely flawlessly,’ McGregor said. “We have these clowns sussed and fully!

“They wanna play a game of tactics? No problem, see you in there.

“You’ve awoken a beast. A beast with the backing of a much higher power!

“Say your prayers.”



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‘Everything comes out from our pocket’: Small brands suffer when retailers like Naiise miss payments


SINGAPORE: When Suzianna Mohd Sofiee tied up with homegrown multi-label retailer Naiise at the start of last year, sales went up more than when she partnered with other smaller retailers. 

The platform’s strong presence gave her brand, Fen Perfumes, good exposure. It also provided a physical space for customers to smell the perfumes – something her online store could not do. 

Seeing how brisk sales were, she then ordered thousands of dollars worth of new stock.

READ: Singapore retail sales up 5.2% in February, boosted by Chinese New Year celebrations

This became a problem when Naiise started missing the payments owed to her, which eventually added up to about S$2,000, Ms Suzianna said.

Although some may see it as a “small sum”, the 36-year-old said any amount is a blow to independent brand owners because “everything comes out from our own pocket”.

“(Any plans to) churn out new products or restock – it’s all put on hold because all the amounts have gone haywire,” she added.

READ: Homegrown retailer Naiise shuts down, founder Dennis Tay to file for personal bankruptcy

Her experience is consistent with other complaints against Naiise over late payments, which surfaced as far back as 2016.

Last Thursday (Apr 15), its founder Dennis Tay announced that the retail platform has shuttered due to financial difficulties, acknowledging that brand partners and trade creditors are still owed payment.


Fen Perfumes on display in a store. (Photo: Fen Perfumes)

Products were sold on consignment at Naiise. Vendors like Ms Suzianna were to be paid only for the products sold, minus a commission fee, similar to how it works with department stores.

When Robinsons announced last year the closure of its last two department stores, some suppliers said they were owed thousands of dollars by the 162-year-old retailer.

HOW DOES IT HURT SMALL FIRMS?

Slow or late payments mean the hand-to-mouth existence of small brands has become even more pronounced, said entrepreneurs. 

The payment performance of local firms hit an all-time low in 2020, according to the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB). It improved only marginally in the first quarter of this year, with the retail sector faring the worst.

“This is largely due to a rise in slow payments by retailers of general merchandise, apparels and accessories,” said SCCB.

READ: ‘I doubt we will be paid’: Robinsons’ suppliers left in the lurch

Mr Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME), acknowledged that while the situation with late payments has generally improved over the past few years, “it is still a problem”.

“It has become something that people frown upon … but I think there is still room for us to try to reduce this.

“We have heard (even recently) that in certain institution’s procurement contracts, payment (periods) were six months,” he said, adding that anything longer than 90 days should not be acceptable. 

READ: BHG Singapore to launch Raffles City concept store at former Robinsons space

Ms Gin Oh, the founder of lifestyle businesses MissHosay and ShinnPark, noted that slow or late payments happen “quite frequently” in the industry.

She estimated that at one point, she was owed more than S$10,000 in total by different companies.

“The money was supposed to be for cash flow, so we had to resort to borrowing money from family and friends just to support our staff and operations at the time,” said the 39-year-old.

“If you talk about over a year of delayed payments, you can’t really sleep if the amount snowballs. It does affect morale of staff in the office, and also plans to bring in more supplies using the money.”

Mr Wee added that prompt payments also help to build trust. “It builds unhesitant delivery of services and products. It’s very important for business momentum and credibility,” he said.

WHAT CAN FIRMS DO?

When payments are late or non-existent, businesses complain that there is little recourse available to them.

They said they can approach the Small Claims Tribunal but that does not always guarantee any payment.

Any further legal action would come at a cost, which is hard to justify if the amount they are chasing is relatively smaller.

Heading to court would also sour the relationship, said Mr Wee.

Ms Dawn Bey, the founder of Pew Pew Patches and Minor Miracles, said: “Unfortunately, there is really no way out. The only thing is just to be on the ball with (chasing) payments.”

Naiise had owed her about S$5,000 from 2019, but before they wound up, she managed to get back half that amount by “hounding” them.

