Examples of Stories for Sale
The ideas below are examples of pitches we make to our clients. International News Services ensures that established clients only receive such ideas and the agency strives at all times to avoid pitching to direct competitors of established customers
CANNABIS A FRONT FOR FRAUD SCHEMES
The cannabis industry is increasingly being used to cover for Ponzi schemes, with fraudsters seeking to exploit potential investors in the market. Most cases brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission involve operations that purport to be cannabis businesses but instead are schemes -- typically of the Ponzi and pump-and-dump variety -- said a former DEA chief, who has advised the financial community to conduct the same due diligence as appropriate for any other kind of investment, regardless of the product.
MINIATURE ID TAG DEVELOPED TO TACKLE PRODUCT COUNTERFEITING
Researchers at MIT have devised a cryptographic tag small enough to be attached to any product to verify its authenticity. While RFID tags are too large for some automotive components, for example, this new tag has been shrunk in size to one millimetre, does not need batteries but stores sensitive data and can be used to tackle supply chain counterfeiting.
CORONAVIRUS USED BY FRADUSTERS
The first major phishing attack of 2020 was based on phoney information on the Coronavirus, with criminals putting fake WHO logos on email messages with bogus links in the message encouraging users to click through and - at the same time - hand over their personal details. We'd gather warnings and best practice plus find out how national authorities are fighting these attempts.
EU'S NEW STRATEGY ON ANIMAL WELFARE
EU CHEMICAL SUPPLIERS FACE TIGHTER RULES IN LATEST ANTI-TERRORISM MEASURES
EU LAUNCHES HIGH COMPUTING PERFORMANCE INITIATIVE
TEXTILE SOLVENT RESTRICTION IN EU
ECHA has added 2-methoxyethyl acetate, a textile solvent, to its list of substances of high concern that are likely to see their use tightly restricted in the EU and made subject to special authorisation - the concern here is that the chemical is toxic to reproduction. We have the details.
US FDA CONSIDERS ANTIBIOTICS BAN ON LIVESTOCK
SCOTTISH BEEF SHIPPED TO JAPAN FOR FIRST TIME IN 23 YEARS
TEXTILE COATING GUIDANCE IN THE EU
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has released a new guideline for industrial users of 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), which is a coating used to coat textile fibres. The Europena Union (EU) is restricting its use because of concerns over its toxicity - with the chemical being subject to the first restriction of its kind that is based on Derived no Effect Levels (DNEL). Industrial users will have to comply with the restriction by May 9, 2020. We can explain the details of this policy change and what implications it will have on textile coating companies.
USA ANNOUNCES MORE TARIFFS ON CHINESE IMPORTS INCLUDING ELECTRONICS
President Donald Trump announced on August 1st that the USA would impose an additional 10% duties on USD300 billion’s worth of exported goods from China starting September 1, 2019. This includes hard copy books, brochures, dictionaries, encyclopaedias and more. More recently, the US Trade Representantive's Office has said that as of December 15,2019 tariffs will be slapped on a series of electronics from China, including mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing.
MEAT SUBSTITUTED IN ONE IN FIVE FOODS SOLD IN THE UK
CHINA-CANADA TENSIONS ESCALATE AMID “FORGED” CERTIFICATES OF CANADIAN PORK
URANIUM AND OTHER MINERALS AT CENTRE OF ESCALATING US-CHINA TRADE WAR
President Trump has increased a wide range of 10% duties on Chinese exports to the USA to 25%. The tariff hike covers uranium ores, compounds (and metal). The US imported USD60.3 million’s worth of uranium from China in 2018 (3.5% of all imports). China responded with retaliatory tariffs on a range of US imports, including metal ores such as iron, nickel, zinc, titanium and zirconium. These latest tariff hikes in the US-China Trade War will have a major impact on the global minerals sector.
