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Breaking News in the Industry: February 28, 2018

Sporting goods retailer will stop selling assault-style rifles

DICK’S Sporting Goods, the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, will stop selling assault-style weapons like the one used in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.
The company said it will also raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21. DICK’S  will not sell high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to fire far more rounds than traditional weapons without reloading, as well as other accessories used with weapons similar to the AR-15. The Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, bought a gun at DICK’S. The company said he did not buy the AR-15 that he used in the school shooting there. The company stopped selling those military-style semiautomatic weapons in its DICK’S-branded stores after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, but it continued to sell those weapons at its 35 Field and Stream stores. Now it will pull those weapons from all of its stores. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and a major seller of firearms, announced it would stop selling the military-style semiautomatic weapons in August 2015.

There have been widespread calls for tougher gun control measures in the week since the school shooting. In a letter, DICK’S CEO Edward Stack said Parkland students’ calls for assault-style weapons bans are the reason the company is making this change. “We have tremendous respect and admiration for the students organizing and making their voices heard regarding gun violence in schools and elsewhere in our country,” he said in a letter released Wednesday. “We have heard you. The nation has heard you. We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us.” Stack, 63, is the son of the chain’s father. He has been CEO for 34 years. He noted that the Parkland shooter did not use the rifle he bought at DICK’S in the shooting, but he said, “It could have been. Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.”  [Source: CNN Money]

Delivery employee accused of trying to steal jewelry valued at nearly $40k

A FedEx employee was taken into custody after allegedly trying to steal nearly $40,000 worth of jewelry. Frederick Stewart was detained by security as he was trying to leave the facility on Sunday. According to police, Stewart transferred 40 14k rose gold diamond earrings into a plastic bag and then placed it in his own bag on his way out. Security noticed the items when the personal bag was placed on the x-ray machine, police said. Each pair was valued at nearly $1,000 a piece. Stewart was charged with theft of property.  [Source: News Channel3]

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Program to speed border crossing advances

A renewed U.S.-Canadian effort to speed cross-border trade by pre-inspecting cargo at factories and other sites within the host country could boost productivity in the auto industry. After testing the waters for more than a dozen years, authorities are gearing up to put U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on Canadian soil to clear shipments there, rather than at U.S. ports of entry — and vice versa for Canadian officers. The effort underscores the two nations’ deep-rooted economic relationship and interest in improving customs processes despite current friction over free trade. “This is really positive news because it shows that U.S.-Canada trade-related cooperation has a life outside of NAFTA, that the Trump administration is willing to work on border management and competitiveness in the movement of goods,” said Eric Miller, a trade and government relations consultant who heads Rideau Potomac Strategy Group. The U.S. and Canada have the world’s largest bilateral trade relationship, having exchanged $582.4 billion in goods and more than $80 billion in services in 2017. Formalizing cargo pre-clearance was discussed during an early February meeting in Washington between Ralph Goodale, Canada’s public safety minister, and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Clearing cargo in advance is meant to relieve pressure on ports of entry where limited space and staffing shortages create congestion during peak traffic periods. But establishing a “reverse inspection” system, in which one country’s officials can inspect cargo in the other country, has been complicated by jurisdictional, legal and diplomatic issues. Yet a similar principle has long been at work in commercial air travel, with U.S. officers at several Canadian airports clearing about 12 million passengers a year before they even board a U.S.-bound plane. In 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted a five-month trial at the crossing between Blaine, Washington, and Surrey, British Columbia, to test procedures and technologies for pre-inspecting cargo on trucks. The lessons learned were applied a year later to the much busier Peace Bridge crossing between Buffalo, N.Y., and Fort Erie, Ontario. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were stationed at the Canadian checkpoint to do primary inspections. When trucks reached the U.S. side of the bridge, they received a green light or were directed to a cargo lot for secondary inspection.  [Source: Automotive News]

Fraud, cyber and security incidents reach all-time high

This was the first time in the 10-year history of the Kroll Report when information theft, loss or attack was the most prevalent fraud, according to a press release. It was cited by 29% of respondents, up 5 points from the 2016 report, and surpassed the theft of physical assets or stock, the most common type of organizational loss in the past, which this year ranked second, at 27%. Cyber attacks are one of the most persistent threats to confidential data, but the occurrences of every type of cyber incident included in the survey increased. In addition to the high incidence levels, survey respondents said the consequences of fraud, cyber and security events were also costly and wide-ranging. They affected employees and customers, as well as the organization’s reputation and bottom line. There are mounting concerns among executives in the sample about their companies’ potential exposure to fraud, cyber and security risks. Information-related risks are the top worries for respondents across every risk category, and 57% of respondents said their companies are highly or somewhat vulnerable to information theft, loss, or attack, which is a 6% increase from the previous survey.