Her team sent the company emails every month and called them every day until they could provide a concrete payment plan, she said.

But she added that amid the many things to handle while running a business, this is the “last thing” an entrepreneur should have to deal with. 

Ms Oh said one other way to prevent late payments is to simply stop supplying the goods once payment stops.

“We did that and we lost sales, but we had to bite the bullet and do it,” she said, adding that the move eventually worked and payments came in again. 

Mr Wee said late payments are on the radars of business associations, and ideas such as the establishment of a payment code have been raised.

READ: What recovery? Clothes retailers cut orders while factories fight to survive

The situation is trickier if the company winds up. Other than Naiise, Ms Oh said she has bad debt with a number of multi-label platforms that have closed over the years, such as the Mad Museum and We The People.

Besides Robinsons, Ms Bey said she was owed money by Gallery & Co.

All this has made business owners more careful about who they work with.

“I feel safer with smaller retailers. They understand where we come from and they’re there to support us,” said Ms Suzianna, adding that she is also very clear with her terms of consignment with them.

But Ms Bey said that for larger platforms, there are few alternatives.

“Unfortunately in Singapore, there’s not a lot of sales channels or physical multi-label places to go to … And for any business, sales channels are important,” she said.

“As much as a small business might have been traumatised (by late payments), you have no choice but to suck it up.”

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China Attacks H&M, Adidas, Nike and Other Fashion Brands Over Their Stance on Xinjiang


BEIJING — China’s ruling Communist Party is lashing out at H&M and other clothing and footwear brands as it retaliates for Western sanctions imposed on Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The attacks began when the party’s Youth League on Wednesday called attention on its social media account to an H&M statement in March 2020 that it would stop buying cotton grown in Xinjiang. The Swedish retailer said it was “deeply concerned” about reports of forced labor there.

On Thursday, a party newspaper, the Global Times, cited Burberry, Adidas, Nike and New Balance as having made “cutting remarks” about Xinjiang cotton as early as two years ago. Celebrities including Wang Yibo, a popular singer and actor, announced they were breaking endorsement contracts with H&M and Nike.

Beijing often attacks foreign clothing, auto, travel and other brands for actions by their governments or to pressure companies to conform to its official positions on Taiwan, Tibet and other sensitive issues.

Companies usually apologize and change websites or advertising to maintain access to China’s populous market. But Xinjiang is an unusually thorny issue. Western brands face pressure at home to distance themselves from possible abuses.

More than 1 million people in Xinjiang, most of them from predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, have been confined to work camps, according to foreign researchers and governments. Beijing denies mistreating them and says it is trying to promote economic development and stamp out radicalism.

On Monday, the 27-nation European Union, the United States, Britain and Canada jointly announced travel and financial sanctions on four senior Chinese officials blamed for abuses in Xinjiang.

Beijing retaliated by saying it would impose unspecified penalties against European legislators and a German researchers who has publicized information about the detention camps.

H&M’s statement last March cited a decision by the Better Cotton Initiative, an industry group that promotes environmental and labor standards, to stop licensing Xinjiang cotton because it was “increasingly difficult” to trace how it was produced. In September, H&M announced it would stop working with a Chinese manufacturer that was accused of using forced labor in a unit unrelated to the Swedish brand.

In January, Washington imposed a ban in January on cotton from Xinjiang, a major supplier to clothing producers for Western markets.

China’s official outrage has so far focused on Europe, possibly because relations with the EU were relatively amicable amid rancor with Washington over trade disputes and accusations of spying and technology theft.

Official criticism of H&M reflected that tone of grievance at being hurt by a friend.

“How can H&M eat Chinese rice and then smash China’s pot?” state television said in a commentary on Wednesday.

On Thursday, internet users pointed to clothing brands Uniqlo of Japan and The Gap of the United States as other possible offenders. It was unclear how many of those accounts were members of the public and how many were operated by the ruling party’s vast propaganda apparatus.

Pop star Wang Yibo’s announcement that he was quitting as a Nike “brand ambassador” didn’t mention Xinjiang but said he “firmly resists any words and actions that pollute China.”