NASA ALUMINIUM SUPPLIER INVESTIGATED FOR FRAUD
EU CAPS PALM OIL FEEDSTOCK USE BUT LEAVES POTENTIAL LOOPHOLES
US FARMERS BOOST SOY BEAN PRODUCTION DESPITE US-CHINA TRADE DISPUTE
EU APPROVES DIRECTIVE ON UNFAIR TRADING IN B2B SECTOR
EU BANS USE OF BIOCIDE
The EU Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) has decided that the following active substance should not be approved for use in the EU, including in the textile sextor - carbendazim for product-type 9 (fibre, leather, rubber and polymerised materials preservatives). The committee’s opinion is that carbendazim, which meets the exclusion criteria, cannot be approved for product-type 9 because of unacceptable risks posed to the environment that cannot be mitigated.
REPORT: USD132 BILLION OF UK PROPERTY REGISTERED IN TAX HAVENS
Over 87,000 properties in England and Wales valued at an excess of USD132.4 billion (GBP100 billion) are owned by anonymous companies registered in tax havens, according to a new report. Forty percent of the identified properties are in London. Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge, an affluent neighbourhood of Victorian homes bordering Hyde Park, hosts at least 134 secretly owned properties. About 10,000 properties are in Westminster, home to the British Parliament.
EUROPEAN COMPANIES CONNECTED TO ILLEGAL CONGO TIMBER
Ten European companies trading in timber have sourced USD2.26 million of wood from a company engaged in illegal logging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a report released by Global Witness. The findings are especially worrying because most of the world’s second largest tropical rainforest is in the DRC, said the report. Tropical forests are estimated to absorb 30% of the world’s carbon emissions.
SWEDBANK SCANDAL DOUBLES IN SCOPE
A scandal implicating Sweden’s oldest bank has widened dramatically with new revelations that the suspicious flows that the institution handled — transactions with potential connections to alleged Danske Bank money laundering — which amount to USD10.2 billion, not USD5.8 billion as earlier reported.
TOP HONG KONG OFFICIAL JAILED FOR BRIBERY AND MONEY LAUNDERING
Hong Kong's former home secretary was sentenced to three years in prison and a USD400,000 fine on March 25 for bribing African officials on behalf of a Chinese energy company. Sentencing followed a one-week trial in the Southern District of New York last December, when Patrick Ho was convicted by a jury on seven counts - one of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, four of violating the FCPA, one of conspiring to commit international money laundering, and one of committing international money laundering.
MERRILL LYNCH FINED OVER USD8 MILLION FOR IMPROPER ADR HANDLING
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on March 22 that Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated will pay over USD8 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). The SEC’s says Merrill Lynch improperly borrowed pre-released ADRs from other brokers did not own the foreign shares needed to support them. This inflated the total number of a foreign issuer’s tradeable securities, which resulted in abusive practices like inappropriate short selling and dividend arbitrage.
US regulatory delays hampering the advance of genetically-engineered dairy cows
The European Food Safety Authority about a potential risk to a major lead market
USMCA and the impact on third party diary industries
The US and Canada have struck an agreement on revising NAFTA (now to be called the USMCA) which will involve giving US dairy exporters access to the Canadian dairy market. We want to offer a piece where we look at the detail of what is on offer here and how it will not only affect the Canadian and US dairy sectors, but also third party dairy industries, like that in Europe, which will have to export products to North American markets affected by the new system.
Germany's spending on organic products
“The Confederation of Organic Food: figures, data, facts about the organic sector 2017” report in Germany looks at why Germans spend approximately 9-10% more on organic products every year. We would like to look at the details regarding the organic meat industry is in Germany and have a look at key statistics that could give us a better idea of latest trends. What organic cuts and meats are most popular in Germany, why, and who supplies them? We will speak to industry experts and the Confederation of Organic Food in Germany which conducted the research.
EU Commission proposals for money-laundering
The European Commission has released a paper outlining proposals to beef up EU powers regarding the controlling of EU money-laundering policies and actions. This has been sent to member states. It includes increasing the AML powers of the European Central Bank, among other options. Have paper and can write string news piece today, if you wish.