Former employees and insiders pose the greatest threat. Respondents reported that fraud, cyber, and security incidents are often inside jobs committed by management or current, former, or temporary and/or freelance employees. Of those who reported an incident of fraud, 81% said one or more insiders were perpetrators. Among those reporting cyber incidents, 58% said the perpetrator was an insider. Nearly all of the anti-fraud measures listed in the survey were widely adopted by over 70% of respondents. Information controls was the most widely implemented anti-fraud measure, by 78%. The top three cyber risk mitigation measures that executives expect their companies to implement in the next 12 months all address the problem of intrusions, including device-based intrusion detection systems (57%), endpoint threat monitoring tools (55%) and network-based intrusion detection systems (54%). “In the face of these mounting threats, organizations seeking to manage and mitigate the possibility of loss must take a holistic approach to enterprise risk management and implement diverse and layered measures that can enhance their ability to anticipate, detect, and respond to threats rooted not only in human error or intentional misconduct, but also in technological or internal control gaps,”David Fontaine, chief executive officer of Kroll, said in a statement.  [Source: RetailDIVE]

Popular goods sold through best-known online retailers are counterfeits

Federal investigators purchased counterfeit popular products, including cosmetics and electronics, on some of the biggest and best-known e-commerce websites, according to a new report. The findings highlight new challenges for U.S. agencies and businesses in protecting consumers from potentially dangerous goods. The investigators purchased a total of 47 products from third-party sellers hosted on five major e-commerce websites: Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Sears Marketplace and Newegg. Of those, 20 were determined to be counterfeit by the companies holding the products’ intellectual property rights, the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ nonpartisan investigative division, said in a report set to be released Tuesday. The products purchased included Urban Decay cosmetics, Yeti travel mugs, UL-certified phone chargers and Nike Air Jordan shoes. All 13 Urban Decay cosmetics purchased across the five e-commerce websites were determined to be counterfeit, as were 6 of 9 Yeti mugs and 1 of 10 UL-certified phone chargers, commonly used by iPhone users. All 15 pairs of Nike Air Jordan shoes were found to be authentic, per the report. GAO did not not specify which counterfeit items came from which online marketplace. But the report states the agency “purchased at least one counterfeit item and one authentic item from each of the five e-commerce websites,” as determined by blind testing by the companies holding the rights for each brand-name item. All 47 items purchased were advertised as new, brand-name items sold by third-party sellers with average customer ratings above 90 percent, and all items were shipped from U.S. addresses, according to the report, titled “Agencies Can Improve Efforts to Address Risks Posed by Changing Counterfeits Markets.” Counterfeit products can harm consumers, the report notes: an investigation of 400 counterfeit iPhone adapters found some “posed a risk of lethal electrocution.” Counterfeit travel mugs may contain higher-than-approved concentrations of lead and counterfeit cosmetics have been found by federal agencies to “contain hazardous substances, including cyanide, arsenic, mercury, lead, urine, and rat droppings,” the report found.  [Source: CBS News]

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A liquor store theft followed by a crash

One man is facing charges and another is on the lam after the pair allegedly stole from a Chinatown liquor store Thursday afternoon, then stole and crashed an Uber car nearby, injuring a pedestrian in the process, police said. The manager of the Wild Duck on Washington Street chased the two men out of the store around 5:30 p.m. after noticing the duo was trying to steal alcohol, said Boston Police Officer James Kenneally, a department spokesman. The two fled the store, and got in an Uber that was unattended outside, said Kenneally. They only drove the car about 100 feet before hopping a curb and crashing it, striking a female pedestrian in the process. The pedestrian suffered what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries. The two men then ditched the vehicle and tried to flee on foot. A passerby grabbed one of the men and held him until police arrived, Kenneally said.  Police arrested Jonathan Pagan, 26, of Everett, and charged him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, shoplifting under $50, larceny of a motor vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury.  [Source: Boston Globe]

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