Others including actor Huang Xuan and Song Qian, a singer and actress also known as Victoria Song who is a former member of Korean pop group f(x), announced they would end endorsement contracts with H&M. Actress Tang Songyun said she was breaking ties with Nike.

Chinese athletic shoe brand ANTA announced it was pulling out of BCI, the industry cotton group.



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These women bosses are leading three of India’s new liquor brands


While Maka Zai rum and Rahasya Vodka were launched in January this year, Matinee Gin will be launched on March 13

There’s change rippling through the Indian alcobev industry with 2021 seeing women take the helm at the Indian arms of two of the largest alcohol companies in the world: Diageo (in July 2021) and Moet Hennessy. Women also have key positions across most beverage multinationals, reflecting not just increased diversity, but also the changing face of their consumer.

The other seismic shift that has taken place is in the craft spirits space in India, where a slew of mostly young entrepreneurs of both sexes have captured the zeitgeist, and made Indian brands cool and aspirational. However, while there have been changes in the producer profile, the actual business still gets done via distributors, retailers and bars and pubs. These are largely male-run and owned, with women being allowed to bartend in select states and only a handful of women working behind the bar. The supply chain for these companies — sourcing raw material, packaging — is still male dominated; in many cases, with traditional mindsets and ways of working.

Therefore, it is a challenging space for a woman entrepreneur to enter. That said, the four bosses featured here are the first to point out that with the trials have also come the unique advantages of working in a space like premium alcohol. Where a strong design aesthetic and a keen grasp of the consumer mindset are both key, again natural advantages for a woman.

Anjali Shahi and Lavanya Jayashankar will be launching Matinee Gin this month

Eighteen years ago, while navigating through their business degree in Singapore and drinking copious amounts of gin, little did Anjali Shahi and Lavanya Jayashankar know that they would be launching Matinee, their own brand of gin, in 2021. Scheduled to launch in Goa on March 13, it’s currently a two-woman team, with external consultants engaged on a case-to-case basis.

The epiphany came to Shahi in 2017, while living and working in London, home to around 300 brands of gin, and with India at that time having nothing to show as a local brand apart from Blue Riband. The irony which didn’t escape her was that several of these brands used Indian spices.

The idea then sprung to create an indigenous craft gin, using snake saffron, white turmeric, kagzi lime and Goan peppercorn — spices that make Matinee distinctive (even if Singapore’s Brass Lion Gin, run by Jamie Koh, does something similar, says Shahi).

Although the gin landscape in India has changed a fair bit over the last four years, the duo, in their mid-thirties, still felt that there was a gap. “Matinee is here to liven up the party as gin has been taking itself too seriously,” says Shahi, sharing their plans to enter Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh this year.

To zero-in on the seven botanicals, she distilled 42 herself. Naomi Fletcher, the ex-Soho House (Mumbai) consulting mixologist, helped her in the blending and shortlisting process, and there were experiments with ENA (extra neutral alcohol) at 96% that resulted in a numb tongue (for Shahi).

Meanwhile, Jayashankar was focussing on the label and creatives. “We wanted a bottle that would catch even the corner of your eye,” she says, adding, “One of the key lessons I have learnt in 15 years of working on brands is that balancing both feminine and masculine energies leads to the most well-rounded products, services, and communications.”

To be available in Goa at ₹1,490 for a 750ml bottle

Kasturi Banerjee, banker turned blender, launched Maka Zai rum in January 2021

Maka Zai means “I want” in Konkani, and the brand name of this new-age rum represents Kasturi Banerjee’s desire to put a local craft rum in the hands of Indian consumers. Stilldistilling Spirits, the company she recently founded, is her first foray into entrepreneurship, and an interesting shift from a 14-year career in financial services. For Banerjee, who moved from banker to bartender to finally blender, the first round of funding that she closed was all from friends and family (a testament to the familial support she received and strong work ties).

With a keen interest in spirits that are aged and matured, gold rum was a logical choice. White rum was also added as a product with Banerjee, in her early 40s, branding it as the Bartender’s Edition (₹1,000). Recognising that there was no uniquely Indian drink for celebrations, she christened the gold rum as the Tribute Edition (₹1,300).