US cotton affected by Trump trade wars
The US government has released details of the extra help US ag producers will get to cope with Trump’s trade wars - and cotton producers will be a key beneficiary. We have the details and offer a news analysis piece plus comments from the US cotton industry that would explore the impact of the Trump trade wars on the cotton sector.
EU's Blocking Statute on Iran
Swedish government on animal welfare for meat
The Swedish government has announced plans to make it mandatory for municipalities to impose high standards of animal welfare and low dosages of antibiotics in the meat industry.
Pork producers in Trump's trade war
The US government has released details of the extra help US food producers will get to cope with Trump’s trade wars - and pork producers will be the second largest beneficiary. The government will buy up excess commodities—$558 million out of an estimated $1.2 billion. We have the details and offer a news Piece plus comments from the US pork industry - New York correspondent.
WTO against Indonesia duties on iron and steel
We are offering a news piece on how the WTO appellate body has ruled against Indonesia saying its duties on iron and steel imports break WTO rules, ordering Jakarta to liberalise its rules.
Kevlar for phone charging cables
Kevlar is being used to produce the world's first armoured phone charging cable to stop them breaking. Jet Co Labs, based in London, has integrated Aramid, or Kevlar, to reinforce the braided nylon wire in a cable, making it durable. The company has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to start the production of the JET cable with the technology it calls "KevlaBraid".
Irish laws for Ryanair employees
Turning anaerobic digesters and waste into biogas
We wanted to offer you a piece that looks at the problems that have faced livestock farmers who have invested in anaerobic digesters to turn slurry and other production waste into biogas, that can then be fed into national gas grids. Apparently in the UK and Ireland there have been a slew of insolvencies involving companies installing and operating these systems. We wanted to offer a news piece that looked into this - where we focus on advice to livestock producer struggling to operate such systems.
EU Commission on alcohol labelling
This is a news idea about how a group of European Parliament members have called on the Commission to turn down an industry proposal on alcohol labelling, claiming that alcoholic beverages should no longer enjoy a preferential regime compared to other foodstuffs. “The current situation created disparities in the internal market, where a milk producer has higher administrative burden than a vodka producer did” the letter reads. We would like to look at the concrete requests of the MEPs and look in details at their requests.
Germany: a money laundering haven
Trade pact Mercosur
This is an insider news piece about how a trade pact between the EU and the South American bloc Mercosur could be agreed in early September. We’d tap Brussels and Buenos Aires sources. This would mean closing key gaps remain on how far to open each other’s markets to industrial goods and farm products, such as Latin American beef. What is more, the window for a quick agreement is narrowing, with elections in Brazil in early 2019 and the mandate of the Commission ending after the European Parliament in May.
Zimbabwe's platinum mine expected for 2020
Russia's Miratorg now producing sausages
We are offering a newsy article to cover one of Russia’s largest meat processors, Miratorg, which is reorienting up to 30% of their capacities to the production of sausages. Our Russian correspondent can speak to a company representative to discuss the changes at Miratorg and how exactly they will focus their operative capacities on the production of sausages. Does this require employing more workers and construction? We would also discuss the company’s future expansion objectives.
Impacts of the phthalates EU ban
Montegro's development in beef products
Hong Kong's guidelines for AML/CFT
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), of Hong Kong, is consulting on proposed amendments to the territory’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) guidelines. These would expand the definition of ‘politically exposed persons’ subject to special AML/CFT checks to customers given a prominent function by an international organisation. The reforms would also streamline identification and verification rules for onboarding customers to allow more flexible approaches that reflect the AML/CFT risk in handling their business.
CMR limitations in fabrics and textiles
New European Commission special regulation to minimise consumer exposure, banning the placing on the market of carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction substances in clothing and related accessories (including sportswear and bags), or footwear, bed linen, blankets, upholstery or reusable nappies for use by consumers where the CMR substances are present in concentrations above a certain level.
