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‘Nightmare’ at Chinese factories making Hasbro and Disney toys

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Hasbro confirmed in an email that its products were produced at two of the facilities referred to in the report.

“The allegations in the report are not substantiated by Hasbro’s extensive monitoring and audits conducted throughout 2018, and both suppliers are in good standing with Hasbro’s robust ethical sourcing requirements,” a spokesperson told CNBC.

In an emailed statement to CNBC, a Target spokesperson said it took the allegations seriously, adding: “We expect all vendors supplying products to Target to uphold our standards and treat everyone with respect, dignity and equality.”

Costco declined to comment on the report.

Spokespersons for Disney, Mattel, Lego, and Walmart were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

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British Airways owner IAG stops selling shares to non-EU citizens

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The parent company of British Airways and Iberia has stopped the sales of its stock to investors outside of the European Union.

EU-ownership rules dictate that more than half of an airline’s stock must be held by shareholders that are based within the economic bloc.

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) was at risk of breaching that level with 47.5 percent of shares now held by non-EU citizens. Qatar Airways holds almost half of the non-EU allowance with its 22 percent stake in the group.

The filing to the market was released late Monday. Shortly before midday London time on Tuesday, AIG’s stock was languishing toward the bottom of the FTSE 100, more than 1 percent lower.

The restriction on British Airways is likely to become even more complicated when Brexit is enacted at the end of next month.

After the U.K. leaves the European Union, U.K. shareholders in airlines will no longer count toward the required 50 percent minimum EU ownership.

IAG, Ryanair and easyJet could reportedly attempt to comply with the ownership rules by ensuring that when British investors sell stock, it is immediately bought by EU investors.

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India watchdog probes accusations that Google abused Android: Sources

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India’s antitrust commission is looking into accusations that Alphabet Inc’s unit Google abuses its popular Android mobile operating system to block its rivals, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has for the past six months been reviewing a case similar to one Google faced in Europe that led to a fine of 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) by antitrust regulators last year, three of the sources said. Google has challenged that order.

The European Commission found Google had abused its market dominance since 2011 with practices such as forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser, together with its Google Play app store on Android devices.

“It is on the lines of the EU case, but at a preliminary stage,” said one of the sources, who is aware of the CCI investigation.

Google declined to comment. The CCI did not respond to Reuters’ queries.

The watchdog’s enquiry into allegations against Google over its Android platform has not previously been reported.

Google executives have in recent months met Indian antitrust officials at least once to discuss the complaint, which was filed by a group of individuals, one of the sources said.

The Indian watchdog could ask its investigations unit to further investigate the accusations against Google, or throw out the complaint if it lacks merit. The watchdog’s investigations have historically taken years to complete.

Android, used by device makers for free, features on about 85 percent of the world’s smartphones. In India, about 98 percent of the smartphones sold in 2018 used the platform, Counterpoint Research estimates.

In October, Google said it would charge smartphone makers a fee for using its popular Google Play app store and also allow them to use rival versions of Android to comply with the EU order.

The change, however, covered only the European Economic Area, which comprises the 28 EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

“The CCI will have a tough time not initiating a formal investigation into Google given the EU case, unless they can show the problem has been addressed (by remedies),” one of the sources said.

The Indian complaint presents the latest regulatory headache for the Mountain View, California-based company in a key growth market.

Last year, the Indian antitrust watchdog imposed a fine of 1.36 billion rupees ($19 million) on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position. It also found Google had put its commercial flight search function in a prominent position on the search results page.

Google appealed against that order, saying the ruling could cause it “irreparable” harm and reputational loss, Reuters reported.

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Egypt’s President Sisi pushes toward term extensions in constitution

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An Egyptian youth walks past a polling station in the capital Cairo's western Giza district on March 25, 2018 ahead of the vote scheduled to begin the following day, decorated on the outside with giant privately-sponsored electoral posters depicting incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and giant pieces of cloth stacked together to show the colors of the Egyptian flag.

MOHAMED EL-SHAHED | AFP | Getty Images

An Egyptian youth walks past a polling station in the capital Cairo’s western Giza district on March 25, 2018 ahead of the vote scheduled to begin the following day, decorated on the outside with giant privately-sponsored electoral posters depicting incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and giant pieces of cloth stacked together to show the colors of the Egyptian flag.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is likely to win constitutional changes allowing him to dramatically extend his tenure in power — just over a year after telling CNBC that he would never pursue such a thing.

Discussing the political developments while at the Milken Summit in Abu Dhabi Tuesday, Egyptian billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble that he expected the controversial move would be pushed through. Asked whether he believed it was the right or wrong step for Egypt, the country’s second-richest man simply replied, “We’ll see.”

Egyptian lawmakers are pushing ahead for a change to the country’s constitution that would enable Sisi to stay in power until 2034. Currently, the former armed forces chief is due to stand down after completing two four-year terms in 2022.

Just last week, a parliamentary committee in Cairo approved proposed constitutional amendments that would increase presidential terms from four to six years and essentially reset the clock, allowing Sisi two additional terms.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC in November 2017, Sisi said he was committed to the limits set out by the current constitution.

“I am with preserving two four-year terms and not to change it … I am not for any amendments to be made to the constitution in this period,” Sisi told CNBC’s Gamble. “The constitution grants the right of the parliament and the president to request amendments. I am talking about the four-year terms. We will not interfere with it.”

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