A wholly Indian product, Maka Zai has an Olive Ridley turtle on its colourful label, a tribute to the magnificent sea creature which, after a long and perilous voyage to the shores of Goa (and other parts of India), lays its eggs on its beaches, before plunging back into the ocean. While creating and blending her rums, Banerjee sourced countless spirit samples from distilleries across India, finally zeroing-in on molasses-based cane spirit from Kolhapur and barrel aged cane spirit from north India. The white rum is made from sugarcane growing in and around Maharashtra’s Panchganga river, picking up “influences of the red soil and making it floral, sweet, spicy and herbaceous”. The gold rum is far richer in taste, with “hints of praline, date and figs and a touch of spice”.

Banerjee is grateful for the support she has received from industry luminaries like Shatbhi Basu, Yangdup Lama, Michael John D’Souza and Dimi Lezinska, among numerous others (full disclosure: I have been associated as an informal advisor to the brand over the past six months).

Varna Bhat

Varna Bhat, branding expert, launched Rahasya Vodka in January 2021

Bhat’s parents wanted her to be a civil servant, but as John Lennon sang, ‘life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans’. Her first entrepreneurial venture, RapidStall, focussed on eco branding solutions for businesses. Beverages were always an area of interest, and while in conversation with friends, she realised that India had no signature drink. Something that led to the launch of Rahasya Vodka in Goa earlier this year — a brand conceptualised and created by Bhat, who is in her mid thirties, with a team of blenders.

With gin brands mushrooming around her, opting for a flavoured vodka seemed like a clear differentiator. An added advantage was that the spicy flavour profile was uniquely Indian, unlike other flavoured vodkas available in the market.

Bhat – who has her eyes set on Maharashtra, Karnataka and a few export markets – has been inspired by the story of Gem and Bolt Mezcal, founded by two women, AdrinAdrina and Elliott Coon, and how they built a successful brand. “Women have a level of instinctual understanding about consumers and their preferences, that helps create a strong understanding for any business, not just alcohol,” says Bhat who has a team of 30 people across her companies, with a higher ratio of women.

Available only in Goa at ₹850 for a 750ml bottle

The writer is co-founder and CEO of Tulleeho, a drinks training and consulting firm

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Trump news – live: Taylor Greene says Republican party belongs to ex-president as Schiff brands GOP a ‘cult’


The Telegraph

Germany charges Nazi camp secretary with complicity in 10,000 murders in first recent case against female staff member

German prosecutors said on Friday that they have charged a former secretary at a Nazi concentration camp with complicity in the murders of 10,000 people, in the first such case in recent years against a female staff member. They said the woman, who was not named by prosecutors, had worked at the Stutthof camp near what was Danzig, now Gdansk, in then Nazi-occupied Poland. She “is accused of having assisted those responsible at the camp in the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war in her function as a stenographer and secretary to the camp commander” between June 1943 and April 1945, the prosecutors said in a statement. The accused, who was a minor at the time of the alleged crimes, is charged with “aiding and abetting murder in more than 10,000 cases” as well as complicity in attempted murder, added prosecutors from the northern city of Itzehoe. Due to her age at the time of the alleged violations, she will face a juvenile court. Germany has been racing to bring to justice surviving Nazi staff after the 2011 conviction of former guard John Demjanjuk on the basis he served as part of the Nazi killing machine set a legal precedent. Since then, courts have handed down several guilty verdicts on those grounds rather than for murders or atrocities directly linked to the individual accused. Among those who were brought to late justice were Oskar Groening, an accountant at Auschwitz, and Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at the same camp. Both were convicted of complicity in mass murder at the age of 94 but died before they could be imprisoned. In a most recent case, a former SS guard, Bruno Dey, was found guilty at the age of 93 and was given a two-year suspended sentence. He worked in the same Stutthof camp, set up by the Nazis in 1939. They initially used it to detain Polish political prisoners. But it ended up holding 110,000 detainees, including many Jews. Some 65,000 people perished in the camp.

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Asos buys Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge brands


Online fashion retailer Asos has bought the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from failed retail group Arcadia in a deal worth £295m.