Nano technology and environmental health regulation for chemical companies
These proposals have been backed by the European Chemical Agency’s (ECHA) REACH committee. The new regulation says that any different nanoforms covered by a REACH registered chemical “should be considered by the registrant in the demonstration of safety”. Moreover, information on manufacture, uses ...
Uganda's cotton textile sector
Through its national textile policy, the government hopes it can help the country earn more from its cotton, through value addition.
One way it is doing this is by attracting foreign investment into the textile industry. In the past few years for example, an investor from Turkey ...
New guidelines for adhesives in plastic food packaging
New guidelines for testing adhesives meant for plastic food packaging have been released by the Association of the European Adhesive & Sealant Industry (FEICA). We have access to the document, which outlines the specific guidelines for conformity testing of adhesives as components of food contact materials, and would like to offer you a news story on these updates.
Meeting discussing additives in animal feed
We propose covering the plenary meeting of the European Food Safety Authority’s ‘scientific panel on additives and products or substances used in animal feed’ (FEEDAP), in Brussels, Belgium July 12-14. Experts will discuss, among other things, a draft scientific opinion on the potential reduction of the currently authorised maximum copper content in feed. We can offer coverage of the key issues and opinions emerging from this meeting. What are the challenges facing meat producers in this area and what are the potential solutions?
Hong Kong recession to hit the auto sector
Upcoming banking and legal summit in India
Virtual EU currency task force to be created
Members of the European Parliament have said that the European Commission should set up a taskforce to monitor virtual currencies to prevent their being used to launder money or finance terrorism. MEPs passed this non-binding resolution noting the taskforce should build expertise in the underlying technology of virtual currencies and recommend any necessary legislation.
Danish domestic pork market share drops while chicken meat catches up
In Denmark chicken meat is catching up on pork which however still leads the market, according to the Danish Food and Agriculture council. We could do a follow up story to see if chicken meat producers are benefiting from the drop in pork and what has led to it with comments from industry experts. Between 2013 and 2015, the pork market share has gone down from 39.1% to 35.9%. During the same period chicken meat market has gained slowly but steadily from 22.4% to 23.5%.
India goes high tech to beat waste
EU packaging event
There will be an event tomorrow hosted by MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz, as well as the EU’s packaging and environmental association, Europen. We wanted to offer coverage as the event's focus will be on the EU's long-running plans to create a circular economy. As you know, the European Commission has been reviewing how it achieves this, and the recycling of waste plastic is a key part of the policy.
Speakers at the event include Mr Martin Reynolds: EUROPEN Chairman, CROWN Europe; and Mr Hans van Bochove: EUROPEN Vice-Chair, Coca Cola Enterprises.
Japan lifts 15-year ban on Italian beef
Japan has lifted its 15-year ban on imports of Italian beef. Japan had banned beef from the EU in 2001 based on concerns over Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Japan has already opened its market to beef from other member states such as France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and Sweden.
New sheep could see China’s market share grow
New EU rules on medicated feed
The European Parliament’s agriculture committee has backed a report of new rules on medicated feed. These aim to harmonise standards across Europe and encourage more responsible use of medicines such as antibiotics. The parliament will now negotiate a final text with the Council of Ministers.
Norwegian seal hunt gains government funding
The Norwegian Fisheries Minister announced last week that he would give NOK 2 million (around EUR210 000) to the seal hunt against the vote of the parliament on the government budget for 2016. This is despite controversy over the seal hunt and seal products – furs and leather - that has led to jurisdictions such as the US, Mexico, EU, and Russia banning them in some way.
EU agreements to fight cigarette smuggling
China's excess steel capacity
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China has said in a new report that China’s government efforts to address excessive production capacity including in steel have failed due to, for instance, regional protectionism, weak regulatory enforcement, low resource pricing, and misdirected investment.
Scotland's confusing food labels
Scotland’s confusing food labels are contributing to food waste and could hinder the government’s circular economy strategy, according to Approved Food, a large online retailer of short-dated and residual stock food. Approved Food surveyed 2,079 people from across the UK on their food waste habits and found more than 50% of people across Scotland throw away food that is approaching or past its best-before date despite it being perfectly safe to eat. Scotland plans to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025.
The EU's new skills agenda
The European Union Council of Ministers yesterday debated how to better link education to the skills needed in the market. The outcomes will help shape a European Commission policy initiative "A New Skills Agenda for Europe", which is expected to orient education EU higher education policy, expected for May. In the debate, ministers noted the importance of upgrading numeracy, literacy and digital skills of all students.
Potential impact of TTIP on meat sector
A piece looking at the potential benefits and detriments of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and EU for the meat sector as negotiations reach the twelfth round. For instance, Copa-Cogeca has noted that protectionism should be avoided and that areas such as processed food exports in particular could benefit from the deal. However, the organisation has warned there is a lack of progress on eliminating red tape and non-tariff barriers to trade.
Adidas wins case to oppose similarly-designed shoe
The European Court of Justice has ruled that Adidas may oppose Belgium-based Shoe Branding Europe’s application to register a shoe with two parallel stripes on the side as a trade mark. This is similar to Adidas’ mark, which is a shoe with three parallel stripes on the side. This decision overturns an earlier decision by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) that dismissed Adidas’ opposition.
European Commission approves equity firm’s control over shoe retailer Kurt Geiger Topco
The European Commission has approved Cinven Capital Management General Partner Limited’s (UK) sole control over shoes and accessories retailer Kurt Geiger Topco Limited (Cayman Islands). Cinven is a private equity business providing investment management and investment advisory services.
EU lifts 4 year fresh ostrich meat ban from S.Africa
Dairy cow cull threatens US beef quota mark
Indonesia prepares to increase cattle permits amid soaring beef prices
New ERBD-financed Coca-Cola plant in Tajikistan
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing finance for a new Coca-Cola drinks bottling plant in Tajikistan.
The Bank’s loan will be used by Coca-Cola Beverages Tajikistan to refinance loans provided by Coca-Cola İçecek A.Ş. to set up a green-field soft drinks bottling plant in the suburbs of Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan.
The state-of-the-art production plant will produce up to 100 million litres of beverages per year.
Scottish government banning GMO crops
The Scottish government has announced it will formally ban genetically modified crops, such as those used for animal feed, from being grown in the country. This follows the granting of recent EU powers that allow devolved administrations to opt out of a more relaxed regime.
*We want to offer a news piece on this.
*We can also offer a follow up feature looking at the position being taken or considered by other EU regional governments – using our network of writers.
Indian government suing Nestle
The Indian government is suing Nestle for USD100 million over its ‘unfair trade practices’. The complaint against Nestle is that it caused damage to consumers through misleading advertisements related to its Maggi noodles product, which was banned in India after the food safety regulator said Nestle was not complying with food safety laws.
EU farmers concern over methane rules
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has backed a review of EU Air Quality Policy, which farmers are warning will hit the EU livestock sector hard.
They are upset about what they see as unrealistic targets called for in the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC), opposing fixing methane targets in the agriculture sector.
Slovak bank gets EU money
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing
EUR8.5 million in bonds issued by SIJ-Slovenska Industrija Jekla d.d., the largest specialised steel manufacturer in Slovakia.
We have the details.
Tobacco directive concern - additives
A European Commission scientific committee has proposed 57 chemicals that could be part of the priority list of tobacco additives, which would trigger enhanced reporting obligations under the EU Tobacco Products Directive.
These includes caramel colours, carob bean extract, cocoa, glycerol and guar gum.
The additives were proposed based on their toxicity, attractiveness to the consumer and role in increasing tobacco addiction.
EFSA concern over flavouring
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has raised concerns over the flavouring substance p-Mentha-1,8-dien-7-al, also called “Perilla aldehyde”, which is added to some drinks to produce a pungent citrus smell and a woody, spicy, citrus taste.
The substance has been proven to damage DNA in animals.
Would you like some copy? If you do, we would be glad to supply it.