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group fell into administration in November last year, casting doubt over the future of its brands and 13,000 jobs.

Asos is acquiring the stock and the brands. However, it is not taking on the stores.

It is paying £265m for the brands and a further £30m for the stock.

Asos chief executive Nick Beighton said: “The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for Asos and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further, using our design, marketing, technology and logistics expertise, and working closely with key strategic retail partners in the UK and around the world.”

Investment plans

Administrators for Arcadia confirmed the deal, saying about 300 people currently employed by the brands in design, buying and retail partnerships would transfer to Asos.

The administrators added that the deal was expected to complete on 4 February.

Asos said it had acquired “strong consumer-facing brands” and saw “a significant opportunity” to drive further growth for them globally.

It added that the brands would benefit from “investment into customer engagement and brand positioning in line with our existing model”.

Asos has seen strong sales in the pandemic and is already one of the biggest wholesalers for the brands that it has acquired.

Other brands in the Arcadia stable that have not yet been sold are Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton.

It emerged last week that online fashion retailer Boohoo was in “exclusive” talks to snap up those brands.

Also last week, Boohoo sealed a deal to buy the Debenhams brand and website for £55m. However, the price tag did not include any of the retailer’s remaining 118 High Street stores or its workforce, resulting in up to 12,000 job losses.

Sir Philip Green is under pressure to use his own money to plug an estimated £350m hole in Arcadia’s pension fund, which has about 10,000 members.

Last year, the retail tycoon had an estimated fortune of £930m, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.



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Joe Biden Brands Trump Supporters ‘Domestic Terrorists’



President-elect Joe Biden excoriated President Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed Capitol Hill as “domestic terrorists” on Thursday.

“They weren’t protesters — don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists,” Biden said sternly in a speech Thursday.

The president-elect angrily excoriated Trump and his supporters for enabling the violence in the Capitol, during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, to introduce his nominations for the Justice Department.

“I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming, but that isn’t true … the past four years we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy our constitution the rule of law clear in everything he has done,” he said.

Biden defined Wednesday’s riots on Capitol Hill as one of the “darkest days” in American history describing it as “an assault literally on the citadel of liberty.”

The president-elect added that the Capitol Police failed to carry out “equal justice” by allowing the protesters into the building.

He said that his granddaughter Finnigan Biden sent him a photo of military soldiers from the Summer protests set up to guard the Lincoln Memorial from Black Lives Matter protesters, and pointed to the disparity of law enforcement response.

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very, differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” he said disapprovingly.

Biden said that the incident was the result of Trump’s long record of disdain for American institutions, democracy, and the rule of law.

“Yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack,” he said.

Biden revisited four years of frustration with President Trump for challenging the government’s intelligence services, media organizations, and gassing “peaceful” protesters in Lafayette Square and again falsely claimed that the president “held the Bible upside down” for a “photo op.”

The president-elect also accused Trump of trying to “stack” the Supreme Court for the purpose of winning any electoral challenges in the 2020 election and attacking the Department of Justice.

Biden said that Trump was “trying to use a mob” to overturn the votes of 160 million Americans who voted for him.

“Our Democratic institutions are not relics of another age, they’re what sets this nation apart, they’re the guardrails of our democracy, and that’s why we have no president that’s a king,” he said.

 

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Fashion brands urged to ban Uighur-picked cotton


The US government expanded economic pressure on Xinjiang, banning cotton imports from a powerful Chinese quasi-military organisation that it said used the forced labour of detained Uighur Muslims.

Earlier this month US Customs and Border Protection said it would ban cotton and cotton products from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), one of China’s largest producers.

A detention facility in the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux, Xinjiang.Credit:AP

China reacted by saying the US was fabricating news of forced labour and at the risk of undermining market principles and deprive people of jobs.

High-end British department store chain John Lewis & Partners would not say if it would ban raw materials from the region, although its code of conduct does prohibit suppliers from using cotton gained through forced labour, while Sainsbury’s said it would have moved to using sustainable cotton by 2025.

Carry Somers, of Fashion Revolution, a not-for-profit organisation, said retailers should not shift responsibility onto their suppliers and that a ban on Xinjiang cotton was necessary.

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“While many brands have been quick to reassure their customers that they don’t sell clothing sewn in Xinjiang region, most of them have only a shadowy picture of where their cotton comes from,” she said.

“In order for brands and retailers to eliminate the use of forced labour such as the Uighurs and other minorities who are picking and processing the cotton for our clothes, they first must trace their entire supply chain.”

A John Lewis spokesman said none of its products were made in the Xinjiang region, its production sites were independently audited and no signs of forced labour have been found to date.

“We take human rights extremely seriously and regularly remind our suppliers about our Responsible Sourcing Code of Practice which states that employment must be freely chosen and this applies to the whole of our supply chain.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We do not source any own-brand clothing or general merchandise products from the Xinjiang region.”

The company said its suppliers must meet high ethical standards and are regularly required to demonstrate this, and that it is working with campaigners to better understand the concerns.

Debenhams said it was investigating its supply chain and did not intend to use cotton from Xinjiang in the future.

Other retailers including Asos and Boohoo said they required suppliers to refrain from using cotton sourced in the area.

Of 18 retailers contacted, 10 did not respond to questions over their policy on raw cotton from the region.

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Tamara Cincik, of Fashion Roundtable, a lobby group, said: “As someone from Muslim heritage, I take this issue very seriously and urge all brands to consider their supply chain options, moving to organic cotton manufactured by transparent and ethical farms and factories.”

The Centre for Global Policy, a US-based think tank says information from Chinese government documents and state media reports provide evidence that hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to pick cotton by hand under a government scheme.

It alleges that in 2018, three majority-Uighur areas within Xinjiang alone mobilised at least 570,000 people to pick cotton.

On Tuesday (Netherlands time), the International Criminal Court decided not to pursue an investigation into the mass detention of Muslims, a setback for activists eager to hold Beijing accountable for persecution of ethnic and religious minorities.

Prosecutors in The Hague said they would not, for the moment, investigate allegations that China had committed genocide and crimes against humanity regarding the Uighurs because the alleged crimes took place in China, which is not a party to the court.

Beijing denies that Uighurs’ rights are abused and says re-education centres provide vocational training to help people gain employment, and are necessary to curb extremism. In a previous statement issued the Chinese government said cotton pickers entered legal contracts of their own free will.

The Telegraph, London; The New York Times

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Topshop empire brands set for fire sale


There could be several bidders for the individual brands, particularly Topshop and Topman, as these are seen as Arcadia’s crown jewels.

The boss of one rival retailer said Boohoo was viewed as the frontrunner in the race to buy Topshop.

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The comments add to speculation of a swoop by the online fashion retailer, which acquired Oasis, Warehouse, Karen Millen and Coast earlier this year as they fell into administration.

Sir Philip’s long-time rival Mike Ashley is also thought likely to make an offer. Asos, meanwhile, is widely believed to be uninterested in Arcadia’s businesses as its strategy more recently has been investing in its own in-house brands.

However, Arcadia’s administrator Deloitte will be seeking to preserve as much of the business as possible.

That means buyers are likely to get preferential treatment if they are willing to take on the entire Topshop/Topman operation, rather than just the brands and online platforms. Better still would be a buyer for the entire Arcadia group – provided the price is right.

John Stevenson, an analyst at Peel Hunt, said: “The most obvious outcome is for the brands to go online, apart from perhaps Topshop and Topman, and Boohoo will of course be interested, along with a wide variety of interests.

“But I think Boohoo would only get Topshop with a knockout offer as it won’t be interested in the physical shops and the administrators will be looking for a buyer to take it all.

“Topshop is a viable business that was delivering £1 billion of annual sales two years ago, so if you can revamp it that would be attractive.”

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Mr Stevenson said the Sports Direct tycoon was an obvious buyer, although he too was not likely to be interested in any stores.

He said: “Ashley has a lot of physical retail space so would only be looking for brands to sweat his assets rather than picking up more.”

Arcadia collapsed into administration on Monday, putting the business into the hands of Deloitte, who will now seek buyers for the various brands or the entire group.

Asos and Boohoo were unavailable for comment.

Telegraph, London

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